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How to Promote Virtual Events

How to Promote Virtual Events

Even since COVID-19 forced businesses to operate remotely, we have been seeing more virtual events hosted lately. And virtual events are not only hosted by any particular industry. In fact, we’ve been seeing more and more virtual events organized by the entertainment industry. In 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, interactive concerts were hosted by Fortnite featuring artists such as Travis Scott, Diplo, BTS, and The Weeknd. People around the world joined 


Nowadays, it's not uncommon to come across hundreds and even thousands of virtual events hosted online every day. The reason why virtual events have gotten popular is that they’re comparatively much easier to organize than physical or hybrid events. Virtual events not only help businesses reach more audiences, but they can also help businesses increase their revenue and track crucial data about their target audience.


That being said, due to immense competition in the virtual event landscape, coming up with a stellar online event marketing strategy is something that can help businesses attract more leads to their virtual event and generate more conversions.


To help you with that, we are going to share with you the 11 best ideas to help you promote virtual events in 2022. We’ll tell you exactly how to promote virtual events.


So without any further ado, let’s get started…

What is Virtual Event Marketing?

Virtual event marketing is basically a strategy to understand what kind of an event you can leverage for your business to target your audience. It is also about making your target audience aware of the fact that you’re hosting an event and attracting as many attendees as you can to your virtual.


But virtual event marketing doesn’t end just there. It also involves following up with your event leads, measuring your event metrics, and improving your strategies for future events. 


In other words, it is not much different from hosting and promoting a physical event.

 

The promotional strategy for virtual event marketing involves different channels such as:


  • Event landing page
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Event blog posts
  • Event guest posts
  • Paid marketing ads

11 Best Ideas to Promote Virtual Events in 2022

For virtual events, coming up with an event advertising strategy ensures that your online event won’t get lost in the digital abyss. 


Here are 11 of the best virtual event promotion ideas that we personally leverage at Think Orion for promoting events..

1. Create an eye-catching event page

Your event page is going to be the first place where potential attendees are going to learn about your event. When designing an event page, you’ll need to make it stand out from the competition. It should also be enticing enough to get people to sign up. You’ll need to use eye-catching professional images and vibrant colors. Also, don’t forget to boast about the speakers that are going to be at your event. Make sure to add all relevant information related to your virtual event on your event page. A visitor shouldn’t have to visit multiple pages to find the information they need.


When talking about adding relevant information to your event page, make sure to include:

 

  • Time and date of your event
  • The agenda of your event
  • The speakers who will be presenting at your event 
  • Information about your event sponsors
  • Event registration and sign-up links
  • Payment gateways

2. Research keywords to organically drive traffic to your virtual event

If you’ve marketed anything on search engines before, you know how important keyword research is. Researching what keywords potential attendees may enter on Google to find your event is super important from an SEO point of view.


To plan keywords for your event, you can use any keyword planner tool. For example, Google Ads offers a free keyword planner tool. You can also use a paid keyword research tool like Ahref to find relevant keywords for your event and then include them in your content to promote it.


In case you want to follow a more simplified approach, you can simply Google search relevant search phrases related to your event. Think of all the search terms a potential attendee may type on Google to find your event. For example, if you’re organizing a digital marketing conference, you may want to search all the possible words and phrases related to your event.


For each search phrase or word that you find relevant to your event, don’t forget to also use those words or search phrases with Google’s Autocomplete, People also ask, and Related search results that appear at the bottom of each SERP page.



This will help you find a lot more keywords to include in your event’s marketing content. 

3. Leverage email marketing 

In a world where most of us social media, email may seem obsolete - at least to generation Z. However, email marketing is still relevant and still an effective marketing strategy in 2022. 


With email marketing, you can send out emails to your email list to share information related to your upcoming events. You don’t want to send repetitive boring emails. Be creative with your email content. Send emails related to your event announcements and enticing updates. Also, use email to gather feedback after your event has ended.


Your email content should be lively. Use attractive imagery that catches the eye of potential attendees. If you can’t get a potential attendee to sign up for your event, entice them with a special discount. But, bemindful of the number of emails you send out. You don’t want your email newsletter to be spammy. To come up with an effective email flow, do utilize email automation tools like MailChimp or Active Campaign.


4. Share sneak peeks of your event

To build anticipation about your event, you would want to stay engaged with your audience even before your event starts and wait till the last moment to share information about your event.


Take the example of any new movie release. Whenever a new movie is about to be released, we see trailers online building hype about the upcoming movie. In the same way, you should share sneak peeks of your event with potential attendees even before your virtual event starts. This will create excitement and people will be eager to find out what your actual event is going to be like. 


To pique the interest of potential attendees, share behind-the-scenes footage and short teasers about the guest speakers or influencers who are going to be at your virtual event. But don’t share too much. Don’t give everything away prior to your event. Instead, release tidbits about your event every few days leading up to your actual event launch date.

