Recent times have been challenging for the entire events industry as most events & planned around this time of the year are being cancelled or postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Despite such dire situations event professionals are making strong efforts to take the events online or plan a “Virtual Event” or a “Virtual Conference” instead of a physical one. So, it is natural to be worried about how to market a virtual event?
Do you not know about Virtual Event? If not, check this article before you proceed further.
Virtual events are actually a good way to scale events and make them accessible to the global audience. Plus they are safe & cost-effective since you need not travel, there is no accommodation and logistics cost, venue cost and other costs that both attendee, as well as organizers, bear for hosting physical events.
Effective use of the budgets now is to be able to Market your event for maximum attendance to boost the consequent revenues from them.
Marketing an event itself is very intimidating at times given the plethora of options available at an event marketer’s disposal. But when you talk about virtual events a certain set of options can be filtered out given the current situation of operating from home.
But it is easier said than done, isn’t it? Well, it might seem a little intimidating but here are 5 Tips to Market your Virtual Event like a Pro!
Marketing Virtual Events on Instagram:
People under normal conditions consumed content from social media, specifically from Instagram.
People on average spend 28 mins on Instagram daily and this for YouTube is around 40 mins. You might wonder, why not Facebook? Although Facebook has a good reach and a 2 hours worth of average daily time spend the rate of engagement with Facebook is around 32% when compared to around 70% engagement on Instagram.
And so, to market, your Virtual Events on these platforms all you need is to follow these basics:
Compelling Communication: Understand your target audience and what value they can reap by attending your event. Use this knowledge to craft compelling ads in various formats. This is an art to practice and you can learn the art of Instagram ad copywriting by referring to what the industry experts say about it.
Captive & Intuitive Design: Instagram & Youtube are visual strong visual mediums. The reason for a strong engagement on these platforms is their visual proximity to the user and product UI.
With the platform’s ability and a strong media, a call to action for “Buying Tickets” is more likely to get conversions.
While you can also try Facebook, Twitter & YouTube but try to spend only an experimental budget here and decide to continue based on results you achieve.
Marketing Virtual Events on LinkedIn
We have conferences that are tied to a theme that is specific to a particular set of professionals. Examples of such conferences can consider MarTech Summits, Pharmaceutical Conferences, or Events around personal finance and investments.
Most advertisement platforms provide advance demographic targeting, but with LinkedIn which is the single largest platform based on professional profiles, you can run much more accurate and targeted campaigns with better conversions.
More on how to market on LinkedIn can be easily found in this article.
Leverage Speaker’s audience
The highlight of any event is its speakers, they bring the value to the table and hence they are the most valuable asset for any event, physical or Virtual.
In addition to bringing the wealth of subject knowledge, they also bring a huge set of a fanbase. Yes, they have a decent-sized fanbase which you target to get ob-board.
For this, the event marketing team should provide a plethora of creatives and content that your speakers can share on their website, blogs, and social profiles.
Also, marketers must create social ads that feature speakers with their expertise.
In 2018, the Adobe Marketing Summit used this feature along with YouTube ads to showcase sneaks into who the panelists that year and what will they be speaking about.
Work on Event SEO. SEO for Virtual Event
Now that your events have an online address, they should also be made discoverable on search engines like Google. But how is the question?
Here are a few things you must consider doing to digitally market your events. The good part about these steps is that they are not only restricted to the Virtual Events but also equally applies to any type of event.
Get your event a website or a landing page
A website or just a landing page is essential for being visible to both Google and appear on search results.
This is no more a task that takes days to implement with event website builders you can set up such websites in under 60 mins
Give your Website the Right Structure
The event website is basically a piece of information online, this has to be appropriately structured for both Google’s bot and your user to be able to comprehend.
For this, add all the information and data about your events in a very simple yet structured manner. Basically, each piece of information should have its own space on the website. Google calls that “Schema Markup” and for events, you must use the “Event Schema Markup” to make Google understand what you site is all about.
You learn about this Schema implementation in detail in this article. Hey, don’t worry, if you are using event website builders. They have it all done for you.
Try to give space to follow details on your website:
Get link backs from reputable sites
Build links by listing your event on the event listing platforms, a few of which I will mention below. Write content for your speaker’s website, blog sites that talk about events and earn a link back to your virtual event’s page.
This is how Google gets to know yours is a reputable website.
Check these event listing platforms:
Hubilo (That’s me)
Run online contests
Humans respond to a “reward” like no other being and this very trait is something that brand marketeers utilize to effectively build loyalty. We need to apply this logic to market our virtual events.
The idea here is to make your potential audience believe that they are at least going to get some tangible benefits by being a part of your event. Once they land up to your virtual event, make sure your content is enticing enough and does really offer huge value.
Here are some reward ideas to event marketers can try to explore.
- Reward subscriptions to other SaaS products that resonate with your audience.
- Reward your target audience with gift Vouchers from Amazon or PayPal
- Use rewards to build an audience for future events. Offer discounts on upcoming events
- A reward can also be in the form of recognition, social shout out. Help them build their personal brand
- If you are selling products, run a rewarding contest offering early access to use it. People love premiering a premium experience.
Having said that, before planning a rewarding contest, make sure you understand your attendees’ demographics and psychographic needs in order to make the overall proposition compelling.
Current situations have made global fraternity to be more receptive online than ever, be it out of option than choice, however. Event marketeers can use this opportunity to try and test all listed online approaches.
While all events cancelled can still let the show go on, by moving it online, the events that are planned for later this year should consider Virtual Event or atleast a hybrid event. Be it any of these, you still need to market your virtual event.
Marketing virtual events are not so intimidating as it may seem to be. Marketers should focus on the right channels and implement the right strategies. Understanding the demographics and psychology of your audience can help run effective Digital campaigns.
Event SEO is the future of selling more event tickets and marketeers couldn’t ask for a better time than this to start working on it.
If you are considering taking your event online, refer to this article on “How to execute virtual events?”.
Hubilo, an all-in-one event management software too recently launched its virtual event platform, you can review the product for free and see if it provides a perspective to switching your event to virtual.