🚀 The Event Playbook: Proven strategies to level up your next event!

🚀 The Event Playbook:
Proven strategies to level up your next event!

how to promote a virtual event

How to Promote Your Virtual Event for Maximum Impact [New Strategies]

Promoting a virtual event requires a strategic approach. Start by creating engaging content and sharing it on social media platforms. Collaborate with influencers or industry experts to reach a wider audience. Utilize email marketing, online advertisements, and partnerships with relevant websites to increase visibility and registrations for your event.

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:

  • 6-9 months out: Set major marketing objectives and begin initial promotion. Create landing pages and email signup forms to collect leads. Post on social media to raise awareness.
  • 4-5 months out: Send email blasts with heads up for the event and calls to action to register early. Launch social campaigns with event images and videos.
  • 2-3 months out: Share detailed agenda, speaker spotlights, attendee testimonials and more. Send reminder emails to register before rates increase. Promote through paid channels like online ads.
  • 1 month out: Email teasers of special event content to spark last minute buzz. Leverage influencers, affiliates and partners to expand reach.
  • 1-2 weeks out: Hype the event on all channels. Offer sneak peeks, share logistics emails, and prompt social sharing.
  • During event: Post real-time updates and encourage engagement. Convert free users to paying attendees for next time.
  • Post event: Get feedback, share recordings, and reconnect with attendees. Start the cycle again by teasing your next event!
  • 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:

  • Lead With Bold Benefits: Summarize the tangible outcomes attendees will receive in big, bold headers near the top. Get specific to pique interest fast.
  • Prominently Display Logistics: Share the critical who, what, when, where details upfront so visitors immediately see the key event info.
  • Feature Speakers and Agenda: Spotlight notable speakers and session names and descriptions to showcase value.
  • Add Social Proof Elements: Placing attendee testimonials, company logos, media features and reviews builds credibility.
  • Minimize Steps to Register: Eliminate unnecessary hurdles in the registration process. Don’t hide the signup CTA.
  • Use Targeted Form Fields: Only ask for essential info needed upfront for the event. You can request more data post-registration.
  • Include Clear Calls to Action: Buttons above and below the fold drive visitors to register or learn more. Use contrasting colors that stand out.
  • Optimize Technical Elements: Ensure fast load times, mobile responsiveness, and SEO metadata for discovery.
  • 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

  • Bid on relevant keywords around virtual events, webinars, and your topic area to appear at the top of Google.
  • Write compelling ad copy and send clicks to your event landing page.
  • Remarket to previous website visitors who left without registering.
  • Social Media Ads

  • Create ads linking to event pages on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Tailor messaging to different audiences and objectives.
  • Retarget website visitors or lookalike audiences.
  • Display and Video Ads

  • Use Google, YouTube and more to run ads on websites, YouTube, and across the web.
  • Feature promotional banners, videos, and other event collateral.
  • Track views, clicks, and conversions.
  • Retargeting Ads

  • Load pixels and tags to enable ads to follow visitors across sites.
  • Remind those who’ve shown interest but haven’t registered yet.
  • Increase relevancy with dynamic content.
  • Leveraging Affiliate Marketing

  • Recruit niche affiliates and influencers to promote your event.
  • Only pay partners when they drive real registrations using tracking links.
  • Offer high commissions to incentivize big results.
  • 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.

    Hashtag Campaigns

    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.

    User-Generated Content

    Ask satisfied attendees from past events to share photos, testimonials, and reviews. Reshare this content.

    Influencer Endorsements

    Secure influencer promotions. Ask them to spread chatter across their personal social channels too.

    Social Contests

    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.

    Post-Event Emails

    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.

    Onboard Sponsors to Amplify Reach

    Sponsors help fund the event production while you provide visibility to their brand.

