Almost a year ago, a client of ours was preparing to attend SXSW (South by Southwest) in Austin, TX. They had a great product to offer, and wanted attendees at SXSW to see their stuff. As we were planning their lead generation campaigns, we devised a strategy using the following:
1x Attendee list + LinkedIn Events page
1x Marketing Automation program
1x Landing Page to track their interested parties>
The campaign was so simple it was genius. When prospects attend a conference/tradeshow, they are away to learn, socialize and have fun. Using that same context, we sent out a simple message to prospects attending SXSW.
“Looking forward to catching up, let’s grab a beer at the exhibitor bar at 5:00 p.m., we’ll chat about X, Y, Z”
The results were fantastic. Prospects were there to learn, socialize AND have a beer.
Fast forward to this week – we have a client attending SAP TechEd 2012 and they wanted to make a splash. We decided on a similar plan - but knowing the world has embraced Social Selling, we targeted our prospects using LinkedIn.
Ingredients for this campaign
- 1x Attendee list
- 1x Landing Page
- 1x LinkedIn Account
We used the same casual message for prospects attending TechEd – something that said “socialize, learn and have fun.”
Result - within 24 hours, we had helped our client book 12 new prospect meetings!!! Yes, 12 meetings at the event. These are prospects that responded with:
“Absolutely, let’s grab a drink as I’m interested in “X” as your firm can help us”
LinkedIn is exactly the medium you need to be using for these invitations. LinkedIn provides your prospects with a vantage point into your value and expertise. A prospect can venture into the real reason you would add value to their business and have a personal connection with your photo and bio. This is exactly the business meets party atmosphere that happens at conferences/tradeshows.
How Do We Use This For Our Next Conference?
Ken Krogue at Inside Sales gave me fantastic advice. - never attend an event unless you've lined up enough meetings beforehand to make the event pay for itself. Using this advice, get ready to make your next conference more valuable.
1. Identify which prospects will be attending your next conference (many firms publish this on their corporate site and/or many people Tweet/LinkedIn message or have on their LinkedIn profile).
2. Develop a short, simple and fun invitation that will be sent via LinkedIn
3. Find the LinkedIn profiles you want and place into a file folder within Profile Organizer
4. Send a message, drive to a landing page and watch the meetings role in.
Best of luck at your next event, and have a beer on us!
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing social selling strategies and LinkedIn can help you start but if you are looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out - How-to-Guide: Making $$$ with Social Selling.