2020 has been a year of unexpected changes for brands across various industries. Many businesses are quickly learning to adapt to the new shifts in workplace habits, consumer behavior, and overall marketing strategies. This includes figuring out how to transition all in-person events to the online sphere—as well as encouraging customers to join in!
Virtual events aren’t exactly a new phenomenon of 2020. In previous years, it wasn’t too uncommon to see a social media post or a company message about a virtual event that users could participate in. Generally, many companies also “allocate between 10-20% of their marketing budget to virtual events,” according to Markletic. And as the demand for online events has increased, many brands have noticed the benefits that come with them, including the ability to reach out to a global audience.
These perks, along with the ongoing necessity of virtual events at this point in time, have created a more competitive landscape for businesses. Nowadays, many brands are competing with their own engaging webinars, Q&As, and other online programming that spans related topics. As such, it’s become increasingly difficult for brands to stand out and promote a virtual event.
If you’re looking to shift your brand’s in-person event to online, here are a few ways you can attract an audience that tunes in!
1. Be direct about the topic with your audience. Like in-person events, it’s crucial to create and set expectations with your audience when promoting your online events. Virtual events, by large, are unique and offer different discussions or topic points that your audience will likely be interested in learning about. Remember one of the main goals of events is to leave audiences satisfied. Therefore, you must be upfront with what your event is about so that the right people register and remain on the same page throughout the event. On the days leading up to the event, you should also remind all registered attendees why they signed up for the event to help give it a stronger meaning for them. This increases the chance that they’ll tune in for the presentations.
2. Partner with another brand. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. This rings true when it comes to virtual events, and many brands have taken to co-branding (also called co-marketing) to market their events. When you join forces with another brand or sponsor to create an event, you have two forces informing your audience about it and the value it can have on their lives. A co-branding approach can also boost credibility and drive by adding specific information or engaging speakers that can keep users engaged. If there are any speakers from other organizations presenting in the online event, it’s important that they promote the event through their social media channels and website.
3. Encourage your employees to promote your event. Your employees and others in your network can also lend a helping hand in promoting your online event. We recommend sending your employees and colleagues links, images, videos, and other coverage of the event to entice audiences to sign up. You can also create incentives for the audience, like rewards or prizes to amplify the anticipation.
4. Divide event tactics for your audiences. Each member of your audience will have different reasons for attending your virtual event. Your online event may discuss various topics that pertain to several audience members. If so, you might want to consider dividing your tactics for each audience group that may need the information at your event. You can easily achieve this through email marketing which allows you to personalize messages that can bring certain talking points to the attention of your audience.
5. Measure your event marketing efforts. As with any marketing tactic, you must consistently track and measure the effectiveness of your promotional efforts. That’s why you can review what promotional methods worked best to promote your event, leading you to create strong promotional strategies for any upcoming events. A common way to track event-related traffic to use UTM links to identify where certain registrations came from.
Promoting an online event is no different than the tactics used in a physical event. What you need to remember, however, is that virtual events tend to be competitive due to availability of the Internet. There are many events that offer similar content and topics as your own event so it’s imperative that you remind your audience to log in and encourage them to follow through with your call-to-action. This may seem like more work than what it’s worth but events are a crucial part of marketing your brand.
As Inc.com writes, “virtual events can maximize your company’s event potential, in terms of connecting to and expanding your audience.” So make sure you polish up your event marketing tactics by noting the factors that make your event valuable to them! So make sure you polish up your event marketing tactics by noting the factors that make your event valuable to them!