November is filled with B2B marketing conferences and events. Several notable marketing conferences have happened or are happening this months, including Inbound16, AdTech16, Search Engine Journey Summit and Martech Europe.
Here at Socedo, we’ve been planning for Inbound for months and we can’t believe that the conference is starting today. If you are at Inbound, look for Socedo and our penguin mascot in the exhibit hall.
As a B2B marketer, conferences and events – whether you’re attending, speaking or sponsoring – are probably a part of your inbound marketing plan. But most marketing conferences are expensive to sponsor, with the lowest sponsor level typically starting in the twenty thousand or thirty thousand dollars’ range. You’ll have to make some tough decisions on which industry events are really worth your money.
The good news is that you don’t actually need to sponsor a conference in order to find good leads from the conference and talk to them.
These days, every event comes with its own hashtag (e.g.”#Inbound16″). During the event, many attendees use the conference hashtag in their Tweets to share their event experience – the sessions they attend, the parties, the conversations or meetings they have. As a marketer looking for your target audience, the hashtag is your key to targeting, engaging and nurturing your qualified leads.
Last week, we looked at several marketing conferences that were happening (and are about to happen) and found a high volume of Twitter conversations around some of them.
#adtech16: AdTech is one of the leading conferences in the adtech space, it started on November 2nd.
We used Hashtracking to get a quick snapshot of the volume and types of conversations on this hashtag. In just over twenty-four hours after the conference started (we checked mid-day November 3rd), there were over 1500 Tweets that mention #adtech16.
We also looked at the social chatter around #Inbound16. Since we looked before the conference started, many of the posts were from sponsors letting people know that they will be presenting at the event. But we also found some tweets from event attendees.
We took a look on November 3rd before the conference started, and we’ve already seen 1500 tweets about Inbound since November 1st reaching over 3 million users.
What this means
Even if you are not sponsoring a key event in your industry, you can build your own list of attendees – based on the event hashtag – and engage with them.
With Socedo, simply enter the event hashtag along with the job titles or descriptive keywords that may be included on the social profiles of your target audience, and Socedo will identify these people on your behalf and provide you with their contact information (we have a free trial).
Let’s take Inbound 16 as an example. As a sponsor of Inbound, we decided to use our own product to find Inbound attendees and Hubspot users. We decided to 1) invite them to our booth and 2) use this event as a platform to build relationships with Hubspot users.
In Socedo, we set up a search that includes anyone who mentions or follows a variation of Inbound (#inbound16, #inbound2016, @inbound).
We also included anyone whose social media profile mentioned that they do marketing, PR, or runs a company.
For efficiency’s sake, our Marketing team put in the conference hashtags of many popular B2B marketing conferences into the same campaign.
Using this type search, we found several thousand people who were tweeting about these events that also fit our demographic criteria.
As a next step, we triggered a workflow in Socedo to follow and then send these leads a direct message that lets them know that we have a solution that can help them reach event attendees by leveraging social data. We send them a link to our free trial.
Anyone who clicks on the link and signs up for a free trial becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead and is sent to a sales rep. We sync the rest of these contacts into our marketing automation system so we could nurture these leads via email (Socedo works with our data partners to match social profiles to leads’ corporate contact information).
Using this strategy, we’re able to reach a much wider set of leads without sponsoring these conferences. In a period of 2.5 months (starting on August 18), we’ve been to generate a few thousand new contacts for our database through this campaign.We’ve also won several new customers from this campaign.
Use social signals around conferences to convert more leads into customers
Besides using event hashtags to identify new prospects and grow our database, we also use social signals around key events/industry conferences to identify warm leads in our database that we could engage with.
Prior to each major event/conference in our space, we set up a lead monitoring campaign to monitor social activity around the conference hashtag (using our own Social Lead Acceleration solution).
Prior to an event
If we’re sponsoring a conference, for any lead who tweeted the conference hashtag, we sent them an invitation email to inform them about our presence at the conference with a link to a form where they could register to meet with us.
During the event
During the event, we identify the attendees in our database who tweet about their event experience and email these leads with related content. For example, if the person tweeted about a session at the event and mentioned an influencer we’ve done a joint webinar with, we’ll send them an email including that webinar recording. Our event emails typically have a 25% higher click-through rate than our emails on average. The higher engagement helps us get more form fills, more interested leads and more visibility amongst our target accounts.
After the event concludes, we follow up with socially engaged leads from the event by sending them an email with related content, i.e. an e-book we have on the same topic as sessions they tweeted about, to keep our brand on their radar. Essentially, we are using the event as the opportunity to stay top of mind with warm leads and give them a chance to respond to us.
What’s the next big event coming up in your industry? Why not find valuable event attendees and start a conversation with them now? You can try this out by setting up a Socedo campaign. We have a 7-day free trial. Or check out our e-book to learn more about how to add behavioral social data into your marketing automation platform to convert more leads into customers.