If the COVID-19 pandemic changed anything, it was the way companies host events. The necessity of taking events digital and opening them to global audiences has meant more people know how to utilize digital meeting technology and more companies can offer virtual events to drive traffic to their businesses.
You already see the benefits of either offering an online only event or a remote option. Here are some ways to drive traffic to the event that you might not have thought of.
1. Get Past Attendees Involved
Start early and collect testimonials and reviews from attendees to past virtual events. What did they love and why would they attend again? Share snippets of their reviews on social media and on your event landing page.
People are much more likely to believe what a peer has to say about your event than what you think of it. Positive reviews can help drive people to your site to learn more about the program.
2. Seek Unexpected Speakers
In the first weeks of planning your virtual event, start collecting names of potential speakers. Don’t only go with the top people in your industry. Think outside the box a bit. Is there an actor who plays a doctor on TV and can talk to physicians about bedside manner or charisma?
While you want to be sure your speakers bring something valuable to the table, don’t be scared to branch out into other areas of expertise and knowledge you might not immediately think of when planning your event.
3. Utilize User Generated Content (UGC)
Ask your past attendees to write up an article or social media post about your conference. Perhaps they could share a list of the top 10 things they’ve learned from your business. Don’t be afraid to showcase success stories.
UGC saves you money and adds another level to your marketing efforts. Ask your users to share something interesting with a particular hashtag. For example, if your online event is aimed at business owners, ask them to upload a photo of their pet at work with them. Look for ways to utilize UGC and have a bit of fun.
4. Create Videos
Recent studies show about 81% of marketers feel video helps them improve sales. Most companies plan to continue using video in their promotional efforts. With more people using their mobile devices to go online, the majority of people now stream video at least some of the time.
Videos are a fun and fast way to offer information to your audience. Images are far more powerful than text alone. You can even offer short clips from past online speeches. Show the insights your amazing speakers offer but only give away snippets to leave them wanting more.
5. Host Mini Preview Sessions
Is there a particular workshop or roundtable that is getting a lot of buzz from potential attendees? Host a short mini preview presentation and post it on your website and social media pages. Tell people this is just the tip of the iceberg, and if they want more amazing tips, to sign up for the virtual event.
Mini previews should be scripted. You don’t want to give away too much information, or there’s no reason for people to sign up for the event. At the same time, you want to offer something of value to show users the level of information they can expect.
Be Open to Any Exposure
Stay available for any exposure you can gain for your event. Give interviews to online sites, go on a radio program and take out ads on social media sites. You can use highly targeted ads to reach the exact audience who will be interested in what you’re teaching.
Reach out to past attendees and favorite customers and ask them to tell family and friends about your event. You never know where a registrant might come from, so keep trying new things and see where the traffic comes from.
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.