The Covid-19 pandemic has made drastic shifts in the way businesses have to run these days. The pandemic has compelled many organizations to either cancel or postpone their physical meetings. As a result, most businesses are taking a break while some are trying to dig deep for solutions.
Organizing virtual events has become the need of the day for most B2B marketers by now. Businesses are enjoying valuable opportunities in the face of adversity. These opportunities are helping companies learn how to create impactful virtual events and bring back the spark within a B2B enterprise. Hence, there is no doubt that virtual events are the future of B2B marketing.
What makes virtual events click in the current business environment?
Virtual events are an integral part of the marketing strategy for any enterprise and can either build or destroy the brand image on a larger scale.
Virtual events also strengthen your bond with existing and prospective customers at any stage of the purchasing funnel. Hence, it is crucial to keep events at the top of your priority list.
Hosting in-person events was already on the decline before the Covid-19 crisis. It is so because in-person events are quite expensive to organize and host. Moreover, attendees need to bear the expense of attending such events, face downtime, and lost productivity in the process.
Reports suggest around 48% of marketers are investing a minimum of 21% of their promotions budget in live events. While businesses strive to get more economical and promote more budget-friendly policies, attendees at such events may decline to participate. Such reasons are enough to shift to virtual events.
There is a strong belief that there will be a global shift in culture after the passage of the pandemic, and B2B marketing campaigns will revolve around virtual events. Brands can usher in a trend of working in a time-saving, productive, and budget-friendly manner by developing key strategies for virtual events.
Ways in which businesses can achieve goals through virtual events
- Take feedback: Virtual events serve as the ‘evaluation stage’ in a sales funnel. Hence, B2B marketers can take feedback and the requirements of prospective clients into consideration before launching the best form of a virtual product or an online trade show.
- Broadcast your products and services: Marketers need to leverage a variety of interactive tools such as webinars, discussion forums, product demos, chats, and videos while broadcasting their best product, services, and features.
- Optimize engagement: Marketers must engage with attendees during a virtual conference to identify their requirements. Doing so helps marketers provide tailored product demonstrations that provide relevant real-time experience.
- Personalization: Virtual events provide key benefits such as space for real-time customization and conversation. Personalized interaction enables marketers to develop a beneficial lead-generating environment that makes a lasting impression on participants.
- Greater outreach: Scalability and approach play a crucial role in enabling B2B marketers to reach a global audience through virtual events. The aim is to conduct an exclusive virtual event that caters to the attendees.
- Tracking power: Details such as registration, log-in, download history, and share are crucial for online event records. The process of event tracking, digital footprinting, and approaching prospects to post has become easier than ever before.
- Data-oriented Approach: B2B marketing campaigns have become really evolved. The campaigns function around tracking metrics, calculating ROI, and creating data-based follow-up strategies. The strategies support event-related decision making that is backed by numbers.
Strategies to ensure a smooth virtual event experience
A virtual event strategy must have the right content, technology, and must be in tandem with the big picture of your marketing strategy. Some of the best strategies are mentioned below.
- Identify the Objective
Identifying the goal of your virtual event starts with recognizing your target demographic and business objectives. Are you looking to boost your return on investment (ROI), build new client relationships, or introduce a new product into the market?
Your core team must strategize and execute the strategies through a virtual events platform. Take your time and let your team brainstorm, research, and figure out what your competitors are doing.
You may use a few tricks that have worked for you in the past as part of your strategy. However, they must be aligned with your current goals and the purpose of the virtual event.
- Virtual Event Platform
Taking a stock of your current platform, tools, and resources, virtual events can be hosted via these platforms in a much easier and viable manner. The right technology helps in supporting your virtual event operations right from the start to finish. Platforms also help nurture the client experience and build goodwill for the brand by creating the right atmosphere for your attendees. Right from sharing views to sharing resources, virtual platforms are the best
- Operations and promotion
Invest some time in having a detailed discussion with your marketing team for operations and automation. The team must be ready and willing to execute all the events with accuracy and precision. Each member must perform their role diligently.
The team must also build a promotion strategy on social media platforms, websites, etc. for virtual events in the same way they would for in-person events. Always remember, branding and promotion are crucial.
- Creating engaging content
Content is king when it comes to virtual events. The content must be unique and engaging and must be educative for the attendees.
- Timing is everything
You may have all the platforms, strategies, and best quality content. However, if the timing is not right, your virtual event will not have any attendees. Be certain of the date and time with respect to the time zones you intend to cater to. With virtual meeting platforms, you have the independence of selecting the appropriate time and date settings, keeping the right time zone in mind.
Advantages of a virtual event for B2B marketing
With the passage of the pandemic, small and large businesses will have to get accustomed to virtual events. While some may still prefer in-person meetings, many will switch over to virtual conferences.
Some of the benefits of virtual events for B2B marketers:
- Virtual events make it much easier to have your promotional endeavors pay off and increase the number of attendees, compared to in-person events.
- Digital events have a greater reach than in-person events conducted in halls.
- The experience is seamless with the least downtime.
- The method is very cost-effective and ensures high productivity.
- Virtual events can be revisited.
By putting thought and a well-strategized plan into action, B2B companies have the scope to engage and convert attendees from over the globe, all in real-time through virtual events. On the other hand, such events enable prospects to grasp, network, and purchase products and services immediately.