Marketing

How to Create a Virtual Event Marketing Strategy for 2023

Published on January 3, 2023 • Updated on January 25, 2023 • About 11 min. read

Learn practical tips for engaging virtual events in this Ebook

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A good virtual event marketing strategy can help you promote your business, boost engagement, and drive sales — but how to pull it off? You need to:

  • Target the right audience
  • Choose marketing channels they pay attention to
  • Build your event registration page
  • Keep your audience engaged throughout the event
  • Analyze event metrics and keep improving your strategy

Sounds overwhelming? This comprehensive guide will help you use virtual events to foster meaningful conversations with your audience and create lasting impressions that drive conversion and sales.

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How to Make Virtual Events Engaging
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Ebook Ebooks

How to Make Virtual Events Engaging

Find out actionable tips to engage your audience and discover how to create lasting experiences.

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Types of virtual marketing events

From webinars to virtual conferences and summits, there are plenty of options for virtual event formats. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Webinars focus on specific topics to educate customers, showcase new products, and generate leads.
  • Live streams are broadcasted live on popular streaming platforms and reach a larger audience, making them ideal for brand awareness initiatives like Q&A sessions, product launches, or tutorials.
  • Virtual trade shows and exhibitions offer a platform for networking and connecting with prospects, customers, industry leaders, and partners.
  • Virtual conferences and summits are the best way to bring together large groups of people from around the world to learn about your brand or industry topics over multiple days.
  • Deminars are a webinars involving a product demonstration, typically used to onboard new clients or customers.
  • Virtual training sessions and workshops are ideal for providing in-depth training on specific topics or products and can also be used for internal training sessions.

How to create a virtual event strategy

Driving registrations and keeping virtual event audiences engaged is no small feat. Before you start hosting virtual events, you need to:

  1. Research your audience
  2. Choose a type of virtual event
  3. Get the right online platform
  4. Plan for every phase of your event

1. Research your virtual event audience

Identifying your target audience’s specific interests will help you create the most effective content. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar to showcase your product, use your customer relationship management (CRM) tools to identify:

  • Audience demographics (age, location, or profession)
  • How traffic gets to your event page (paid ads, word of mouth, or organic search results)
  • Audience motivations and goals

Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Console to identify keywords people use to search for information on these topics, the hashtags they engage with, and which channels they spend time on (more on this later!).

2. Choose a type of virtual event

Consider factors like the size of your audience and the level of interactivity desired, and choose a format to match your content. For example, at a virtual trade show event, your attendees can interact with each other, showcase their products or services, and get access to expert talks. It’s a good choice for professional audiences that want networking opportunities.

Person hosting a live product demo webinar using video engagement tool Livestorm

3. Get the right online event platform

Choosing the right online event platform makes it easier to host and measure the success of your virtual event. Consider factors such as scalability and integration capabilities. For example, Livestorm integrates with CRM tools like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Marketo, so you can automatically store registrants' user data and track engagement.

High engagement means you're resonating with your audience and they're more likely to convert. Choose a tool that has plenty of interactive features, like live chat, polls, and Q&As, and an analytics dashboard where you can measure engagement - like Livestorm!

4. Plan for every phase of your event

There are three phases to any virtual event:

  1. Pre-event. This is when you build your event registration page, email cadence, and social media marketing campaigns.
  2. During the event. This is when you deliver the content and implement engagement strategies.
  3. Post-event. This is when you send follow-up emails, analyze your metrics, and gather feedback.

Planning for every phase will help nurture leads through a consistent, seamless engagement journey. Plus, you can use analytics to test touch points in each phase and make improvements for next time.

How to Make Virtual Events Engaging
How to make virtual events engaging ebook cover
Ebook Ebooks

How to Make Virtual Events Engaging

Find out actionable tips to engage your audience and discover how to create lasting experiences.

Download

A step-by-step guide to virtual event marketing

Your event marketing engagement funnel should build relationships and nurture leads from start to finish. From pre-marketing to post-event follow-up, here’s a step-by-step guide.

  • How to promote your virtual event
    • Step 1: Build a registration page
    • Step 2: Optimize your event page
    • Step 3: Create your email marketing campaign
    • Step 4: Run advertising campaigns
    • Step 5: Design visual assets
    • Step 6: Promote on social media
  • How to engage your virtual audience
    • Step 7: Use media sharing and visual content
    • Step 8: Insert a timely CTA
    • Step 9: Segment your audience with live polls
  • Key post-event marketing strategies
    • Step 10: Schedule an automatic follow-up email
    • Step 11: Gather feedback
    • Step 12: Analyze the event metrics

How to promote your virtual event

Before the event actually happens, you need to get the word out and build some hype. Here are some virtual event best practices for promoting your event.