5. Harness the power of social media for event promotion

There are literally countless ways of promoting a virtual event. However, through social media, you can promote your event effectively and get it seen by the right people. 


So, to get potential attendees to not only notice your event but also engage with your business, you must take the time out to market your virtual event on all social media platforms. Go ahead and share information about your event on your business’s official social media pages.


To effectively use social media for event promotion, you can use:


  • LinkedIn to promote your virtual event on your company page. You can also use LinkedIn marketing to get relevant attendees to see your event ads. 
  • You can use Facebook Events which is free, easy to easily promote your event, and keep track of your attendees. Again, to get more traction, you can use Facebook Ads to get more signups.  
  • You can also use Twitter to promote your event hashtag. With event hashtags, you can not only attract the most relevant potential attendees but also score a spot on Twitter’s trending list. You can also use Twitter Promote Mode for paid marketing. 
  • You can also promote your virtual event on various forums and communities like Quora and Reddit. Just find a relevant community, promote your event and invite people to join in. 
  • Utilize Instagram and Pinterest to share images of your event. Don’t forget to get them professionally designed to be eye-catching. For an instant boost, leverage Instagram Ads to attract the right attendees for your event. 

6. Partner up with sponsors and influencers to promote your event

You can only do so much on your own when it comes to marketing your virtual event online. Unless you’re dumping a massive amount of your marketing budget into paid ads, you won’t be able to attract a sizable audience in a short period of time.


Solution: partner up with sponsors and influencers.


Established brands and influencers already have a sizable following of their own. So, when you collaborate with influencers and sponsors, they promote your event too.


That being said, don’t be afraid to ask your sponsored partners and influencers to give your event a shout-out. Ask them to talk about your event on their social media pages and promote your event’s hashtag. To make it beneficial for your partners, provide them with an affiliate link so they may earn a commission whenever anyone purchases your event’s ticket.

7. Ask guest speakers to promote your event 

Aside from asking your sponsored partners and influencers to market your event, you should also ask your event speakers to promote your event. A simple way your event speakers can promote your event is through self-promotion. Ask them to talk about themselves on their social media platforms. 


Request them to engage with their audience and tell them that they’re going to be presenting at your event at a particular date and time. To make sure your guest speakers passively market your event, provide them with the advertising material they should promote on their social channels.

8. Encourage word of mouth 

Do you know what’s more effective than paid advertising?


Word of mouth. That is right, word of mouth is super powerful. It’s essentially buzz marketing. People trust word of mouth. People perceive word of mouth as unbiased. If they hear about a product from someone they trust, they would want to get it right away without hesitation.


Word of mouth is an effective marketing approach to spread the word about your event to other people they may know. This can significantly increase your event registrations.


When you want to leverage word of mouth for your event promotion, make sure to use these clever strategies to increase your event registrations:


  • Encourage attendees to use your social hashtags when talking about your event on social platforms.
  • When an attendee registers for your virtual event, provide them with affiliate links so they can invite others and earn a commission.  
  • Provide special discounts or other perks to anyone who gets other people to register for your event.

10. Use short videos to market your virtual event

Who doesn’t like watching videos online? No wonder YouTube has around 2 billion active users worldwide. To showcase your event, create a short video of your event and share it on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. Don’t forget to post videos on your YouTube channel.


Don’t create lengthy videos. Make them short and sweet. Ideally, you would want to create two-minute-long videos. Also, don’t make your video boring. That’s the last thing you would want to do. Make your videos engaging. Collaborate with influencers to liven up your videos. Also, don’t forget to add special discounts to your video descriptions. This can significantly boost your event signups.

11. Be consistent with your marketing efforts

Lastly, consistency is key to executing a solid virtual event marketing strategy. Keep coming up with different marketing strategies leading up to your event. You must not let the engagement die down. If that happens, not many attendees will show up for your event. 


To make sure you stay relevant in the minds of people who registered for your virtual event, you must:


  • Host a giveaway after your event ends. Give away something of real value. This will make sure that people who registered actually convert into attendees. 
  • Run a live countdown leading up to your event on your website. This will build anticipation. 
  • Share content related to your event on social, and promote your event hashtag. This will help you stay fresh in the minds of potential attendees.

7 Places to Promote Your Virtual Event for Free

If you’ve planned an event before, you know that no matter how well you execute your plan, you can’t guarantee a sold-out event. To make your event a trending topic, it’s about leveraging every possible channel to spread the word about your event far and wide.


We understand that not all businesses have tens of thousands of dollars to splurge on marketing. Keeping that in mind, we have compiled a list of the 7 best places to promote your virtual event online for free. 

1. Eventseeker

Eventseeker is a great place to promote your virtual event. You can promote all sorts of events ranging from sports, concerts, nightlife, theater, museums, dance, education, business, and more. It's a simple and easy platform to conveniently promote your virtual event. You can simply add your event on their website by creating an account and logging in. This platform can help your event be seen by the right people.

