Content is the heart and soul of your event. It holds even more significance in case you’re going virtual with your event. The content you put via your event is the driving force behind event registrations and audience engagement. The understanding of how to deliver content and devise a content strategy for both an in-person and a virtual networking event. The key is to frame a content strategy that performs well for short, medium, and long term. In this article, we shall be talking about content strategies you can utilize for making your virtual events even more engaging.
We might write off content (ironically) for being the easiest part of the process. However, this could not be further from the truth. In order to make content, there is a process which is, indeed, very exhaustive. The first thing that you need to get spot-on, is understanding your audience. Who is this content for? Marketing tools like audience segmentation and targeting can help you decide the tonality and the way you want to convey your content.
Writing for a virtual event, however, is a much different process in comparison to in-person events. Mirroring the content for an in-person event might prove to be counter-productive. Keeping that in mind, how do you start?
The answer to many of your content hiccups might come from one question “What do you want should happen with this event”. It is very important to establish the end game of your event.
Here are some basic questions to get you started:
- Why are we doing this event?
- Who is it for?
- What do we want to gain?
- What do we want our audience to learn?
- How will we measure success?
Setting clear-cut Key Performance Indices (KPIs) supply much needed help to your content frame. The timing, structure, audience, hosts, and most of the details of the event will come out to be much clearer when you’re sure about what you’re trying to accomplish. This also helps you present your plan in a much better light in front of sponsors/stakeholders and more importantly, communicate effectively what you’re trying to do.
Understand the People
When you’re framing content, it is so vital to understand the type of audience you’re about to engage with. Does your content cater to a particular segment of your audience or is it something that clicks with the majority of the audience? For eg. if you know you’re going to engage a highly competitive audience, you might consider adding an element of gamification, if you’re holding a virtual career fair, you can also try to talk about career choices which were not conventional.
Let’s be honest here for a second: In today’s world, the number of virtual events on the internet is humungous! In order to differentiate your event from just another “webinar”, content framing has to come in a package packed with innovation and stuff that generally “blows your mind”. A new platform gives the opportunity to think outside the box for your events.
Obviously, once you have framed the first draft, there will be many revisions to the content (quite like this blog post). The process of revisions or re-checking your content is called a content audit. The simple rule to grasp here is virtual events need to have a lot of stimuli for the participants. If you have a wide variety of content delivery systems for eg. infographics, downloadable content, it will give your content life beyond your event and might even be memorable enough for some to deploy into their life.
Essentially, doing an audit should help you answer a few burning queries that are pivotal on the “great virtual event” checklist. Some of these are as follows:
- Is the content valuable for an online audience?
- Is it relevant?
- Is it tone-deaf?
- Will your audience be able to use the information in the short to medium-term?
Studycrumb.com is a great place to find practical advice on how to write content, as well as free tools to help you do it.
Framing content pieces around these tips and tricks is certainly going to align your motives with your event. However, one of the main things to decide is the way you will present the content i.e. delivery. In order to perform an online event that is indeed valuable and memorable, here are some things you need to take into consideration:
- Will it be a live event or a pre-recorded session.
- Streaming vs. On-Demand
- Headon addressing or on-screen presentations
- Visual vs Audio Experience
- Interactive/ On-way communication.
Once you have the delivery system down you can start to break down the event into segments and fill them up with your KPI-achieving content.
Your format choice can also affect the way your target demographic responds to your event. Based on different types of audiences, here is how you can choose between different formats:
- Thought Leadership: For providing deep insights into the soft skills of leadership
- Research-Based: For a figurative, data-driven experience
- Client Insights: For showcasing brilliant work that can be taken guidance from
- Product/Service Training: Cost-Effective way to train audiences and provide value
- Recorded Sessions: These can provide the experience of a live event and help draw experience from the vast sea of knowledge available with the speakers.
It is essential to inform your stakeholders about what they can expect from you. Build anticipation and project the image of a journey. Engaging content through various channels like social media posts can help excite your prospective audience. By asking speakers to do a teaser piece to camera to promote their session, you’ll also be able to review their online presenting style and camera set-up and make any suggestions for improvement before they go live.
Test, Test, Test
The key to a good event is that it is conducted several times before it even goes live with the audience. This means, as an organizer, you should have every second of your event mapped out in your head as you go over the rigours in your test events. Do a virtual call with your peers and run through the process of the event and it will help gauge the general audience response to the event.
In addition. here are few things you need to cross from the checklist
- Find a confident, bold and emotion-evoking speaker who knows how to connect
- Engage virtual audiences during the in-person welcome with live polls, feedback surveys, quizzes, or session preview videos.
- Use the mobile event app to send push notifications.
- Use gamification.
- Offer a variety of content.
An exhaustive guide to your content strategy for your virtual event was delivered to you via this post – however, it is just another few words on a screen until and unless put to execution. So start executing and keep coming back as you find gaps along the way!