Virtual events are becoming commonplace for marketers due to their effectiveness. With the growing popularity of virtual events, marketers plan to invest and reach a wider audience.
But, with increasing competition in the virtual event market, you must plan an event that stands out with a value proposition for its attendees. And for that, you need to promote your event in the right way.
The global virtual events market is valued at USD 75.21 billion in 2020 and will reach USD 366.5 billion by 2027. With growing internet users, virtual events will increase at a CAGR of 21.89%. Another key stat shows that webinars are a favourite digital activity, and 43% prefer live meetings.
Virtual events may seem less time-consuming but require effective promotion strategies to allow you to reach the right audience at the right time. So, it’s even more important to have a solid event promotion plan in place.
What is Virtual Event Marketing?
Virtual event marketing refers to the strategies and techniques used to promote and create awareness about virtual events.
It involves leveraging various marketing channels and tactics to attract attendees, generate interest, and drive registrations for virtual events held online.
Virtual event marketing aims to reach a broader audience, increase event participation, and ultimately achieve the event’s objectives, such as brand awareness, lead generation, or revenue generation.
Don’t know how to promote virtual events? Remember these marketing basics as you develop a virtual event promotional strategy.
12 Strategies to Promote Virtual Events
- Pre-Event Promotion Strategies
- Engaging Content Creation
- Leveraging Online Communities and Forums
- Harnessing the Power of Influencer Endorsements
- Post-Event Promotion and Follow-Up
- Tracking and Analyzing Promotion Efforts
- Utilizing Paid Advertising for Event Promotion
- Leveraging Influential Event Speakers
- Harnessing the Power of User-generated Content (UGC)
- Leveraging Partnerships and Affiliates
- Implementing Post-Event Remarketing Strategies.
- Building a Community and Engaging Attendees
1. Pre-Event Promotion Strategies
Pre-event promotion strategies involve increasing awareness, boosting event registration and creating organic interest. To promote virtual events, you must start as early as possible. The sooner you begin event momentum and hype, the larger the audience you will likely attract for your virtual event.
We will give you a detailed action plan to drive your target audience to your upcoming virtual event and increase engagement before the event.
A. Utilizing Social Media Platforms
Social media event marketing requires planning as you execute the campaign for pre-event promotions. Whether hosting a virtual webinar, conference, or workshop, you must put it out for the target audience to reach potential event attendees.
Here are some ways for pre-event promotion on social media.
- Post a countdown on Instagram stories
- Create an event page on Facebook
- Build up hype with behind-the-scenes videos
- Create hashtags that are relevant to your event
- Host a giveaway contest to boost engagement
- Custom AR filters on Snapchat for creative promotion
For example, All Women Lead posted this countdown for their virtual event, a speaker series.
B. Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing remains the most effective and go-to option for virtual event marketing. It allows event marketers to reach potential attendees directly, personalize messages accordingly, and build relationships.
And with a few tips and tricks, you can succeed in your email marketing campaign.
- Share informational emails to potential attendees
- Let people know what and when is coming
- Invite pre-event registration with discounts
- Encourage people to share events via email
- Inform important event details
- Make it easy for potential attendees to ask questions
For example, Change Plan shared the last chance to avail access to live events via an email marketing campaign and shared information on event highlights regarding keynote speakers.
C. Collaborating with Influencers and Partners
You must include collaboration in your event marketing checklist if you haven’t. Finding the right influencers and partners can help you increase brand exposure and promote your virtual event to a larger audience that may not have been able to reach through other marketing methods.
Here are some tips to help you can build a successful partnership with them.
- Determine your goals
- Get to know your influencers
- Automate your campaign
- Keep it transparent
- Define KPIs
- Communicate effectively
However, with increased collaboration with influencers, ensure your brand identity isn’t lost halfway to the event. Ensure influencers and partners help your virtual event stand out throughout the partnership life cycle.
D. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you plan to promote a virtual event and want to achieve maximum value, you can opt for SEO for event marketing. SEO improves your visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). Also, SEO can drive registration and the attention of potential attendees toward your event webpage.
Follow these simple 5 tips to rank at the top of search results and get all the attention you deserve for your virtual event.
