During the initial wave of coronavirus lockdowns in the United States, companies had to quickly adapt. This meant going virtual—not just with their offices, but with their events. Over the past year, virtual events have increasingly become the norm for companies looking to maintain a presence with consumers and target a national (or even worldwide) audience, but what happens after the event is almost as important as what happens during it.
Companies have an opportunity to increase ROI along the entire lifespan of their virtual event. Previously in this blog series, we’ve covered how you can boost revenue before your event and during your event, but the real bread and butter comes when your attendees log off. It’s the perfect opportunity to turn a lead into a conversion, but it’s notoriously tricky. According to a Path Factory study, only 18 percent of companies believe they’re effective at generating engagement after their virtual events, but these strategies can help you boost ROI after the fact.
Start with a Follow-Up Email
This is the most basic effort, but all virtual events should conclude with a follow-up email. A lot of things can be missed during a livestream, especially when attendees are at home with children, pets, spouses and all the distractions that come with a home office. A follow-up ensures that attendees have all the information they need to potentially convert.
For example, if you’re a technology company showcasing a product demo during your event, include additional information about the product and a link to buy in the follow-up email. Include reference materials you spoke about during the event and showcase relevant products and services. You can also delve into the metrics of your follow-up email to find the most interested users and target them for future campaigns.
Create a Custom Lead-Nurturing Program
A whopping 57 percent of companies follow their event with a custom lead nurturing program crafted specifically around their attendees and registrants. This is particularly effective because, as long as you’ve collected the data during your event, you can directly target the most engaged users and focus on nurturing the leads with the highest chance of conversion.
Companies should view their event as the first step in a sprawling lead generation campaign. Like a storefront, the event brings you potential consumers, but in order to generate some serious ROI, you need to continuously market to those leads. This is a great opportunity to craft a targeted newsletter or social media campaign.
Offer an On-Demand Recording of Your Event
If you want to make the most of your virtual event, offer a recording that can be streamed on demand. The hard truth is that a significant portion of your registrants probably won’t show up to your event, especially if the virtual tickets were free and there’s no monetary loss for not tuning in. This doesn’t mean those people lost their interest, though. Time is a limited resource.
An on-demand recording will allow you to reach a wider audience, including those who may not have been available during your event and those who simply missed your marketing messages beforehand. If you collected attendee data during the event, you can directly send out a link of the recording to all the registrants who never tuned in or bounced early. This gives them a second opportunity to watch what they’ve missed.
Repurpose assets for additional content
As a rule, a consumer has to see your marketing messages seven times before making a purchase or taking an action. It’s called the marketing rule of seven. In other words: the more content you post, the more likely it is that you’ll make a real conversion. In this sense, repurposing content from your virtual event gives you the most bang for your buck. It’s already there, you just have to use it.
Launch a Post-Event Promotion
Those who attended your event took time out of their day to focus on your brand. Let them know you appreciate them by running a post-event promotion, like a special discount code for attendees or a flash sale. This not only helps you capitalize on your event after it happens, it breeds customer loyalty by investing in the people who invest in you.
Create a Post-Event Community
Research has shown that those who attend virtual events want to network, but the opportunity doesn’t present itself like it does during in-person trade shows, panels and conferences. Crafting a post-event community, whether it’s an alumni Slack channel or a Facebook group, can provide your attendees this added value. The more valuable they find your event, the more likely they’ll participate in the future and, eventually, spend money on your brand.
Turn Your Data into Actionable Metrics
At the end of the day, the most valuable parts of a virtual event are the metrics. Rather than combing over vanity metrics—such as unique viewers or bounce rate—transform the data you collected during your event into something actionable. Don’t just look at how many users bounced; see where users bounced to understand the content your attendees didn’t find useful. Don’t just look at the overall engagement; look at which section had the highest engagement so you can understand what your audience wants. Use this insight to help you fine-tune your events and set yourself up for maximum ROI in the future.
Reach out to the experts at Elevation today to see how we can help you get the most ROI on your virtual event.