Even though now is an optimal time to talk about how to take physical engagement into the digital world, having a connection between online and offline interactions should be top-of-mind for marketers no matter the time or situation.
So how do you get your audience to engage with you virtually the same way they would at a trade show or roundtable event? By delivering engaging and interactive content, of course! With the amount of technology available to marketing and sales teams today, bridging this gap is easier than ever.
Here are some quick-hitting tips from experts to get started:
1. Encourage On-Camera Webcasts and Virtual Meetings
“All the web platforms available now can support video content and streaming,” said Jeff Pedowitz, President and CEO of The Pedowitz Group. “I have seen marketers start to encourage more audience participation for those people that are willing since a lot of people still don't like to turn on their cameras on when they’re not actually an event. For those who want to do that, it makes it more personal. And at a minimum, the webinar presenters should turn their camera on. Turning on the camera makes it a lot more personal versus someone talking into a PowerPoint slide.”
2. Keep Virtual Content Short
“Slowing down the pace of the content and break it up so it's a lot more interactive,” said Pedowitz. “We've seen short-burst sessions — let's say, on a five-minute topic — and then a Q&A for five minutes, and repeat. Very few people just have the time to sit through webinars for an hour, so that's why it's important to make it in smaller pieces and then have it available for consumption so people can view the content on-demand.”
3. Make Webinars Interactive
“The idea of a webinar as a talking PowerPoint has changed a lot,” said Mark Bornstein, VP of Marketing at ON24. “Webinars have completely transformed and brands are creating incredible experiences that are much more engagement-driven than ever before. Webinars are becoming more like TV experiences than PowerPoints, and many don’t have slides. We see people creating programmings such as talk shows, coffee talks and panels. I always push out a poll, for example, before I even show my first slide when I do webinars.”
4. Try Video
“There have been a lot of publishers researchers that have been saying video is really going to come back very heavily for marketers in 2020,” said Pedowitz. “One thing that I would tell folks is when you're going to start doing video, spend $15 to get yourself a decent background. A lighting set will cost like $40 off of Amazon. The visual, when you are doing video, is going to make a huge difference. You can even get so much quality doing a video on your iPhone — it's not a hard set-up. You can do this very economically and still maintain quality.”
5. Recycle Your Content For Other Channels
"Marketers are feeling increased pressure to create more with less,” said Alicia Esposito, Senior Content Strategist at Content4Demand. “At the same time, their budgets are more squeezed than ever and for whatever budget they do get, they must prove the value of their investments. Digital and live events are a tremendous investment for any brand, but they also provide big value — that is, if you put some work in. Agendas and sessions, at least best-in-class ones, are developed using buyer insights and feedback around key triggers, pain points and priorities ... the making of compelling content! Sadly, most organizations leave this amazing insight with the live event — a lot of latent value that they can't explore or fully realize. Marketers have the opportunity to reuse and repurpose event content — either through quick-turn, high-impact means (think trimming sessions into social clips for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or more strategic, long-form content, such as filtering out key trends/takeaways into a big rock E-book featuring your speakers as "key influencers." There are so many opportunities to recreate the magic, so to speak, and transforming a few days or one-day event into a week- or months-long campaign.”