“For B2B companies, other types of big events offer a chance to make a splash with target audiences,” notes Andy MacMillian, CEO of Act-On Software. “It could be Dreamforce or the International Builders Show or a brand re-launch accompanied by a high-visibility rollout with an extensive social marketing and media relations push.”
B2B marketers that have a good game plan can get hundreds of people to stop by their booth at major industry events. That’s great, but brands fumble if they don’t extend that engagement beyond the event itself.
Whatever your marketing Super Bowl is, make sure you don’t fumble opportunities to leverage the attention you’ve worked so hard to gain. Build a rolling-thunder approach to your campaign and have a plan to extend reach and engagement way beyond the event itself.
“You need to keep the conversation going, nurture these people through the sales cycle and track the true results of your marketing efforts,” he says. “Deriving optimum long-term value out of a big event requires a coordinated attack. Don’t look at an event or campaign in isolation but as part of a broader mega-campaign with many interlocking pieces.”
MacMillian offers six strategies for scoring marketing touchdowns in the B2B big game:
- Catch the ball. (Capture data.) “Hopefully, your activity is causing a bounce in your website traffic,” he says. “Make sure you’re tracking the number of visitors and noting any trends, such as a rise in traffic from certain geographic locations.”
- Know the score. (Measure.) Coach Vince Lombardi famously said “Some of us will do our jobs well and some will not, but we will all be judged on one thing: the result.” Define what you’re going to track and at what touch points you’re going to track I, notes MacMillian.
- Be as smart as Bill Belichick. (Analyze your data.) Segment and understand what your traffic and engagement is telling you, he says. What percentage of visitors entered your site and exited on the same page without going any further? Look at how people engage with your web pages, blog posts, social posts, white papers, data sheets, etc. Track the number of downloads, views and leads generated by each one.
- Be smart on both sides of the ball. (Analyze external data.) “Gauge patterns in your online brand awareness by using Google Trends to check data about searches for your brand,” he says. “Select a group of social media channels you are actively using and track how engaged your followers are with your brand—what percentage of your network actively participates in or engages with your shared content?” This will help you understand if your messages are inline with what your audience wants to hear. And don’t forget PR—where appropriate, understand the impact of press releases and stories picked up by the media.
- Wow the crowd. (Make your content shine.) Spend time to craft crafting content that connects with your audience. “Make sure you’re able to send highly relevant customized content to the right customer or the right potential customer at just the right time.”
- Play like a team. (Coordinate with the rest of the business.) Leaders of the business must align to guide the customer at every stage of the buying and support process, MacMillan says. “As on a football team, working well together means winning more games together.”