Step 1: Build a registration page

Start by creating a memorable event registration page with information like the agenda, keynote speakers, and event highlights. You can also create branded visuals and add calls to action (CTAs) to drive registrations.

Leveraging branding opportunities helps create a strong connection between your audience and the event. With Livestorm, you can customize your event landing page's branding, form fields, and CTAs.

Pro tip: link to your registration page from social media posts, email campaigns, and other promotional materials.

Step 2: Optimize your event page

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your event page reaches the right people. Use simple keyword planning tools like Google Ads to discover relevant search terms people are using. For example, if you're running a virtual summit on ecommerce marketing, a few related keywords with a Google search could include:

  • Ecommerce trends
  • Ecommerce marketing tactics
  • Digital marketing strategies
  • Email marketing best practices
  • Conversion rate optimization tips

Sprinkle these keywords throughout your event page — title, description, meta tags, and even in the URL. Analyze metrics such as bounce rate, time on page, and registrations to determine what works well for your audience and make adjustments accordingly.

Pro-tip: link to other relevant pages on your website that discuss upcoming events or similar topics. This helps Google understand your page and could improve your ranking in the search results.

Step 3: Create your email marketing campaign

Draft customized emails with links to your event page, a visually appealing event banner, and engaging copy. Include links in each email that enable readers to register or share the event with their network.

For example, an email sequence for a virtual product launch could include:

  1. Invitation. Introduce the product, event details, event page, and discount code on bulk registrations
  2. Invitation reminder. Tease the product and include a countdown to the event
  3. Confirmation email. Provide registrants with information about how to access the event.
  4. Final reminder. Send registrants an email reminder 24-48 hours before the event to boost attendance rates.

You can use email marketing tools like Mailchimp to customize email templates and create automated workflows for sending campaigns.

Livestorm’s automated and trigger-based settings for email marketing

Pro tip: use Livestorm’s MailChimp and Mailjet integrations to automate email reminders, create plain text or HTML emails, and manage your email list during event promotion.

Step 4: Run advertising campaigns

What's more effective than word of mouth? Paid advertising campaigns.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Set up remarketing campaigns to target users who viewed a certain page on your website or engaged with your emails.
  • Target lookalike audiences from your existing customer list across channels like Google Ads, YouTube Ads, and Facebook Audience Insights.
  • Track conversions and analyze data like clicks, impressions, and time spent on page, to understand how well the ads perform.
  • Test different ad formats and copy to understand what resonates with your target audience.
  • Ensure you update or create new ads when key event details change, such as dates, guest speakers, or links to the registration page.

Pro tip: Livestorm integrates with Google Ads and Google Analytics so you can track and capture traffic data from campaigns and retarget leads with relevant content.

Step 5: Design visual assets

Visuals like banners, images, and short video content can be used to communicate important information about your event (like topic, speakers, and location). But, even more importantly, you can also use them to raise brand awareness and create a more immersive experience.

You can use a tool like Canva or Piktochart to design shareable graphics for press releases, blog articles, and social media posts. Keep it funky or classy — it’s up to you!

Step 6: Promote on social media

Social media is ideal for broadcasting your event, creating buzz, and engaging your audience before it even begins. Use relevant hashtags and tag guest speakers to get noticed. You can also:

  • Share video snippets from your marketing assets
  • Tag key influencers in the industry and ask them to share the event with followers
  • Conduct fun quizzes or contests on Twitter and Instagram like asking followers to guess something exciting about your product
  • Share behind-the-scenes content leading up to the event day
  • Create a dedicated hashtag for your event to help attendees follow the conversation about it online

You can also use event marketing tools like LinkedIn Live Events to share your event with first-degree connects and business page followers.

A company creating LinkedIn Live Events from their LinkedIn business page

Pro tip: host giveaways and contests that encourage audiences to “tag a friend” or “share this post and win a prize” to increase your event’s visibility and drive more sign-ups.

How to engage your virtual audience

From interactive polls and virtual chat rooms to Q&A sessions and live streaming, the possibilities are endless. Here's how to host a virtual event to impress your audience.

