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10 Virtual Event Marketing Strategies: Before, After & During

Learn how to promote your event with our top 10 virtual event marketing strategies! We cover marketing tips before, during and after your event.
Lisa Harroy
Creator Partnerships Lead
Last Updated:
March 18, 2024
10
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

When hosting virtual events, getting people to show up is key. That's where top-notch marketing skills come in. By implementing successful virtual event marketing strategies, you’re bound to attract more viewers and reach your event goals.

The following guide will look at virtual event marketing, what you should consider, and the best strategies. We will also cover any software you need so that you are 100% prepared to start marketing your online event.

What is virtual event marketing?

A virtual event is any gathering or occasion that occurs online, where participants interact, engage, and attend sessions remotely via digital platforms. Examples of such events include webinars, digital summits, virtual conferences, and online trade shows.

Virtual event marketing defines the techniques and strategies for promoting virtual events and attracting attendees. In essence, it is any strategy for telling your audience that the event is happening and having them sign up for it.

What should you keep in mind when marketing a virtual event?

Before embarking on an online event marketing strategy, your first step should be meeting with your team to come up with a solid plan. Let’s take a look at three of the things you should consider:

Goals

What is the main goal of the virtual event? What do you expect to gain from it?

Do you want to convert the attendees into customers? Or do you want to increase your brand visibility on social media?

Having a clear goal makes it easy to curate virtual event marketing ideas that leads your audience to that end.

Target audience

One of the best markers of an effective virtual event marketing plan is that it satisfies the needs and pain points of its audience. As such, you need to know and understand your target audience, before coming up with an event marketing strategy.

Budget

Let’s talk about money. How much money should you allocate to the virtual event?

Most small online events, such as webinars, can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. Bigger events with 1000+ attendees, like tradeshows and large conferences, may rack up between $20,000 - $150,000

These costs go towards covering:

  • Hosting, live streaming, and virtual event platforms
  • Studio
  • Media services
  • Content production
  • Guest speaker fees
  • Advertising and marketing channels
  • Gift bags, etc.

Make sure that you allocate some cash for all of the above.

Of course, your virtual event marketing strategy will largely depend on your budget. For that reason, it needs to be at the top of your priority list.

10 Virtual event marketing strategies to boost conversions

When you have a clear goal, budget, and target audience, the bulk of the work becomes virtual event promotion. You can divide the marketing plan into three phases: before, during, and after the event.

During each stage, the marketing team can use different strategies to achieve maximum customer engagement. Let’s take a look at how to create an event marketing plan for each.

Marketing campaigns and strategies before your virtual event

Ready to start event planning? Before the event starts, the main goal of your marketing is to create a pre-event hype, and build anticipation for the virtual event. Among the ways to do this include:

1. Social media marketing

Most events today succeed or fail on social media – it’s that powerful. 4.9 billion people use social media globally.

If you want to harness the power of social media, you’ll need to create a ton of captivating and engaging promotional content. It should be visually appealing and informative, with the right details about the event. You’ll also want to consider the platform you’re posting on.

For example, if you’re on YouTube or Instagram, short-form videos are a great way to draw in attendees. And, with Riverside, creating these videos is just a click away. Our Magic Clips feature uses AI to identify hook-worthy moments in your recordings and turns them into short videos for easy promotion.

Share these posts aggressively and use targeted advertising and SEO practices to ensure they reach all your targeted audience(s). You can also add an event registration link for your audience.

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2. Email marketing

Besides social media posts, you can also send out email newsletters and countdown reminders to your audience. Email campaigns are often one of the most effective ways to reach your customer base. This is a smart way to create some brand awareness for your event. Always add in a call-to-action (CTA) with your event registration link, too.

As a general rule, you should start sending email marketing out around a month before your webinar. When you get close to the event, you could even create a short countdown series.

3. Send out press releases

As a bonus, you might want to send out a press release to the local or national media. This move can support your marketing efforts and help you to reach potential attendees. When you are considering different promotion strategies, don’t overlook this one.

4. Create a captivating event landing page

Ensure you have a well-designed and easy-to-use landing page optimized for client conversion. It should allow customers to register for the virtual event, and offer other useful details like the topics to be discussed, and speakers who’ll be at the event.

5. SEO optimization

While we’re on the subject of creating a landing page for your virtual event, it’s important to make sure that you have an SEO strategy. Optimizing the content on your page means that it will rank more highly on search engine results pages (SERPs). For that reason, you should look to incorporate the right keywords and search intent into the content that you use on your website.

Marketing strategies during your virtual event

On the day of your virtual events, the goal of your marketing strategy is simple. To create a ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ (FOMO) effect among those who didn’t attend, and ensure that event attendees enjoy their sessions. Let’s take a look at some of the best virtual event marketing approaches you can use at this point.

5. Live social media posts

Nothing makes you feel bad about missing an event than glamorous social media posts. So, post real-time updates and highlights of the event on social media. You can encourage your audience to also share their thoughts and experiences on their socials using your event’s hashtag.

6. Engage the online community

During any virtual event, online audiences get bored quickly if they’re not engaged. To avoid this, include polls, Q&A sessions, and puzzles to retain their attention.

