Finny Friday: How Event Farm Harvested Quality Leads With Key Influencers

Published: May 13, 2016

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Editor’s Note: Welcome back to Finny Friday, our monthly blog dedicated to celebrating Killer Content Award winners from throughout the years.

In a world where B2B buyers are often bombarded with information, it helps to stand out from the crowd. That’s why more and more marketers are relying on the help of industry experts and key influencers to help elevate their brand message and generate leads. That’s exactly what Event Farm did with its Future of Marketing series.

The company’s influencer marketing campaign was so successful it snagged a Finny in February at our annual Killer Content Awards. In fact, the campaign generated 628 leads and 31 opportunities, with approximately $280,000 in possible pipeline revenue.

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Here, Event Farm CMO Alexandra Gibson and Marketing Manager Brian Pesin discuss goals for the campaign, how they chose the content formats used and some of the challenges they faced. To hear the whole story about how Event Farm won their Finny, tune into our Killer Content Showcase Series webinar on May 19.

Demand Gen Report: What were your goals for developing the content/campaign?

Event Farm: We had several goals for our Future of Event Marketing series. We wanted to:

  1. Generate as many new, high-quality, top-of-funnel leads as possible, and we used several different channels in order to do this.
  2. Establish our brand’s thought leadership in the event marketing space by educating the industry about important topics like emerging experiential and event technologies, incorporating events into a holistic marketing strategy, proving ROI with event data and more.
  3. Deepen relationships with leading industry experts. Leveraging their expertise and connections for this series was a win for all involved parties and helped to strengthen valuable business relationships for our brand.

DGR: What made you select your content formats and the overall execution approach?

Event Farm: We selected video, as it’s a highly engaging form of content and allowed for a more conversational and serendipitous approach to these interviews. By slow-releasing the videos over the course of four days, we were able to engage our audience over a longer period of time, and gave them a chance to digest our content more thoroughly in bite-size pieces.

Additionally, we knew we would be able to repurpose the video interviews into several other formats, which would help keep the series active and fresh for a longer period of time. By the end of the series, we had produced 12 videos, 12 audio recordings, 12 blog posts, countless tweets and social media posts, and plan on turning the blog posts into an eBook in the near future.

DGR: How did you establish your content promotion and amplification method and what channels were included?

Event Farm: We tried a little bit of everything to market this campaign! It was our first major marketing initiative since joining the company, so we wanted to see what worked and what didn’t for our industry. To maximize our exposure for the Future of Event Marketing series, we used a variety of promotion methods, including

  • Email marketing: We sent a targeted email to the contacts in our marketing automation system and email marketing platform. In many cases, this actually re-engaged contacts that had gone extremely cold and re-invigorated sales opportunities that had stalled;
  • Web site and blog optimization: We advertised the series on our web site and blog using a SumoMe welcome mat that appeared when a site visitor landed on our homepage and the blog index page. To minimize interruption, visitors submitted their email address directly from a form on the drop-down menu to register for the series before continuing onto the site. We also added CTAs to our blog posts to direct additional traffic to the series’ landing page;
  • Paid social ads and organic social posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The social ads performed well and were able to attract high quality leads; 25% of the leads generated via paid social efforts converted to MQL later on; and
  • Word-of-mouth marketing. We leveraged the influencers featured in these interviews and had them market the series and their inclusion in it to their respective audiences, promoting it using many of the same channels that we did for additional effect. We also had our sales and client services teams spread the word about the series to their prospects and clients in their conversations. This gave them a great reason to reach out that was more about value-add rather than, “Are you ready to buy yet or not?”

DGR: What was the most challenging part about creating this Killer Content?

Event Farm: The most challenging parts came from coordinating the logistics of recording several video interviews, as well as technical difficulties and last-minute glitches with Google Hangouts that we couldn’t have predicted.

DGR: What are some key lessons learned from this process that you’d like other marketers to take with them for future campaigns?

Event Farm: We walked away with a number of important takeaways that we’ve applied to all of our future marketing initiatives:

  • You don’t have to be an expert to show thought leadership. Often by bringing together the right people and allowing their expertise to shine, you become just as valuable of a resource.
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things! We tested a lot of different promotion and amplification methods to get the word out about our series, which gave us a solid understanding of what worked well and what didn’t for future campaigns.
  • Finding ways to repurpose your content is key for extending the life and reach of a marketing campaign, and it makes your job as a content-producing marketer easier as well. Consider all the ways that one large piece of content can be sliced and diced into great bite-size pieces, consumed via different media.

Does your content deserve a Finny? Fill out the form and submit your nomination for the 2017 Killer Content Awards!

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