Step 7: Use media sharing, and visual content

Keep your audience engaged with eye-catching presentations, visual aids, and multimedia content like images and videos. Give them a sneak peek of your product launch, reveal expert insights, and share success stories. With Livestorm, you can use the Handouts app to share downloadable PDFs during the live event so your attendees don’t miss anything important.

Step 8: Insert a timely CTA

CTA buttons direct your audience to special offers, blog posts, and landing pages. With Livestorm, you can send clickable and customized CTAs at any point during the event.

For example, if you want to share a guest speaker's website, you can place a well-timed CTA towards the end of the session, or if you want to promote a sponsor's products with special discounts, you can place a CTA during the product demo.

Step 9: Segment your audience with live polls

Get a feel for your audience’s interests with live polls. Ask questions in between sessions for insights into what aspects of your product they resonate with or what services or features they want to see more of, and use the results to determine what topics to focus your follow-up sessions on.

It’s helpful to break up long sessions with elements of attendee participation. Livestorm lets you easily create live polls, host Q&As, and chat with your audience to keep things interactive.

Key post-event marketing strategies

Keep the momentum going even after your event. From follow-up emails to post-event surveys, here are some webinar marketing strategies you can use for post-event marketing.

Step 10: Schedule an automatic follow-up email

Follow-up emails like thank-you notes and surveys can help you keep in touch with your audience. For example, after your product launch event, you can send follow-up emails like:

  • Thank you notes
  • Resource links or video recordings of the event
  • Discount codes related to your product to identify potential leads

Livestorm lets you schedule automated follow-up emails with customizable templates and messages. And since Livestorm automatically records your events, you can send them as on-demand replay links in your follow-up emails.

Step 11: Gather feedback

Send surveys to gain insights into how your audience felt about the event. Ask for feedback on topics and speakers, the event's format, what went well, and what can be improved— these details help you create a better experience for your next virtual event.

Step 12: Analyze the event metrics

Event analytics help you measure the success of your virtual event. Livestorm gives you useful insights like the number of attendees, replay views, number of sessions, average duration, and traffic data. Use this data to evaluate your event’s performance, identify areas that need improvement, and create a better event marketing plan.

For example, if you notice that channels like email, social media, and organic search drive more traffic than paid ads, you can focus your next event on optimizing those channels. Similarly, if you notice that the average duration of your event is lower than you expected, you can focus on creating more engaging and interactive sessions.

Livestorm analytics and reporting dashboard showcasing event metrics

Plan your next virtual event with the right platform

When it comes to hosting a successful virtual event, capturing leads and nurturing relationships is key. Get creative with your pre-event marketing and promotional strategies, host giveaways, and leverage paid advertising.

Keep your audience engaged during the event with interactive polls, downloadable PDFs, and CTA buttons. After the event, schedule automated follow-up emails, send surveys, and analyze event metrics to create an even better experience for your next virtual event.

With Livestorm’s intuitive platform and customizable features like automated emails, live polls, analytics, and integrations, you can create an unforgettable experience for your attendees every time. Livestorm makes virtual events effortless and engaging for you and your attendees.

Frequently asked questions about event marketing

How do you do virtual marketing?

You can do virtual marketing with promotion strategies like content marketing, influencer marketing, email campaigns, and social media promotions, and optimize event websites with SEO best practices. Measure and analyze your marketing efforts, like the number of visits, engagement, and conversions, to see what methods work best for you.

How do you get participants for virtual events?

You can get participants for virtual events by reaching out to your existing contacts, targeting new leads, and using social media campaigns. Create customized event landing pages with Livestorm to entice potential attendees and generate more registrations.

How do you promote virtual events?

You can promote your virtual events organically through email marketing and social media campaigns. You can also leverage paid advertising to reach a wider audience.

What are the benefits of virtual events?

The benefits of virtual events are cost-effectiveness, convenience, and global reach. Virtual events also help you build relationships with your target audience and generate leads. With Livestorm's engagement tools, you can create an interactive experience for your event attendees.

How do you get virtual attendees to attend an event?

You can get virtual attendees to attend your event by creating an engaging and informative event page, using email marketing sequences, leveraging social media campaigns, and offering giveaways or discounts. Livestorm helps you create custom landing pages that generate more registrations and add additional fields to your registration forms to capture more lead information.

How to Make Virtual Events Engaging
How to make virtual events engaging ebook cover
Ebook Ebooks

How to Make Virtual Events Engaging

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