So far, 2022 looks to be the year that we can resume in-person events with more confidence than we’ve had the past two years. While we’re all looking forward to meeting face-to-face again, many organizations acknowledge their virtual conference reached a wider audience than ever.
Moving into the next year, it’s extremely important to keep this momentum going. As we discuss in the article What the Great Resignation Means for Conferences and Events, organizations have an attendance gap they will need to fill with new (versus returning) attendees.
Meanwhile, according to the article Meeting Planners Shifting from Virtual Events to Virtual Content, it’s speculated that providing on-demand access to recorded sessions will become the new standard for events moving forward.
The great news for meeting planners is that a collection of on-demand session content can be used not only to generate additional revenue, but to attract new audiences to your event.
Here are 5 tips to make the most of your virtual event content
Optimize all session videos for search engines
We turn to Google more than any other resource when we’re searching for information and ideas. So be sure that when prospective new attendees are seeking out content on specific topics that align with your conference sessions, they find your videos first.
- Perform keyword research to understand what terms people use when searching out a particular topic
- Use these keywords in your video title, description, and other meta data
- Make sure your organization and conference name are included in descriptions and meta data!
Turn your full-length session recordings into short videos and gifs
Shorter content is more versatile for your various marketing channels. And animated content, like gifs, is proven to boost performance of marketing content.
- Focus on just the most popular sessions or topics. This can be either based on conference metrics or on your online keyword research
- Create a short, 10 to 30-second version of the video to serve as a quick preview (and make sure these preview videos are optimized for search too!)
- Use an online gif maker software to turn that video snippet into an animated gif
Use these content snippets to promote the full-length video
These shorter videos can be more easily featured in ads, emails, and other channels.
- Social media video ads that are targeted to specific demographics, job titles, groups, and interests on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Paid search video campaigns
- Emails sent to your prospect database that feature the animated gifs with a link to the promotional video
Create an easy-to-follow conversion path
Know exactly what you want your prospects to do after reading your email or seeing your ad, and then make it as easy as possible to get there.
- Are you providing access just to that video, to a bundle of content, or to the entire library of on-demand conference videos?
- Do you want to drive traffic to your event website for more information?
- Are you charging a fee for access for all or some of the content? Or do you simply want to collect their contact information for future marketing?
Have a plan to continue to nurture these new prospective attendees
“Newbies” who are less familiar with your organization may be hesitant to make the commitment to attend the in-person event. Use your follow-up marketing to help them get to know your organization and build a personal connection over the next year so they are more likely to register when the time comes.
- Invite them to join an online community
- Invite them to smaller events such as virtual happy hours and webinars
- Send them relevant articles, welcome videos, and other resources
As more organizations look for ways to increase the accessibility of their events by offering on-demand access to session content, this also provides an opportunity to use this robust content to increase visibility of your event among potential new attendees. The tips provided here are meant to be a starting point. Once you have the framework in place, the opportunities to leverage this content are nearly endless.
Looking for more information on how to optimize your event session content for search engines? Watch this 30-minute on-demand webinar, Simple SEO Strategies for Associations.