In the days that more than sixty galleries of the British Museum can be visited from Google Street View, live web conferences are nothing unusual. Moving events online can make attendance accessible to a broader audience, significantly reduce costs and carbon footprints.
If you are not tired of hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic yet, then count one more advantage of virtual events — the ability to be social and proactive while staying at home.
Okay, let’s say you decided to hold such an event. What’s your next step?
Just like any other offline event, an online conference needs some advertising.
So, where do we start?
- Email signatures
You and your team (if you have one) probably write and respond to a fair amount of emails daily. Why not use every single opportunity to tell people about your upcoming online event? Of course, we don’t expect you to spam everyone with the link to join your web conference. You can choose a subtle way.
Use an email signature generator for yourself and the team, add your name, company name, photo/logo, contact details to your signatures. Then include a promotional banner with a clear call to action (e.g., “Register Now,” “Reserve your sits,” Join,” etc.) and install it in your email client. Voila, the signature will appear at the bottom of every email you send.
And no, you don’t need to hire a developer or a designer to get the job done. Simply use a generator to create an email signature similar to those you can see below.
- Teaser video
Web conference promotion doesn’t have to just be in writing. People love video content because they can “digest” it easier. So, consider recording a short promotional video telling a story about your event and what you plan to cover. If you have multiple speakers, try to get everyone to contribute.
Then upload the video to YouTube and promote it via other social media channels.
- Social media
Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. may seem like the obvious option for online event promotion. Still, we noticed that people often underestimate the power of free advertising on social media. Even if you have a few hundred followers, you may still see some traction from publishing short posts that promote your web conference. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers to share your posts. That only takes them a few clicks. They will do that for you!
Try posting on your own page, your business page, and within relevant communities.
Finally, if multiple speakers are involved in your web conference, ask them to post on their social media too.
- Paid advertising on social media
However, if you don’t have enough followers on social media, paid social ads are an excellent way to increase awareness. LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all offer paid options for promotion. So, do your research and figure out where your target audience hangs out most.
Consider placing a bright call to action button that promotes your event in the sidebar of every page of your site. Make room for the event on your homepage.
Consider putting a pop-up promoting the event. Although some people find them really annoying, they still can be quite effective.
You are lucky if you have a blog. Now you get two extra (if not more) options to promote your web conference. Firstly, you can include a link to a landing page at the bottom of your recent blog posts. Secondly, you can write a separate blog post that will promote your event. If you have no blog yet, maybe it’s time to start one?
Don’t forget to email your email subscribers about the web conference, but it’s better to do it in the form of a newsletter, not a piece of direct ads. Be sure to filter out those who have already registered.
- Press release
If your conference’s topic is very timely or you have some huge influencers invited, write a press release about your event and email it to a couple of the industry journalists. If you are not there yet, don’t get frustrated. You will use this method of promotion when you grow bigger. We are sure you will!
- Guest posts
Consider preparing a guest post for another resource that has a similar target audience as your web conference. Ask them to include a call to action to register for your event.
Probably you already have some loyal customers. Chances are they will be happy to join your virtual event because they know you. So make sure to invite them personally via phone or email. You can go even further and encourage them to bring a friend. Some bonus for the customer and their friend might be a nice touch.
Things to remember
During planning and promoting your web conference, it is easy to forget some essential things. We listed them below to make sure you remember:
- Start with creating an optimized landing page with an easy way to register for your event;
- Start promoting your virtual event at least one-two weeks ahead;
- Use email signatures to promote your web conference in every email you send. The entire team and speakers (if possible) should install the signatures too;
- Find out what tactics work best for your online events and your target audience. Next time you will do everything even better;
- Consider recording your event so you can send the record to your registrants later. Plus, you can continue to promote it as long as it is still relevant.
You can plan the greatest virtual event on the planet, but no one will attend it if you keep silent or do too little to draw people’s attention to what you are doing. Luckily, there are lots of ways (free and paid) to promote your online event and make people want to be there. Try some of these ideas if you want to have a full house for your upcoming web conference. Good luck!