In my post yesterday, I talked about how virtual conferences are the dipping dots of marketing—marketing of the future and my current favorite outreach marketing tactic. If you missed this little run down you can check it out here.
Online events, whether they are in the form of a conference, a webinar, or a Twitter chat are great ways to position any brand as a thought leader in a niche and acquire new followers and/or leads.
Of course, you have to get people to actually sign up for said epic online event, right? Well lucky for you I have hosted a handful of these bad boys and am one of those people who shares everything—even an inside look at her marketing strategies.
Another lucky star for you today is that Stephen Wynkoop, owner of VconferenceOnline—a platform that hosts online events—was more than happy to weigh in and share his observations of what makes a successful event.
Now, take a moment to check out these easy to implement steps to make your online event a success!
1. Make your event worth attending.
Don’t think about what YOU want out of the event (leads and new business usually) think about what your potential consumer would enjoy. Give them something of value. Determine common pain points, think about information that would make them gleeful, identify trends they should know about, etc.
Stephen adds, “The best events are the events that provide both immediate pay-off in terms of knowledge, tips, or help. This gets people interested and helps them see that they can safely invest their time and attention. If you can show that it also provide longer-term help, that’s a big benefit. In terms of getting interest, it’s really that short-term payoff that seems critical.”
2. Use Opt-in email marketing sources.
Don’t do a blanket email blast (I was tempted and tried it out). It doesn’t work out very well. A tactic I had a lot of success with was advertising my conference in opt-in newsletters such as the one MarketingProfs puts out.
3. Use sponsored tweets.
Sponsored tweets are another non-abrasive way to get people to attend your event. This was my most successful paid tactic.
— GroupHigh (@grouphigh) August 28, 2014
4. Equip your presenters with easy to share content.
Click to tweets, sharable conference logos, posts about your conference, and other similar online content make it really easy for your presenters to share the event.
Asking my presenters to share the event was my most successful organic tactic to acquire registrants.
5. Show off the awesome topics and presentations at your event.
Share as many of the presentation topics as possible in your marketing so that prospects don’t think it’s just a marketing tactic to gather up email addresses. Listen to Stephen’s advice on this one:
“When you’re talking with people about attending, they need to know it won’t waste their time, won’t be a trap for their information, and WILL help them. Consider a teaser session or introduction video that talks about what they’ll learn, your presenters, or other information to help calm the worries about content. “
6. Provide a call-to-action.
In your reminder emails to registrants, offer a CTA to “look cool and share the event with their friends.” A little prompting goes a long way.
7. Have fun.
Make it apparent that your event will be entertaining on top of educational. I tweeted the fact that it was a “no pants required conference” (because it’s an online event) and I made promises of laughter and Twitter networking in addition to awesome learning.
8. Remember, it’s not about you.
Showcase your presenters and their thought leadership, not your company.
9. Use your network.
Reach out to others if you have questions. I’ve found the online marketing community to be a friendly one. It’s how I met Stephen!
10. Analytics are your friend.
Track all of your tactics so you can nix the things that didn’t work and keep the strategies that did work for your next event. Since I was organizing the most recent Outreach Marketing Virtual Summit (not the first one) I was able to track where each registrant came from and define a cost per acquiring each registrant. My boss thought that was cool.
Have you hosted an online event that you’re proud of? Please do share in the comments below I truly do want to hear all about it!