Welcome back to our newsletter series where we’re breaking down how to plan and execute a virtual event or webinar using the Zoom platform.
Last week, we talked about how to plan your virtual event so that you make the attendee’s experience as seamless as possible.
Today, we’ll provide a sample Promotion Timeline that maps out how to successfully get the word out about your webinar or virtual event.
First, know your audience. Who is your audience for this specific event? Are they members of your organization? Will the event be open to the public? Your promotion strategy needs to be tailored to your specific audience, so always start there.
6-8 Weeks in Advance:
- Set Up and Test Your Event Web Page: Make sure that your event web page is set up so that it’s as easy and smooth as possible for attendees to get their Zoom login information. Once you’ve set up your event web page, test it to make sure it is working properly.
- Create Promotion Materials: Prepare all of the graphic elements and content that you will need in order to promote your event.
- “Save the Date.” Share the date of the event with your audience and encourage them to “Save the Date.” This could be shared at the end of newsletters, on your website, and on social media.
- Create and Plan Your Email Campaign: Create and plan an email campaign centered around your event. Plan the timeline and prepare the content so you’ll be ready to schedule it to be sent during the promotion window, which comes later.
- Submit Your Event to Local/Regional Calendars Online: You can do this for both a free event or paid event.
One Month Before Event:
- Rehearse Your Event: One month before your event, rehearse your event and go through all the content and technical aspects, as we talked about in last week’s newsletter.
- Rehearse Your Event with Guest Speakers: If you have guest speakers, they should also be present at your rehearsals. As they are practicing their content, you could ask their permission to turn some of their content into soundbites to be used in a blogpost or social media shares (with their approval).
- Give Promotional Materials to Guest Speakers: If you have guest speakers who will be sharing the event with their audience, give them content and graphics specifically branded for them that they can share on social media. (For example – include their image on an event graphic.) Make it as easy as possible for them to promote the event.
2 Weeks Before Event:
- Send Email Campaign: The email campaign you planned and created 6-8 weeks before the event can be sent out in the 2- to 3-week period leading up to your event. Make sure to repurpose your email content as blog posts on your website and social media shares.
- Actively Promote on Social Media: Your most aggressive social media promotion should happen in this 2-week window. (People often won’t put a virtual event on their calendar more than 2 weeks out.) Along with multiple social media posts, you can also promote your event through Facebook Live or Instagram Live videos, as well as utilizing the “Stories” feature on Facebook and Instagram.
- Invite the Media: Especially during this time, the media is looking for events to cover. Create a press release to send to the media that would be the right fit for your event, such as general/mainstream media, industry-targeted media, or geographically targeted media. You can reach out to both traditional media (radio, newspapers, magazines) and new media sources (such as blogs or social media influencers).
- Speak at Radio Interviews or Other Interviews: If you secure any media coverage such as radio interviews, you’ll want to be featured in the 2-week period before your event.
- Follow Up With the Media: Keep engaging the media and follow up with them to let them know the event is coming up.
Day of Event:
Keep promoting your event all the way up to the event. Once you reach the day of the event, you can then focus on delivering the content to your audience and giving a great presentation.
‘Til next time,