Events can serve many purposes: people may gather for entertainment, to share knowledge, to enjoy an artistic performance, or to learn something new. If we look at it from the point of view of the event organiser, however, we realise that almost all types of events can be traced back to a single need: promotion. There is an element of marketing in every event.
This is why, when most in-person events were cancelled, those with promotional purposes were the first to be converted into online events. In this respect, the language of virtual and digital events is different from that of traditional events. In this post, we will offer you some tips for successfully integrating digital events into your marketing strategy.
Identify your goal and your target
Any successful marketing strategy must have clear goals. This also applies to the organisation of online events for promotional purposes. Based on your objective and target group, you can choose the most suitable event format. If your goal is to plan work and cooperation between several departments of the same company, for instance, a virtual conference is undoubtedly the most suitable format for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking to create an opportunity for different companies and professionals from the same industry to meet, you will probably choose a virtual trade show. Some events are more closely and obviously related to marketing, such as product launches and virtual press days, but marketing opportunities are present in all online event formats and it is worth learning about them in order to make the most of them.
Differentiate your offer with multiple levels of access
If you are hosting a paid event, targeting becomes even more important. In the case of trade shows, for example, different price tiers must be matched by different and adequate offers. Even in the case of events that are more closely linked to entertainment, art, or culture, it is advisable to create special content to be distributed on-demand or to premium customers. At the same time, it is worth creating an attractive offer for entry users: the ability to involve and fascinate an audience that is approaching the brand or product for the first time forms the basis of any loyalty strategy.
Think of your audience as a community
The rise of social media and the shift of almost all our human interactions online have changed the way human beings relate to each other. The creation of a community, even a temporary one, around an online event or a brand is now practically taken for granted and cannot be ignored. When planning your marketing strategy and the digital events that will accompany it, bear in mind that you will need to provide features allowing your community of users to aggregate and communicate, and that you will need a community manager to facilitate interactions. This means that the platform you choose should offer plenty of interactive features, allowing users to reach out to each other or to you, to express preferences, communicate messages in public and in private, and attract attention if they want to. Anything that gives users the opportunity to be seen, to be noticed, and, in some way, to feel like active participants in what is happening helps to create a sense of community.
Conclusions: how to integrate digital events into your marketing strategy
To contribute positively to your marketing strategy, an online event must first and foremost be technically flawless and also highly interactive. Technology has enabled events to progressively abandon the hierarchical relationship between organiser and participants, favouring an increasingly equal exchange. The brands that embrace this change and make the most of it will discover new avenues for growth and development in the coming years, while the others are destined to lag behind.