You've Planned The Perfect Marketing Event. Here's How To Make Sure People See It / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: March 5, 2018
Photo credit: I'm friday/Shutterstock

Having the perfect marketing live stream planned out to a T may still not be enough to get the return on investment you'd expect. Here are some strategies to ensure your live virtual event gets the audience it deserves.

You've planned the perfect marketing event. The speakers are lined up, and your questions are prepared. Your production strategy is in place, and you know your content is gold. You've even been hyping up the live stream on social media and sending out invites to your email list for weeks.

That's great, but is it enough? Many marketers get to this point and realize that having the perfect marketing live stream planned out to a T isn't enough to get the return on investment they were expecting. For lots of marketers, it feels like the normal distribution channels aren't performing as well as they'd like. The funnel is leaky, and our audience just isn't growing as quickly or converting as reliably as it used to.

Have no fear! This is normal, and it manifests in some common ways.

For example, contact list fatigue is a huge problem for marketers and can get in the way of live stream promotion. You may notice your email open rates decreasing, your unsubscribe rates increasing, or your click-through rate hovering at a low percentage on your invites.

If this is the case, you may want to look into your email frequency, and start A/B testing subject lines and email formats to see what works best for your contacts. If you've done all of this, and you aren't sending more than 10 emails a month, it could be that your list is just old and needs to be refreshed.

With the use of tracking pixels, you can profile your organic audience and build an audience of net-new viewers who have similar interests and may be open to your message but who are not yet tired of hearing from you.

Another problem marketers face frequently is a high bounce rate on registration pages. Again, A/B testing the format and form length is important here. It could be that your audience wants to see your live stream, but they don't want to give you their phone number or fill out a form longer than four fields. Or maybe you don't explain what they will learn in the webinar in a clear enough way, and they change their minds before filling out your form. A/B test your layout to determine if you're having these issues. Also, make sure your landing page is taking no longer than two seconds to load. Any more time and your bounce rate is bound to increase.

Once you've done these things, be sure to capture people who have bounced from your landing page using a tracking pixel, and show them your content while it's live, no matter where they are online. A high bounce rate doesn't need to equal low viewership. Distribute your event to people who've bounced from your registration page in order to funnel them back toward your content and your brand.

You might also recognize this common problem: Around 60 percent of registrants to live virtual miss the event. That means that, without a distribution tool, you're probably delivering your message to 40 percent of registrants. Over half the room is empty before you've had a chance to speak! Attendance rates are even lower among live virtual events with complicated download requirements or software that creates barriers to entry. It will also be higher without a reminder schedule that alerts registrants to the event a day and hour before it begins.

This is another problem that can be solved with distribution and tracking, though. Identify your registrants and then show them your content while it's live, even if they don't show up.

Some people reach a place in their live content strategy where they have very specific, high-level targeting needs, or multi-stage marketing plans that incorporate their live content. That's great! It means you're getting more strategic with your live streaming and want to focus more on people who are likely to convert. Segmentation is a huge step toward driving higher ROI for live events. Others have particular events that require audiences in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

For marketers with high-level segmentation needs, multi-step marketing plans, or large audience requirements, there are formulas and tools to help you reach your goals.

Here's a simple three-step approach to ensure you reach your audience goals for your next live virtual event.

1. Before your event: Pixel your audience.

The first step is adding a tracking pixel to your registration page to track organic traffic. You can use this information to build a lookalike audience of new people who may not even know you exist yet but who share interests and characteristics with people drawn to your content. As I mentioned earlier, pixeling your page also allows you to follow up with people who never filled out the form and show live content to registrants who forget to show up when your event is live.

Tracking pixels can also be used for retargeting, so you should pixel the page where your video will be live as well, but we'll get to that later. 

2. During your event: Distribute live content across the web to maximize your chances of being seen.

Using a live stream audience development tool, you can distribute your live virtual event across high-traffic publisher websites to a segmented target audience of your design. Segment based on interest, location, company, job title, and engagement rate, and pay attention to which sites get the highest engagement among your target demographics. Then, you can optimize your distribution in real time.

In short, don't waste time streaming to an empty room! Get your live stream in front of lots of people. If you don't see engagement on certain sites, focus your energy on distributing to other ones. 

3. After your event: Retarget engaged viewers for maximum conversion potential.

As you host more events, your audience pool naturally growa. And as you host more events and learn from them, your pool of engaged viewers also growa. Don't let this attention go to waste!

If you've placed a pixel on your live stream, you can follow up with engaged viewers by making sure they see more of your great content. Much has been written on how many contacts it takes to convert a stranger to a customer. You've probably already heard of the rule of seven, which states that a person needs to come across your brand seven times before they feel moved to buy. Get started on those seven touches by retargeting people who seem interested in what you have to say. Over time, your live content will grow, plus you an audience pool that's already started moving through your marketing funnel.

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