    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:

  • Display ads on virtual platform
  • Logo inclusion on website/emails
  • Exhibitor Booths
  • Verbal mentions
  • Private VIP events
  • Content integration
  • Email promos
  • Social media promotions
  • Event registrations
  • 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:

  • Film a short teaser video and boost it on social media
  • Partner with relevant membership sites or communities to promote to their audiences
  • See if a complementary brand will provide a discount code to share
  • Use geofencing ads to target users nearby relevant physical locations
  • Ask loyal followers to change social profile pics to event promo graphics
  • Print signage or flyers for display at local retailers or organizations
  • Explore opt-in SMS messaging to share brief updates and offers
  • Send direct mail postcards to targeted sales leads
  • Request event coverage or inclusion on popular industry calendars
  • Pitch podcast, radio, or TV interviews about event topics
  • Share event teaser clips on streaming sites like Youtube and Twitch
  • Partner with other events to cross-promote each other
  • Host a press conference or invite media to exclusive previews
  • 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.

    Site-Wide Promotion

    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.

    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.

    Post-Event Survey

    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:

  • Website Traffic. Sessions, visitors, page views, bounce rate, sources, and conversions
  • Online Registrations. Volume, conversion rates, completion rate, drop offs
  • Email Performance. Open rate, click rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate
  • Social Media Engagement. Followers, shares, clicks, mentions, reach, impressions
  • Digital Advertising. Impressions, clicks, CTR, conversions, cost per result
  • Referral Traffic. Volume from affiliates, partners, influencers
  • Online Reviews and Mentions. Third-party event listings, features, press mentions
  • Post-Event Feedback. Survey responses, NPS, satisfaction, testimonials
  • 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:

  • Use AI Content Creation to Promote Your Event. AI can generate social media posts, emails, and other promotional content that is more visually appealing, personalized, and engaging. This gets more people interested in attending.
  • Employ AI Chatbots to Optimize Event Marketing. AI chatbots can handle event FAQs, provide 24/7 support, and encourage registrations. They make event promotion more automated and effective.
  • Leverage AI Analytics for Data-Driven Event Planning. AI can analyze past event data on engagement, sales, demographics, and more to optimize future event planning. Get intelligence to improve.
  • Implement AI Recommendation Engines. AI engines can suggest relevant sessions, exhibitors, and networking connections to attendees. This personalizes the experience.
  • Automate Tasks with AI to Streamline Operations. AI can automate repetitive promotional and event management workflows to reduce workload. Save time with AI.
  • Use AI Sentiment Analysis to Gauge Event Success. Analyze attendee feedback and interactions with AI to identify issues and opportunities to improve your next event.
  • 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:

    1. Create FOMO with Limited-Time Offers. Limited-time discounts, flash sales, and availability creates urgency and fear of missing out. But act fast!
    2. Launch Pre-Event Content and Mini-Events. Share teasers, training sessions, and valuable content ahead of your event to generate hype.
    3. Promote Through Interactive Social Media. Drive engagement on social media with polls, contests, user-generated content, and live videos.
    4. Incentivize Referrals. Encourage registrants to refer others by providing discounts or rewards. This amplifies word-of-mouth.
    5. Partner with Relevant Brands. Sponsorships and co-marketing expands your reach through partners’ audiences.
    6. Pitch Media and Influencers. Earn press and work with influencers to build credibility and share your event.
    7. Advertise in Relevant Digital Spaces. Targeted ads on Google, social media, industry sites, and publications extend your reach.
    8. Create Shareable Video Trailers and Graphics. Compelling video trailers and eye-catching graphics promote your event creatively on social media.
    9. 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!

    Rock Your Next Virtual Event with Proven Promotion Strategies

    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:

  • 7X increase in event attendance
  • 5X growth in revenue
  • 89% repeat customer rate
  • 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:

  • Craft compelling social media campaigns
  • Recruit influencers that amplify your reach
  • Optimize landing pages for higher conversions
  • Implement innovative tactics like contests, live videos, and AI
  • 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. 

    We & Goliath

    We & Goliath is an award-winning, top 100 worldwide event agency known for increasing conference attendance by 7X and profits by 3X through beautifully designed virtual, hybrid, and in-person events. Since 1999, their team of innovative strategists and creative designers has worked with global enterprises, SMBs, non-profits, and other organizations to engage audiences and exceed expectations.

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    We create iconic events that generate buzz.

    Let us help you smash your engagement goals and set attendance records.

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