Virtual event marketing as such, offers the chance of meeting multiple objectives and in the following paragraphs, I will give you some basic guidelines of virtual event marketing as a B2C strategy.
Since 2020, the world we used to know has changed – and therefore companies have had to transform and adapt to new forms of consumption by customers. We transitioned our event marketing business in just a few weeks from mainly organizing offline events to the creation of fully fledged digital online events.
Whether you sell products or services where the number of potential customers is high, implementing virtual event marketing as a B2C “business to consumer” sales strategy will help you capture the attention of your audience to achieve your main goal: Generating more sales.
What is virtual event marketing?
Virtual event marketing is a specialized strategy based on 3 pillars: entertainment, emotion and initiative, which like physical event marketing serves to develop a brand and conceptualize memorable experiences for the consumer. It seeks to give the attendee a unique experience that makes them identify with the brand and quickly connect with it virtually.
Whether live or virtual, people never lose that intrinsic need to interact with each other. One way to connect without putting us at risk today is through digital rooms that offer various applications and streaming services, which allow us to meet, learn and interact, thus making virtual event marketing work.
But the most important thing about the virtual event is making it known. In order to achieve good results with our event it is necessary that within the planning there is a well-designed virtual event marketing strategy so that as many people as possible know about the event we are organizing. This can easily be achieved with online advertising.
Nowadays online advertising has much more diffusion than offline. In fact, channels such as websites, blogs or social networks allow us to reach much more directly to those who meet the profile of people interested in the event, which saves time and money.
Planning well the digital marketing strategy of your event will contribute significantly to its success. But remember, it must be comprehensive advertising. This means that you must publicize your event before the event, during its execution and also after. So that those who have not attended can see what they have missed and feel more encouraged to participate in the next one.
Any of these five tools that we have recommended are valid for the marketing strategy of your event if you use them well and adapt them to each specific case. But there are others that are also very useful, such as creating an event app, working on SEO or running an SEM campaign.
It can also be a very good idea to combine digital advertising with offline advertising. Don’t forget that there are certain profiles that may be interested in your event but for one reason or another don’t usually use social networks, read blogs, etc. Your goal is to cover all fronts to make attendance a success.
Virtual Event Marketing as a B2C strategy
When we are talking about the strategic planning of an event, we should take into account a very important item: marketing your brand. We at expertshare have always been involved in event marketing while creating experiences for brands. With the event of COVID-19, we made a big change in the way that we were delivering these event experiences to the final consumer of the brand. Bluntly speaking, we basically completely transformed offline experiences to online experiences where the audience could participate from home.
This allows the brand to interact directly with prospects and customers, without intermediaries, generating remembrance and loyalty through emotions. It also generates public traffic through communication via different channels to convene the event, during the event and its subsequent socialization.
The marketing of virtual events has the potential to meet multiple objectives and in this article, I will give you some basic guidelines for marketing virtual events as a B2C strategy.
1. The planning phase
If you consider this strategy to increase your sales, you must be extremely organized. When we create an event we must have very specific objectives to conceptualize it, develop a budget, a schedule of activities before, during and after the event, have a vision of how we will measure the investment made for it and how it should be reflected in the sales of my product or service, including how to communicate it to different audiences that may have the event.
How do I know what my objectives are besides sales: Do I want to expand my database? Do I want to have more visibility? Do I want to become memorable in the minds of my customers? These are just a few ideas to clearly define the planning of the virtual event.
2. How to develop the strategy
Once you have planned, you know how much you are going to spend and who you have to hire, you can start looking for alliances that will strengthen your event and help you achieve your objectives; taking into account that they should also benefit from their participation. The most important thing to keep in mind and that will help to successfully sell the event, is to be clear about the target audience you want to reach. We will identify it with demographic, social, economic and geographic variables, and we will add the interests of the people who are part of this audience.
It makes a difference if you only want your customers to come and gain their loyalty or if you want new people to get to know you and attract them. You will also have to design the communication strategy for the different audiences and be able to achieve the “call to action”, which is nothing more and nothing less than that they buy from you. Tip to keep in mind: it is more expensive to attract a new customer than to retain one who is already loyal to the brand.
