Strategies and Tips for Speakers to Promote a Virtual Event Effectively

Virtual events have seen a huge boost in popularity over the last couple of years, for obvious reasons.

As a result, getting to grips with promoting a virtual event has become an important skill for anyone presenting at an event in the near future. So how do you promote a virtual event as a speaker to ensure your presentation is sold out and the event is a success?

Focus On the Audience

  • Research the other speakers and the audiences they have built.
  • What motivates those groups to follow the various speakers?
  • Where do they go online to discuss related topics?

Understanding this will enable you to appeal to these new demographics before the event even starts. Your activities will serve to promote the event as well as build your own audience. While people may not attend a virtual event just to hear one speaker, they will be much more interested when they have learned more about other speakers and presentations that matter to them.

Create A Landing Page

The landing page you create for your own site should cover:

  • The purpose of the event
  • Your own presentation topic
  • Other key speakers your audience should check out
  • An opt-in form to get updates about the event
  • The time and date of the event
  • A link to the booking page

Create a Marketing Plan

To begin with, this can be as simple as posting on social media that you will be at the event and linking to the event’s site and social media pages.

Source

Over time, you can share more details about the event itself, the presentation you are planning, and other key speakers your audience should listen to.

The last week or so before the event is time for a final push to sell the last tickets. Be sure to highlight the time and date of the event and when ticket sales close in every post. If you haven’t already done so, get in touch with the event organizer to ask for discounted or free tickets you can share with your audience to help boost attendance.

Get The Timing Right

The average virtual event promotional period lasts 3.5 weeks. This varies depending on scale, however. Larger events can benefit from longer marketing periods. It is a good idea to discuss timing your marketing with the event organizer.

Create Shareable Promotions

This means that creating sharable promotions and discussions around the event is a great way to bring it to new potential attendees.

There are many ways to approach this, such as:

  • Social media polls and questions that get people talking about topics your presentation will cover
  • Discounted ticket codes your SMS subscribers can text to their friends and colleagues.
  • A short 1–2-minute video outlining a key concept of your presentation that will grab attention and inspire people to share the clip. This video by Curt Mercadante is a perfect example, concisely outlining the problem his presentation at an upcoming webinar would address and his perspective on approaching that issue.

Collaborate with Other Speakers

These could include:

  • Sharing guest blogs
  • A short interview and discussion clips
  • Sharing discount codes for your books and other content to help their audience get up to speed with your subject matter

Best Marketing channels to use to promote your events

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most popular methods of event promotion, with 76% of virtual events using it as one of their main marketing channels. You don’t want to exhaust all of your email subscribers with messages about the event. Instead, create a dedicated mailing list for the event, and send the occasional message inviting subscribers to join the mailing list to learn more.

SMS Marketing

Similarly, create an SMS mailing list that subscribers can join by texting a keyword. Besides enabling you to send your audience messages and promotions they can read instantly, SMS marketing can make it easy for subscribers to get more information or even book by texting keywords to prompt automated responses.

Texting is also a useful tool during the event itself, letting you text your audience updates about timing and delays, and after the event, it is a valuable method of following up with your new contacts. This is particularly important for virtual events, where many attendees will not be familiar yet with the differences between online and traditional events.

Press Release

While there are plenty of ways to reach your audience directly, a little media attention can introduce the event and your presentation to a broader audience. Sending a press release to relevant online publications and news sources gives you the chance to introduce yourself and the event to their audiences. It should contain all the details a reader needs to book a ticket, such as the time, date, and the platform being used.

For example, the press release for the Responsible Business Week event starts by introducing the purpose of the event itself before highlighting a few key features of the event.

Social Media

Like email, try to avoid flooding your social media channels with posts about the event. While social media platforms are great channels to promote an event, if you lose sight of why people follow your profile in the first place then they will tune out your future posts.

However, in the few weeks before the event, turning up the frequency of event promoting posts in your social media schedule might not do any harm.

Additionally, for a seamless social media posting experience, it is advised to have social media scheduling tools in place.

Opt for Paid Search

Paid ads through Facebook, Google, and other online platforms let you reach specific demographics or target competitive keywords. These are useful for reaching specific groups whether they already follow you or not, and offer some features that can help boost ticket sales.

For example, both Facebook and Google ads can show countdowns that update in real-time to show the time left before ticket sales close, or how many places are left to book.

Follow Up After the Event

  • Reach out for feedback with a survey or poll. This is a great way to start a conversation about topics that caught someone’s attention.
  • Send out a recording of your stream, or the slides and other presentation materials you used.
  • Offer to answer any questions that there was no time for during the Q&A session.

Promoting a Successful Virtual Event

About the author:

Alexa Lemzy is the customer service expert and content editor at TextMagic — trustworthy SMS service provider. She is passionate about mobile marketing, business growth and communication as well as customer loyalty building. You can connect with Alexa on Twitter!

This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.

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