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Advice, Engagement, Marketing Strategy

5 Lessons for Marketers from InVision's Head of Global Events

by Erin Chesterton
on April 13, 2021
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Lisa Day knows what it takes to build meaningful campaigns that resonate.

After a long year of of pivoting, planning and cross-functional collaboration, Lisa and her team at InVision mapped out a recording-breaking year of campaigns. 207 to be exact.

We sat down with the forward-thinking event leader for an inside look at her approach to campaign strategy in post-COVID world—discussing everything from the planning process, to post-launch nurture tips and tactics. You can watch the full interview here, or check out my top five lessons learned for key insights that you can apply to your marketing strategy today:

Lesson #1. Spend Less Time Creating, More Time Repurposing

When we polled our live attendees about what channel converts the highest quality leads (email, social, organic, paid, content), across the board—content reigned king. Yet, data from LookBookHQ found that content production is the biggest challenge for 44% of marketers. 

It doesn't have to be this way—get more out of every piece of content you produce. Do less, with more. Search engines love it and so does your online audience. Repurposing and revamping should be an integral part of every marketing strategy you map out. With tools like Canva and Wistia and new channels like TikTok—marketers now have endless creative outlets to create highly digestible content at their disposal.

"You're just hitting the tip of the iceberg when your campaign or event goes live. Don't neglect the opportunities living beneath the surface to help carry the momentum."

As "snackable" content continues to become the norm and resonate with the new wave of online users, we need to continue to push the limits and test new ways to make our content go further.

The data is right in line with this as well:

Here are a few quick ideas to get your wheels turning so you can map out a game plan to repurpose your best-performing content and events:

      1. Make an infographic. Repurpose data from your live polls and create a mini-infographic that you can blast out across social and email to give a quick snippet of the event.
      2. Highlight authentic moments in a blog post. Turn your event's transcription into a blog post with key takeaways (like this blog you're reading now 😎).
      3. Optimize for on-the-go listeners. Download the audio and turn it into a podcast.
      4. Build a post-event landing page with the can't-miss moments. Build a hub to house all of your campaign assets. Share poll results, denote the most compelling moments with timestamps so viewers can jump ahead or rewind based on their interests.
      5. Gated content creation. Build a gated asset like a guide or an eBook from the key highlights and takeaways that you can use to generate new leads.

Lesson #2. Trust Your Gut

When probing further with Lisa about her team's approach to a launching a new campaign, she noted experimentation and keeping an open mind as the two keys to her success. Working aside cross-functional teams where goals, ideas and priorities are constantly in flux, staying flexible is critical to her success.

For Lisa, there's no such thing as a bad idea. To ensure she's constantly pushing herself and her team to share new ideas that will resonate, they follow a "bad versioning" process. In this approach, Lisa aligns with key campaign stakeholders for a free form brainstorm. In this format, no ideas is off limits and each unique contributer can give their perspective. It turns out, bad versioning really is a good thing, as it promotes cross-functional collaboration and encourages the team to share from their unique perspectives, as Lisa summarizes below:

"Bad versioning is a bad name for it because it really is a good thing. It's only a bad thing if you don't have the logic behind it. It's important to work with product teams and SMEs, but also trust your intuition and instincts as a marketer based on what you're hearing from your audience."

The good news is, the answers your looking for to validate your new ideas already exist. Here are a few of Lisa's favorite go-to online resources when approaching a new campaign:

In addition to the above resources for fresh ideas, don't overlook the existing data you have living in your CRM. Understand what content is seeing the highest conversions, which blog posts drive the most page views and longest time on page. Find topics that relate and follow a similar format for your new campaign. Set your benchmarks, find your most valuable content and map out creative ways that you can rinse and repeat for more effective campaigns in the future.

Lesson #3. Stop Sleeping on Your Chatbot

During the live session we asked the audience the following—which tactic is currently driving your highest quality leads? 