- Event schema
- Optimized landing page
- Keyword analysis and implementation
- Link building
- On-page SEO optimization
2. Engaging Content Creation
Sound event content marketing can do wonders! Content is still king. It helps marketers engage, educate, inform and build trust. It sets you apart from others in the virtual events market.
Content is the foundation of marketing and is even critical for virtual events. How? Let’s explore actionable steps for creating engaging event content.
A. Creating Engaging Event Landing Pages
Unique and engaging event landing pages can help you build excitement before you attend. It can inspire potential attendees and turn them into conversion in terms of ticket sales and registration. With the right message and CTA, landing pages can do wonders.
For example, GDS created a landing page for their virtual event, Security Digital Summit. This page provides detailed information about the event, agenda, reasons to attend, testimonials, summit program schedule, and previous event speakers to help attendees understand what to expect.
B. Developing Promotional Videos and Trailers
Promotional videos and trailers for virtual events create hype and excitement without giving away too much information. Promo videos, when done rightly, are the best element of your virtual event strategy.
People prefer to watch a video to learn about an event rather than read text when given a choice. And due to this reason, 88% of marketers use videos for marketing purposes. Other stats reveals that online videos reach almost 92% of internet users worldwide.
For example, Digital Asia Summit 2021 launched a promo video to create hype and excitement before the event.
Source: Digital Asia
C. Hosting Webinars and Live Q&A Sessions
Image this scenario. You’re hosting a webinar or live Q&A session and have prepared some exciting topics following the virtual event. And suddenly, you notice people get bored and leave. No wonder such promotional activities fall flat, leaving the attendees disengaged.
Don’t let this discourage you because these are the most influential event marketing tactics to establish response, generate high-quality leads, and build thought relationships.
Through these helpful tips, you can spice up webinars and live Q&A sessions to promote virtual events.
- Receive impromptu questions on the go to maintain engagement
- Don’t leave questions for the end
- Create a live poll as the session begins
- Ask your audience questions & feature their answers
- Add fun to the session with gamification or AR filters
- Encourage attendees to record videos and ask questions
- Turn your Q&A into a highlight
D. Guest Blogging and Thought Leadership
Guest blogging has become an essential part of online event marketing as it helps you build relationships with others in the industry. It also provides exposure, drives referral traffic, and establishes you as a thought leader.
However, not all publications are equal, and it can only help when your guest bloggers have the following:
- The trust of your target audience
- Relevance and authority
- Larger reach among your event attendees
3. Leveraging Online Communities and Forums
Your event marketing guide must include promotion through online communities and forums. These are powerful channels to reach your target audience and drive insights. However, it is essential to choose the right community and groups to meet your goals.
A. Participating in Relevant Online Communities
Online communities can be a source of lead generation and valuable feedback to help you refine your event content. Firstly, consider your event’s target audience, and analyze where they interact most. Next, consider the size and level of activity and how it can help you stand out and get noticed.
B. Hosting AMA (Ask Me Anything) Sessions
Hosting AMA or a causal Q&A session where potential event attendees and supporters can communicate and interact is an excellent way to promote your brand. It gives you a chance to engage with them personally and build relationships.
You don’t need something special to discuss in your AMA; it can be hosted anytime. Here’s what you can share with the target audience.
- Exciting news related to the event
- Promote content to make your audience feel relevant
- Look for the opinion of your followers
- Gauge the response to improve the event
For example, Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce Training posted on their Facebook page about live Q&A sessions on apprenticeships on their Instagram.
C. Utilizing Event Listing Platforms
Every marketer seeks to increase awareness and interest in virtual events. And for that, event listing platforms are the best ways to boost your event attendance.
To promote the event online, you can post about your event and share the links on the event listing websites where the audience is present and chances of conversions are higher.
These platforms help online virtual events reach audiences quickly and seamlessly. Here are the top benefits of event listing sites.
- Grow your event reach
- More interactive method
- Lead generation
- Community Expansion
- Save your time
- Increase ROI
4. Harnessing the Power of Influencer Endorsements
Influencer endorsement is a powerful part of online event marketing. It can help you win your target audience, increase event ticket sales, and boost conversions.
The key is to choose influencers that align with your event goals and brand values. By leveraging the power of influencers, you can drive engagement, increase reach and drive results.
