When the pandemic first struck in early 2020, abandoning in-person events for virtual alternatives felt like a makeshift solution. However, with social distancing having remained a widespread necessity for well over a year now, many brands might have mastered the art of the online event.
Still, none of this is to say that your company necessarily knows how it should market a virtual event it is currently preparing to hold. Here are some few techniques advocated by marketing experts…
Let people know what to expect from the event
Some things that can appear a given with in-person events might not always be on the table when audiences watch remotely. For this reason, you need to double down on following the usually recommended marketing technique of setting potential attendees’ expectations well in advance.
You should clarify, for example, whether the audience will have the chance to ask questions as well as whether their own camera will be on and so make attendees visible to the event host.
Reach out to your social media followers
This would be an obvious thing to do in light of how well it has long worked for in-person events, too. You could give your event its own hashtag and encourage people to use it before, during and after attending – it’s a surprisingly effective tactic for fostering engagement in guests.
Nonetheless, the Digital Marketing Institute advises that you select just one or two social media platforms – on the basis of their suitability for your specific event – rather than all of your platforms.
Use email marketing
If you already have a list of email addresses collected from existing contacts, then email marketing would be an option for you – and an especially cost-effective one at that.
You could find that your choice of software for the live event makes leveraging email marketing delightfully straightforward. Just consider the example of the ON24 live platform and the option for it to be tightly integrated with HubSpot, a provider of various intuitive email marketing tools.
Invite speakers and employees to market the event
“Whoever the speakers are, internal or external, offer them assets that they can use to promote their session. This will make them way more likely to go ahead with the promotion,” HenniRoini, an EMEA marketing manager at HubSpot, says.
You could ask those speakers – or employees of your business – to post a link to the event signup page. Better yet, you could send these people a range of images and videos to also use in promoting the event.
Keep track of what works and what doesn’t
You should make sure that the required tracking functionality is built into software you will use to hold and promote the event – as you need to know what marketing tactics you should put more time and money towards.
That way, if one particularly time-draining method seems to generate few results while another, simpler strategy evidently works much better, you could pour more money into the latter tactic to help maximise your marketing drive’s ROI (return on investment).