How are online marketing and B2B event marketing related? There would appear to be a significant disconnect between the two concepts: One occurs in the digital world while the other exists primarily offline. However, the reality is that they're truly interdependent forms of marketing. What's more, multiple online marketing strategies are necessary to support B2B events like conferences and trade shows to increase the chances of improving lead generation outcomes.
Event marketing maintains prominence
Throughout 2014, there's been a consistent emphasis on event marketing for B2B companies. In fact, 57 percent of marketers said events were instrumental for empowering their lead generation efforts and adding fuel to the sales funnel (1). For the most part, events were held offline, and 35 percent were simultaneously in physical places and online.
The most common types of events were conferences, while trade shows came in second. Exhibitions were also popular, while webinars were the fourth most prominent way B2B marketers connected with their audiences and generated leads.
Promotion through digital marketing
Although the most popular kinds of event marketing were found in a physical space, advertising for these events depended largely on digital channels. For instance, the top three methods to promote an event included email, website and social media (2). In that order, these were also the most effective ways to connect with potential buyers to inform them of future events as indicated by B2B marketers.
What does it mean for B2B organizations?
Even with an offline event, there's an obvious need to get the attention of prospective attendees and buyers well ahead of time. Digital strategies, including email and content marketing via branded or hosted websites, play a central role in attracting leads.
Getting buyers to notice an event by advertising on the company's website will ultimately require search engine optimization. Through smart keyword use, businesses can integrate terms that prospective buyers may use to search for information about a specific topic or problem. At the same time, content marketing helps engage people interested in the event by either writing about topics related to it or by highlighting aspects of it that will motivate customers to register.
Because events are fairly expensive, marketers have to be smart about SEO and their content strategies to make it as cost-effective as possible while still being engaging.