You can even facilitate small group discussions, if the platform allows. This will make it easier for the participants to network and stay hyped. As the virtual event organizers, it’s your job to keep the event promotion going strong throughout.

7. Professional speaker presentation

Finally, you must also ensure that your chosen virtual platform functions smoothly with clear video-audio quality, and that your speakers dress appropriately. Such professionalism assures the attendees that the virtual event is still very important.

Choosing the right speakers is also vital for your virtual event. Make sure that you hire experts, influencers, and people of interest for your online event. You should find that this helps you to boost your event promotion and get more out of an upcoming event.

Marketing strategies after your virtual event

After the event is over, the main goal of your virtual event marketing is to now keep the conversation going. You also want to ensure that your attendees don’t forget about the virtual experience. You can do this by using these virtual event marketing strategies.

8. Follow-up emails

Send personalized emails to the attendees, speakers, sponsors, and partners expressing your gratitude for their participation and support. You can attach links to the event recordings, highlights, and resources to keep them engaged.

9. Repurposing your event

On your website and social media platforms, don’t let the buzz about your event die out. Repurpose your event video and create videos, blogs, surveys, testimonials, and success stories related to the event, to showcase its success.

10. Lead nurturing

Lastly, try to convert your attendees into fans or repeat customers using the data you collected from the event. You can do this by using a selection of the above strategies. For example, if you have created an online community, you should keep in touch with them. You can also use the email list you have to follow up with attendees and offer them more value via content.

How to measure the success of your virtual event marketing strategy

There are numerous stats and metrics you can use to measure the success of your virtual event marketing strategy. However, they can all be summarized in three main ways:  

  • Return on Investment (ROI) and business impact. If the goal of your event was to generate sales or leads, calculate and compare the cost per lead (CPL) with the revenue you generated to establish financial success.
  • Attendance and engagement metrics. Compare the number of those who registered against those who attended. Look also into your social media activity before and after the event paying attention to the likes, comments and shares. This is a good measure of the excitement of your attendees.
  • Feedback & audience satisfaction. Read your post-event survey answers, and check how the attendees rated the entire event. Also, watch the polls, chats, and Q&A participation rate, and track the time spent on the event.

A positive feedback on these engagement metrics indicates that your attendees enjoyed the event and are likely to participate in your future events.

Bonus: 3 Best virtual event marketing software

Before you start marketing your virtual event, you need to make sure that you have the right event marketing software. Luckily, there are a bunch of tools you can use for your online event marketing. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones that you can use and why you should use them.

Best software for creating marketing content

Riverside

When you’re planning your virtual event marketing strategy, content is key. Riverside makes getting the content that you need a breeze. The virtual recording studio allows you to host and record your virtual event in up to 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution.

Whether you’re a content creator or new to the realm of online events, this software is perfect for you. Use the teleprompter feature to plan your online event and keep on track every step of the way. You can also host live audience call-ins to increase engagement and keep things fresh.

When you’ve finished your event, you will get an automated transcript of your virtual event. You can repurpose this as a blog or even use it to make closed captions.

Head to the AI-powered video editor for easy customization, audio enhancement, trimming, and more. You can also use Magic Clips which isolates the best moments in your online event and turns them into short videos. You can then use these on social media channels, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and LinkedIn.

Hosting a virtual event on Riverside

Key features

  • High resolution: Create ultra high-quality recordings in 4K video and 48kHz audio resolution
  • Producer mode: Assign a team member to keep track of controls behind the scenes
  • AI clips: Magic Clips isolates the best snippets and turns them into shareable short videos
  • Highly-accurate transcripts: AI-generated transcription available in 100+ languages
  • Built-in teleprompter:  Teleprompter feature to make presenting a breeze
  • Live audience engagement: Live call-ins for audience members during webinars
  • Automatic audio enhancement: Background noise removal and level normalization
  • AI-powered Editor: With text-based editing, a seamless video editing timeline, and automated tools you can edit recordings in less time.
  • Presentation recorder: Record your content in high quality when you are presenting
  • AI summaries: Generate key takeaways and descriptions of your recordings
  • Remote guests: Record with up to 8 guest speakers at the same time

Best software for virtual event marketing analytics

Airmeet

Airmeet starts at free and ranges up to $450 per event for enterprise-level packages. The software allows you to create a landing page before you start marketing your event, and analyze attendee behaviors with CRM tracking and data.

Airmeet virtual event software

Key features

  • CRM tracking and data analytics
  • Seamless CRM syncing
  • AI branding features
  • Landing page creation
  • One-click registration platform

Cvent

Cvent offers a customized pricing model based on the event and services required. The software works to promote both virtual events and in-person events. It also allows you to track your attendees journey so that you can learn how successful the event has been.

Cvent virtual event software

Key features

  • Speaker management tools
  • Attendee insights
  • Post-event surveys
  • Attendee sourcing

FAQs on Virtual event marketing

How do you attract participants to a virtual event?

By hyping your virtual event! Promote it across all your social media channels, offer early-bird deals, and make it interactive. You can also partner with influencers to reach a wider audience and showcase the event's value. Use the list above to check this, too.

How do you run a successful virtual event?

To run a successful virtual event, define your target audience, consider your budget and goals, engage the attendees, promote the event, ensure the necessary technology is in place, collect feedback, and follow up after the event.

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