This practical guide to virtual event marketing will assist you with strategic planning and executing your event promotional campaigns. We have carefully curated the list of marketing collateral and channels to ensure a global reach for your event. However, how you mix and match the ideas to market your corporate, educational or recreational events is up to you.
Table of Content
- What is Event Marketing?
- Why is Event Marketing Important?
- Scope of Virtual Event Marketing
- Global Recognition
- Flexibly Carried Out
- Brand Awareness
- Increased Reach
- Maximized Leads
- Revenue Growth
- Types of Marketing Collateral
- Landing Page
- Blog Posts
- Promotional Videos
- PR Campaigns
- Paid Promotions
- Case Studies
- Best Channels for Virtual Event Promotion
- Use Company Website to Your Advantage
- List Events at Event Listing Platforms
- Run Ads on Social Media Channels
- Reach the Audience Directly through Email Marketing
- Get Sponsors and Stakeholders Onboard
With virtual events gaining popularity, marketing became a hot topic. Although by now, the post-pandemic era has confirmed that virtual events are here to stay. There’s no denying the fact that everything today is happening online, over the internet. As a result, the virtual event culture is dominating. It has altogether changed the course of hosting and promoting events. The events, for instance, range from B2B events to student open days. So, with the inclusion of a virtual element, there’s a dire need to gather people online to attend the event remotely.
But how can you put your event on the radar and make it discoverable for a global target audience? Organising virtual events is just one baby step towards your intended purpose; however, marketing the event to increase attendance is the real deal. This means that your event marketing campaigns must hit a successful global reach that goes beyond boundaries and binaries.
If you get a little tipsy on the thought of promoting your event worldwide, then you are not alone. We are here to guide you through the process of spreading the word out and getting people on board.
But before we dive into the discussion, let us find out what exactly event marketing is.
What is Event Marketing?
Event marketing is the act of promoting or advertising an event being hosted by your company. The event is primarily organised under your brand label with exhibitors, partners, sponsors and stakeholders onboard. Basically, the sole purpose of the marketing and promotion is to attract the target audience to your brand, informing them about the event agenda and convincing them to register for the event. Similarly, post-event marketing is also as important as pre-event marketing. These marketing campaigns bring brands closer to their customers, which is a win-win situation for all.
Generally, virtual events may range from online meetings, trade shows, conferences, exhibitions, job fairs, open days, networking events or more. No matter what type of event you are hosting or if you have partners onboard, it all comes down to how strategically and smartly you present your event. Note that you should tailor-design a marketing plan that will prove most effective with your target audience.
Previously, people relied on marketing their events through print media, invitation letters, brochures or newsletters. But, with the world turning into a digital hub, most of the event marketing campaigns today are run over the internet. Take, for instance, the grand concerts by top artists today are being promoted online through listing and ticketing platforms. It is a more straightforward approach to reaching a maximised audience. Also, it helps you save on expensive print media marketing that fails to produce a global attendee turnout.
Why is Event Marketing Important?
Imagine that you are all set to go live with your virtual job fair event and forgot to send invites to prospective job applicants. You see, the first step to hosting a successful virtual event is to put it on the map. Firstly, you need to take practical steps to ensure that people can discover your event. Secondly, make sure they are talking about you, your brand is gaining popularity, and finally, you find a good number of people on your event landing page.
If you wish for your target audience to pre-engage in your event, then make sure you go all in. Take, for instance, you list your event on an event discovery platform where millions of people are eyeing and speculating about your event. Out of a thousand interested individuals, your event listing would win you 70% of registrations. See, that is how with a little effort, you receive maximised attendee turnout for your event. All you have to do is play smart, not hard.
But, one must use suitable channels and platforms for marketing their brand. After all, it is your marketing strategy that would determine the event scope, reach and awareness. Overall, event marketing determines
- Scope of your event
- Global Recognition
- High attendance
- Brand popularity
- Registration conversions
- Return on investments
- Sponsor Value
So, begin organising a “one of its kind virtual experience” for your audience that they will not forget anytime soon. You can also refer to a guide to effective virtual event branding.
