As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we've seen live events across all industries and all over the world get either postponed or canceled entirely because of concerns over the health and safety of attendees, exhibitors, partners, and employees.
Many events with original dates in spring and summer 2020 were initially rescheduled for the fall in the hope that this health crisis would subside by that time. And at this point, it's far from certain if those events will be able to take place until next year.
Businesses that have a lot riding on a specific live event that's now postponed might be waiting in anticipation for it to go ahead so that they can finally do all the things they had planned for it.
Others, however, have taken this time to evolve, rather than wait. These are the businesses that are generating leads and getting the word out about their brands now, instead of waiting for the world to fully open back up again--because no one truly knows when that will happen.
Here are three things winning businesses are doing to maintain momentum in light of live physical events being called off.
Host a Live Virtual Event
Whether it's a webinar showcasing your thought leadership content or a relaxed livestream discussion with fellow colleagues, virtual events give you the opportunity to connect with your prospects on an authentic level.
I've been on both sides of the spectrum.
At my company, Zen Media, we work with clients to create virtual events and have found their sign-ups and leads have been doubling--proving that you don't have to rely on in-person conferences or trade shows for lead generation.
I've also been a virtual event speaker for multiple events across industries, and the feedback has been very good from organizers and attendees alike. It seems excellent content is desirable no matter the medium.
With physical events currently on hold and online usage surging, going live (whether for your own event or one held by another organization) gives brands the opportunity to reach a wider audience, build authority, and grow more authentic relationships with leads and prospects.
Boost Your Content Marketing
During these uncertain times, many businesses are seeking guidance. Use the time and resources you had meant to use at a canceled live event to boost your content marketing.
Publish a whitepaper on a current topic and highlight your brand's specific expertise and experience. Put together case studies that showcase your products or services. Write an e-book to establish thought leadership. Design an infographic. Produce videos. Amp up publishing on your blog.
Through your content, you have the opportunity to provide people with the help and advice they're seeking during this unprecedented situation. And at the same time, you're building your brand up as a reliable, trusted resource.
Up Your Social Media Engagement
With more people sitting around at home using social media these days, brands should take this time to increase engagement and build trust with their audiences. It can be tempting to fill your feeds with the same old product-focused posts, but crafting content that really resonates with your followers will help your brand cut through all the social media noise.
Focus on the quality of your posts and on delivering value. Don't just blow past coronavirus in hopes of selling more products or getting more prospects. The posts that tend to perform well with followers are ones that are topical, helpful, and empathetic.
And don't shy away from content that evokes emotion. Provide some inspiration. Or just simply try to make people laugh.
Brands that pay attention to the latest news and focus directly on the needs of their customers are the ones that are winning at social media engagement, brand recognition, and lead generation.
During a time of such uncertainty, it can be all too easy to put your events marketing efforts on hold as you wait for live physical events to come back. But brands that are proactive and ramping up relationship-building with their audiences are the ones owning this moment and setting their businesses up for long-term success post-crisis.