This post is brought to you by RollWorks Senior Partner Marketing Manager Stacy Millman. Rollworks, a division of NextRoll, offers ambitious B2B companies an account-based platform to align their marketing and sales teams and confidently grow revenue.
I get it. Events, whether live or on your screen, are an incredibly important strategic element to your B2B marketing strategy. This is especially true today as we live in a seemingly virtual vortex.
In fact, in a recent RollWorks survey aptly named ‘N.A.W.: Not Another Webinar’, we found that marketers are increasing their virtual events and webinars by more than 50% compared to the start of last year. Unfortunately, that came with some less-than-ideal fatigue. Hefty increases in drop-off rates and no-shows were reported due to burnout and competition for screen time.
So, what did we advise other marketers to do? The same thing we advised ourselves to do—don’t ditch webinars, just rethink them. Now is the time for reframing success and remixing the traditional webinar of days past.
How did we reframe success and remix our webinar strategy in 2021?
It was back to the drawing board to rethink our virtual programs’ approach and come up with new ways to create a more personalized one-to-one element.
It’s a bit surreal to think that we were still cramming into booths in crowded ballrooms a little over a year ago, shaking hands with customers, and scouring show floors for tchotchkes.
But when it comes down to it (while I dearly miss live events), virtual events can be even more ABM-ified than IRL (“in real life”) events.
After all, there’s only so much data at your fingertips to pinpoint your top accounts while on a crowded showroom floor. The data available in a digital setting allows you to build deeper relationships and accelerate revenue opportunities with high-value accounts by creating more meaningful,tailored interactions and experiences through all of your marketing activities around those events. While we’ve always had an account-based approach to align with our sales teammates for live events, we had more to explore with adding a human touchpoint on the virtual side.
Sending gifts as part of our multi-touch virtual events and webinar campaign strategy has helped tremendously. Physical and virtual field marketing campaigns have been shown to increase attendance and influence pipeline.
Here are some ideas we’ve used at RollWorks to bridge the physical and the digital in the virtual event reality we all live in:
3 Ideas for Adding eGifts to Your Virtual Events
1. Touches In Lieu Of Tchotkes
When we thought about our traditional trade show strategy of the past, our show goals included:
- Driving meetings from targeted accounts
- Driving visitors to our booth
- Increasing brand awareness from a top-of-funnel perspective
Sending direct mail was a key component in helping to book onsite meetings with those target accounts. So, we already had a gifting element to drive meetings, but now we could expand to our webinar and virtual programs.
Registering for our event is an indicator that people have raised their hand, expressing interest in the topic being presented. Similar to how you would treat an unknown visitor to your booth, we warm them up with a lighter touch such as a coffee eGift card vs. what you might send to highly targeted accounts, like a personalized gift, branded ember mug, or initialed luggage tags.
2. No Shows Are Still Special
If someone really special from our target account list signed up and didn’t attend, we’d add a high-touch treat like a meal delivery gift card to help sweeten the deal for them to schedule a meeting.
We also personalize the recordings with our follow-ups to top tier-accounts. Sellers added a short 15-second greeting of themselves attached to the beginning of the webinar, letting the person know you’re excited they wanted to watch the recording, and add a high-touch note and gift card for a special treat for recipients to take it easy.
3. People Still Love the Element of Surprise
Who doesn’t love receiving an expected gift? Even a free coffee can bring a little piece of joy to someone’s day. You are still selling and buying from people, and sending allows us to share a personal connection. Direct mail transforms your brand from an idea to something to something tangible. It’s also an opportunity to show your company’s personality shine through. A gift is a piece of marketing they can open, and that also delivers powerful messaging with calls to action.
Consider running an attendance giveaway: Let registrants know that the first 10 people to show up get an eGift card and one attendee will randomly be selected for a larger prize. Better yet, work with your partners to pull together an even larger prize.
So, how are you putting a little more pep into a marketers’ step and getting noticed in the virtual event sea?