Scope of Virtual Event Marketing
One might wonder why virtual events are on the rise. It is the extended reach, brand recognition, easy accessibility and maximised profitability that mark the strength of these events. However, it all comes down to how effectively you market the event. For that matter, event organisers, hosts, sponsors and marketing specialists get together to promote the event globally.
Here, we have listed the scope of your event marketing.
Virtual events are a great way to reach a global audience. You may be based anywhere in the world. But, by simply hosting a virtual conference, you market your brand internationally. Now, people across the globe are familiarised with your company culture, business potential, product and services. They are now talking about your brand for the first time. In fact, the meeting that was supposed to host just a few industry professionals is now studded with top business tycoons from around the world. Fortunately, your marketing efforts worked in your favour and brought like-minded industry geeks to your table.
Not just that, you are being recognised by the stakeholders, being mentioned in press releases and are in high demand by the customers. Basically, event marketing not just brings you increased attendance. But it also promises global recognition that proves effective for your business today and in the future. More and more people now wish to invest in your business and join hands with you. Isn’t this amazing?
Flexibly Carried Out
Unlike physical event marketing, virtual event marketing is flexible and convenient. Here, various marketing methods are available at your disposal. You can also use multiple marketing channels to create awareness among people. Since everything is happening online, your marketing strategies are not a hurdle for anyone. For instance, event markers can spend their time on something other than manual work, such as; TVC, flyers, brochures, letters, newspaper articles, or making calls. Instead, digital marketing promises a global reach with little human effort. It works on an automated system that runs ads on multiple online platforms and channels where everyone receives a message or an invitation to the event.
In fact, the process is also easy for the audience who clicks through the landing page registers for the event and marks their availability. On the other hand, social media marketing ads reach your target audience and spark their interest in the event. Once the people start conversing about your event on social media platforms, that is where you have already onboarded an audience. It surely brings attendees to your event in great abundance. Therefore, never underestimate the power of social media marketing.
Overall, these digital marketing efforts help save on the carbon footprint. It definitely helps us save on paper waste, carbon emissions, air toxins, electricity and fuel consumption. In addition, this helps us fight global warming to ensure a greener and healthier planet.
- What exactly is the purpose of virtual event marketing?
- Is it only directed to the target audience in order for them to register?
- Does it only aim at reaching a global audience?
Well, marketing does more than just bring you an interested lot, such as professionals, peers, customers, sponsors or partners. As a matter of fact, event marketing works wonders in creating brand awareness among the masses.
Primarily, the marketing campaigns not only speak about the upcoming event but also your organisation’s ideology, agenda, unions, company culture and more. So, basically, the ads parallelly speak about your brand. For instance, when hosting a virtual exhibition, you inform people about your product and services. It grabs the attention of interested parties and encourages them to invest in your brand. It would not be surprising if virtual event marketing multiples your sales by a hundred.
There are tons of opportunities and ways for your to spread brand awareness among the people. Here’s a list of tips you can follow when working on brand awareness:
- Design ads with company logos, brand names and slogans
- Use influencers and sponsors to speak about your brand
- Get all the parties involved to promote your brand throughout
- Spread all over social media platforms to market your brand
- Share snippets from your virtual event to entice the target market
- Fully custom design the event with complete branding
Why are digital events gaining popularity with each passing day? We have witnessed that online representation of the brand promises an increased reach. Basically, when marketing the event worldwide, your event creates an uproar among the target audience. Using digital marketing strategies, you can reach the laptop and mobile screens of all interested parties. In addition, your event is showing up in feeds, news and discoverable events. As a result, the more people tap on the ads, the greater the reach.
Although, your marketing reach is also dependent on the quality of your ad copy, content, message, timeline, channels and platforms. The timing of creating online posts and ads matters. For instance, if you begin promoting the event months before the scheduled date, it is only going to bore the audience. Your message might lose its touch and discourage people from talking about it just yet. Like, the continuous updates may annoy interested individuals. Also, late updates might result in some people falling out of the event due to their other commitments. So, it is suggested that you spread the message and invite them as the only chance for the people to register. Although a timeline of 3 weeks before the event is considered most fruitful.
