Inbound marketing – one of the latest buzzwords (so it seems) when it comes to ‘digital marketing’ and marketing alike. But what is ‘inbound marketing’ and why should event professionals care?
Inbound Marketing is defined as: “Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, white papers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customers through the different stages of the purchase funnel.” (in contrast to, “In contrast, buying attention cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales fliers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising are considered "outbound marketing". Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers makes the company easy to be found and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content. Many companies are now realizing that their technical documentation, often considered a "necessary evil", is authoritative, trustworthy content that can be a company's most effective inbound marketing channel, generating more than half of overall site traffic and over half of lead generation.”)
If that sounded like a bunch of word vomit to you, and you stopped reading at the first sentence, think of it this way:
Inbound marketing is attraction: outbound (‘traditional marketing’) is disruption.
How does this apply to event professionals and event planners?
Many event planners and professionals prefer inbound marketing techniques because not only does it save them money planning and engaging with their event attendees, the techniques allow them to showcase the value and ROI of marketing efforts.
2. Quality Leads
Instead of wasting time on getting the wrong people the wrong information – inbound marketing allows people to express their interest and desire – thus you’re able to spend your budget attracting the right people, to present them the right information.
3. **Bonus (Delight Your Sponsors!)
By attracting the right, qualified leads (aka attendees to your event and learning how to engage with the right people before your event) you have a great way to showcase your sponsors – thus delighting your sponsors and potentially having the opportunity to generate stronger sponsor and exhibitor relationships.
“Great,” you’re thinking “but how the heck do I do ‘inbound marketing’ for my event?”
1. Social Media
We’ve talked about the importance of social media before – especially how a hashtag can help promote your event across multiple channels. However – in case you missed the memo – social media is important to any event planner’s goal. By incorporating organic social media efforts, you can increase traffic – both potential attendee and sponsors, increase engagement, further develop your understanding of success after the event, and nurture your already aware audience. There is no reason to avoid this frugal and yet such important method of inbound marketing when it comes to planning and promoting your event.
2. Content Marketing
One of the most important aspects of event planning with inbound marketing efforts is content marketing. What is content marketing? As the Content Marketing Institute defined in 2012 -
“Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. Basically – content marketing is copy that you put on your website to drive and attract traffic (I.e. potential leads and or event attendees or sponsors). Whether you keep a news section or a blog on your website – by consistently updating and providing new and relevant information, Google should begin to reward your efforts (i.e. SEO/search engine optimization, which you can learn more about here.)
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is not only important when it comes to inbound marketing and digital marketing for event planners – but it is highly successful and potentially a frugal resource. Why? Because whether you interact and connect with your already collected leads (i.e. email addresses on hand) – or you attract new leads and email address through your inbound marketing efforts – you have access (or will create access) to a database that is relevant, and interested.
What’s great about MeetingPlay? MeetingPlay offers a comprehensive registration management application that in addition to offering registration tasks such as website creation, managing attendee data, and processing payments – we help you stay in touch with your attendees with our registration application email portal.
Want to know more about how you can increase your attendee engagement, increase ROI, drive better and more valuable sponsors and so much more all within one mobile event app? Click below to learn more about the MeetingPlay custom mobile app for events, conferences, seminars and trade shows!