Real-world events and experiences like sporting events, festivals and retail experiences, that we once enjoyed with friends and strangers are transforming to digital events.
Should your business and brand leverage digital events?
This guide will provide you with a framework to help you produce successful digital events. The guide includes a few real-world examples of how businesses and brands are using digital events to stay connected and relevant during COVID-19.
Your Guide To Producing Successful Digital Events
The creative process for producing content for a live digital event is not too different from producing real-world experiences. Here is your framework to producing a successful digital event for your business and brand.
Start with a story. “Companies that don’t have a clearly articulated story don’t have a clear and well thought-out strategy.” A quote from Ben Horowitz, author of the Hard Thing, About Hard Things. Who together with Marc Andreessen has built Andreesen-Horowitz the most influential venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. The same rule applies when producing a digital event as an alternative to face-to-face experiences and interaction during COVID-19.
Know your audience. Your business and brand caters to multiple audience profiles. It does not mean that your brand must create multiple stories to cater to each segment. A better approach is to have a main story plot that weaves and connects the minor story plots to your main story.
Two years after GoGoGuest, I took a course by Andy Raskin, Storytelling for Success: How To Pitch, Present and Persuade. To get better at crafting our company story in any given situation. In an elevator. A coffee shop. In front of a VC or a potential customer. To this day, I refer to Andy’s notes and blog. I found that Tailoring Your Pitch For Multiple Audiences to be the most helpful when presenting in front of an audience. Similar to a digital event.
And always, be genuine. people love that.
Let your target audience know. Like any digital marketing channel, a business and brand must rely on a cross-platform communication (email content, social media posts, Google My Business and if it is a big event it may be a good idea to use direct mail too) to get the word out about your digital event. As you prepare and plan marketing campaigns to create awareness and convert people to sign up for your digital event, remember to create customer segments and automations.
Why is posting your event on Facebook or Instagram not enough? Your audience bounce back from one online content site to another or may be completely avoiding social media, specially during shelter-in-place. Make sure to reach them where they drop-in a few times a day.
Pick your delivery platform. Your attendees have set-aside the time to attend your digital event. It is important to ensure that you choose the best and most reliable digital event platform. There are two categories: Virtual Event (VE) platforms or a Live Streaming platform, according to Forrester, one category requires more investment than the other.
How will you keep them engaged? One of my favorite COVID-19 digital events is David Lebovitz daily Instagram live streams from his tiny kitchen in Paris. Instead of going on a book tour for Drinking French, David turned to Instagram to live stream how to create the cocktail recipes from his book. His show format includes a lot of storytelling. David would talk bout the ingredients that go into a cocktail or what inspired the cocktail, food recipes that go well with it or a daily update on what is going on in Paris during COVID-19. David’s show is lively, entertaining and very informative. It makes me want to come back to Paris and bar hop!
A few key observations from successful digital events I’ve attended:
- Programming content that teaches something new.
- People love self-deprecating humor with loads of empathy
- Acknowledge your audience. Reading comments and reply live!
- When asked a question, share what you know.
- Be genuine. Admit it when you don’t know.
Learn and move forward.
Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know your audience in a live format. You may only have 3 to 5 people tune in the first time, it is okay. Learn from it and produce a second one. Digital event programming could prove to be a powerful marketing tactic for your business and brand.
GoGoGuest is a customer marketing and data software subscription solution that helps every business and iconic brand better understand their customers. We are trusted by over 200 businesses and power more than a million customer engagements every month. Our story.