6 Ways to Use Events to Grow Your Product User Base

Skift Take

If you’re looking for a way to increase your product user base, events are a great way to do it. Here are some event types that can help.

Let’s assume you’re happy with your product or service. You think it’s the tops. Or maybe your client thinks her business is awesome but it’s taking longer than expected to build that user base. How can you increase exposure?

There’s marketing, of course – content marketing, direct marketing, affiliate marketing, promotional marketing, social media marketing… whew! But don’t forget the importance of event marketing and how that can make a big impression on current users and win over new ones. Here are a few tips to try and 6 events you should consider that will help you to grow your user base.

A User’s Conference

This is the most obvious right? But it’s also going to attract current users, which is not exactly your intention. However, before you start going after a new user base, firm up the one you have. If your current customers/users leave, even if you’re wildly successful marketing to new ones, you’ll merely be replacing what you had. Plus, there’s another reason to look into creating a stronger existing user base – word-of-mouth marketing. If your existing users speak highly of you, your marketing efforts will become much easier.

User’s conferences do several things They:

  • often make a little money (at least in the beginning when your user base is small).
  • get users excited about your company and the opportunity to meet one another.
  • can be used as a sales tool for people in the pipeline. “Sign up now and we’ll give you a free ticket to our user’s conference.”
  • Help you get to know your customers in a different way. Many businesses these days don’t get to meet customers, so this is a nice way to help customers get to know your team.

Industry Influencer Meet and Greet Event

A lot of adoptions and sales occur these days because of word of mouth. That’s why some organizations are hosting events just for industry influencers. It’s the same premise that real estate agents have used for years when a new home goes on the market. They host an open house just for agents so the agents will walk through and get a good impression of the property. The idea is that it will remain top of mind because they walked through it. Seeing mere pictures, on the other hand, won’t have an indelible effect.

Industry influencer meet and greets help those who shape the industry get a better appreciation for who you are and what you offer. You can decide to combine this with affiliate marketing opportunities or other incentive programs but some influencers will want to remain objective. Still, showing them a good time and helping them understand your product better, and getting to know your team, often results in at least a write-up from them. If nothing else, this could be the beginning of a relationship that could create interview or speaking opportunities for both of you in the future.

User Input Event or Focus Group

If you have a strong user base that you want to grow, invite your users to give you feedback. You can do this in-person as part of your user’s group conference or schedule a special meet-up if you’re attending another industry conference that they’ll be attending.

If your users are global, you can create a virtual feedback event. But you need to give them a reason to attend. A user’s conference is fun and often held in a nice destination so getting attendees there isn’t as hard as a virtual event. To get attendees at a virtual event you need to make it worth their while. You can do this through a free educational opportunity or a let’s “do lunch” where you arrange to feed everyone involved by sending food to them. This can be tricky if you’re juggling multiple time zones but you always have the option of sending a snack ahead of time.

Product Roll-Out Announcement

One of the many ways Apple continues to get converts is that they always make big product announcements. Here these products could announce themselves but they still take to the stage and make each one a big deal. Yes, they’re Apple but there’s nothing barring you from doing the same.

You want to create a buzz so if you have a launch that is buzz worthy, even going Live on Facebook can give you an extra boost to get noticed.

Industry Conference

You needn’t create your own event. Instead, you can become a part of someone else’s. You can sign up as a vendor or a sponsor and get to know the conference attendees. Or you can attend as a participant and mingle with everyone else.

Another possibility if you have information to share, or you know the industry well, is to apply to be a speaker at the event. While you most likely will be forbidden to talk about your product you can present in a way that talks about trends or issues that your product just happens to help with. (Again, without mentioning the product itself). Later make yourself available for questions and spend a lot of time getting to know people in-person and in the social media streams if they talked about your presentation. If you can get a conversation going and make attendees intrigued (not about your product) but about what you know, the organizers will appreciate the interaction and you’ll likely be asked back.

Experiential Marketing

If you don’t think your current user base is large enough to support any of the earlier suggestions, you’re going to have to get people to notice you. A great way to do that is through experiential marketing. Create a moment that grabs attention. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what would work for your business.

Experiential marketing creates fun, surprising, “notice me” moments that everyone enjoys. With visual social media platforms becoming so influential, sites like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook feed on these opportunities.

In Conclusion

Traditional marketing is not the only way to grow your product user base. Events drive traffic, get talked about, and introduce you to new opportunities and people. If you want to increase sales, events are a good way to do it.