Whether they’re trade shows, conferences, conventions, or virtual meetups, events have become an important part of marketing, sales and customer engagement strategies. They offer the opportunity for businesses to connect with their target audience in a more personal manner than through traditional marketing methods. This can result in increased brand loyalty as well as new customers who are eager to learn more about your product or service before committing to purchase.
What is an Online Event?
While most events such as conferences and tradeshows have thus far been commonly hosted in-person, it is becoming increasingly popular to host these events online. In this case, all event functions are held online, meaning there is no physical location for attendees to meet. It is still considered an event, as it allows your brand to connect with customers in a more personal manner. These events can either be free or paid. Free events are those that are offered for the convenience of the customer. Paid events are those that do require a fee to enter. These events can be very beneficial for businesses in a variety of ways. Perhaps you want to become more well-known or build a new audience. Events offer the opportunity to interact directly with your target customers at a time that is convenient for them. Events can also be helpful when you want to increase sales, demonstrate your product’s value, or just otherwise grow the brand.
Top three reasons to host an online event
1.To increase brand awareness: Events are a great way to get your brand in front of your target audience. You can use these events as an opportunity to talk about your company, products and/or services in a new way that resonates with your target audience. This can help increase brand recognition, improve sales and expand your customer base.
2. To build relationships: Events are a great way to get customers to know and trust you. Customers may have questions or feedback that they’d like to share with you. It’s a great way to build relationships with your customers, get to know what they need, and improve your product or service.
3. To create excitement around your product or service: Events are a great way to create excitement and anticipation around your products or services. You can use these events to provide more concrete details about what you have planned, how they can benefit from it, and when they can expect to see it.
How to Create an Online Event and Webinar as Part of a Marketing Strategy
In the next part of this article, we will walk you through how to create an online event and webinar as part of a marketing strategy. Before starting, it’s helpful to determine why you’re hosting the event and the goals you hope to achieve. For example, are you trying to build brand recognition? Get more leads? Increase sales? Once you understand the goals of your event, it’ll be easier to create a strategy that’s tailored to those needs. Next, you’ll want to look into your target audience and see where they are in their buying journey. Are they looking to expand their company’s reach or are they ready to make a purchase? From there, you can see how an event can be helpful in each of these stages of the buying process.
What types of events are best for marketing and sales?
1. Trade shows: No doubt about it, trade shows are excellent for building a community and gaining market awareness. But these events also require a significant investment in terms of time, money, and resources. For many businesses, they simply don’t have the resources they need to make a trade show work.
2. Conferences and seminars: These events usually cost less than a trade show, yet they still allow you to build a community of attendees who will become your customers, partners, and mentors. They can also be a great place to find new employees.
3. In-house events: If you run an in-house event, you’ll find opportunities to bridge the digital and human kingdoms. Events in this realm can help you improve your brand image, boost morale, and give your team a chance to let their hair down.
4. Instagram contests: If you have a large social media following, you can run contests on Instagram’s native platform to engage your audience. By keeping these contests simple and concise, you can encourage more people to participate and enter their email address.
Build a community prior to the event
Whether it’s a conference or a trade show, you can create a community of attendees prior to the event by sharing event details and related content on social media, creating an online event website, and creating a branded hashtag. In addition to creating a community, you can also use online tools to help manage your guest list, collect registration and sponsorship forms, and host an online networking event. These tools can help you do all of this by providing staffing and management solutions for your event, allowing you to collect forms, and making it easier for you to coordinate an online networking event. By creating a community prior to an event, you can increase your chances of making an event a success.
Make it interactive
Interactive events are all about connecting with your audience and keeping them engaged while they’re at your event. You can choose to create a panel discussion or speaker series, or host a series of workshops, as an interactive format. Interactivity can be as simple as asking attendees to complete a post-event survey or respond to a marketing survey that you distribute prior to the event. These types of activities can help you learn more about your attendees, identify how they responded to your content, and find out how they’d like to be engaged with your business.
Hold an after-event meeting
If you’re hosting an event that lasts more than one day, you can choose to hold a follow-up event that connects with your attendees. This could be a free-flow panel discussion, a free-flow workshop, or some other type of event that connects with your attendees. This type of event doesn’t have to be directly related to your business, but it does have to engage your attendees. It can be as simple as organizing a happy hour or cocktail party where attendees can connect with each other and communicate their needs and wants.
Don’t miss out on business development opportunities during the event
When you hold an event for the purpose of building your community, you’re missing out on business development opportunities. These opportunities are taken advantage of by companies who host exclusive sales events or invite partners to attend an off-site event. If your business is large enough, there’s a good chance you’ll be invited to attend one of these events. By participating in these types of events, you have the opportunity to build new business relationships and make connections that could lead to new sales opportunities.
Stay relevant after the event is over
Once an event has ended, you don’t have to stop building your community. Post-event content, such as blog posts, social media posts, and event photos, can continue to keep your audience engaged. Push notifications, in-event content, and outbound emails can also help you stay relevant. If your content is engaging and valuable, your audience will take the time to read it. This can help you build your audience and retain your core customers. If your content is generic, your audience will delete it before they take the time to read it. This can be frustrating for you because you’ll lose the opportunity to build new audiences and improve your brand image.
Moreover, events offer businesses a unique opportunity to engage with their target audience in a more personal manner than through traditional marketing methods. Events can lead to brand loyalty and new customers who are eager to learn more about your product or service before committing to purchase.
In conclusion, if you're thinking about using online events and webinars as part of your marketing and sales strategy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure that your online event is well-organized and professionally run. This will ensure that your attendees have a positive experience and are more likely to engage with your brand. Second, promote your online event through social media and other online channels. This will help you reach a wider audience and generate interest in your event. Finally, follow up with your attendees after the event. This will help you build relationships with your customers and prospects and encourage them to buy your products or services.
Online events and webinars can be a great way to reach a wider audience, generate interest in your brand, and improve your marketing and sales strategies. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your online event is a success.
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