How to use a virtual event to grow your small business quickly
Stories sell, creating a buzz of interest for your product that increases conversion. We all love a well-rounded experience, a look behind the scenes. We like to feel privy to something new and be a part of something bigger. Now we’ve got the tools to do it digitally. You may have created a superior product or service, but it will underdeliver if there is no hype and excitement around it. You need to use a virtual event to get attention from your audience and grow your small business quickly, writes Ashley Wilson.
You need their time, their eyes and emotions focused on what you’re trying to launch if you want all your effort to pay off.
Attention is the ultimate resource, and it doesn’t come cheap. You’ll need to work for it. As the old adage goes, we pay attention, and we pay for attention.
The Virtual Product Launch
The product launch event itself may be virtual, but the struggle to get it off the ground is very much real.
Thanks to new technologies, your business can organize a very successful product launch at a reasonable cost. It will, however, demand a strategy, as all events with a defined purpose do.
So, buckle up and read on as we go through a few marketing ideas on how to get the buzz going for showcasing your new product or service. The tips below will help you create an event your customers will be genuinely excited about.
Research, Listen, Implement
Before you start promoting, it’s important to do your research. Ask directly, listen, and then implement the findings.
You may find out some things you’ve never thought about or detect blind spots you and your team overlooked while developing the product or service.
After all, we all get too close to a project sometimes.
We have biases, get hyper-focused on less important details, or waste time and energy micromanaging things that our audience may not really care about.
Don’t miss the target or waste resources for failing to ask the people you’re creating for.
For instance, it’s pointless to invest in fancy gift bag packaging with 6 different color options if you’re targeting an audience that is going green and trying to reduce unnecessary waste.
Asking important key questions will help you:
- understand your customers and therefore connect with them, which will help you achieve your goals
- streamline the decision-making process to determine what facets of the project deserve primary focus
- prove hypotheses, enabling you to create meatier, reality-grounded marketing claims
All of this will ultimately result in growth for your business.
Build up Excitement via Social Media
The digital revolution has given us the means to do what humans have always done —told stories, yet without the constraints of the past.
In this sense, social media is a great friend to small businesses.
They enable companies to tell the story of their brand and its mission, yet require little to no investment, while generating large returns in exposure, increasing interest and, therefore, final revenue.
They also provide the perfect opportunity for spreading the word, which is the main agenda of your buzz-generating mission.
If you’re a micro-team with limited resources and manpower, maximize your exposure by getting familiar with the current social media trends in marketing:
- 88.1% of people spend more time on social media due to the global situation
- video is dramatically on the rise
- over 4 million online shopping sessions in Q1 of 2020
- TikTok and Reddit are gaining popularity
- daily users of “stories” on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook grew 500% from 2016-2019
- 90% of users prioritize authenticity when deciding which brand to support
- 43% of consumers research products and services on social media
- 3/10 customers prefer to communicate with a business through social media
With this data in mind, it’s clear that social media are the place to be when it comes to promotions.
Tease, Tantalize, Entice
With the right strategy, a virtual promotional event doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources.
Make your customers want to know more about what you’re offering by providing clues and gradually revealing more exciting details in the lead-up to the final reveal of a launch event.
Make it your own and authentic.
Whenever possible, make your teaser campaign interactive so that viewers remember you.
Combine giveaways, discounts, vouchers, and VIP access to the product or service for the first correct guess in a memorable campaign. People love games and remember experiences more than facts.
Consider connecting with other small businesses, communities, associations, or opinion leaders in your niche to ask them to share your story and campaign on their channels.
Reach out to influencers and entice them to join in and share within their, usually very active, follower base. Competition is natural, and a freebie is hard to refuse.
The more people find out about your virtual launch, the better.
Also, make sure to broadcast the date as early in advance as you can.
You can be tight-lipped about the details of the launch itself, but don’t wait till the last moment to share the date and time, or you risk losing some potential attendees to previous engagements.
Speak Directly to the Individual
Take some time to personalize the communication between your business and the client, and speak directly to the individual.
These might be existing B2B or B2C relationships you have formed through past purchases, newsletter sign-ups or conference contacts, or even potential new customers who came to you expressing interest in your endeavor.
Contact them by email or social media with a personalized message instead of a generic missive.
If you’re relatively small, you have the luxury of going through your customer base one by one if necessary. You can do it in a reasonable time frame and with a much greater ROI in event turnout than a bland bulk send.
Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.
Call recipients by name and offer something you believe they would be interested in.
When you’re organizing a virtual event, that can be anything from a first crack at the demo version to an invite to the virtual launch or a code to unlock the exclusive hang-out with the contributors afterward.
To Sum Up
Strategize, strategize, and strategize. The digital launch event has just as many layers as a non-virtual one.
Watch the pre-event communications, tailor the content meticulously to your audience while keeping your voice, market, promote like mad, and reap the low hanging fruit of the post-event energy to get even more exposure.
Happy launch, and see you in the stratosphere!
This post was written by Ashley Wilson, a content creator, writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.