A. Collaborating with Industry Influencers
To stand out from the crowd and make your virtual event a success, it has become imperative to collaborate with industry influencers. According to stats, 60% of marketers revealed that industry influencers had a better ROI than traditional advertising.
First, you need to specify your goals.
- Do you want greater visibility?
- Do you want more followers?
- Do you want to drive more traffic?
- Do you want to boost conversions?
For example, a virtual event, Mental Health Action Month, invited top influencers such as Jay Shetty and Arianna Huffington as guests. This strategy can help reach a broader audience and followers of these industry influencers.
B. Hosting Influencer Takeovers and Live Streams
With the global influencer marketing mark valued at USD 16.4 billion, the influencer endorsement continues to grow in size and value. Influencer takeovers and live streams allow influencers to use and share content with their audience temporarily. It is the best way to collaborate and cross-promote content.
Here are the relevant metrics for a successful takeover and live streams.
- Increase brand awareness for follower growth, increase numbers
- Engage the community through likes, comments and views
- Promote an event to drive conversions and ticket sales
C. Offering Exclusive Discounts and Giveaways
Event discounts and giveaways don’t only interest in-person event attendees but also excite virtual event participants. The trick is to build a connection with the audience through tangible giveaways and swag.
Here are some easy ways to create excitement for virtual events through discounts and giveaways.
- Pre-event kit with a notepad, mouse pad, and name tag
- Virtual swag claims for discount codes, free products or service, and printable PDFs
- Gamification during the event
- E-gift cards, pre-launch discounts and access to collectibles
5. Post-Event Promotion and Follow-Up
Post-event engagement goes beyond thank you. It is the chance to add value to your event and gather valuable feedback from the attendees.
Post-event promotion helps you build enthusiasm among attendees for the upcoming event also. It gives you a chance to see what worked well in your virtual event strategy and how you can further improve the experience.
A. Recap and Highlights Content
Nothing works like FOMO (Fear of missing out) on social media. As an event marketer, you want to keep people talking about the event and position them in your sales funnel for upcoming events.
Sharing recaps and event highlights is a great way to showcase what the people have missed and how incredible the event went.
For example, a virtual live podcast hosted by the Grand Connection posted an event recap on social media, addressing the people who were unable to attend.
B. Testimonials and User-generated Content
Gather post-event feedback from the attendees; it will help you meet your goals and gather testimonials. Share the testimonials on social media and the event website.
Also, ask the attendees to share their experiences on social media. You can add swag as an incentive for posting feedback and redirect them to your social media page for reviews. Not just that, you can repost the user-generated content to attract more attendees, reach prospects, and much more.
C. Nurture and Follow-Up Emails
The key to getting your follow-up email is defining the purpose and understanding why you’re sending it. Whether you’re sending emails to close deals, generate leads, say thank you, create pipelines or expand your database, you must plan ahead.
Here are some post-event follow-up emails you can send to your attendees:
- Thank you email
- Event recap email
- Additional resources email
- Book a demo email
- Webinar recording email
Maintain your tone before and during the virtual event; don’t suddenly jitter with excitement. Follow a personalized approach and carve out new ways of engaging your audience.
D. Repurposing Event Content
Event content is the investment that you’re made throughout the event. And repurposing event content for promotion is the best way to generate ROI.
Now that you have multiple leads and a higher level of engagement, you can capture more data and increase multichannel conversions through event content marketing.
We’ve listed different ways you can repurpose event content.
- Twitter threads of key takeaways
- Interactive poll related to statistics shared during the virtual event
- A quote or statement by the keynote speaker
- Insightful data from the event
And if you are not a content marketing expert, get help from expert events marketing agency.
6. Tracking and Analyzing Promotion Efforts
Review, refine and repeat.
In the highly competitive event marketing market, you must track your event promotion efforts and analyze their effectiveness.
Event marketing is an art that can be refined through analysis, and no opportunity to further improve the experience for your attendees must be left untapped.
There are various tools to keep track of your event promotion efforts. Here we’ve listed some of the best ways to do so.
- Website analytics
- Customer relationship management software
- Event ad conversion tracking
- Key performance indicator (KPIs) dashboard
- Customer feedback
- Social media monitoring
7. Utilizing Paid Advertising for Event Promotion
Generating awareness and increasing event registration requires event promotion targeting potential attendees with the right message at the right time.
