How to Market your Virtual Event

Published:
May 9, 2022

Online events are everywhere. If you want yours to get noticed, you really have to stand out of the crowd. And, unless you’re already a well-established brand and have a loyal following, you will need to try all means possible to get people's attention. 

Here’s our five top tips to get your event out there and onto your audience’s calendars.

1) Use your Email List 

You should never underestimate email lists when marketing your events.

Before knowing how to use one though, the first step is to create one. The best email lists are the ones that contain active members ie. people who will actually read them and engage.

This kind of email list is created by adding real value to your audience. It could be done by offering a free resource that competitors ask their audience to pay for- perhaps a page out of a book or a short training course. 

In exchange for this freebie, you only ask people to sign up via their email. By offering real value in this way, you can be sure that any sign-ups will be more likely to read your emails and respond to events- whether they arrive as a part of a newsletter or as an official invitation. 

That said, when sending an invitation, it’s important to remember to send it a month or two in advance, to be concise, and to include two major components: 

  1. Major event details such as keynote speakers, time and topics
  2. What attendees will gain from joining

After this first invite, you can periodically remind your audience about the event by advertising it in a weekly newsletter, for example.

2) Create content

Creating content relevant to your event is an excellent way to boost your marketing efforts. This might include blog posts, podcasts, videos etc. that tie into your event’s theme. It might also include 15 minute interviews with some of your event’s participants, whether transcribed or recorded. 

As content creation is a part of developing your brand, it’s important to ensure that whatever you put out there addresses your audience’s needs and interests. The right content can make a brand a go-to source for a certain topic, and thus drive interest in events even beyond the one you may be initially marketing for. 

3) Research how to get your audience’s attention 

Different audiences tend to spend time on different platforms, and so taking the time to research where your audience is, and what kind of marketing methods yield the highest conversion rates makes sense. 

For example, LinkedIn may be an ideal platform to market events related to professional development given its career focus, whereas platforms like Instagram and Facebook may fare better for events aimed at a more general audience. 

Likewise, some sites may cater to specific niches, and thus partnering with them for event promotion may be a great way to reach your target audience. Labroots, for example, has a sizable audience of scientists in the pharmaceutical industry and other fields. Partnering with them for content creation or sharing on social media platforms could help promote events aimed at related audiences.

While some avenues may remain consistent strongholds for members of your audience, also remember that new opportunities are sprouting up all the time- and that those who get in soonest are likely to be able to make the most of them. 

This in mind, keeping in touch with your audience’s latest community trends is a great way to identify new marketing opportunities to scale your event promotion quickly. Some of these new methods may work, and some might not. Sometimes you only know by trying, however, so it may be a good idea to reserve some of your marketing budget- perhaps around 20%- for experiments.

4) Use Social Media Effectively 

Some estimates state that as of January 2022, 4.62 billion people globally use social media; that’s roughly 58.4% of the world’s population. And according to Statista, as of 2020, people spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media per day. That basically means that there is a lot of opportunity to reach out to people on these platforms for your event!

Following from the previous point, it first makes sense to identify which platforms your audience use- ultimately where they hang out and where/ how they’re most likely to engage. You can investigate this using insight tools such as Google Analytics, and tactics such as social listening- which involves monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags across platforms. 

Once you’ve identified the right social media platform(s), it’s time to start promoting. This can be done via a series of methods including: 

  • Posting about your event and tagging key speakers- you never know if they may share with their audiences to boost awareness!
  • Using relevant hashtags to extend your reach beyond your audience 
  • Responding to people’s comments and questions- both publicly and privately both to bump your posts and to keep your audience engaged
  • Live Streaming where possible 
  • Using ads and leveraging tactics including A/B testing, retargeting and analytics to improve your ad promotions
  • Integrating giveaways into your ads and posts to incentivize people to share your event, or sign up

5) Create an Event Page 

Creating a unique page on your website is a great way to get people to take your event seriously- and it can act as a central hub for information and updates. 

While the event page doesn’t need to be overly sophisticated, it should include all necessary information about the event including: 

  • The host 
  • Speakers
  • Topics and important details to make expectations clear
  • Time 
  • What attendants gain 
  • A clear Call to Action so people can easily sign up

To make the event page more lively, you could also include sneak peeks into what the speakers will be discussing either via video snippets, short articles, quotes, or photos from previous events. 

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