4 tips to deliver successful virtual events
Events are commonly relied upon as a key marketing tactic for B2B businesses. Successful event marketing can act as a key driver of both engagement and revenue, with Demand Gen Report finding that event marketing ranked third in engagement effectiveness and first in conversions. This would make events a more effective lead generation machine than email, product demos or websites. Yet with COVID-19 grinding the physical event experience to a halt this year, many B2B marketers have had to reconsider their tactics, with the sector rapidly transitioning from in-person to virtual events.
Linda Lung, Business Director at Tag, acknowledges the shift, commenting “COVID-19 has definitely changed the way B2B businesses operate, and it’s been a catalyst for some companies to consider alternatives they wouldn’t have otherwise explored. Virtual events can bring a huge resource saving to businesses while also reaching a wider audience, yet it’s difficult to replicate the networking and connection aspect that goes hand-in-hand with an in-person conference. Going forward, I’d expect to see a blend of in-person and virtual events, allowing businesses to amplify their content to a wide audience while still driving that connection and engagement with other like-minded individuals.”
B2B businesses should be using this time to test and refine their virtual event marketing strategy. Here are our tips for success:
- Trial new formats
While webinars tend to have a similar feel to in-person conferences, digital events present numerous new formats for B2B businesses to adopt. Consider a scaled-down, less formal format such as Facebook Live or an ‘ask me anything’ Q&A with your key SMEs, allowing your business leaders to connect on a personal level with your target audience and add a new dimension of understanding about your service offering. For global businesses, virtual event formats offer a new opportunity to bring together SME’s from across the world into one event while also reaching key audience groups across different time zones at the same time. Live product demos are also an effective way to boost purchase intent for those who you have identified as being further down the funnel.
- Engage key audiences
Digital-first events mean that your potential audience is now essentially borderless. While the opportunity to maximize direct event revenue by reaching as many people as possible is tempting, many businesses may find more benefit in using sophisticated digital targeting techniques to reach high-quality, high-interest audience segments. Speaking directly to these key audience groups may result in longer-term opportunities for your business down the line.
- Keep it brief
While in-person events tend to last for hours or even days, you should be keeping your digital events as short as reasonably possible. When your audience is in their home environments, their attention will be limited, and you’ll be having to work even harder to gain, and keep, their attention. Keeping virtual events short, punchy and to-the-point will ensure your attendees get bang for their buck and you are rewarded with a captive audience.
- Test & learn
Now is the time to be creative in your approach to events. Use this time to find out what formats work for your business, which audience segments you can tap into, and which topics are resonating most at this time. By establishing what a best-in-class digital event looks like for your business now, you’ll be able to assess whether digital events will remain a viable marketing strategy for you even when we are able to return to normal.
At Tag, we work with brands and agencies to create marketing campaigns that attract, engage and convert. Throughout 2020, we have been helping our professional services clients pivot in response to COVID-19 to continue delivering best-in-class marketing experiences. Our global team of marketing experts work with your business to create targeted content at scale to educate, engage and empower your clients.
Schedule a call today to discuss your changing marketing needs.