What exactly is happening with an increased reach? Your virtual event marketing helps secure ;
- High attendance
- Increased registrations conversions
- Increased sponsor value
- Increased overall ROI
If you are a business owner aiming to expand your clientele across borders, then a virtual event is a step in the right direction. Today, business owners have diverted their attention to online selling, with the world becoming a global marketplace. It targets a global clientele residing in any part of the world. Today, e-commerce businesses are rightfully dominating the scene. Brands easily display the products and services online, take orders and deliver them to customers’ doorstep. Previously with Covid’19 on the rise, we witnessed the event industry running on the same patterns. Businesses started hosting their exhibitions, trade shows and product launch events online. It not only won global recognition for their brand but brought them maximised leads.
How does online representation benefit brands? Well, with effective virtual event marketing, new leads, partners and stakeholders are taken aboard. If previously a small business owner only attended a local market, now with virtual events, their brand is making a name worldwide.
Revenue growth refers to the money your business generated compared to its previous earnings. With an online representation of your brand, you win an increased revenue system that is unmatched by your annual profits. So, if you continue with virtual event marketing, it will surely boost your overall ROI. One way to achieve groundbreaking revenue is to offer multiple tickets for the event with a variety of virtual experiences. For instance, some individuals might be interested in joining special workshops or webinar sessions at your event. Or others simply would buy a ticket to attend the basic segments.
Types of Marketing Collateral
If you are familiar with your target audience, you must also know where to reach them and how to send the message across effectively. Before you step into event marketing, first determine where your audience is most receptive. For instance, running youtube ads might make people skip in a sec. On the contrary, if you reach business professionals in their email boxes, they will click through the CTA button. It is also important to note here that for the success of your promotional campaign, first decide on the marketing collateral.
Marketing collateral is defined as digital or print materials used to promote your brand, company’s products and services or upcoming events. No matter how popular your brand is, you will have to go all in when it comes to marketing collateral. You see, what worked for you once might not produce the same results now. Therefore, adopting new strategies and employing futuristic techniques would help you win a broader audience. Basically, targeting a variety of audiences with the right marketing collateral would help you win leads, attract new customers, promote campaigns, engage existing clients and onboard new ones.
We have carefully compiled a list of effective marketing collateral for your virtual event marketing.
When promoting your virtual event, the most effective marketing collateral is your event’s landing page. You heard right! Today, landing pages help run the best marketing campaigns. Because this is where the audience clicks through the ad. Your landing page is the first glimpse into your brand. Through a landing page, your audience quickly learns about the event and the benefits of attending. Plus, to hook them to the event page, you can use snippets from the event and make it more interesting for the people. Your target is to drive them towards action. So make the landing page informative and inviting for all. For instance, your landing page might have a video that gives a 30 sec immerse tour into the virtual platform. This is how people find out about what awaits them.
Once the landing page is set up, you can easily reach your target market via email, social media, direct messages, websites, or Google ads. Let us guide you through custom building a landing page for your virtual event marketing.
- Create a completely branded page e,g, company logos, colors, slogan and theme
- Share the event guide with descriptive info about hosts, speakers and exhibitors
- Upload promotional videos, speaker bios, and snippets from the event
- Use 3D animated avatars to build excitement and interest
- Add links to the event registration portal
- Ask for prospects’ content information
- Promote inclusivity and diversity by making the event multilingual
At present, one of the most effective marketing tools is blogging. Whether marketing your products and services or simply creating awareness about your brand, blogs are considered best for attracting a wider audience. Blog posts are informative texts written to educate and inform the masses about your brand. Initially, these texts answer all the questions that might cloud your audience’s minds. For instance, blog posts on the website provide in-depth information about the company’s services. Furthermore, it addresses their reservations, convinces their buying behaviour and persuades readers to take quick action.
When we are talking about virtual event marketing, blogs work as effective marketing collateral. You can spread the word about your event through news blogs or guest posts. So, when people visit your website or social media channels, they discover your upcoming events. But make sure you write descriptive blogs that cover the news about your upcoming events. Also, plug in some call-to-action buttons within your blog posts to get interested individuals to register for the event. With blog posts, ranking high would make your upcoming event ‘the highlight of the week.’
