Lead Generation Strategies for Your Next Virtual Event
In the past, tradeshows and other in-person events have been great tactics for lead generation. However, this past year, we have not been able to safely interact with other businesses/individuals in-person. This is where virtual events come in. We are living in a time where virtual events are taking the world by storm, increasing 1000% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether these events are webinars, panel discussions, networking events, etc., they have shown to be lead generating machines. In this blog, you’ll find lead generation strategies for virtual events that your organization should take into consideration both before and after your event.
Creating Your Attendee List:
One of the biggest points of conducting an online event is to show your audience that you are a thought leader. It is to showcase your capabilities and give others a glimpse into your business, showing that you are able to help them in specific areas. For example, a client of ours recently conducted a virtual panel discussion where panelists shared their knowledge and answered questions about one of the organization’s services. The purpose here is to generate leads and help other businesses with that specific service.
So, where do you start? Once you have the idea of your virtual event, you must consider who your target audience is. Knowing who is attending your event is key when making business connections. This is done through simple research. For example, LinkedIn allows you to search for people through a company name or job title. This allows you to gain more contact information for personal invites.
Continuing with social media, you must develop an effective strategy to up the numbers on your attendee list. Social media advertisements are one of the best lead generation strategies for virtual events. Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, allow you to create targeted sponsored ads that are geared for the people you want attending your event. Trust us, the money spent here is well worth it. LinkedIn is also the home of many different groups. Find groups that contain the people you are targeting and post about your event. It’s also beneficial to create an event on social platforms. These events are easy to create and generate the traffic you both want and need. Also, consider using LinkedIn’s direct messaging feature or LinkedIn InMail, which allows you to message people you are not connected with. This is a great social media feature to reach out to your top prospects and notify them about your virtual event.
More great lead generation strategies for virtual events include email and other content strategies. Starting with email, considering using a personalized approach. Using tools such as HubSpot and Herefish allows you to create email automations that can be personalized to each person you are reaching out to. Keep in mind that your emails shouldn’t end at just one send. Keep the conversation going by sending email reminders so that your attendees and other prospects are up-to-date on event details.
Using your virtual event for content is another great lead generation strategy. Utilize your blog, social media platforms, podcast, and more to promote your event. This does not necessarily mean to only write content about your specific event, although this is important to do. Your content strategy should also include other material relevant to what your event is about. For example, if your organization is conducting a panel discussion about Social Media Marketing, publish a blog article discussing what’s trending in social media. Another tactic is to post other relevant articles written from other reputable organizations or publications about similar topics to your company’s social media pages. This content aides your event in showing that your organization is a thought leader in the subject without overwhelming the audience of your specific event.
After the Virtual Event:
Once you have utilized these lead generation strategies for virtual events, and your event has passed, there’s only one thing left to do…FOLLOW UP! After all is said and done, nothing about your event matters unless you follow up with your attendees. Reach out to those you feel are great prospects and continue the conversation. The purpose of your virtual event is to generate leads and create more business, and this is how it’s done!
As mentioned earlier, virtual events have taken the world by storm and have become a great lead generating tactic for businesses. If you have any questions about how to create your online event, or other lead generation questions, feel free to contact us.
About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations. www.sjhemleymarketing.com