Attendees were given these options:

      1. Webinars
      2. Virtual Events/Conferences/Tradeshows
      3. Email Nurture 
      4. Chatbot
      5. Gated Content (ebooks, white papers, reports, etc.)
      6. Paid Search
      7. Paid Social
      8. Organic Search/Blog

Responses from our attendees were split across the board—with gated content and email nurture as the top tactics driving the highest quality leads. But for Lisa and the InVision team, the answer was different. They have seen great success leveraging their website's chatbot to convert visitors, quickly. 

"We get a lot of volume from our chatbot on our website. So we began to use the tool to promote our virtual events. Since it's people explicitly reaching out to engage with us, we're seeing some of our fastest conversions yet."

Recent data from Drift supports the need for B2B organizations to adopt a chatbot as a new channel to support marketing and sales efforts. They discovered that 54% of B2B organizations leverage chatbots for marketing purposes and 85% of B2B organizations use them to enhance sales efforts.

If you're still not sold on how a chatbot can amplify your next campaign, here are a few additional benefits to consider:

What once was a passive tool to triage support requests—chatbots have come a long way and represent a major opportunity to convert in the B2B space. 

Lesson #4. Virtual Isn't Going Anywhere

In-person events are historically a major driver for InVision, so when COVID-19 put that to a screeching halt, Lisa and her team got creative. The result? 207 events over the course of one year. Below Lisa summarizes the benefits from moving to a fully virtual environment:

"While you're losing this in-person handshake and that relationship-building moment, we're actually getting access to high-volume and captive audiences for free. You're able to get in front of so many more people in real-time."

Beyond higher reach and greater accessibility—virtual events also present the following opportunities for marketers:

The takeaway here? Virtual is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity for all marketers today. Investing your time and energy in a robust virtual strategy will pay dividends for your organization.

Lesson #5. In-App Messaging Can't Be Ignored

For any SaaS marketer, it can be easy to overlook the opportunity we have to leverage our own platform as a channel to accelerate our marketing efforts. Yet, when we really explore the value of investing time to acquire new customers versus retaining existing ones—it becomes a no-brainer.

Not convinced? Consider these numbers:

When asking Lisa about the tactics that she uses to address her customer base, she noted the platform Pendo as a highly effective tool to drive more sign-ups for their events.

What is Pendo?

Pendo is an in-app messaging tool that provides a way to understand and communicate with customers while they’re using your product — avoiding the channel noise that can come with platforms like email or social.

For Lisa and team, she finds the Pendo tool to be most effective when crafting mass communications across InVision's customer base.

"For more technical events we use an in-app messaging tool called Pendo to drive sign ups across our customer base at scale. We're able to promote events based on their product interests, or past events attended and can quickly communicate within the platform—it's a really easy way to get customers to attend our events." 

Tools like Pendo give marketers a new channel to drive value from relationships with customers, keep them in the know and curate personalized 1:1 experiences.

3 Reasons to Adopt Pendo for Your Virtual Events

    1. Hyper-targeted communications—No two customers are the same, how you engage with them should be different. Capture unique user engagement data in Pendo to help hone targeting efforts and ensure every customer communication matches their needs.
    2. Match users with new opportunities based on product preferences—Understand what features or products your customers use the most and promote opportunities to help coach them on the tools and maximize their use or the features in your platform to drive higher engagement and adoption.
    3. Gain insight into product usage post-event—See how your users are engaging with the product after your event. For example, if you held a product training webinar, track engagement in the app post-event and determine if the knowledge you shared is being applied based on their behavior.

Applying the Lessons Learned from Lisa

It's clear that consumer behavior has changed for good, which means the approach to your marketing campaigns as a whole must follow suit. Before mapping out your next campaign, take a step back and revisit these lessons learned. Lay out your goals and objectives and focus on one key area to optimize each month. For example, if customer retention is top of mind, start a trial with Pendo to understand how customers are engaging with your product. Conversely, if you're invested heavily in lead generation, explore the potential a chatbot could bring to accelerate your marketing and sales processes.

Every audience is unique and you never know what could land. Make it a priority for each month to map out a new "test campaign" with your team! If you haven't yet made the leap to virtual events, now is the time to invest. Get inspired with these seven creative (yet low-lift) virtual event ideas to help you engage your online community and attract more high value leads.

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