The digital events landscape is rapidly evolving. Partly because more people wanted online versions of offline events, but mostly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has prevented individuals and business professionals from meeting in person.
In an annual study by HubSpot and Wyzol, 62% of marketers said they leveraged webinars in 2020, compared to only 46% the year previous. 91% of these marketers say that their webinars were a success, confirming that webinars are among the most effective video marketing channels.
Thankfully, new and innovative platforms are making virtual events easier than ever.
If you’re considering switching to an online platform or you’re keen to get to know how to host your event digitally, we have a few tips for putting it all together.
Start planning early
Plan your virtual event with the same amount of care, dedication and time that you would an in-person event. Typically, marketers start to plan their webinars three months in advance.
Developing a virtual event requires a lot of thought, from identifying and preparing speakers, attracting attendees with effective marketing, creating promotional assets and selecting the correct platform.
Choose your platform
It’s crucial to choose an event platform with the appropriate features, criteria, and budget that suits your needs and requirements. Once that’s done, you’ll be well on your way to making your online event just as (if not more) successful as your previous in-person events.
Here are a few platforms to consider:
1. With Facebook Live, you can broadcast a live video to your audience on your company profile or group page. Since it’s the largest social network in the world, there is a good chance that part of your target audience is already using it which makes your job a little easier.
2. Another great tool for engaging with your audience is YouTube Live. The platform has over 2 billion logged-in users, making it a quick and easy way to connect with your audience. An added advantage is that YouTube is owned by Google and integrates social media and search engines. Consequently, your videos will be more evergreen and easier to find than those on other social media platforms.
3. Zoom is an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that facilitates collaborative discussion between users. In general, its free version allows up to 100 participants and 40 minutes of group meetings. Additionally, Zoom offers basic polling, Q&A, and a virtual hand-raising feature. Premium options are available for up to 1,000 participants and 24-hour meetings.
4. Another great option for hosting your virtual event is Google Meet. Anyone with a Google Account can now create an online meeting with up to 100 participants and meet for up to 60 minutes. The advanced features available to businesses, schools, and other organisations include meetings with up to 250 internal or external participants, as well as live streaming to 100,000 viewers.
Market your event
To have a successful virtual event, you need a strategy that aligns with your goals and outcomes.
If you already have an existing contact list, your greatest ROI for event promotion will be Email Marketing.
Sharing your virtual event on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter will allow you to network innovatively and to a bigger audience.
You might want to consider using one or two platforms rather than utilising all your platforms, depending on your audience and event type.
TW Tip: Create an event-specific hashtag to use before, during, and after the event. It can prove to be extremely effective when promoting and live streaming your live event. There is even a possibility of your event going viral should the hashtag be shared by enough people, enough times.
To maximise your event’s success, you should follow up with a strong email message.
Segment your email list based on attendees and no-shows to tailor your message. Send both lists a link to the on-demand recording of the session, if possible. Don’t forget to give a brief description of the sessions, so that those who weren’t there can get in touch if they have questions.
Consider creating supplemental materials, such as downloadable guides or case studies, for attendees as a way to continue sharing great content with strategic messaging that encourages them to expand their engagement.
Repurpose your content
Your virtual event content continues to be valuable after the event has ended. Why not cut, edit, and stitch into other formats? You can transform it into a podcast, transcribe it as a blog, or edit and share it on social media. Whether it’s a thought-provoking quote, a quick video tutorial or even an infographic, these can all engage your followers.
The process of organising a digital event doesn’t have to be complicated. Nonetheless, it takes time, resources and research to achieve success just as the in-person equivalent.
Your virtual events can be a great success by ensuring you have a great strategy, the right tools and by marketing it well. This will allow you to reach newer and larger audiences than you could ever reach with an in-person event.
Do you need assistance in setting up your next virtual event? Get in touch and let us help you make it the greatest one yet!
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