Virtual events require entirely different promotional techniques than traditional ones. Flyers and posters in strategic locations won’t get attendees to your virtual conference or webinar and radio and tv ads might be way less effective in promoting this kind of event than they have proved with “normal” ones. To market your virtual events effectively, you will need to master all the tools of online marketing and reach out to your audience on a variety of platforms, using the appropriate language and tone on each one. The goal, just like with any other kind of promotional effort, is to communicate the value of your offer to the kind of audience that is most likely to be interested in it. How do you do that? Here are a few tips.
Focus on your USP
What makes your event unique? What makes it worth your audience’s time? Have you engaged an outstanding speaker? Are you sharing skills or knowledge that are hard to get elsewhere? Are you offering exceptional networking opportunities? If you want to promote your virtual event effectively, you will need to identify your strongest suit and make it the centre of your communication strategy. If your event has a lot to offer, you might want to invest in market research, to find out which aspects of your offer are most appealing to which audience segments. This will allow you to target different ads to different people, possibly on different platforms, thus giving proper exposure to every aspect of your event in the appropriate context.
Make it personal
Are you bombarded by virtual event invitations? Of course, you are. Are you attending or planning to attend every single event you are invited to? Probably not. Not only are audiences well aware of how precious their time is, but right now most people are also keen on not adding any more screentime to their diet than is strictly necessary. Providing a convincing question “why should I attend another virtual event, rather than shut down my laptop and spend time with my family” is becoming increasingly difficult for event organisers. One way to work around this is to make your invitations personal, customising messages according to the demographics of your audiences. The platform and format you choose also matter. If you choose to promote your virtual event on LinkedIn, for instance, InMail Ads might be a better choice than impersonal sponsored posts.
Keep awareness high with online countdowns and regular posting
We are being swallowed by a relentless flood of information coming at us from every direction. Chances are that potential attendees, while interested in your event, will forget about it when the day comes if they don’t get a timely reminder. It is equally likely that they will not set their reminders for it or that they will plan to do it and then forget about it. The hard truth is: for their initial interest to convert into actual participation, you need to ask your audience to do nothing beyond the bare minimum. It is your job to keep them updated and aware of your event as it approaches. You can do that by taking advantage of the many available social media tools. An excellent way to remind your audience of your big day is running an event countdown in Instagram Stories, as well as creating the inevitable Facebook event with all the necessary information. Consider announcing your event on websites like Eventbrite and other platforms your target audience uses.
Rely on your speakers and influencers to market your virtual events
Engaging good and popular speakers is essential to any event’s success. Sometimes, outstanding speakers will double as useful influencers as well. If that is the case, make sure you provide your panelists and speaker with all the tools and information they need to become ambassadors for your event and encourage them to reach out to their audiences. Tag them on social media and make sure they do the same with your event page, to capitalise on their fanbase.