Virtual events exploded in popularity during the pandemic, with over 1 million created on Zoom alone in 2021.
But with in-person events making a comeback, simply hosting an online event is no longer enough to stand out.
To drive registrations and thrive in a hybrid landscape, you need a strategic promotional plan.
This comprehensive guide shares insider tips and proven tactics to amplify your virtual event’s reach and impact, based on research and real-world results.
You’ll discover how to craft engaging social media campaigns utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, partner with influencers in your niche for credibility, leverage email marketing and mailing lists to engage previous attendees, run paid ads on Google and social networks, earn media coverage through compelling press releases and story pitches, and more.
With the right multi-channel approach, you can create an unforgettable buzz and promotional engine that leaves attendees eager to participate.
Generate Excitement with a Strategic Promotional Timeline
A thoughtful promotional timeline is key to building anticipation and momentum for your virtual event.
Ideally, start promoting six to nine months in advance on social media and email.
Share save the dates, announce special guests, and reveal exciting details to generate hype.
Here are some timeline targets to hit for optimal event promotion:
Collaborate with Industry Influencers and Brands
Influencers and brands with aligned audiences offer mutually beneficial partnership opportunities.
By collaborating, you gain credibility and expand your virtual event promotions exponentially.
First, identify relevant micro-influencers in your space with engaged, targeted followers.
Reach out and invite them to help promote and participate in your virtual event.
In exchange, you raise their profile and compensate them accordingly.
Brands in your industry also present co-marketing possibilities.
Approach non-competitive brands offering complementary products to cross-promote through guest posts, social shares, email blasts and more.
Sponsors are another route for fruitful collaborations.
Provide incentives like exclusive attendee access, speaking roles, or product integration in exchange for promotion before, during and after your virtual event.
Partnerships allow both parties to tap into new audiences and align around shared goals.
Instead of going at it alone, explore strategic alliances to take your virtual event reach to the next level.
Optimize Landing Pages for High Conversions
Your main event landing page is central for driving registrations, so perfecting it is a must.
Include clear information above the fold along with well-placed calls to action.
Craft compelling copy focused on audience pain points and event solutions.
Here are tips for highly converting landing pages:
The right mix of copy, visuals and conversion-focused design makes an impact. Test variations to improve conversions over time.
Promote Across Paid Digital Channels
While organic social media and email work well, allocating budget for paid digital ads takes your event promotion to the next level.
Sponsored ads help you target and retarget event-interested folks across channels and devices.
Paid Search Ads
Social Media Ads
Display and Video Ads
Leveraging Affiliate Marketing
Smart paid ad investments amplify your reach and visibility, driving greater event signups. Manage budgets wisely and track performance to optimize efforts.
Encourage Social Sharing and Word of Mouth Buzz
When past attendees and influencers organically rave about your event on social media, it holds much more weight than branded promotion alone.
Find ways to inspire authentic sharing and buzz within your community.
Launch an official event hashtag early and encourage its use. Prompt social sharing for contest entries. Display it prominently on your website and other collateral.
Ask satisfied attendees from past events to share photos, testimonials, and reviews. Reshare this content.
Secure influencer promotions. Ask them to spread chatter across their personal social channels too.
Incentivize registrants to refer friends through contests for prizes. This sparks viral word of mouth.
Onsite Content Capturing
During the event, share compelling quotes, photos, videos, and key takeaways in real-time.
Post-Event Re-Share Buttons
Add quick links for attendees to share feedback and learnings from the event after it ends.
Wielding the power of influencers and community excited to share makes a big difference in driving promotion and registrations.
Craft Targeted Email Campaigns to Engage Subscribers
Email is still one of the best channels to directly reach people interested in your event.
Develop seamless automations and carefully designed campaigns to inform and excite subscribers.
Early Announcement Emails
Give subscribers the scoop first with a “Save the Date” type email. Pique interest by announcing headliners.
Special Guest Spotlights
Build buzz around influential speakers or experts with dedicated emails highlighting their participation.
Content Teaser Emails
Share preview snippets of presentations or panels coming to the event so people know what to expect.
Registration Reminder Emails
Remind those who haven’t completed signup to register before time runs out. Push urgency with countdowns or expiring promos.
Last Chance Emails
Send final call to actions to subscribe before the event kicks off or rates increase.
Event Follow Up Emails
Thank new registrants and provide info on how to prepare and participate. upsell post event access.
Follow up with access to recordings, surveys, recaps and more high-value content.
Next Event Teaser Emails
Close the loop by inviting past attendees first to your next upcoming virtual event.
Personalized, well-timed emails at each stage nurture subscribers and new prospects into attendees. Optimize deliverability and test subject lines for engagement.
It’s a mutually beneficial partnership when executed well.
Approach targeted brands about creative sponsorship packages to offset costs and expand promotional opportunities.
Provide meaningful incentives based on investment tiers like:
Give sponsors avenues to engage directly with attendees during the event through text or video chats, downloadable resources, contests, and more.
Continue providing brand exposure after the event too through recordings, recaps and follow up emails.
Sponsors naturally want to promote their participation to maximize brand exposure.
