Whether it’s in the role of host, sponsor, or exhibitor, events are an important marketing tool for companies in all industries. Is hosting a virtual event the right move for your company or brand? There are some great reasons to consider using a virtual event for marketing purposes. You can establish your company as a thought leader, raise brand awareness, engage your audience and event attendees more completely—and more.
1. Build a Reputation for Thought Leadership
Event Types: Summits and Conferences
Sometimes the best way to stand out from your competition is to show off your smarts. What does your company or brand do best? And how can you leverage that skillset to build a reputation as a thought leader in that niche?
A virtual event can help you showcase your company’s unique blend of skills and knowledge. At the same time, you can also expand your audience and customer base. A summit or conference is perfectly suited for this set of goals. These events are based around generating and sharing knowledge. A schedule of education sessions and presentations lets you gather industry leaders and slot speakers from your own company into the schedule too.
2. Promote Brand Awareness and Recognition
Event Types: Festivals, Exhibitions, Trade Shows
When your virtual event marketing objective is to promote brand awareness, a festival can be a highly effective way to bring people together. This type of event experience focuses not just on knowledge, but also on entertainment. This generally means there’s lots of fun mixed in with opportunities for learning. This gives you the chance to humanize your company by crafting stories about your brands and products. And you can bring in celebrities, influencers marketing, and other personalities who mesh well with your company’s values and culture.
Exhibitions and trade shows are also a great match for these marketing goals. As the host organization, your company can raise its profile considerably. It’s also the perfect opportunity to build on relationships with your target audience, with sponsors and speakers, and exhibitors.
3. Promote Brand Awareness and Authority
Event Type: Award Show
There’s more than one way to promote brand recognition and establish your company as an industry authority. One way to achieve both goals at the same time is to give recognition to others. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it can work. Many of the world’s biggest and best-recognized brands host annual awards. These typically recognize the achievements of individuals and companies within the industry or in related industries.
This kind of event experience has plenty of virtual event marketing potential and not just in terms of brand visibility and authority. Awards and award shows also offer the chance to showcase products and build industry relationships.
4. Boost Audience Engagement
Event Types: Contests and Competitions
Online events have a reputation for lower engagement relative to live events. That doesn’t have to be the case! There are lots of different strategies you can implement at any virtual event to boost engagement and keep your event attendees focused and receptive. An alternative is to host an event that has an inherent level of engagement built into the structure, such as a contest or competition. These events invite participation and engagement, not just from people who enter, but from the rest of your audience too.
Contests are events that have a random or unstructured component. This might mean you invite followers on your social media channels to comment or tag your account and then choose winners at random.
Competitions have more structure, with people competing against one another based on skill rather than chance. These have the potential to generate lots of buzz online, as event attendees can follow along and root for their favorite contestants.
5. Showcase Products
Event Types: All
Any virtual event you hold has the potential to serve as a showcase for your company’s products. And there are plenty of ways to do it, including product demonstrations, featured content, and ad slots placed at the start or end of sessions.
However, you also have the option to make your products the main event by making them the focal point of the event itself. Some options for content might include:
- Product demonstrations that reveal some unusual or more effective ways to use products.
- Demonstrations that show how clients use your products.
- “Field-tests” that show people using products for the first time.
- Behind-the-scenes content from the factory floor or in-office.
6. Educate and Engage
Event Types: Workshops, Training, Education
Focusing on education can effectively combine multiple goals. You can raise brand awareness while keeping attendees engaged and introducing them to your products. Providing hands-on activities invites a deeper level of engagement because your audience is literally engaged with your products. And by offering education-focused activities as part of your virtual event marketing strategy, you cement your company’s reputation as an authority or thought-leader.
Online Events Offer Powerful Marketing Benefits
A well-executed event is an incredible marketing tool—and the benefits don’t stop when you hold your events online. Using a virtual event as part of a marketing campaign lets you reach and engage your target audience in meaningful ways that get results. And for every marketing goal you have, there’s a virtual event type that can help you achieve it.
Planning a future event and not sure the best way to market it? We can help! Contact the expert team at XtendLive.