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8 Ways to promote hybrid events with digital marketing

How to Leverage Your Event Promotion With Digital Marketing Tools

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A young woman is sitting at her desk, holding a pen and smiling broadly at her phone, mounted on a tripod.

Hybrid events have opened the gates to much more dynamic events that can host attendees from all around the world while sticking to their usual venue size. 

Often, this percentage is a lot higher than the people who show up at the physical venue. Think cricket or football matches that have packed stadiums but even bigger viewership on the live stream. And this works great for the sponsors!

Digital marketing gives you the opportunity to reach out to people who’d much rather attend the event virtually. So, how do you unlock the true potential of hybrid events?

1. Make use of email marketing 

You’ve probably heard at least one person rave about the power of email marketing. It’s true. And it extends to event marketing as well. 

Email marketing has shown to return $38 for every $1 spent on it, making it the most profitable digital marketing channel. And that’s why we begin here. 

Email marketing is going to be the fastest way to get more attendees to your event. Use your existing email list to create promotional email campaigns for your prospects. Certain hybrid event solutions such as vFairs also come with email builders that let you design complete email campaigns. 

Here’s a sample drip campaign that you can use for your event announcement and registrations.

  • Two weeks before the event: Create a first email that announces your event, offers the relevant details, and provides a link to sign up. 
  • One week before the event: Give a shout-out to your keynote speaker. Summarize what they’ll be talking about at the event. Provide a link to sign up.
  • One day before the event: Share details of other activities at the event, such as a scavenger hunt or giveaway. Provide a link to sign up.
  • 15 minutes before the event: Send a final reminder to attend the event! Provide a link to sign up.

Lastly, you can take a look at some email templates for events for design inspiration.

2. Start talking about it on social media

Connect with your prospects at a more personal level via social media marketing. Social media puts forth a more human side of your brand and also lets your audience communicate with you through comments and replies. 

Social media works great for building up hype before an event. This means that you have to post consistently about the event to make sure it stays top of mind and drives registrations. You can start as early as a month in advance and announce your event. In the following days, keep sharing more details, such as speaker details, agenda, activities, or any giveaways to entice viewers. 

Be sure to include your unique event hashtag and a link to the event page with every post!

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3. Create teaser videos

Video content continues to increase in consumption. And it makes sense. Videos offer a more immersive way of educating viewers. What’s important to note is that marketers who use videos in their campaigns experience 34% higher conversion rates.  

Share speaker interviews, attendee experience from past events, host opinions, and much more. You can also take attendees through a virtual tour of the physical venue or show them around the virtual platform if you’re using one. 

4. Start a hashtag for your hybrid event

Make every social media post searchable with hashtags. This makes it easier for people to find event details on your socials, and it also makes your posts more visible. 

Instagram post by user @kobewiththetail shows a photo of a smiling corgi with blue-and-white gingham bow tie within a social media frame for Pet Palooza Rerouted that says “I walk for the animals”.  The caption reads: Join us today for a virtual Pet Palooza benefitting our good friends the Humane Society of Charlotte! While the event is very different this year, we are still so happy the event is on in a different way and will continue to support HSC. Follow along on their social media pages to join in on a virtual walk and more! @humanecharlotte . . . #humanesocietyofcharlotte #humanecharlotte #petpaloozacharlotte #petpalooza #petpaloozarerouted #virtualwalk #virtualdogwalk #nonprofit #clt #charlottedogs #charlottenc #charlotte
Hashtag promotion of yearly Pet Palooza fundraising walks by the Humane Society of Charlotte.

Create a unique hashtag for your event such as ‘#SaveTheDeers2021’ and couple that up with a bunch of generic ones such as ‘#WildLifeEvents2021’ or ‘#EnvironmentConferences’. And since you’re doing a hybrid event, include local hashtags as well. This will make the event searchable for people who want to attend in person. Examples of these can be ‘#EventsInChicago’ or ‘#ChicagoConferences’.

Collect authentic content that attendees post using your hashtag.

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5. Prime your landing page for registrations

Your marketing efforts will need a place to route your prospects to. That’s where event landing pages come in. 

So, what does a high converting landing page look like? You want to include event details, such as the name of the event, the date, duration, and time of the event – all above the fold. These are the most critical details and, thus, should be right there at the top. Next, talk about what the event will cover, who it is for, and what value will attendees gain from it. 

Include a registration form. This is how attendees will register for the event. Start off by asking whether they’d like to attend virtually or physically. This will let you price the ticket depending on the experience and also help you track event analytics. 

Make sure that the form isn’t too long, though. Longer forms hurt conversion rates, so only ask for information that you absolutely need. Mostly, this is just the first and last name of the attendee, their email address, and payment information if the event is ticketed.   

6. Add speakers to the landing page

Speakers spotlight on a landing page for the Rarefest 2020

There’s a lot of marketing that you can do on your event landing page. Adding speaker details to the page helps increase the pull of your event. Wouldn’t you want to attend an event where Jeff Bezos is delivering a keynote speaker session?

Similarly, every industry has influencers that instantly add to an event’s appeal. Marketing them on your landing page encourages prospects to register for the event and rush for a chance to hear their favorite expert share their insights. 

And wouldn’t you want to ‘speak to’ Jeff Bezos? Let your audience know that they’ll be able to network with the speakers, ask questions, and get inspired – be it at the virtual event or at the physical event.

7. Add a social media wall to your landing page

You can also embed a social media wall on your event landing page to see what people are saying about the event across various social media channels. This also triggers the fear of missing out, making prospects more curious about the event activities. 

Screenshot of the Moon Landing 50 social wall.
Social Wall at the Moon Landing 50’s event landing page. 

To make the most of this opportunity, encourage speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors to post about the event leading up to the event. Actively promote your hashtag, so more and more people are likely to use it. You can also create a photo booth at both the physical venue and the virtual venue and encourage people to share the pictures online.

Create a free social wall

8. Use a sticky bar across your site

Users land on your website for a hundred different reasons. Maybe it’s a case study that brought them to your website or an article that ranks well in search. Why not let all of them know about your upcoming event?

A sticky bar across the website capitalizes on your website traffic, directing them towards the event. The best thing about the sticky bar is that, unlike a pop-up, it doesn’t disrupt the user experience, and it stays in front of the audience for as long as they’re interacting with your website. 

A screenshot of a sticky bar counting down days before the Save the Deers 2021 event.
An example of a sticky bar.

So, what should the ideal sticky bar look like? As it’s a small panel that sticks to the top of the page, there’s very little information you can add to it. Here’s what you should include:

  • Name of the event
  • Date of when it goes live
  • A CTA that takes users to the event landing page
  • Optional: Add a countdown timer to add a sense of urgency!

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap! Digital marketing is a powerful tool when it comes to event promotions. Now that companies are trying to appeal to global audiences with their events, it’s important to find them where they’re most often at – the internet. 

So, what’s your go-to tip for promoting hybrid events?