Event marketing’s popularity exploded especially during the time of the pandemic where people spent their time mostly online due to the onset of lockdowns and physical movement was very limited. Click-through rates, direct conversation, and other digital marketing channels have now diminishing impacts. On the other hand, 95% of marketers confirmed that live events provide golden opportunities to forge valuable connections in this digitally evolving world (Endless Events, 2018).
Event marketing pertains to any promotional plan for any event. Any strategy employed to market an event successfully is part of event marketing (Howard, 2021). Virtual events have the wonderful capacity to reach any time zone worldwide. It offers a vast field for heightened community engagements and increased Return on Investment (ROI) to sponsor event exhibitors.
Though opportunities seem to be limitless when it comes to connections via virtual gatherings, there are few manageable hindrances to overcome, to attract new and relevant audiences who will be worthy of your overall investment. The following are strategies that will ensure progress and success in virtual event marketing:
You’re effectively directionless if you don’t have clear marketing goals – and you’re attempting to reach vanity metrics that don’t necessarily help you achieve your broader business objectives. In event marketing, you must first identify marketing challenges before setting your goals. Here are some updated marketing challenges you will most likely encounter based on the most current studies (Shewan, 2021).
Consistently producing high-quality material takes time and effort as it is a tedious process of shaping topic ideas that your target persona would like to read, and making that information available to your audience in the form of a blog, video, infographic, or other formats.
According to Honigman (2018), Alfred Lua, a Content Crafter at Buffer, spends eight to ten hours on each article. To provide a broader perspective about content production, Buffer’s content arm, the Buffer blog, is recognized for posts ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 words that span marketing and social media. Indeed producing quality content takes a considerable amount of your time.
Another challenge is seeking and choosing among innovative technology for marketing. With the ever-increasing demand and supply of varied marketing technology, it is harder to find and focus on the most appropriate marketing software. There are several marketing challenges one will encounter depending on your own context. Anticipating these challenges provides great leverage for your business to succeed. Now that you have determined possible challenges, you are now ready to determine the kind of audience you are seeking. In setting your goals you must bear in mind the audience that you are catering to.
Once you already have a clear image of the audience, you can now proceed with your objectives that could range from increasing website traffic to producing more prospects, or everything in between – as long as they’re SMART objectives. Clarity of goals will result in a clear vision and a solid path that will lead you to your target results.
Types of Virtual Marketing Strategies
Email marketing is a powerful marketing channel that uses email to advertise your company’s products or services. It is both a type of direct marketing as well as digital marketing. By incorporating it into your marketing automation efforts, it can assist to make your customers aware of your latest items or offers. Email marketing can also play a key part in your marketing strategy by generating leads, raising brand awareness, creating connections, and keeping customers engaged between transactions.
Among the many benefits of email marketing is that it is less expensive than most of the traditional marketing platforms out there. There are no expenditures for printing or delivery, and no fees are paid in exchange for visibility on a specific billboard, magazine, or television channel. To automate, track, and analyze their emails, email marketers should consider investing in professional software.
Email marketing is one of the few mediums that clients deliberately seek. Most of the businesses that use the platform only send messages to those who have requested them. Since marketers usually target customers who are already interested in their brand, conversion rates can be substantially greater.
Lastly, to be effective with email marketing, you don’t need a large team or a lot of technical know-how. With sophisticated layouts, videos, photos, and logos, an email campaign may be made to stand out. Despite this, some of the most successful campaigns use simply plain text emails, implying that the most significant aspect of an email is its content. Moreover, emails are convenient to share and easy to measure.
Pre-event teasers could be in various forms. You can stream a short virtual event as a means to introduce your main event. Virtual event streaming is a sort of event hosting that allows guests to view the event from anywhere in the world. This is made possible via internet-based live streaming. Many event planners are preferring to conduct entirely pre-virtual events because they provide a bevy of advantages when it comes to marketing virtual events. Cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience are among the advantages of streaming.
