October 12, 2022
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing
Serena Raymond, Marketing Director at DNS Filter, walks us through her career journey from social media content creation to Marketing Director at DNS Filter. Serena explains the recipe for virtual event strategy, including how to leverage social media and email marketing to gain speakers and attendees, as well as how your virtual event can translate directly to your sales pipeline. Serena also discusses her opinion on agency marketing company vs internal teams, and reveals her secrets for optimizing impact. Timecoded Guide: [01:53] Moving from social media content creation to Marketing Director
[05:12] Getting started with virtual event marketing strategy
[12:52] Understanding what makes your virtual event worthwhile for sales
[20:25] Taking advantage of being on the internal side of marketing
[25:23] Comparing and contrasting agency and internal marketing
How should you host a successful virtual event?
A strong, successful virtual event should include both your company’s internal SMEs, or subject matter experts, and industry experts from outside of your organization. Serena recommends deciding first on the top tracks you want to pursue, before tackling speaker research. Once relevant, experienced speakers have been found, Serena explains that choosing an event platform that meets both your and your audience’s needs is essential.
“Our platform was a huge obstacle for doing a virtual event. There's so much vetting you have to do. I was kind of thinking, ‘Oh, we'll choose a platform and we’ll run.’ There's so much work that goes into that, and that was pretty eye opening.”
What is one key way to entice your desired audience to your virtual event?
Enticing your desired audience should start with LinkedIn and Google ads, which are consistently effective. However, Serena believes the key to your target audience resides with your speakers. Find speakers who appeal directly to your target audience and give them a high quality social media kit. Make it very easy for your speakers to share to followers and potential customers about your event with personalized images, text, and messaging.
“What I think was most key, above all else, was we had a lot of speakers who appeal to that audience. We gave them a really cool social kit, with the links and custom images with their faces, and they were able to share it with their audience on social media.”
How do you know if your online event is justifiable in terms of sales pipelines?The
justifiability of your virtual event extends beyond the pipeline and merges into retention. Your goal is to host an event that provides value to both your attendees and speakers. Serena recommends having sales touchpoints at your event, like a happy hour, where folks can gather and connect. Then, once you build that relationship, your sales and marketing teams can remind the potential client about the happy hour and follow up with them.
“We had a little happy hour after the event, and we had some customers come and we actually got great feedback from that. Our sales team was there and we chatted with that customer and took it offline, and we wouldn’t have had that conversation without that event.” What’s the difference in effectiveness between internal marketing and agencies
With experience in both internal and agency marketing, Serena explains that a key difference between the two is that being at a marketing agency puts you on the “outside.” You’re not in the company’s Slack channels or taking part in staff meetings, and you don't have their customer service records. Marketers at agencies don’t have real buy-in or “skin in the game” when it comes to a specific company. The internal marketing teams, on the other hand, have crucial inside information that can help them perform better and boost employee engagement.
“One of the things I loved about being a marketer for a dedicated company, was I got to get really good at it. I got to go deep on the product and understand our audience. I got to listen in on demos, talk to customers, talk to people who aren't in marketing.”
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