How to Create Your Own Lead-Generating Event
Reaching new customers can be challenging and time-consuming. And if you’re trying to create a buzz for your company, you have to find a unique way to market your product or service. So how can you do it all on a small business budget?
With inbound marketing, you provide something of value so that interested people come to you. It’s a great way to strategically find a niche audience for your business while separating yourself from your competition.
Not sure how to get started? Lead-generating events can be an effective way to find new clients while interacting directly with your customer base. Here’s what to do to create your own small business lead-generating event
Identify Your Marketing Strategy
Before you work on an event, it’s important to know how you’ll actually use your leads. Consider the type of customer you’re targeting and how you plan to market to them afterwards. A lead generating event may require upfront capital, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate the associated costs or market your business for free.
Choose a Memorable Concept
Your event doesn’t need to mark a big occasion, like an opening night or new product reveal. But a unique concept will help you get more people in the door, or at least, an email address registration (more on that later).
Leverage your resources and network to make your event valuable and interesting for attendees. While networking parties are fun, they’re fairly common and predictable. And if you’re just planning a mixer, you could miss out on valuable people just because they don’t partake in your offerings.
Instead, a lead-generating event can use tactics like experiential marketing and product demonstrations to give attendees more hands-on or active participation. For example, if you own a retail clothing company, a pop-up shop in a new area is a way to drive leads and get interested people to come your way.
Your event also doesn’t need to be a one-time only or in-person experience. The same principles can apply to these digital alternatives:
- Online courses
- How-to videos
Look for Event Partners to Help With Costs
If you work with similar businesses or have a good relationship with a unique enterprise, try to involve others in your event. A cross-branded promotion can help you create a more memorable and valuable experience or even reach a new audience. For example, a hair salon can work with a nearby massage spa to create a stress relief and prevention themed event for the local community. By sharing the expenses and resources, they’ve increased their potential audiences while slashing overhead costs.
Set Up a Registration or Event Page
Create a landing page for your event with an email registration form for interested attendees. Provide enough information for visitors on the site, but organize it so that people need to provide their email addresses for full details or to access your offering. This is where you can build up your email marketing list. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use a separate event page, such as Facebook or Eventbrite, to increase your reach and make it even easier for people to sign up.
Spread the Word
Don’t assume that your event pages will do all the work prior to your occasion —
leverage any word-of-mouth advertising you can with your existing clients and network. Use your social media channels and email list to target the right people and remind guests as the date approaches. Consider also using paid social media and advertising if you’re looking to reach a bigger audience.
Touch Base During and After the Experience
Make sure to put on your best face and include your top performers at the event. While you may have collected contact details beforehand, you’ll want to have a way to record actual attendees. Participants may have forwarded your invitation or brought guests, so it’s beneficial to have another touchpoint and collect contact information along the way.
It’s also a good idea to give your guests something to go home with, even if it’s a simple, branded product or sample. Follow up once it’s over — send out a thank-you for attending or introduce yourself to touch base within 24 hours. A successful event will give you plenty of new contacts and potential customers, so make sure to keep in touch!