Here we are now/Entertain us.” – Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit 

Marketing a Digital Event is about more than just attracting an audience – it’s not just a matter of sending out an e-mail blast and hoping for the best. As I discussed in my previous post about Digital Event marketing, with so much competition for people’s time and attention, Digital Event marketing demands a more sophisticated approach.  

The truth is, digital event marketing does not begin with inviting attendees, and it does not end on the date of the event. Digital event marketing requires the organization to take a three-step approach: Before, During and After the event.  

Before the event: Digital event marketing begins with advanced planning and relationship-building with partners, speakers, exhibitors and influencers. It’s important to “cross-promote” the event to multiple audiences and membership lists and look for other partner organizations whose audiences might be interested in the digital event (even if they’re not current customers of your organization).  

  • Hire help: If your organization is relatively new to the world of hosting digital events, it might be a good investment to hire professionals who have done it before. Digital event marketing firms like Social27 can provide end-to-end assistance in planning, promoting, hosting and creating preliminary buzz and lasting impact for your digital event. There are certain nuances to promoting a digital event that are different from an in-person event or a product launch: its beneficial to get help from people who know the nuances and can help your organization avoid going through a time-consuming or expensive learning curve.  
  • Create partnerships: Ask yourself: “Who cares about this digital event? Who would benefit from being part of it, even if they’re not already on our e-mail list?” Reach out to associations who have similar (or overlapping) missions. Contact prominent bloggers or influencers on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram whose audiences might benefit from finding out about your event. Remember to take a generous approach with this kind of outreach: it’s not a good idea to blindly pitch your event to people whose audiences might not be genuinely interested. Instead, try to build relationships and build trust over time. Look on Facebook and LinkedIn for industry associations or groups that might be interested in your event. Strike up conversations with these people and let them know about the value that your digital event offers to their members.  

During the event: Marketing does not stop once registered attendees are signed on. To get the full impact of the marketing efforts for your digital event, you need to consider every aspect of the digital event experience itself. 

  • Make it interactive: A digital event should not be a monologue; it should be a dialogue. Give your attendees every opportunity to fully participate in the event, share ideas and share content with other people. A good digital event platform should include video chat, text chat, Web casting, forums and Q&A after presentations. The Social27 “mood-o-meter” gives participants a richer array of options for sharing their impressions and feelings while the event is in progress. 
  • Learn from your customers: Don’t bog down your attendees with too many “lead-qualifying” questions during the registration process. Instead, create opportunities to learn from your attendees while the event is in progress. Offer prizes and sweepstakes for attendees who share lead-qualifying information. By learning more about your attendees and what they need, you’ll be able to give your sponsors and exhibitors some added value – which helps boost your revenue for the next digital event.  

After: The best digital events don’t ever truly “end” – they endure. By using energetic social media marketing, surveys and other tactics, your digital event can create lasting connections and spark a longer-term legacy that goes beyond the dates of the event itself. 

Digital event marketing reflects your organization’s commitment to building communities and creating lasting value for your customers and key audiences. It’s not just a matter of “how many people can we get to sign up for our event,” it’s about starting early and taking a longer-term approach.   

Join the conversation. Agree with me? Good. Disagree? Even Better! Tell me why… 

How can organizations take their digital event marketing to the next level? Which aspects of digital event marketing are most important – the “before,” “during” or “after”-event activities?  

Host your own digital event: 

Interested in hosting your own digital event? Social27 has been enabling organizations across all industries and sizes to host their own engaging digital events since 2010. 

The Social27 Digital Events platform brings the best of content streaming, networking with rich profiles, virtual sponsor pavilions, lead generation, gamification with points and badges, AI chatbot support and deep analytics powered by machine learning.