Virtual conferences have been necessary the last few years. But even before the pandemic, many organizations were already holding online events. They are becoming more commonplace because they allow nonprofits and businesses to reach more people more easily and effectively.
Check out these Lessons on Running Virtual Events from Stanford University’s Social Innovation Review, covering how different nonprofits handled virtual events during the Pandemic.
Virtual conferences still require lots of planning, promoting and execution. They require a solid online marketing strategy that generates interest and keeps your attendees engaged.
Below are virtual conference marketing tips and strategy to make your organization’s next online event a success.
A professional event landing page
First, when planning a virtual conference, design a professional event landing page, which will include:
- Essential event details
- Bold hero image and event name
- Photos and video of keynote speakers
- Time and date
- Conference agenda
- Multiple CTA buttons
- Registration form
- Payment options
This landing page matters because it is where most of your conference attendees will sign up and learn about the event. It can be beneficial to hire a marketing agency to professionally build this page for your organization.
A social media promotional strategy
Simply announcing virtual events doesn’t suffice; you need to promote them on social media. If your organization has a social media following, create a post that announces the virtual event, includes important information, and links to the landing page you created.
Leverage your company’s social media accounts across all platforms to promote your event. Keep attendees engaged leading up to the event and after it has concluded. Social media is free, but you should also consider paying for ads to boost interest.
Create a hashtag specific to your event and ask your followers and attendees to use the hashtag often. You can offer free swag such as t-shirts, hats and VIP upgrades for posts with the most engagement. Or you can run contests or drawings for the same prizes to generate interest in your virtual event.
Partners and keynote speakers
Sponsors understand the value of marketing and will engage their followers and help promote your event. Your keynote speakers will have a social media following and will be happy to announce their participation in your virtual event. Both the speakers and the event will benefit from the promotion.
Provide your speakers with a promotional packet that includes photos, videos and links that you would like them to promote. If you engaged the help of a digital marketer to create your landing page, they can help you create this media package.
Blog or press release
If your company or organization publishes a blog, use it to generate interest in your virtual conference. Write a post that highlights SEO for web traffic about issues to be discussed on the agenda, speakers in attendance, and the overall mission of the event. Then promote those blogs via a newsletter and social media.
You can hire a copywriter to write a press release announcing the event. They will share it with local outlets who might provide some free press and promotion for the virtual conference.
Keep attendees engaged
Keeping attendees engaged should be the largest part of your marketing strategy. You want them to look forward to the virtual conference and be interested in participating.
A simple way to do this is to add a “countdown clock” to the event’s landing page. Then send out an email to the attendees announcing certain days until the event.
Tip: Don’t abuse your email list. Send a few, targeted reminders to your attendees but be sure not to over do it. They will appreciate your discretion.
Another way to keep attendees engaged is to plan contests or drawings, including:
- A raffle for prizes or event tickets
- A “secret” exclusive drawing for confirmed guests
- Private engagement from keynotes to attendees at a special donation level
Post-event Results Analysis
This is an important step. Many organizations disengage after a successful event. This is a mistake. You should follow up with attendees after your virtual event has ended to see what was successful and what could be improved about your event.
Send them a survey about the event so you can learn what you did right and, more important, what you did wrong. Their answers will shape how you execute future events.
Especially if you’re a nonprofit, follow up after your virtual event. Attendees are a significant portion of your donor base and are more likely to participate in future events if you reach out.
Black Digital is your new partner in digital marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help make your next virtual conference a success!