2. YourEventFREE

YourEventFREE is another free event promotion website where you can promote your virtual event for absolutely free. The platform has been operating since 2012. They advertise all sorts of events from all over the world. You can simply join their website and add your event to any relevant category. They have around 100 different categories. Their pages are viewed by millions of people globally. 


3. Pinterest

Most people don’t know, but Pinterest is a really popular event marketing platform. Like any social platform, Pinterest also has communities of people with different interests. It is not hard to find people who may be interested in your event, regardless of what industry you belong to. People love getting to know about upcoming events ahead of time. With Pinterest, you can do that. Most people who are interested in a particular event, pin it around a month or two in advance. That way, they don’t miss it. When marketing your virtual event on Pinterest, make sure to add vibrant and eye-catching images of your event on your Pinterest page. Also, use proper SEO-optimized keywords in your images to attract the right people.

4. Instagram Stories

When marketing anything on social media, you’ll need to figure out where your target audience hangs out. After that, you can use social media to target your audience for free. Instagram is one social platform that can help you reach your target audience. By sharing Instagram Stories with your event hashtags and other hashtags, you can get the right people to see your event. Using hashtags will allow your stories to be viewed by people who don’t even follow your official account. To leverage Instagram, publish Insta stories with details related to your event. Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags to attract the right audience. 

5. Linkedin Groups

For more professional events like conferences or networking events, LinkedIn is the perfect place to promote. You should not only promote your event on your LinkedIn company page, but also on LinkedIn groups. Find a group with like-minded people and share details related to your event. Don’t forget to add links to where potential attendees can register or purchase tickets.

6. Facebook Events

Facebook Events is another powerful social platform to get your event noticed. Facebook’s clever algorithm can get your virtual event seen by the right people based on their, interests, demographics, geolocation, and behavior. The cool thing about Facebook Events is that if someone likes or shows interest in your event, Facebook will automatically show your event to their friends as well. The amount of people you can reach through using Facebook event marketing tips is just insane. 

7. Online forums

This approach takes time. You also need to be careful not to market your event right away. Forums are a great place to find huge communities of like-minded people. To find a relevant forum, perform a simple Google search. Search for keywords that best describe your event. At the end of your search term, just add the word “forum”. Once you find the right forums to join, you’ll need to build rapport. You’ll need to genuinely participate in the community. After spending considerable time, promote your event in a subtle manner. Don’t sound “Salesy”. That’s what’s going to get you banned.

Online Events Marketing Example

Even since COVID-19, how we experience events has changed and made virtual events more popular. Virtual events are here to stay. When thinking about hosting a virtual event, you don’t necessarily have to come up with something totally unique - something that the world hasn’t seen before. Instead, look at the marketing examples around you. Take inspiration from them and come up with an event marketing strategy of your own.

Oracle’s Code One virtual event

Conferences are hosted by pretty much any industry you can think of. Before COVID, we used to see conferences hosted at lavish venues. Now, most businesses prefer hosting virtual conferences.


A recent example of a virtual conference that we saw online was from Oracle. Oracle promoted its Code One virtual event with a very well-designed event landing page. Their landing page contained all the relevant information regarding their event. Plus, they had a very prominent event registration CTA to enable people to sign up for the event. Oracle didn’t just host one event - they hosted an entire series of events.


Google I/O

Google I/O is an annual developer conference hosted by Google. Although their event is hosted at Mountain View, California, they also broadcast it live online for virtual attendees. Google I/O, organizers deployed a 360-degree camera to broadcast the keynote speaker’s speeches so virtual attendees could watch live from anywhere in the world. Although the last Google I/O conference was an in-person event, it did enable virtual attendees to get a taste of the event.


FAQ

How do you announce a virtual event?


The best way to announce a virtual event is through email and website copy. When writing both, write them in a way that it feels as if you’re addressing someone individually on a personal level. Basically, anyone who is interested or mildly interested to attend your online virtual event must feel valued. That’s the only way they’re going to consider attending your event.

How do you increase virtual event attendance?

To increase your virtual event’s attendees, you’ll need to:


  1. Onboard experts and influential people to host your event
  2. Create and optimize your event’s landing pages
  3. Engage with your audience and host Q&A sessions prior to your event
  4. Use email marketing to keep your audience updated
  5. Share sneak peeks of your virtual event
  6. Engage with your audience on social media
  7. Encourage attendees to spread the word of mouth

Conclusion

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.


We hope you found this guide on how to promote virtual events helpfully. If we’re missed anything, do let us know. We’ll be happy to add it to our list of best virtual event promotion ideas. 


Manno Notermans

Manno is a wanderer of the world looking to make an impact and change the world for the better. He has over 10 years of experience working in various marketing positions. Manno’s main focus the past few years has been accelerating the growth of businesses, increasing revenue, and profit with out-of-box creative ideas and implementations.