Some people consider “word of mouth” the most credible source of information. If you speak to the target audience directly and brief them about the upcoming event, it will create a ten times greater impression. Being a host, you can shoot a promotional video where you are informing the audience about the event basics as when, what, where and how. Another way to leave a greater impression on the audience is by getting your keynote speakers to film a short promotional message. Note that your promotional video does not have to be long; just give out the message in a short video where you share all the exciting chunks.
Later, these videos are shared across multiple platforms. You can also use it as a pop-up on your own website. Also, you can get all the stakeholders aboard by making them promote the interviews on their social media.
When marketing your B2B virtual events, make sure you build strong public relations. Publicising the brand before a global audience is a great approach to building positive relations between your brand and its audience. So, you can run a number of PR campaigns that help drive attention to your offers. For instance, a press release can get the message out and quickly drive leads.
While composing a press release, make sure your ad gives a compelling message. Your audience must learn about the value of your event, who can attend, the time/date, details about speakers, formal walkthrough event segments and more. But make sure your press release brings people straight to the event landing page, where they can express their interest in form of registration.
Another way to market your event directly to the target audience is by using custom hashtags. You can direct your audience’s attention to specific hashtags that carry all the info and data on the event. Let’s say people can search a company-specific hashtag and learn all about your event. This shall save your event from being lost in a pile and help you rank better. Ultimately, your custom keywords would rank across all channels, bringing in a wider audience. For instance, you can use hashtags against your company slogan, products, services, events, campaigns and more.
Although make sure your virtual event highlights all other hashtags. This automatically brings conversions specific to your event. Like, people who search and come across a tweet directly engage with your brand and help your event become the talk of the town.
To enhance the experience, you can get sponsors, hosts, exhibitors, partners, and speakers onboard to promote the very hashtags. Now, link all the hashtags back to the event landing page for people to interact smoothly with your event.
If you want to add more sugar to your marketing collateral then paid promotion is the answer. Here, you use Google to your advantage by running virtual event ads all over the internet. You will have an audience rolling in from Facebook, LinkedIn, the website, google, and other social media platforms. These ads may be used as a pre-event marketing approach where you keep sharing the event updates. Overall, it helps build interest and bring the right audience to your doorstep.
Paid promotions work as a re-marketing tool. It keeps a record of all the profiles who clicked the ads. Then, Google Analytics work its magic in targeting the same audience to convince them to take action this time.
Infographics are another effective collateral tool to attract an audience. It carries all the graphics, visuals, text, and colours that manage to grasp the attention. Just like that, you can use visually rich infographics to your advantage when spreading your event invites. For instance, these can be in the form of graphs, illustrations, charts or a combination of all. Mostly, infographics are used in the website or social media marketing. Its simple and direct approach innocently stands out among other marketing materials.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have all the info and details about your event documented in the form of a magazine? Nowadays, businesses form company electronic event magazines. These carry all the information about the success or potential of your company’s virtual events. For instance, your previous successful conference is all documented in the form of the case study. Anyone who is interested in the event can take a peek at the potential of your events and register for the upcoming ones.
So, magazines work as effective collateral, be it pre or post-event marketing. These may be posted online on the company website, event landing page, or social media channels.
Case studies count as the post-event marketing collateral. This is where you share the event success story. It can be a single page or a complete document. Generally, case studies cover the following:
- Event challenges
- Effective solutions
- Client testimonials
The case study aims to discuss the challenges and possible resolutions to hosting successful virtual events. Usually, snippets from the events are also shared to create a compelling story.
Best Channels for Virtual Event Promotion
Once you have decided on the collateral for your virtual event marketing campaigns, it all comes down to the platforms that help you reach the target audience. These mark your practical steps towards globally marketing the event and creating an uproar in the marketplace.
Here’s a list of virtual event promotion channels that will continue to dominate in the year 2023.
Use Company Website to Your Advantage
Your company website is the first place to encounter your audience with your services and upcoming events. Generally, your website welcomes traffic from Google search, social media, Google ads or stakeholders forums. But, once you start marketing your event, people would need to verify if the registrations for your next event are open.