Paid advertisement is the best strategy to reach people searching for specific keywords and getting in front of a high-intent audience.
Paid ads amplify your reach and deliver immediate results with useful insights. The goal is to reach the maximum number of people and impress them with the right ads.
8. Leveraging Influential Event Speakers
Can influential event speakers promote your event?
The answer is whether they know how to drive the audience to your event and engage the attendees. Not every event speaker possesses the subtle art of event marketing.
The event speakers can add much more to your virtual event using the power of content and influence. However, ensure these event speakers don’t become the focal point of your event. Speaker recognition drives more audience and taps into an unmined pool of potential attendees.
Here are 5 tips for engaging leverage event speakers for event promotion.
- Conduct pre-event interview
- Give them space
- Pre-define the goals
- Collaborate and communicate
- Brand building and awareness
For example, a virtual event organized by Forbes was hosted by Megan Thee Stallion, a Grammy Award-Winning Musician, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist.
9. Harnessing the Power of User-generated Content (UGC)
The stats show that 84% of people are more likely to trust your brand if it incorporates user-generated content (UGC) into its marketing initiatives. UGC is full of opportunities and potential to help you convey your message to the target audience through individuals.
UGC also indicates how well your event promotion is positioned in the audience’s minds. Here’s a list of benefits that UGC offers:
- Shared emotional connection
- Adds credibility and trust
- Fosters personal connection
- Attracts more attendees
- Extend audience reaches
10. Leveraging Partnerships and Affiliates
Partnerships and affiliates bring advocacy to your virtual events. While the benefits are obvious, it helps you reach potential attendees for the brand that you otherwise couldn’t have reached.
Capitalizing on affiliates offers more opportunities to promote your event and accelerate registration. They can help create a social presence from a robust and strategic relationship. Here are top marketing strategies to leverage partners and affiliates for your virtual event.
- Establish mutual goals
- Transparent reporting system
- Guest blogging
- Co-branded content
- Referral Partnership
11. Implementing Post-Event Remarketing Strategies
Post-event remarketing strategy is the secret to continued engagement and connection. Not to mention, it costs less and gives you an easy way to scale your target audience.
Post-event, everything revolves around building relationships, getting feedback and moving forward with the data. While remarketing helps already interacted audiences to take the desired action and re-engage the brand.
To unlock post-event remarketing strategies, you must follow these tips.
- Find new attendees based on past attendance
- Retarget the no-shows
- Nurture the post-event flow
- Personalize content for high-intent profiles
The right remarketing strategy is when you harness the data gathered during the event and utilize it wisely for retargeting.
12. Building a Community and Engaging Attendees
You need your attendees to become engaged and in one place to build relationships and develop a community. The best way is to bring together attendees with a sense of belonging, create space to engage, and keep it flexible for ever-changing trends.
Here’s how you can form your community for virtual events.
- Use live chat as an icebreaker
- Use polls to gauge the audience
- Encourage attendees to participate in Q&A
- Gamify to increase engagement
An online community can transform a virtual event into a success and help create a perfect space to achieve your goals while enabling attendees to feel closer.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why is event promotion important for virtual events?
Event promotion is important for virtual events to reach a broader audience, generate interest, and increase event registration and ticket sales. Virtual event promotion sets you apart from the competition and promotes a highly relevant audience.
Which social media platforms should I use for virtual event promotion?
You can do virtual event promotion on different social media platforms, such as:
How can I create engaging content for event promotion?
To create engaging content for event promotion, follow these steps:
- Know your audience
- Define your goal
- Be concise and clear
- Creative interactive content
- Use multimedia
- Integrate AI filters
- Use gamification
Planning a successful virtual event and promoting it takes a lot of time, effort, and consistency – but the results will be well worth it. As long as you come up with unique promotional ideas and maintain a strong follow-up with your potential attendees, you’ll be able to benefit your company in ways you can only imagine.
If you don’t want to get involved in the planning process – hire an event marketing agency to help you out with the announcement, marketing, promotion, and sponsoring of your virtual event.
We hope you found this guide on how to promote virtual events helpful. If we’ve missed anything, do let us know. We’ll happily add it to our list of best virtual event promotion ideas.