Your virtual event won’t be successful without nailing your virtual event marketing strategy first.
You can have the best virtual event idea in the world, and even the coolest swag bags for your attendees, but what good is that if people don’t know about your event?
You need to promote it and get the word out there.
Virtual events demand the same attention as in-person events to ensure attendees sign up, tune in, and engage.
We’re living in the digital age, and your virtual event won’t be the only one people are invited to. In fact, they’re probably inundated with businesses inviting them to all sorts of virtual events, each claiming to be the best.
So, your job is to cut through the noise in an increasingly overcrowded space.
And the way to do it?
By developing a sound virtual event marketing strategy that gets more eyes on your content.
Read on to find out how you can promote your virtual event on a global scale.
Identify your audience
First things first.
Who is your virtual event for? This has to be step 1 of your virtual event marketing strategy.
Be clear about who you’re targeting and why, as this sets the direction for the type of content you create.
Consider how much you know about your target audience, and think about:
- Their demographics (age, location, job, etc.)
- What channels they’re active on (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
- Their motivations and goals
For example, if you’re hosting an online recruitment event, consider what type of person is attending so that you can make your content relevant.
If you’re targeting Senior IT Consultants for instance, the information they need will be very different compared to job roles for a Junior or an Apprentice. They will be interested in finding out more top-level information and understanding the strategy behind the business.
By knowing who your audience is, you can tailor your virtual event content to suit their needs. Senior IT Consultants might also be more active on LinkedIn than a Junior, which allows you to leverage this platform more to appeal to their interests.
Once you know who you’re targeting, you have to decide on a desired outcome i.e what do you want your audience to do after hearing about your virtual event?
Create an objective that you want your audience to achieve, such as filling out a registration form.
This will help you measure the success of your virtual event and will also inform your virtual event marketing strategy. Once you’ve identified what action you want your audience to take, you can make sure all of your marketing is pivoted towards achieving this end goal.
With iVent, measuring the success of your virtual event has never been easier as you can access all of the information you need through our data and analytics feature. Through an easy-to-use dashboard, you view the data that you want at any time, allowing you to measure the success of your event before, during or post-event.
Create an attractive event lobby
This should act as your hub and should include all of the information your attendees need to know about your virtual event.
It is the first place people will go to and you want to keep them interested in attending. Whilst including all of the important information is essential, your event page needs to be attention-grabbing too.
Make sure you, for example, use eye-catching graphics, engaging teaser clips of keynote speakers, and professional pictures of workshop leaders, to give your audience an insight into what they can expect from your event.
You want to drum up a sense of excitement and show them that they’re giving up their time for a good reason. Your attendees’ time is very precious, and no one can afford to waste an afternoon at an event that doesn’t bring any sort of value.
Keep people wandering away from your event page by embedding relevant videos and media. This could be videos from previous years to give them a flavour of how the event runs.
Most importantly, you don’t want your attendees to have to search for the information elsewhere. It should be at their fingertips as you want to make their life as easy as possible.
The essential details on your event lobby should include:
- Time and date of the event
- An agenda
- Information about key speakers and presenters
- Sponsor information
- Sign-up links
- Secure payment options
Use keywords to boost your online visibility
If you have a website and you’re creating content, then you’re probably already using keyword tools to improve your chances of ranking on search engines.
The higher you rank on search engines, the more chance you have of your audience seeing your event lobby and clicking through to it. Think about it: how many people scroll past the first page of Google?
When it comes to virtual events, you can use these same keyword research tools to find terms that your audience is searching for.
You can then include these terms in all of the content you create to promote your virtual event, thereby increasing the likelihood of people finding it.
A Google search is also a fantastic way of finding which keywords people are searching for.
For example, if you’re wanting to promote your ‘virtual medical conference’, type this phrase into the search bar and look at:
- The ‘People also ask’ results
- The ‘Searches related to [your keywords]’ at the bottom of the search results page
This will also help you find words to include in your promotional marketing materials.
- Promotional offers and discount codes
Tease your audience
Don’t wait until the day of your event to get people interested.
Teasing your audience before your virtual event has taken place is a great way to drum up excitement and entice people.
Think about the release of a new film. Everyone flocks to the cinema to watch the film as they’ve already seen the trailer. This is exactly what you need to do, as a short preview can help pique interest with your audience.
You could create a short video which features brief interview segments of your speakers and highlights of what to expect throughout the event.
But don’t give everything away at once!
Space out these segments over the course of a few weeks so people keep coming back to your website in the run-up to the event.
You can also share these teaser videos across your email campaigns and social media channels to drive even more traffic to your virtual event.
Engaging in telemarketing enables you to strategically target the most important attendees to maximise event ROI.
This tactic also allows you to be much more personal as you are speaking to attendees directly and creating a human connection from the beginning. Therefore, you can explain the value of the event in a way that resonates with each individual prospect.
