Jason asks, "We've traditionally relied on trade shows and conferences to generate brand awareness and leads. Even though our conferences are gone, we still need to do lead gen.... what is your plan now? Virtual conferences/webinars?"
The role of a conference really is about establishing brand and credibility in front of a crowd. So, where are the crowds now? Go where the people are. That may mean webinars or virtual summits, sure, but expand your thinking beyond that. This is the perfect time to do some research on where your audience spends its time online - because right now, everyone's online and some of those habits will stick.
Take the enormous amount of money you would have spent on conference booths and activities and look at:
- Sponsorship of a newsletter for a quarter
- Sponsorship of a podcast for a quarter
- Sponsorship of a video series or channel for a quarter
- Cohosted webinars with a noncompetitive company
- Co-registered whitepapers and ebooks with a noncompetitive company
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
In today's episode, Jason asks, we have traditionally relied on trade shows and conferences to generate brand awareness and leads even though our conferences are gone, we still need to do lead gen.
What is your plan now virtual conferences or webinars? So the role of the conference really is about establishing brand and credibility in front of a crowd in front of a group of people in such a way that they can interact with each other and they can interact with you.
So where are the crowds now? Where are people spending their time online? And are those places accessible to you? Part of the role of a conference also is to introduce you to the crowds that you have not been in front of previously.
It's one thing one of the challenges that people have with webinars is that they hit their email list which is great, you should absolutely but if you're email list is not growing, then obviously, you're going to have a hard time attracting new people.
So where do people spend their time? This right now this period of crisis is the perfect time to do some research on where your audience spends its time online.
Because right now everybody's online, there's really no place else you can go.
Literally, you cannot leave your house.
So where are people spending their time? those habits that people have right now that the developing of where they spend their time online, some of those habits are going to stick after the crisis abates.
So what are the things out there that look like a conference from a structural perspective for lead generation? There are things like podcasts for example that can get you in front of a new audience guesting on a podcast if a podcast accepts guests sponsoring a podcast.
Think about how much you spend on a trade show.
booth, right? Where there's the 10 by 10 space, you know, that's gonna be five or 10 or even $20,000, depending on the show.
And then you're going to spend X amount of dollars on having, you know, two or three or four sales BDR is there plus having a speaker there.
And having those dinners and the meals and all that stuff that you do at a conference, tally up that budget.
And you know, for the next six months, you're not going to be using those planned expenditures.
What can you go out and sponsor that looks like a conference, but allows you to have that access.
So sponsor a podcast for the next six months with what you would have spent on one show on one on one conference.
Look at video shows particularly regular serials on on YouTube on Vimeo on all these different sites that are out there that other people have gathered audiences for you can you sponsor one One of those Can you be the season sponsor of a video show? webinars? Yes, co branded webinars are essential.
So again, look for companies to partner with that are not competitive to you, but have your audience, one of the most important things you can do is look at your audience and ask them where else they spend the time but also what else do they buy? And there are services that that will allow you to get data out of a lead list about that company, its website and the technologies it uses.
For example, what are the other things in common that you could use to identify like, yes, this is a company I want to do a co branded piece of research with.
And then you share the lead generation you you how you sort of double up and both can access it.
Are they email newsletters that you can sponsor that you can get in front of and go out And grab a whole new audience on daily newsletters, weekly newsletters if there's somebody out there that's got an audience that you can get access to.
What else looks like a conference? There are discussion forums, right where you can pitch into conversations.
If you have a relevant perspective and you're not salesy about it.
There are different communities like slack communities, discord, communities, even places like Twitch, depending on your company's products and services.
There may be events, virtual events that you can join, that are like hackathons and code shares and all these things.
So think less about the physical conference and more about what in your industry exists that functions like the conference that offers networking that offers a new audience and offers an audience in bulk that you can address all at once.
That's the secret to what's going on.
I would say again, for simplicity's sake and to get up and running sooner rather than later, go the sponsorship route.
And not just because I have properties of my own that can be sponsored.
But because it gets you up and running fast, you don't have to build an audience if you can go rent someone else's audience.
Other things that can function similarly are advertising using look alike audiences.
So if you have your audience, you can load it into an ad system of your choice of social media, paid, paid, click per click ads, etc.
and get access to an audience that's very similar to yours, but not the one that you already have.
Because again, we want to get in front of those new people.
Be aware that during this crisis, a lot of businesses will not be looking to necessarily buy things, but they will definitely people are always looking to learn things that people are always looking to be a part of something that is meaningful to them.
So to the extent that you can try to grow your audience As much as you can grow your list Grow Your, your lead or prospect pipeline, just don't expect it to close real soon.
So the webinar route, yes, do a webinar, do co hosted webinars, again, partner up, find somebody who's got an audience, that's going to be really important because, again, you don't have access to a list that's not yours, you shouldn't as illegal.
So try and find those those things.
And also look at advertisers.
There are some companies that will let you not, they won't give you their list, but they will let you rent their audience.
You can, like for example, in Facebook ads, you can be given ad agency access to somebody else's audience and then run a campaign for a defined amount of time.
And you pay for that and then you pay for the ads on top of that.
And then when the campaign is over, your access is removed from that audience, but you've been able to show ads to that audience.
So Something to think about there as well.
There are so many ways and so many approaches you can take to this challenge of reaching new audiences.
try any of the ones that we've listed here because there's, there's something out there that is a good fit for your company.
But keep in mind, you're not going to be spending that money on conferences, spend it on grabbing new communities, and being a part of them.
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