A successful virtual event takes a different level of communication than a live event. For one thing, minus the travel expenses and time out of the office, people don’t have the same kind of commitment to attend. And in today’s environment, there’s a lot more competition in the world of online events. If you want to stand out, you need to get them excited and keep them motivated right up until show time. That takes more than early-bird specials, countdown emails, and keynote reveals. It takes content marketing – a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable content to connect with a target audience.
A virtual event isn’t just a moment in time. It’s an important part of the communications continuum with your audience.
The point is to be a source of information, edification, or entertainment (if you can be all three you’ve hit the jackpot). Since an engaging virtual event should meet the same standard, you have a leg up on developing a content marketing plan. In fact, the work you do to create the event can be leveraged along the way in “pre-game” communications. Even better? The connections you make during promotion can be strengthened during the event and extended beyond.
These tips work within a broader content marketing strategy that makes the virtual event both a destination and a content engine for long-term engagement with your audience.
1) Define your event value prop and work it
Why is this a can’t-miss-it event? Define that and you have your communications north star. Then use it everywhere. The more your audience sees the value for them, the better the engagement.
2) Use video early and often
Video is the most powerful medium in marketing today. It’s also what makes a virtual event human. Use it to prime your audience for the upcoming experience. From a CEO video invitation embedded in an email to a LinkedIn Live pre-event Q&A, video will grab and hold their attention.
3) Preview session material
Give them something of value that makes them want more. Make the content easy to share to help generate buzz. This can take the form of a short video, a downloadable presentation, or a deep background on a keynote speaker.
4) Open last year’s archive
Letting the audience see what made your event great last year can entice them to want an update. You can make one or two presentations free and gate the others.
5) Tease special moments
The best virtual events feature live moments that can only be experienced by tuning in. You can create excitement with partial reveals, countdowns, or competition for early access.
6) Leverage your speakers
Tweet or post key quotes from speakers (tag the post with your event’s hashtag and @-mentioning the speaker).
For more information
Check out this infographic (will open in a new page with larger text) on ways to strategize your virtual event to fuel your content marketing.