Cloud service providers face a number of unique challenges when it comes to marketing. It can feel difficult to communicate what distinguishes your brand from the competition when so much of what you do happens in the background.
While most aspects of your business may happen remotely and asynchronously, connecting in real time with your current and prospective customers can have a major impact. Four out of five marketers believe that event marketing is the most effective marketing channel.
Learn why both virtual and in-person events can be extremely beneficial for your brand.
1. Events build brand awareness
Events give you an opportunity to communicate more directly with customers and prospects. Being there means a chance to answer questions, converse about your audience’s concerns, and share your ideas. By participating in panels, chatting at show booths, and other interactions, you can significantly increase awareness of your brand and the value it offers. Make sure that you have plenty of materials available that can remind people to get in touch after the event. Informative handouts and interesting promotional goods are both excellent choices.
Additionally, appearing at an event can give you access to prospects who were not able to attend personally. Members of the tech media are often part of the audience at trade shows, conferences and virtual meetups. Scheduling meetings and being there to add to their stories gives them material and you a valuable platform.
2. Events are a place to generate qualified leads
Whether the event you are attending is online or in person, it’s a terrific opportunity to gather leads. You know that the people you will meet there are interested in industry topics like yours and close enough to a purchase to invest time or money in attending.
When you are gathering leads face-to-face, this also further qualifies them. Many of us sign up for email lists or fill out surveys in front of gated materials and quickly forget about them. By the time a vendor calls or emails us, we may no longer have a clear idea who they are or what their company offers. By contrast, we are more likely to remember the person whose hand we shook before chatting about security, server capacity, and other topics relevant to them.
3. Events are a chance to educate prospects
Some of your most valuable prospects do not know that they need your services yet. Either they are not aware of products like yours or they do not have the background to understand what differentiates one service in your niche from another. Many people attend events not just to network but to learn more about their industry and how to make their companies thrive.
When you are on hand to help people learn, you are not just making them aware of you as a solution. You are showing why your brand is the one that they should choose. Your expertise and authority on your topic help make potential customers feel more at ease. This quality can go a long way toward closing a sale when it is time for them to make a financial commitment.
4. Events are an opportunity to engage current customers and cross- or upsell
There is a lot of data behind the old adage that it is easier and cheaper to retain a current customer than it is to court and win a new one. Events are a great opportunity to reconnect with current customers and extend or deepen a professional relationship.
The face time that you invest at an event reminds current customers of the reasons that they do business with you. Seeing you can encourage them to renew a service they already have with you or to return to your brand if they have explored other options.
By showcasing new offerings at events, you can also make current customers aware of these options. Since they are already doing business with you, they are more likely to trust you with more business than they would a new and unknown vendor. Upselling and cross-selling allow you to get a substantially higher return on your marketing dollars.
By making plenty of time in your calendar for online and in-person events, you can continue to build relationships and increase your brand’s credibility in the minds of your current and potential customers. A couple of days invested each month can bring you benefits months or years in the future.