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It's no secret that companies should be leveraging digital content to amp up their brand and reach new markets. Email marketing, social media, and podcasting are all incredibly useful tools, but there is one tactic that has been slept upon—virtual events.
Anna Tutckaia, an international entrepreneur and marketing expert, sat down with our CEO, Stacy Jones, to dive deep into digital marketing, the event space, and generating leads. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explores how to reposition your digital marketing, to convert by leveraging content and events to scale your reach.
Anna is the Head of Digital Marketing at ManyChat, the world’s leading chat marketing platform, where she is helping to reshape the marketing strategies of nearly two million businesses around the world. With over a decade of experience, the self-made marketing maven, dynamic mother of two, and international entrepreneur has run successful businesses on two continents and is focused on developing innovative digital strategies to launch products and drive growth.
Question: What got you into your love and marketing and digital that led you to your marketing platform?
Answer: I've been always an entrepreneur working at family real estate development business and then launching a farm-to-table grocery store chain with my brother. I've been doing it for, I don't know, five to seven years back where I'm from and really enjoying this fast-paced vibe and environment. But then things changed. I moved to the United States, and I asked myself a question: what do I really enjoy doing out of all the things that I did as an entrepreneur? I figured out that was marketing because marketing is such a great combination of creative, data, and business. Every brand needs it, and I really really dove deeper. And that's my world right now.
Question: In a lot of ways, Google is setting the ad spend. It's saying you have competitors out there who are willing to spend two cents-five cents a dollar more for every lead that Google gets, and now you're in this never-ending battle...but not necessarily resulting in higher conversion rates at the same time. So what you are sharing with me is general digital, not leading so much, but events, I think you are saying, is an eye-opening experience?
Answer: The problem with Google is that the volumes are pretty limited, so you are limited within the audience that already know they have that problem. But when you are launching a new product with a new creative solution, there might not be a market that is ready. It's very hard to do it with paid social ads because outside of Google, there is also Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, now is a great channel, but within those channels, there are two options that the average marketer can do. They can start running ads, or can offer something else—and that's exactly where the events come.
The reason why I really enjoy events is it's a really good combination of entertaining where you're not just offering your product, but you are offering interesting solutions or education. Or entertaining that surrounds your product, and then you can also tap into interesting speakers that are outside of your expertise, and it's a really good opportunity to onboard new influencers if that is, you know, the channel that you also want to tap when you launch the product. And just a caveat to that, sometimes it's very hard to onboard the influencer to advertise the product, but it's a very easy and fun way to onboard the influencers to promote the event. On top of that, you can build beautiful funnels, top funnels, middle funnels, and low funnels, where you actually convert users all within one event, introducing the different types of content there. So, when we launched the new product, which was Instagram automation, we thought about what event we can put together that will be an interest to a broad audience. And that's how we came up with Instagram Summit that we launched this April, and we got to 26,000 registrations and converted them eventually into 3000 paid accounts.
Question: Online education, the virtual worlds which exist in live worlds, now, too, have really become something that brands can curate and customize and build and create extensions of themselves, where it, as you said, aligns and touches upon the core brand. It offers education and value to the potential customer that is so appealing; you get to become part of the overall feel-good experience because of what you are actually providing that potential customer in exchange for attending, and they're giving back to your love by signing up. Right?
Answer: Exactly. And the goal of the event always should be, you know, the end goal of the business, but I really like looking at it from the perspective of providing the value and making sure that the content and the strategies, or whatever you are building the event around, sends out, and could be useful, even if they decide not to use a product. Because you see the long tail effect after the event happens, and people who might not be even interested or ready to use your product yet, they can start spreading the word right. They can start talking about, "Oh, I visited that event! Here is really nice content that I consumed," and share it within their communities, share it within their businesses, and bring more people in if you just focus on the quality of the offer that you are doing, whether it's an event or any other content piece that you put out there.
Question: What are the mistakes that some people make along the way when creating these events?
Answer: The biggest mistake that I see is people focusing on the main conversion and their products right out of the gate...the goal is to really, you know, step aside from your product and think, what can you offer? What is exciting? And then, eventually, nurture your audience and show them the main offer. That's the first one.
The second one is generating leads for the event and then dropping the lead and waiting for them to convert by themselves. I think that's the biggest challenge where you really need to be mindful and put together nurturing campaigns, making sure that you guide your leads throughout the way before they convert and become your product users. And then, even after that, it's not related to the events, but making sure that you're always there for them, for your users, and communicate while they are using your platform, your tool, or your service. So they stay with you longer. The lifetime value increases. That's the second mistake.
And the third one...is taking the events, I would say, lightly and underestimating the amount of focus and effort that goes into putting together the event. Because when we talk about online events, you need to make sure that you acquire registrations, then you want to make sure that those people actually show up at the event. But then you also want to create an engaging event, so they stay within the event longer, right? And that engaging part is the most challenging, I would say, especially after having so many experiences offline, right? When you come to events, you meet real people; there are fun, you know, karaoke nights when you hang out with them. So, thinking how you can bring that piece into an online event and make it fun, and again the nurturing so on and so forth.
Question: What is the biggest advice you can give to our listeners?
Answer: My biggest advice would be understanding the audience and figuring out what the audience would be the most excited about, then offering that to them, whether it's in a form of written content, whether it's in the form of making [Instagram] lives, and actually, you know, communicating to them, answering their questions, or throwing out events and conferences for them. And then, after providing this value, you'll see how it's going to be way easier to convert those folks, not only to the users but also to brand advocates, ambassadors, and those who stay with you for a very long time.
Anna has so much great information from her experience in the digital marketing and entrepreneurial space. Check out the podcast below to learn more about leveraging digital marketing to scale your reach.
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