With the average American consumer being exposed to anywhere between 4,000-10,000 ads per day, brands are looking for ways to stand out from their competition and capture the attention of as wide an audience as possible. Enter: event marketing.
Event marketing is a marketing strategy that harnesses the power of events to promote one’s business, brand, product or platform. It's no secret marketing has changed more in the past decade than ever before, and savvy creators are all about drumming up business using the latest and greatest digital marketing tools, making virtual events, in particular, a highly popular medium of choice.
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Brands organize events for a variety of reasons, from launching a new product to positioning themselves as a thought leader within their field - think Adobe’s Annual Summit or GSMA’s Mobile World Congress. Events offer the unique opportunity to engage directly with an audience, adding a human touch to a promotion strategy and fostering engagement and dialogue for a more memorable consumer experience.
Rather than being passive, events marketing requires a certain level of effort from the consumer - namely attending the event. Unlike traditional ads where one simply receives the information via a poster, billboard or social media post, an event requires someone to actively show up, which has the added benefit of demonstrating their basic interest in what you have to offer.
We love event marketing for:
Gone are the days of virtual events being synonymous with a talk series promising to make attendees a master of something after just 30 minutes of content, or a subpar second fiddle to offline events; booming in popularity only because of restrictions in the time of COVID-19. There is a plethora of exciting virtual event ideas out there for businesses to leverage to their advantage.
Speaking of which, from a global standpoint, at this exact period of time we are in, virtual events have been rapidly emerging, and the industry has accelerated rapidly. It probably won’t come as a surprise that in 2020, virtual events were up by an astounding 1000%, further proving that there is no time like the present to invest in events marketing.
Research shows that the uptake in virtual events is unlikely to be a one-off. In a survey on digital marketing trends conducted by Certain, events marketing ranked high on respondents’ lists of must-haves in their future marketing strategies.
With endless possibilities in the virtual realm, here are some popular event forms:
Here are 4 reasons that creators, solo entrepreneurs and community leaders are doubling down on virtual events in 2021, making them an invaluable tool to have in your marketing arsenal.
Whether it is repurposing pre-recorded content or delivering new content live, a virtual event can help amplify your voice, position your brand and get your content in front of more eyes. Delivering an impactful event raises your profile with your target demographic, and curating insightful speakers helps to elevate your standing within your industry and be seen as an authority within your niche.
A virtual event has a low barrier to entry. Usually, one would need to have built up social or intellectual capital to be seen as a trusted voice. For example, even when writing a guest blog post, it is highly likely that you would need to be a known entity in your space, which can be difficult especially if you are just starting to build brand awareness.
However, with events, there is no need to start from a certain point in your career/ business stage - from new entrant to seasoned pro, as long as what your offering resonates with your audience, there is a high chance of success.
Perhaps you have been delivering content on and off for a while now, but you are not seeing an uptick in engagement or sales. Since you already have the content on hand, all that is left to do is to reinvigorate it so that it is repurposed into a living experience that ignites discussions, serves your community and delivers results.
By creating a value-add virtual event, you can turn a one-way conversation into a two-way dialogue. Watch your content come to life as your audience fires questions to your speakers and celebrate as they respond in real-time all whilst their pre-recorded, slick recordings deliver punchy, actionable takeaways to the masses. You can spark engagement by offering this dedicated space, away from all other platforms, for your audience to access value-add content, learn from experts and even network and share ideas with each other.
Whether your goal is promoting your services, building affiliate partnerships or putting up exclusive content behind a paywall, you can use a virtual event to test offers and track the type of content that moves the needle for your business. If you are big on knowledge-sharing and welcoming new faces to your growing squad, a targeted event can deliver interested, eager and active customers who are ready to recommend you and your services to their network.
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Unlike traditional marketing outlets, virtual events are captivating. You hold your audience for a period of time, and in that time they are paying you their full attention. That means no distractions from various ads or videos as they scroll through Facebook; no other television commercials making it near impossible for yours to stand out; no competing in real-time with the 4-10k other ads your audience are exposed to every day.
“Community” is the buzzword of 2021. It’s important to have a network around your business for collaboration, inspiration, or engaging with an audience interested in what you have to offer. Meaningful connections do not spring up overnight, but if your brand is able to lay the groundwork and be able to come off as genuine and authentic, you will have an audience who is excited to hear from you again and again.
And for the loyal crew who have followed you through thick and thin, you can offer exclusive access to content as a reward to your most active and engaged supporters. You can choose who has VIP access, or whose ticket gives them access to replays or bonus content. You are able to host back-stage meetings with speakers, or intimate coaching sessions for your committed customers.
Give back to those who have given you the most by creating a gated community where you deliver ongoing valuable content. In this sense, a virtual event can be an exclusive platform for you and your audience to learn from each other and grow together.
Ultimately, events marketing offers a way to provide value to your audience beyond simply providing information about your brand/ product/ service. Plus, they are a good springboard to other marketing strategies - from growing your mailing list to gathering that all-important attendee data to help you figure out your target demographics, event marketing works for brands of all sizes - and then some!
Virtual events are not a silver bullet, and like all marketing strategies, you still need to put in the work - though you will likely see a high return on investment. As a community of over 1,300 creators, the HeySummit team has seen first-hand the incredible impact events marketing can have on getting content in front of the right audience.
If you have a hundred ideas buzzing around your head right now but feel overwhelmed by the idea of learning the ins and out of yet another new platform, fret not. HeySummit is designed with the content creator in mind - saving you hours of work. We empower our users to create their virtual event vision, without any coding skills or the cost of a design team. Simply enter your event details, and HeySummit will auto-generate a beautiful event site for you.
It’s ready-made out of the box, but you’re in control so you can customize your event site as much as you like. It's really easy to add, delete, and rearrange any auto-generated elements, and add images, videos and text so you can create something that's uniquely yours and show your community who you are.