The COVID crisis has been the catalyst for many businesses rethinking their daily activities, including marketing. While some of us have been quick to adapt our marketing approaches to a now exclusively digital world, the rest of us are getting the shove to change tack quick. Conferences, tradeshows, and coffee dates must be put on hold; now we need to reach our audiences virtually.

In this blog, Engaging Partners share their insights into marketing tactics to help your events business through the pandemic.

Here, we share three tactics to help your transition from face-to-face to digital marketing initiatives. But don't think of them as quick-fixes to see you through the current pandemic, these tactics might change the way you do your marketing for good.

1. Make your live events live-streamed webinars

The experience of a live event is hard to beat, and they make for fantastic networking and relationship building. But your customers are housebound, so now's the time to innovate and bring the event to them in the comfort and safety of their homes. Whether live or on-demand, webinars are a great way to continue to engage with your customers and they're super easy to organise.

Here are some tips for a successful webinar:

  • Keep it short and put the effort in: Just like live events, you need to keep your audience engaged and interested. Keep it under 60-minutes and make sure you present the content in a clear and captivating way.
  • Consider a series: If you're trying to replicate a conference as a webinar, you'll likely have a line-up of multiple speakers. If that's the case, give each speaker their own "episode" and create a series. Your audience will stay engaged over a longer period of time.
  • Make your live webinar on-demand: Allow plenty of lead-time to promote your live webinar and build an audience and capture new registrations through paid social ads to ensure plenty of people tune in. Once live, record the webinar and you'll have it on-demand on your website. 
  • Have a solid inbound marketing strategy: Your events, whether face-to-face or digital, are powerful tools for generating leads for your business. Build your webinars with tech that integrates seamlessly with your marketing automation platform so you can promote the event, run it smoothly and follow up leads post-event. At Engaging Partners, we employ Zoom Webinars integrated with HubSpot Marketing Hub.
  • Optimise the customer experience: All of your webinars should be followed up with a short customer experience survey. Ask your customers for their feedback, assess the success and relevance of the event, and apply those learnings to future webinars.

2. Make video your lockdown hero

If you're a marketer incorporating video into your content strategy, you're likely to see 66% more qualified leads a year than those that don't (OptinMonster, 2019).

But creating video content is often easier said than done, so here are some tips to help you think laterally about video content while working from home:

  • Upcycle existing content: You're bound to have existing video content in your inventory. Give it a new lease-of-life by trimming into shorter, engaging intro videos to generate some excitement around your content. 
  • Use your phone: Not just to film video content, but to promote existing content in a new way. 62% of people said they were more interested in a product after seeing it in a Facebook Story (Marketing Land, 2018). Here's an example of one we've done.
  • Make use of the plethora of video tools: Most can be used by anyone with an inkling of creative flair and a few minutes to spare. Promo and Lumen are notable options, and we made the above video with Wave.
  • Personalised video: Suprise and delight with personally recorded 1:1 video messages via email. One of many features of the HubSpot Sales Hub (professional and enterprise) platform, with Vidyard, your team can quickly film messages to send to clients and other key stakeholders. Use this feature to follow up a call, explain products or as an intro to content that may be of value to them. Learn more about HubSpot videos here.

3. Introduce live chat (and bots) to your website

One of the most important ways we can continue to create value for our customers right now is by making ourselves available. A live chat feature on your website is a great way to facilitate real-time conversation, and with a bot, customers can find the answers to their questions without you having to be online 24/7.

Here are some tips for getting started with live chat and chatbots:

  • To start with, you'll need to test the chat feature to decide how you'll apply it on your website. Do this by first introducing it to pages with high traffic (like your homepage) or high purchase-intent (such as a pricing page) as these will be the most likely to deliver the engagement volume needed for accurate results
  • Test different placements, messages and experiences of your chat feature
  • If you're experimenting with chatbots, make sure you set a specific goal for the bot and communicate this to website visitors. Managing expectations of how the bot can help is key to a great user experience
  • Different pages of your site serve different purposes. Personalise your chat feature to reflect the subject matter across your website.

We hope these tactics will empower you to introduce fresh ideas that can easily be implemented into your marketing strategy. Whether or not the COVID crisis has directly impacted your business, these tactics are all great initiatives for inbound marketing, and they're sure to create brand impact and drive results for your business.

Take care and stay kind!