How to Develop an Effective Content Strategy for Virtual & Hybrid Events
Jul 13, 2022 9:00:00 AM
The move to virtual and hybrid events still takes center stage as some events have slowly migrated back to in-person venues. The continuous evolution of sustainable events requires knowledge of effective virtual event products that deliver the right content at the right time. An effective hybrid event marketing strategy is needed to keep two different audiences engaged while delivering high value for both. This requires a strong content strategy for events that attract, capture, engage, and delight from beginning to end.
A virtual venue is somewhat different from an in-person event because you can’t “run” into people in the hall, and you don’t have as many distractions going on all around you. Virtual events need effective event tech integrations and engagement tools because the main focus is on the content being delivered.
Marketing virtual events can work in conjunction with hybrid event marketing if the venue is both in-person and virtual. If the venue is strictly virtual, a reliable virtual event platform is one of the first pieces of the puzzle. There are many marketing tactics that attract and engage your target audience, like email marketing. Email marketing for virtual events is almost identical to marketing for an in-person event, but there are more interactive components designed to keep the attention of your audience.
Your content marketing strategy must utilize the power of virtual event solutions that can help position your organization top of mind and in demand. There are a few elements that should be included in the strategy:
Having a solid timeline gives you time and leverage to do research on your audience, understand what they want and need, and craft messages and content that support your promotion efforts. When the event date solidifies, the first phase of your strategy should be in identifying your audience, creating a landing page or website where they can register, sending direct mail and email campaigns, implementing a social media campaign strategy, and sending constant reminders of the upcoming event. Each piece of content should be branded with your brand voice and tone for consistency.
Understand the demographics of your audience, their goals and motivations, and where they spend their time online. Your landing page or website should have a headline that grabs attention, the date(s) and time(s) of the event, the agenda, a list of speakers, an overview of the event, sponsors, vendors, FAQs, imagery that supports your content and the messaging, and a video designed to get people to register.
Your content marketing strategy doesn’t end when the event starts. You must maintain high levels of consistency to remain impactful. This means utilizing your email marketing strategy by continuing to send reminder emails on upcoming sessions and events, live social media posts, providing access to additional downloadable content, doing live Q&A sessions and using chatbots, and having branded activities and experiences.
The end of the event is not the end. It’s just the beginning of being recycled all over again. This is when your content ramps up to include thank you emails, personalized emails for the people that didn’t make it, an updated website with additional content they can use, surveys, retargeting campaigns, video highlights, and information on the next event, and nurturing leads.
Is it a lot? Absolutely but worth it. You’ll be able to have a content marketing strategy for hybrid and virtual events that continue throughout the year. Your emails should be carefully crafted to target the right audience. Your email marketing campaign should have a certain number of emails and delays between them. There should always be a click-worthy subject line, informative body text, and a compelling call-to-action.
Many organizers don’t consider the leverage their sponsors and speakers have in attracting new audiences. It’s important to include them in your content marketing plan, so they can utilize the information you’re disseminating. Having guest articles and blogs on the event landing page or website from the sponsors and speakers brings additional engagement to your event. While leveraging all these additional opportunities, press releases on the event, the speakers, the venue, and anything else worth mentioning not only helps position you as a leader in the field but opens the doors for journalists to engage and write stories about your event.
Having a robust social media campaign within your content marketing strategy that includes a personalized hashtag works to your advantage. This may be an area where you want to consider using paid promotion and paid search alternatives to enhance your efforts. Many people visiting the landing page or website need to be nudged along a little more before they make the decision to register. A retargeting campaign works well in these instances.
There are many ways to promote your virtual and hybrid events. Your existing audience works to your benefit in helping to engage new people, but these tools and tactics help add another level of engagement to your marketing. If you’re ready to expand your content marketing for your virtual and hybrid events, the team at 6Connex can assist. Request a virtual event platform demo and virtual event examples to see them in action.