So you must make the best use of your website to let the word out. For instance, you could post event details on the homepage as a pop-up ad with a link to the direct landing page. This shall not skip the eyes and would definitely encourage them to click through the ad. Also, a news section on the website can have all the information and exciting details about upcoming events.
Although, make sure that the content of your message holds the most credibility, as it should encourage website visitors to make quick decisions about registering for the event. You can also create hype with discounted registration prices if your audience is more interested in offers and deals. For instance, you can promote the event by saying, “First come – discounts available for most interested admission applicants.”
List Events at Event Listing Platforms
Marketing campaigns today are run all over the internet. However, it is best to start marketing the event at event listing platforms. This is an attempt to reach people in a meaningful way. For instance, people usually look up for upcoming concerts on the listing platforms. These platforms usually have millions of number of people coming in on a regular basis. It even categorises people’s interests into corporate, educational, recreational, political, industrial, and healthcare sectors. So if you are to host a virtual B2B networking event, then it is better to list it within the corporate section. This is where your target audience will show interest and simply register for the event.
Basically, event listings are informative ads about a specific event that is to take place in the near future. It has all the necessary information on the event date, day, and time. However, in the case of virtual events, event marketers share links to the company website or event landing page. It usually guides the prospects through the entire process of registering online. For instance, call-to-action buttons are installed at the listing, which directs users to the event page.
Run Ads on Social Media Channels
Which today is considered the fastest way to spread the message across? Social media channels most effectively communicate about current topics, industry trends, and upcoming events. Almost all of your target audience own social media handles. They receive direct notifications about their interests which, as a result, urges them to take action. For instance, an event ad on Facebook would allow users to click through the register button and directly reach you.
Interestingly, social media allows tons of marketing collateral to be posted online for an online audience. For instance, you can share infographics, blogs, or landing pages as ad posts. It even allows you to run paid ads that directly reach your target audience through their mobile screens. Although the most powerful social media marketing channels today are:
Reach the Audience Directly through Email Marketing
When you are marketing your B2B or B2C virtual events, the best way to reach your audience is through email marketing campaigns. Generally, email marketing refers to the custom ads designed by a company that informs and guides the audience about upcoming events. It reaches the individual personally. You can either run email campaigns for your existing subscribers or target all your potential customers. It is a cost-effective approach to marketing your event worldwide.
Emails can be sent in the form of a sequence of pre and post-event promotions. Like, your initial mail could only build interest by sharing basic details about the event. Later, your emails may tell the audience what’s in it for them. Further, your marketing campaign may suggest that; “We are accepting registrations.” Lastly, you can send out reminder emails for the audience as a final call for registration. This acts as a re-engagement email.
Still confused about how you would craft an email campaign? Take, for instance:
- Create a target email list
- Use company logos and slogans
- Personalise email subject text
- Write engaging body text
- Use visuals and graphics
- Leave call-to-action buttons
Get Sponsors and Stakeholders Onboard
Who else can speak about your event? Ask your sponsors to help you market the event to a wider audience. It is always a give-and-take relationship with your sponsors and stakeholders involved. So go to all extents when it comes to promoting the event that you are all are collaboratively working on! The goal here is to target the specific audience that regularly interacts with your business and the similar businesses of your stakeholders.
One way to do it is by asking the sponsors to use their social media platforms to display ads about the upcoming event. Plus, build strong email campaigns for their subscribers and write guest posts for their websites. There’s no harm in going the extra mile when it comes to marketing. After all, the fruits of the revenue will be shared by everyone aboard.
There are many ways to promote your virtual event before a global audience. Working on effective marketing collateral for your brands helps you retain existing customers and also attract new ones. We understand that it may be challenging to onboard a global audience for your virtual B2B or B2C events, but there’s nothing to worry about! You can opt for any marketing strategy (discussed above) that works best for your event marketing campaign. Although we have thoroughly guided event planners and marketers on carrying out the best marketing strategy and winning a large audience for your upcoming events.
Virtual Days takes on the responsibility of assisting organisations in hosting and marketing their virtual events. We wish for you to host impressive virtual events that bring you business from across the globe!
Sign up for a demo today and learn more about hosting virtual education fair, conferences and exhibitions with our platform.