Everything from celebrity events, promotions, and lifestreaming to user-to-user streaming is broadcast on social networking platforms and others. With a decently fast internet connection, you can live stream on any compatible smartphone, tablet, TV, computer, or game console.
Guests can participate in pre-virtual events from anywhere in the world if they have access to the internet. This pre-virtual event serves as a teaser to the actual virtual event that you are going to broadcast. When natural disasters, pandemics, and other problems arise that might ordinarily cause your event to be forgotten, neglected, or ignored, these pre-live events are auto-archived so that viewers will still have a chance to be informed through a Facebook newsfeed or any channels that you can utilize for your virtual event promotion. This way, all of your hard work and planning will not be for naught. Creating a pre-live event stream is tremendously helpful in promoting your event online.
Pre-event teasers could also be in the form of a pre-event page. With unfinalized details, you are obliged to promote your event immediately due to time constraints. In this situation, you can create a pre-event page to generate early interest. A well-designed event page can persuade potential attendees to learn more about the event and eventually share their personal information in order to receive further information. The page should have appealing imagery as well as detailed information about the event.
At the end of pre-event teasers, you can add an event countdown. An event countdown is a powerful mechanism that makes your audience feel compelled to act. You can utilize an animated GIF file to get people’s attention and get them to sign up. A countdown timer can aid in the conversion of people on the fence about whether or not to attend your conference.
Making a Press Release
Press coverage can contribute to extending your event outside your own network and can boost ticket sales. Extend your reach in communicating to your target guests by publishing your formal press release with the media. It also helps establish your future brand strategy, builds links to your site, and maybe even increases traffic for future occurrences. A professional press release will also be necessary for acquiring sponsors and may assist in attracting influencers, who may then help market your event.
This event marketing technique is essential if the major purpose of your event is to raise brand recognition and establish relationships with key people and businesses.
Employing Social Media Influencers
Telling people why you’re hosting an event is the next phase in your event marketing approach. Utilizing blog articles to promote this is a way to feed the remainder of your pre-event promotion and to convince people about the significance of your event. Blogs are also less direct than event landing pages, making them an excellent method to generate initial interest.
Getting on social media early is one of the most effective event marketing strategies, as it is critical to creating momentum for your event promotion. Social media can also help you create a community and spread your mission.
Remember to tap on the vast array of available social media sites now. All of these will remain crucial based on the kind of event you run on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but you also take into account Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Medium, Reddit, and others. Find out how social media may fit into your schedule for event promotion.
Sponsorship and Partnership
The success of your event may depend on event marketing partnerships and sponsorships therefore you must reach out early to possible employees, supplementary brands, and medium partners. This signifies you officially started before your event. They can aid you to disseminate this word right from the start.
Top Event Marketing Tools
Cvent Flex is a virtual marketing tool that makes your event appealing for it to stand out among others. This will help you create captivating graphics, quality pictures, and more! This amazing tool also shows multitudes of engaging video clips from professional speakers and other producers. These wonderful features will surely enthrall the audiences with the additional benefit of having a one-stop-shop for all the details and significant information with specified attendee anticipated responses.
Eventbrite is a ticketing and event technology platform that assists businesses in organizing and selling tickets to events online, as well as assisting individuals in discovering events that interest them. You can use Eventbrite’s self-service event planning tools to leverage email invitation creation, RSVP tracking, and even ticket sales. The profound platform of Eventbrite is made available online or via mobile apps which scales from basic registration and ticketing down to a fully-featured event management platform.
VFairs takes inspiration from a wide range of physical events and attempts to recreate them in a virtual setting. It provides custom landing pages with a simple user interface based on your brand. VFairs has all of the tools necessary to successfully host a wide range of events such as meetings, conferences, career fairs, trade shows, and so on, all with 3D support.
Another popular virtual event platform that will allow you to successfully plan, promote, and host an engaging digital gathering is GoToWebinar. GoToWebinar allows the user to access full-fledged virtual conferences and summits for up to 2,000 people. You can obtain several engagement tools such as screen sharing, audience polls, and handouts, as well as automated email marketing capabilities, custom branding choices, and other significant features.