It’s now common wisdom that the big shift from in-person to on-screen sales engagement is here to stay. Virtual events can outperfrom even traditionally schmoozy get-togethers like trade shows and conferences in important ways:
- more attendees
- greater flexibility to attend multiple sessions
- much lower production costs
- little or no T&E expense
- better audience analytics
Still, according to a 2021 Forrester study, most marketers admit to having a tough time replicating the “compelling storytelling and lead-generating aspects” of in-person events. Well, of course. As a customer experience, online business events are mostly okay, but far short of “compelling.”
Reusable marketing assets for virtual events
Nevertheless, marketers are upbeat — 80% agreed that their virtual events and hybrid events could eventually achieve the same or greater success as in-person events with the right strategy and software solutions (e.g., those available from BlueJeans, the company who commissioned the study).
As to virtual events strategy, the Forrester study suggests that marketers should revise their thinking to “focus on creating reusable marketing assets and a personalized, educational CX.”
Because video is often the most efficient way to deliver information and can help fend off Zoom fatigue, many of these assets will be videos. But it’s also true that the video formats most marketers are comfortable with today — product-centric explainers, webinars, demos, tutorials — aren’t intended for a “personalized, educational customer experience.”
For that, you need to develop an easy-to-navigate library of videos on the specific product features and benefits that customers and prospects ask about. The value of this approach goes beyond virtual events. Videos that make virtual events more effective can easily be re-used in sales presentations, on website product pages, in social media, even in text documents like white papers. And, unlike the interactions in live events, engagement with videos can easily be measured, providing valuable insights into what your audience really cares about.
Where to start
If you look closely at your existing video library, you’ll almost certainly discover segments that can be re-edited to enliven virtual events. You can start creating new marketing videos and demos with segments that are easy to excerpt. Slideshares, process diagrams, and other graphic assets can also form the basis of short videos used in online events and reused elsewhere.
Online events play an important role in the competition for customers — and an effective video strategy will be a competitive advantage.