A lot of hard work goes into event planning, no matter the type. However, achieving the conversions you desire isn’t simply a matter of effort but also promotion. To reach relevant audiences effectively, you need to embrace virtual event marketing.
This type of marketing is highly competitive, and now more than ever, it’s crucial to find a path through the crowd and create unique and enticing materials for potential attendees.
In this article, we’ll go over the importance of virtual event marketing and detail several strategies to boost attendance.
The Importance of Virtual Event Marketing
Virtual event marketing offers a few attractive advantages, which we’ve outlined below.
Engagement marketing is a powerful way to gain more customers. But it also relies on other marketing channels, and vice versa. This wide reach boosts your brand awareness and nets you a larger audience by driving home the potential value of attending your event.
The much larger reach you enjoy with virtual event marketing also comes with a much smaller price tag! Although larger, more involved marketing efforts cost money, it’s still cheaper than promoting an in-person event.
Collecting and analyzing useful data is important to ensure impressive results from your virtual event marketing campaigns. A focus on engagement metrics will help you expand your audience reach and yield greater brand visibility.
For optimal virtual event marketing, you’ll want to pay close attention to metrics like:
- Number of registrations
- Attendance count
- Number of social media shares, views, and other related activity
- Survey results
The platform you use to run your event should have built-in analytics and reporting. Good virtual event platforms provide thorough, automatic analyses of all the most meaningful virtual event marketing metrics.
To see better results from your virtual event marketing, incorporate the data from previous campaigns. But be sure to focus on one area at a time. For example, if attendance rates were low, set a specific goal to increase registrations. You can then invest more in the marketing channels that work to achieve that objective. If your social media marketing earns more leads from, say, Facebook than other platforms, redirect more resources toward Facebook ads.
Virtual event marketing encourages a flexible approach to event promotion. Event attendees can join from anywhere in the world, so target narrower segments using location-specific advertising. You can also take advantage of different virtual event formats and see which ones work better for your business.
Essential Marketing Strategies for Virtual Events
A marketing plan is essential to secure a large audience for your virtual events. Follow these marketing best practices to attract the right attendees and boost your chances of a fruitful event.
Develop a Compelling Event Page
An event landing page acts as an online banner to draw in your target audience and interested individuals. It says:
- I understand your problem
- I know how to fix it
- Sign up for this event to get the solution
Your event page should include a headline, event description, imagery, and other important information.
Your headline is one of the first points of contact people have with your event. It should be clear and concise, as well as attention-grabbing and easy to understand. The headline essentially communicates the value proposition you offer audience members.
We wrote a full guide on headlines that you can read here.
A concise description of what to expect during the event removes confusion and doubt. Include important details such as:
- What attendees will take away from the event
- Key features and outcomes
- The basic schedule
- A bio for each presenter or guest speaker
👉 Event Registration
The registration section of your event page needs to be clearly visible and attractive. Devote your attention to UX; registering for your event must be an intuitive action.
Good visual cues, bold text, and a clear call to action all support a higher headcount for your event. To increase registrations, the sign-up form should appear professional and be user-friendly.
👉 Social Proof
People need a reason to trust you and view your organization as an authority. This is why social proof is one of the most important parts of a complete promotional strategy.
While an online event may be easy to sign up for, customers often still need convincing that it’s worth the time. Having proof that other people like them received a meaningful benefit from interacting with your brand helps reassure them their investment will pay off.
Employ various kinds of social proof on your event page, including:
- Positive reviews
- Use cases
- Video reviews
Skip the hassles and thus the need for customer support with an FAQs section. Answer the most common questions attendees might have ahead of time. A small FAQs section that covers the obvious inquiries moves users more smoothly toward registration.
Leverage Social Media
Social media plays a big part in virtual event marketing, so capitalize on it to promote your event before, during, and after the scheduled time. You’ll also want to leverage social media for follow-ups to drive your message home.
For this tactic, cover as many platforms as you can, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Google Ads.
Social media promotion of your virtual event involves multiple steps, but creating a unique and memorable hashtag is a great starting point. Once you’ve found a good hashtag, push it constantly. (Incentivizing attendees to use it helps.) Paid ads and influencers are another great way to promote your event.
Social media posts should build anticipation. Post teasers that draw more interest. Enticing teasers may include:
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Sneak peeks
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Email marketing is still a necessary component of virtual marketing. That’s why most virtual event platforms include integrations with email marketing tools like Mailchimp. Take advantage of these integrations to maximize attendance.
Compelling email content marketing and traditional email marketing practices are all part of the picture. Send your email list sneak peeks and other content similar to your social media posts. Highlight event features and benefits, and include clear calls to action.
Emails should communicate all the important information people need to feel comfortable committing themselves to attend your events, such as:
- Social proof
- Related educational content
- Attention-grabbing headlines
Pros take advantage of automated email processes to expand the attendee list and incentivize other meaningful interactions with your brand before and after the event. It works both ways, too; the event itself should grow your existing email lists.
Basic elements like event countdowns should be a part of your strategy as well. Craft reminder emails in advance and set them to launch automatically at specific intervals, such as one week before the event, then one day prior, and finally one hour before the live event.
Create a Promotional Video
Video content is one of the most powerful promotional tools for your virtual event. Create high-quality promotional videos to multiply your attendance rates.
Video content is more expensive but, when done professionally, it can lead to more impressive results.
Virtual Event Challenges and Mistakes to Avoid
Virtual event marketing can be difficult to carry out effectively, and mistakes can be costly. However, being aware of the common challenges and errors will help you avoid damaging your organization.
Technical issues are inevitable in digital landscapes, so it’s important to maintain equipment to avoid embarrassment during your event. However, problems may still occur.
The process of handling and troubleshooting technical issues is a moderator’s responsibility. The moderator must plan and work alongside tech support in case something goes wrong in real time. Contingency plans should be in place, and it doesn’t hurt to have replacement equipment at the ready.
Lack of Engagement
Virtual event platforms understand that keeping the presentation engaging is a key factor in increasing conversions. As a result, almost all of them include a decent suite of engagement features.
For instance, Demio, Banzai's engaging and data-driven webinar platform, offers a slew of robust engagement features, like:
- Large chat space to drive community and conversation
- Polls that acquire information from your audience
- Handouts to extend the value of your event
- Live CTAs (called Featured Actions) that help your audience take the next step in their journey
- Highlighted Live Q&A
Engagement doesn’t have to be complicated; simple personal touches and interactions with the audience can make a big difference. You can also foster engagement through simple games using verbal cues.
Choosing the Wrong Tool
This mistake can have repercussions throughout the entire event. So, the right choice of virtual event marketing tool will minimize the likelihood of this wide-reaching impact. And, when challenges do inevitably arise, they’re much easier to manage.
After the event promotion, planning, and execution, the biggest mistake is to let all that cultivated potential go to waste.
Develop a post-event plan and follow through on it. Treat every event as a gateway to the next step in your funnel. A thank you email is a must, and post-webinar polls, surveys, games, and giveaways set you up for more conversions and lay the groundwork for your next virtual event.
The Bottom Line
The best way to avoid the common challenges of virtual event marketing is to choose the right tool. Although a little biased, we sincerely believe Demio is the best tool for the job. The Demio team is highly experienced and knows what it takes to make a successful virtual event. Interested in learning more? Book a free demo and see the benefits for yourself.