The COVID-19 pandemic has caused organizations to do a full 180 with their in-person events. Last week’s Baftas was a virtual affair. The same treatment will happen to the Emmys in September

Even Domino’s went down the virtual route and launched its very first Homemade Film Festival contest to foster customer loyalty. The winning prize? Free pizza for a year! 

In terms of B2B context, Atlassian managed to spice up its Online Summit experience with a virtual Scavenger Hunt

One thing for sure, virtual events and videos are great marketing tools that are here to stay, even beyond the pandemic.  

In today’s instalment of #brighttailbuzz, let’s rewind the latest news on online events and video content and how you can go about nailing both!  

Virtual Events Are Here to Stay…Until 2021

In the latest Event Participation Index survey done by MarTech of 300 marketers, “respondents on average gave the prospect of attending an in-person event a 3 out of 10 chance through the end of the first half of 2021.”

So, what will make these marketers attend in-person events, you ask? The discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine. Yes, almost 70% of them agreed with this notion. But until then, it’s all about virtual events. 

But transforming your in-person event into a virtual one is more than just an effort to comply with the physical distancing requirements of COVID-19. It’s also a fail-proof strategy to connect with new business prospects and continuously generate business leads. 

In fact, virtual events like webinars were identified as one of the best ways to generate quality leads

If you’re a B2B marketer thinking of conducting your own virtual event, keep these things in mind: 

Plan Your Virtual Event Well

While you don’t have to worry about venues, flights, and accommodations, you still need to consider basic logistics and contingency plans like event timing, platforms, recorded content, etc., to ensure a well-run event. So, brainstorm with your team on how to deliver the most valuable virtual event to your attendees. 

Carefully Select Virtual Platform Vendors

The success of your virtual events also depends on how robust (and affordable) your event platform is. Platforms like ON24, Cisco Webex Events, and BlueJeans are all great solutions that enable seamless digital events. Choose one that best fits your budget and purpose. 

Content Quality Is a Top Priority

Ultimately, content quality can make or break your virtual events. So, craft an event content strategy that is truly worthwhile. Also, don’t forget the audience engagement elements that are instrumental for successful virtual events: Q&A sessions, polls, and recorded videos to name a few. 

Test Drive Your Virtual Events Through Facebook’s Messenger Rooms

Remember what we said about finding a good virtual event platform? You can soon test-drive your digital event experience through Facebook. 

The new and free video streaming option from Facebook – called Messenger Rooms – allows Facebook users to broadcast live to Facebook from their Messenger Rooms. 

With it, you can go live with up to 50 people at a time with no time limit. Even non-Facebook users can login and join your event using only a link. 

According to Facebook, “as a room creator, you can broadcast your room to a Profile, Page or Group, and invite people to tune in.”

Facebook’s new offer – Messenger Rooms – can come in handy for your virtual events. (source)

Since you can schedule when your Room goes live, you can plan your events like webinars, workshops, and product launches almost seamlessly.

But keep in mind that since the platform is limited to 50 people at one time, it’s best to use it for small-scale events that require RVSPs. 

Video Production Is the Way to Go in a WFH Environment

Another marketing strategy that continues to reign supreme is video production. 

Industry research done by IPV found that almost 62% of creative agencies are expected to increase their video production as a pivoting effort stemming from WFH conditions. 

With a growing video viewership during lockdown, marketers (from B2B as well) will benefit greatly by investing in more video ventures.  

But the key of making a good video lies in its clarity. And no, we’re not talking about video resolution (though that can also improve viewing experience). 

Clarity here refers to how well a video is crafted in terms of its purpose, content, etc., as described below:

Understand the Video’s Purpose

First, understand why you’re creating a video so that you can accurately address your viewers’ concerns. It’ll also guide you to create the video in the best format. For example, webinars are great to educate your prospects about the problems they face and how your solutions can help. On the other hand, company culture videos are perfect for showcasing what your company and brand stand for. 

Provide Captions and/or Translations

A Facebook report found that captions can increase the average view time by 12%. So, be sure to include captions and/or translations to make your video content clearer and more accessible to your viewers. 

Keeping Up with the Latest B2B Marketing News 

Virtual events and video content are here to stay and have the potential to bring great business returns when done right. 

If this is your first foray into both marketing activities, now’s the right time to start experimenting with your strategy and execution methods.