This increases the likelihood of them attending your event, and also gives you more information about what they’re hoping to get out of it. You can also gain further insights, such as why certain prospects have not responded ‘yes’.
You can then feed this intelligence into further marketing activities to ensure your virtual event is appealing to your target audience.
There are a variety of methods you can use, including:
- Calls to Invite – this allows you to qualify prospects and promote the event
- Follow-up Calls – to confirm receipt of the invitation, gauge interest, and complete the registration
- Reminder Calls – to boost attendance and reduce ‘No-Shows’</li.
- Post-Event Surveys – this allows you to gain valuable, insightful feedback
- Post-Event Telemarketing/Telesales campaigns
Leverage social media
Name 5 people who don’t use a single social media platform.
Are you struggling?
Social media is huge, and everyone is active on one platform or another. This means to be successful, businesses must leverage this tool to connect with their audience.
Another great thing about social media is that it’s free. Of course, you can push content through paid advertising, but you can also promote your event organically (i.e. for free).
Once you’ve set up your account, take the time to promote your virtual event across all of your social media channels, as different members of your audience will be active on different channels. You want to broaden your reach as much as possible, so cross-posting between social platforms is essential.
You can maximise social media by using the following tips:
- Set up Facebook Events. This is free and allows you to easily keep track of your RSVPs.
- Use LinkedIn as you can pay for ads, as well as be able to push your event through your person and company page.
- Create a hashtag for your event and spread the word through Twitter.
- Join online forums and announce your virtual event. You can then invite everyone to join in which increases your sign-ups.
Leveraging social media has never been easier with the iVent platform.
You can integrate all of your social media links, for both you and your sponsors, to drive even more traffic to your event lobby.
You can also embed or upload YouTube videos which allows your audience to get to know you a little better.
Utilise email marketing
When it comes to virtual events, email marketing can be your best promotional tool.
In a world of social media, many people fall into the trap of thinking email marketing is dead. But we’re here to tell you that’s certainly not the case!
By designing custom email templates and sending personalised messages to your email list, you can drive more people to sign up for your virtual event. You can also segment your email list to target more specific audiences to ensure you’re promoting your event to the right people.
For instance, if the content of your virtual medical conference is aimed at senior consultants, then you can target this specific audience through email segmentation.
This ensures the right people are receiving the right information, and are more likely to sign up to your event. Remember, no one can afford to have their time wasted, so be targeted and strategic with your email campaigns.
To make your campaigns more appealing and engaging (so they don’t get lost in a sea of other emails), include the below elements:
- An engaging, catchy subject line
- A personalised message (which includes first names)
- Video snippets and teasers
- Eye-catching imagery
- Short, snappy pieces of text
Ask your sponsors to spread the word
When it comes to marketing your virtual event, you need to be confident.
Don’t be afraid to ask your sponsors and partners to promote your virtual event, as this benefits all stakeholders (including them).
The more people that attend your virtual event, the more exposure your sponsors are getting, so it makes perfect sense for them to share the event through their own channels.
Now is not the time to be shy!
Simply reach out to your sponsors and ask them to notify their contacts and followers about your upcoming virtual event. Make sure you provide all relevant links, including your social media channels, and any other content you publish.
You should also share any relevant materials which will help boost engagement including graphics, updates, and your social media hashtag so that people can join the conversation.
Marketing through your sponsors can generate up to 25% of your attendees so it’s definitely worth investing time into.
Involve your speakers
You’ve done all the work to book a keynote speaker, now it’s their time to do something for you.
Similar to asking your sponsors to promote your event to their network, ask your speakers to do the same as this maximises your reach even further.
Most speakers will usually cross-promote themselves to their audience anyway, but others might need a gentle reminder!
Make sure to provide them with all of the information they need to advertise your virtual event and also offer suggestions about the best way to do so.
Integrating your guest speakers into your event plan is key as spokespersons tend to be people who your audiences would love to hear from, connect with, and learn from. This tactic can also generate up to 15% of your attendees!
How to Nail Your Virtual Event Marketing Strategy
A virtual event marketing strategy is the foundation of your virtual event.
It sets the direction for all of your promotional materials so that you can make your event as successful as possible.
It’s no good setting up a great event and then leaving it.
You need to tell people about it and attract your target audience.
However, without nailing your virtual event marketing strategy first, you’re acting blind. It’s essential you understand who you’re targeting and why, as well as pushing your virtual event through the right channels.
Hopefully after reading this post, you feel more confident when it comes to setting your virtual event marketing strategy.
At iVent, we have 12 years of experience creating fantastic virtual events across multiple sectors. We know what it takes to engage your target audience, and propel your business in the virtual space. To find out more, get in touch with our team.