3. Creating an experience
There are many ways to create a concept for the virtual event, many of us come up with ideas before knowing what we are going to use the event for, others during the planning and others create it according to the objectives of the brand and with knowledge of their audience or the one they want to reach.
The important thing here is to create a memorable experience so that attendees leave talking very well of your event and for this I will give you a key: talk about the event before, during and after the event itself, and as mentioned above, each audience should receive the communication in their own language and through the appropriate channel for it. This way you will notice how the attendees themselves are in charge of telling their circle how well or not they had a good time, what they experienced and how they want to relate to your brand afterwards.
Vital when creating an experience in a virtual event marketing strategy: The branding or brand building process where the graphic image of the brand and its values are involved; should be even more impactful than for a physical event, since many of the senses will play in favor of your brand if you know how to direct them to generate positive emotions in the attendee to your event. Even if they are not all physically in the same room, they should feel emotionally connected with each other and with the brand.
If you want to add value to your event, what products will you give to your attendees with your brand’s logo? Where will they see your brand during the event, both on their screen and on the products they receive for the experience? Prior to the event, on what channels should your brand appear so that those you want to attend can see it? What experiences should be involved during the virtual event so that attendees remember your brand? All this based on the interests of your target audience will make the final consumer talk positively about your brand afterwards.
5. Landing Page Creation
One of the most important things you’ll need to get the word out about your virtual event is to have a landing page which describes all of the advantages participants would enjoy. The landing page is a space entirely dedicated to the event. The visitor reaches it through an advertisement or a banner he has seen on another website and can quickly find out about the event.
The peculiarity of a landing page is that it must be able to capture the attention in just a few seconds and get an action from the visitor. It needs to extensively describe the topics and presenters as well as give some testimonials about recent events of a similar type. Moreover, the page needs to have a conversion goal and thus, it is required to have a call-to-action on the page which could either be a free registration to your event or the sale of a ticket to your event.
6. Email marketing campaign
If you have a list of contacts already and you can contact them via email, then this is the easiest and cheapest way of letting your prospects and customers know about your virtual event. Virtual event marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. Having certain assets can certainly make your life much easier and it’s up to you to make sure that these assets continue to grow.
The main objective of your email should be to get the click to the landing page. The page itself will do all of the selling for you. You don’t have to try and sell within your email already. The main job of your email is to arouse curiosity.
7. Social Media Campaign
Social media is a good advertising medium if used wisely and in moderation. You can advertise an event, but it is not advisable to bombard it with too much information. If you have enough time, you can create a whole strategy around the event, so that information about it is given little by little and in a less commercial way, using techniques such as inbound marketing.
For example, if we are organizing an event aimed at entrepreneurs, we can create and share content talking about what it takes to become an entrepreneur, entrepreneurship ideas and other related topics. And, from time to time, combine this high-value information with direct advertising of the event.
This is proven to be much more effective than launching ad after ad about the same thing.
8. Influencer Marketing
A technique that is increasingly used. Choose a professional who has relevance in a sector related to your event and reach an agreement with him to talk about the activity you are organizing. It is a simple way to immediately reach thousands of people who meet the profile to be interested in the event.
9. Sales and payment channels
To make the sale of your virtual event, keep in mind that the most optimal channel will always be a digital tool. Nowadays there are many tools that make life easier for the final consumer in terms of the purchase method, payment channel and even payment method that you should already have thought of from the analysis of the target audience.
Some important tools to keep in mind when selling are WhatsApp links to contact you and to buy tickets to your event. For payment systems, there are different virtual wallets, bank QR’s, and payment platforms. Keep in mind: From the customer’s point of view, the main thing they are looking for when shopping online is to get their items as quickly, conveniently and inexpensively as possible without any intermediaries.
These are some of the guidelines that you can use when creating a virtual event marketing strategy to increase your sales. But don’t forget to monitor the results obtained in each of your digital campaigns. This will help you to get to know your audience better and to define guidelines on what works and what doesn’t for each type of event. And it’s also a good thing to send out an email with a recording of the event so that the ones who were not able to participate will still be able to profit from the great content.
Contact us if you need help organizing your next digital event online.