Take advantage by ensuring they have the promotional graphics, content and messaging needed well ahead of time for distribution.
Seize Other Creative Marketing Opportunities
Think outside the box for unexpected ways to generate added buzz and registrations for your virtual event.
Here are a few ideas:
Keep your eyes open for creative marketing tactics to help get the word out in unexpected places.
Sometimes thinking differently pays off!
Drive Registrations with Savvy Website Optimizations
Ensure your event or brand website makes it easy for people to find and sign up for your virtual event.
Include clear navigation, optimized pages, smart forms and more conversion-focused elements.
Link to the event homepage and registration from all top-level site navigation and footers. Use announcements, banners and buttons.
Landing page Content
Follow the optimization tips outlined earlier for compelling pages.
Streamlined Registration Forms
Only require needed info upfront. Allow for quick social logins.
Exit Intent and Retargeting
Prompt site visitors to register as they navigate away. Remind them after they leave.
Internal Site Search
Optimize for key terms people may use to find the event pages.
Calendars and Agendas
List your virtual event dates prominently on relevant pages – like an in-person conference calendar.
Text and Schema Markup
Include strategic keywords, links and code to enhance SEO.
Small tweaks improving website navigation, search and discovery increase organic sign ups and conversions.
Continue Engagement Post-Event
Your event promotion does not end once your virtual event concludes.
The post-event period presents opportunities to delight attendees, gather feedback, and re-engage your audience.
Ask about event satisfaction, key takeaways, suggested improvements, and more. Offer incentives to boost responses.
Send Recordings and Presentations
Share access to session video replays, slide decks, and other materials with all participants.
Recap and Highlights Email
Summarize key moments, announcements, activities, and learnings from the virtual event.
Social Media Recap
Reshare official event photos, videos, quotes, graphics and memories on social.
Facilitate Ongoing Discussion
Create community forums, groups, or channels for attendees to continue connecting after.
Offer Content Upgrades
Provide “Complete Virtual Event Bundle” upgrades with added resources for purchase.
Plan Social Reunions
Host an informal Tweetup or happy hour session for past attendees to reconnect.
Promote Next Event
Let attendees know dates and details for your next virtual event so they can signup early.
Keep the conversation going post-event for happier attendees, improved perception, and sustained engagement until your next big program.
Track and Analyze Event Promotion Metrics
Consistent monitoring and reporting provides insights to inform your ongoing virtual event promotion strategy.
Pay attention to key performance indicators (KPIs) tied to major goals.
Relevant metrics to track include:
Analyze this data to determine promotional tactic effectiveness and ROI. Learn what is – and isn’t – working to optimize your next virtual event campaign.
New Promotion Strategies to Increase your Event’s Visibility
As virtual events become more crowded, simply hosting one is no longer enough.
You need advanced tools like AI to create buzz, drive registrations, and deliver unique experiences.
Harness AI to Promote and Power Your Next Virtual Event
AI is transforming virtual event promotion and execution:
With the right AI tools, you can promote events smarter, create personalized experiences, and operate more efficiently. AI helps virtual events stand out and succeed.
Now let’s look at some more innovative event promotion tactics beyond AI.
More Innovative Strategies to Try
Thinking creatively about promotion is key to making your virtual event stand out. Here are some innovative tactics to generate buzz and drive registrations:
- Create FOMO with Limited-Time Offers. Limited-time discounts, flash sales, and availability creates urgency and fear of missing out. But act fast!
- Launch Pre-Event Content and Mini-Events. Share teasers, training sessions, and valuable content ahead of your event to generate hype.
- Promote Through Interactive Social Media. Drive engagement on social media with polls, contests, user-generated content, and live videos.
- Incentivize Referrals. Encourage registrants to refer others by providing discounts or rewards. This amplifies word-of-mouth.
- Partner with Relevant Brands. Sponsorships and co-marketing expands your reach through partners’ audiences.
- Pitch Media and Influencers. Earn press and work with influencers to build credibility and share your event.
- Advertise in Relevant Digital Spaces. Targeted ads on Google, social media, industry sites, and publications extend your reach.
- Create Shareable Video Trailers and Graphics. Compelling video trailers and eye-catching graphics promote your event creatively on social media.
- Optimize Hashtag Performance. Research relevant hashtags and encourage usage to expand social media visibility.
With innovative promotion, you can generate hype, engagement, and registrations for an unforgettable event experience. Think outside the box!
Tired of lackluster virtual events? Ready to finally drive maximum engagement and impact?
As leaders in virtual and hybrid event production for over 20 years, We & Goliath knows how to create experiences that inspire.
Just check out the rockstar results we’ve delivered for clients:
But it starts with strategic promotion – before, during, and after your online event.
During your complimentary 1-on-1 strategy session, we’ll reveal insider tips to:
In one call, you’ll walk away with a custom action plan for your next virtual event – complete with proven promotion strategies to drive registrations, engagement, and impact.
Don’t settle for an online event that falls flat. Partner with the pros at We & Goliath to create buzz and experiences that rock!
Lock in your free virtual event promotion strategy session now.