There is no disputing that the pivot to digital and virtual, so tenuous over the last year, is now firmly here to stay. And in this new normal, marketers are increasingly appreciating the value that virtual mediums, such as virtual events, offer today.
Virtual events are an effective way to reach new prospects, engage (and re-engage) existing ones, increase conversions, and track results. They're also easier to organize, are less expensive, and are more accessible to attendees than traditional in-person events. All this means that virtual events are also the perfect vehicle for brand marketing.
How so? Read on to learn how you can effectively leverage virtual events to effectively market your brand.
A quick recap - what is brand marketing?
Brand marketing is the process of promoting your products or services in a way that draws attention to your overall brand. Its purpose is to connect your identity, beliefs, and personality to your target audience through successful targeted brand communication.
It’s more than just slapping your logo and company name on as many surfaces as possible and hoping for sales. It entails representing your company's identity from who you are, what you do, the level of quality you offer, and your reputation.
So why are virtual events are brand marketing’s new BFF?
While the advantages of virtual events are fairly obvious, the ways in which marketers can creatively use events for brand marketing are less. So here's how you can drive better awareness and impact via virtual event branding
1. Express your brand identity throughout the event
Virtual events give you unlimited opportunities for creating touchpoints between attendees and your brand.In other words, you can use every event asset, from your event landing page to your stage backdrop to bring customers and prospects closer to your brand.
Take, for instance, event branding. To get customers and prospects to feel excited about your brand, a generic image with your logo slapped on it just won’t do. Instead, markers can use branding creatively, such as through a visually spectacular welcome video, to reflect a distinctive look and feel, that attendees instantly recognize and remember afterward. Here's an example of a great welcome video by Razorpay for their FTX 2020 event, hosted on Zuddl.
2. Relationship marketing via a micro-virtual events strategy
Micro virtual events are a series of smaller virtual events that eventually feed into a larger marquee event. These events give marketers an opportunity to nurture brand intimacy ie kindle a personal relationship between them and the brand.
For instance, you can give attendees the opportunity to participate in activities like a Digital Round Table or a Panel Discussion at a virtual event. Rather than talking about yourself throughout your event, you can give your attendees opportunities to express themselves and ask questions.
3. Boost brand loyalty by leveraging the advantages of a virtual event platform
According to a recent study by Invesp about returning customers – those loyal to your brand- are 50% likelier to try more of your products and spend, on average, 31% more than newly acquired clients; yes, brand loyalty is essential.
You can increase brand loyalty at your event in a variety of ways, thanks to how you utilize the features and tools of your virtual event platform. For instance, why not invite your customers to be speakers at your event? Not only does this show existing customers that you value them, but it’s also a great way to show other attendees who are potential customers why they should try your products or services.
Another way to build brand loyalty is by setting up networking sessions for attendees at your virtual events. Enabling current customers to talk to prospective ones is an indirect but positive way to drive brand awareness. Furthermore, it’s a simple way to add value to your customers’ lives. Helping them match with professionals who can add value to their businesses will earn you a lot of goodwill.
Finally, you can also drive loyalty by rewarding loyal customers with exclusive in-event experiences. This could be anything from arranging 1:1 virtual meet-and-greets with your brand’s ambassadors or enabling exclusive access to specific Stages at your event.
4. Use giveaways to promote brand recall
Everyone loves free goodies - but it’s good for business as well. Just look at these figures in a report by The ODM Group:
- 85% of clients enjoy receiving marketing products
- 58% retain these products for up to four years
- Eight out of 10 attendees remember the promoted brand
- Approximately 21% of the attendees buy products after receiving promotional items
You can send giveaways - both physical or virtual - to your attendees immediately after the event is over. This can be made easier by using virtual event platforms like Zuddl that have integrated ticketing, so that you have a complete list of attendee details such as email or office addresses to which you can send the mementos.
5. Extended brand coverage through social media and other channels
It’s a no-brainer that social media can drive more business for your brand, which is why marketers put in time and effort in planning campaigns, reposting testimonials, and curating good-looking Instagram pages.
Virtual events can contribute to amplifying your brand on social media, through the use of in-platform tools like an integrated Social Wall . This would be a simple, fun way to encourage attendees to share posts about the event (without requiring them to download and install anything) that will appear on-screen within seconds.
For example, using hashtags can help you gain reach, putting your brand awareness virtual event in front of people who might not have heard of it before. Or you can also get your attendees to share photos and videos of the event using the same hashtags so that you can reshare user-generated content. This will help bring your brand to life.
Continue sharing memorable moments from the event and ask attendees to share their favorite discussions and experience. This will keep them excited about attending your events, and keep your brand in the spotlight.
The social wall will also let you drive more visibility and awareness long after the event is over.
6. Leverage event analytics to drive better value for customers
One of the best things about virtual event platforms is that they are a data gold mine. At in-person events, it can be extremely difficult to source feedback and opinions from your attendees. Virtual event platforms make this a breeze.
Marketers can use Polls, for instance, to gain insight into the needs and wants of your attendees about a variety of things - preferences and complaints about products and services in your industry or topics that attendees want to know more about. This information can then be used to tailor your brand’s offerings down the line. And needless to say, asking your customers and attendees their opinion is a simple but significant way to tell them that their voices and opinions are important thereby fuelling brand loyalty.
It’s clear that there is plenty of opportunity in using virtual events to market your brand - they offer unlimited opportunities to create touchpoints between your brand and attendees. All it requires is for marketers to be inventive and creative in the way they use virtual event platforms to meet their goals.
Need any advice? Our team is full of ideas. Just connect with us for a quick conversation on how to deliver better brand marketing at virtual events - we’re happy to chat! Let’s talk.