The fourth edition of Communiciate’s Virtual Events Series explores the strategies to consider while marketing a virtual event. With the increase in virtual conferences and webinars, it’s important to consider an effective strategy to stand out from the clutter and help drive awareness and registrations to the event.
Based on the goals and agenda of the event, here are the tactics to consider while promoting a virtual event –
Create a social media plan
An effective strategy on social media platforms helps to build awareness and drive registrations to an event. Platforms like Facebook which boast two billion users, provide options to narrow down, and target very specific groups who are likely to register for the event. Creating a Facebook event page can help convey all the necessary information as well as share the event with a wide audience. The page can also be reshared by the sponsors as well as the speakers, and the host is able to keep track of RSVPs.
Virtual events can still leverage the power of the Twitter hashtag, to create conversation and hype around their event. Just like physical events, creating a unique hashtag for a brands’ virtual event will help build traffic and conversations before, during, and after the event. Twitter can also help increase reach, through retweets by speakers as well as sponsors.
For a B2B virtual event, Linkedin provides ample opportunities for a brand to reach its target audience. Promotional content about the event can be shared by the brands’ business page, the sponsors’ business page, and also by the speakers on their personal profile, creating a wide reach. According to a study, Linkedin Sponsored Updates have a 15.1 conversion rate, compared to 1.7% for Linkedin Ads. This is because, on the former, the ads appear on the users’ newsfeed while on the latter, the ads appear on the right-hand column of the page. Linkedin groups are potential spots as well for finding the right type of audience for the event. Advertising the event in groups that are relevant to the theme of the event will prove highly effective in increasing registrations. However, it’s important to first build a relationship with the members of the group, by sharing credible content and thoughts, before pitching anything.
Don’t write off email just yet. Email has been a popular marketing strategy during the days of physical events, and the same is applicable even today, in the world of virtual events. 40% of marketers consider email to be the most effective channel for event promotion. Email provides an opportunity to reach out to an interested audience group such as the brands’ newsletter subscribers as well as the leads in their CRM. It’s imperative that the initial email invite contains all the essential details such as date, time, speakers, platform, and also what attendees will gain by registering for the event. Avoid being very intrusive by sending multiple follow-ups and reminder emails. Optimizing the email newsletter with lively imagery that conveys engagement even in an online format, and offering special discount codes, if the budget allows for it, are other ways to create interest.
Googles’ paid advertising can help brands connect with users who are searching for content related to the theme of the brands’ event. Using keywords and other parameters, brands can reach their desired audience that will help build awareness and event visibility. The analytics reports can provide insights, and help the brand understand what promotional tactics are driving registrations.
Video provides an opportunity for brands’ to tell stories related to the themes of the event. Communicating stories about the reason for the event, why choose the particular theme, and the value the event aims to provide, are all creative strategies brands can explore, to create engagement, and increase registrations. Research shows that two minutes is the ideal time frame for the video bytes to create engagement.
Use your website
The potential of a brands’ website as a promotional tool for an event is often overlooked. Creating a section for the event on the website, where the brand can share content pieces around the theme can help build interest in the event. Another tactic is the strategic placement of banner ads on the website, with creative copy that creates a sense of urgency within the visitor.