Make your virtual events rock

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´Virtual´ is an un-enviable contender for 2020’s word of the year and likely to be pushing for a high ranking in 2021.

 

Live marketing events are being cancelled and 2021 looks like it will be another difficult year for marketeers.

With declining budgets and a completely alien landscape what can marketeers do with those budgets that remain?

To help you gain an understanding of what your competitors are thinking, LinkedIn and Vision Critical surveyed 450 marketers early this summer on how the pandemic is impacting them, and how they’re responding.

“Budget cuts are the top concern and biggest challenge for marketers”

In the survey, 42% of respondents cited budget cuts as a “significant challenge,” more than any other answer (74% said cuts were presenting a challenge at some levell) BUT the next-highest responses were switching in-person events to virtual events (34%) and being forced to shift marketing priorities (31%). Similarly, 34%of marketers named budget cuts their biggest concern over the next three months, followed by switching to virtual events (16%).

It looks like 'virtual' is an unenviable contender for 2020’s word of the year and likely to be pushing for a high ranking in 2021.

Switching to virtual events imposes some challenges.  We are all used to Zoom calls, the changing face of work etiquette such as shelf gazing (the art of looking at the books positioned behind someone on a zoom call and making according judgments…) but one of the real challenges of 2021 is going to be pushing beyond these interminable calls and webinars and rising to the challenge of reaching clients through new and dynamic content that come close to the personal interaction that trade shows, conferences, meet and greets, lunches, town halls and all the other face to face opportunities to actually connect used to provide as part of our working life before Covid-19 came on the scene.

2021 marketing budgets

The big question is how do you make your virtual events stand out in 2021?

Back to the survey.  Let's take a look at what channels are proving popular.

Webinars are up, events are down

The largest increases are seen in the following channels

·      Webinars (67%)

·      Organic social (56%)

·      Online video (44%)

 

Online video obviously feeds into both organic social and webinars for example as a great 30 second product video or business explainer can be used in a webinar presentation and this multi-use of content is nothing new but something that increasingly will become part of an integrated approach to virtual events.  When you spend those $$ make them work harder by thinking of the cross channel use of the content.

Increasingly, people expect such content this to be accompanied by animation or graphics that engage in a way that might be humorous, intellectual, passionate but will be stimulating in some way that links to the emotional pull of your video so make sure your script is written that way before you reach out to your content creator or even better ask them to write the script for you as part of the brief.  As much as we love an open creative brief here at Takeaway Content we have been told before ‘to make it just look great’ and whilst we did of course, it can be a lot quicker if you know what your client’s emotional connection to your business is before you start.

For virtual events this is even more important. Yeah, the video from the CEO is important and we know how hard it is to give up the PowerPoint presentation BUT to succeed you need more, you can be sure your competitors will be doing the same.

Don't let this be your audience at your events…

Here are some suggestions to use at your virtual events.

  • Pre-recorded videos – Not just the business explainer but ideally a  whole suite of on demand videos from product demonstrations to members of your technical teams providing more detail for those who need it.  Remember, it’s also a good way to show off your team’s human side.  Wistia do this REALLY WELL.
  • Animated education content – It looks great and it pops in a way that really engages.  It’s a little more expensive than straight up video but check out the results.

 

It looks like being another tough year for marketeers but there are. opportunities particularly if you can up your content creation game and get ahead of the competition with great, tailored video & animation.  Remember the key is a narrative, a good script and the rest professionals who can help make the vision come alive.

 

 

Phil Kurthausen
Words and stories

Phil is the storyteller at Takeaway Content. He is a writer, journalist & lawyer and the guy who will use word magic to entrance and engage your customers.

Phil Kurthausen
Words and stories

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