8 ways to promote your virtual event
4th, Aug 2020
Have you developed a strategic plan for public speaking as discussed in our last post? Now you are ready for the next step. While as part of your plan you should have thought generally about how you will market your virtual event, you need to go into more specifics once you have developed a program. Here are some tactics you should use to build interest in your virtual event:
1. Email. Email is an easy way to let your contacts know about your event. However, make your emails as targeted as possible. As noted in the previous post, you should clearly identify the audience you want to attract and send your emails to those who best match that profile. Hopefully, your contact database is segmented – that is, your contacts have been put into categories which allow you to select the appropriate group that would be most interested in the program. For example, you could have segments for past and current clients, different types of referral sources, prospects, or groupings based on industry, profession, job title, age, or income.
Your marketing copy should also be targeted. You want your invite to appeal to those individuals. As a result, you may want to revise your email copy for different segments of your list. Highlight the key points that would resonate with the specific group.
2. Social media. All of your event marketing should be shared through your social media channels. In addition, you may want to consider paid ads to reach more people because you can narrowly target your audience on social media. Also, many social media channels provide additional tools for promoting events. For example, LinkedIn Events and Facebook allow you to create, manage, and promote an event. Note these tools are different from LinkedIn Live and Facebook Live which are used when you want to live stream your event using the social media platform. The Events functionality is a promotional tool that works for any event regardless of where it will be accessible.
3. Website. Create a landing page for your event where you can provide more information, such as the full description and agenda, speaker bios, sponsor material, and potentially links to related content or resources. You may also want to enable people to see those who have registered already so they can connect with each other. This is something often done for large conferences and has its advantages and disadvantages for smaller events.
4. Blog posts. Marketing copy describing your program is fine, but also give people something educational – information they can use even before your presentation. Provide content that highlights why this topic is important and what your audience needs to know about it so they can ask well-informed questions during the program. Blog posts like this can help generate interest in the event and in you. Ideally, people will want to register to learn more about the topic, but if not, the posts still highlight your expertise and credibility. You can share this content on your website, social media, and email. Remember blog posts can be in video as well as written format.
5. Surveys. Last year, a client decided to survey industry professionals regarding a new law that had passed. The client’s plan was to conduct a survey and then follow up with a conference with a panel of speakers where the survey results were revealed and discussed along with related issues. After the event, a full report was published with an analysis of the results as well as additional commentary from the live event. The survey served to build interest beforehand, provided discussion points during the conference, and offered important takeaways to attendees after the event. It also provided a wealth of marketing opportunities for the firm. This was a substantial project, but you can do something much simpler and gain some of these benefits. Ask your target audience a few questions about their top concerns or their thoughts on a particular issue. You can also survey their level of interest in certain topics and encourage them to submit questions in advance. You can promote the survey prior to or along with an email invite. By the way, Survey Monkey is a great tool for creating surveys and gathering responses online.
6. Employees. Leverage your employees by asking them to share information about your event with their own social media networks. This is a good way to expand your reach as well as encourage them to feel vested in the success of the firm, so they become more effective employees.
7. Third parties. Partnering with others enables you to take advantage of their marketing channels. This can take several forms. For example, if you are doing your own event, you can look to bring in a moderator, other speakers, or sponsors who can add value to the presentation as well as help to promote the event. You can share your marketing with them as well as pass along their materials to your own network. Remember to provide links back to their social media pages and websites so they get as much publicity as you do. That will encourage them to reciprocate. If an organization is hosting the program, it will be doing its own marketing, but you can give them materials to use in promoting the event as well as share their marketing with your own network. The more credibility the organization has the more you want to promote them because it reflects well on you. The organization will also be appreciative as it helps their visibility.
8. Publicity. If your program has broad appeal or involves a timely or newsworthy topic, it may be useful to do a press release or contact media outlets to promote the event. For example, many local publications or websites publish information on upcoming events. You could also reach out to relevant organizations or groups you belong to about sharing your event.
These ideas can help you maximize your event, so you are more successful in reaching your target audience. However, remember that your public speaking should not stand alone. It has to be integrated into all the other marketing tactics you use to get more clients.
If you need help with your marketing, contact us for a consultation.