Promote your virtual summit before it begins v2

1. Choose which communication channels and assets to use for promotion based on your summit’s target audience, budget, and goals.

If your brand has run an event before, especially a virtual one, look at post-event surveys, analytics, and your previous promotional assets to assess how your audience found out about the event, and which channels or content types received the most or least engagement. Choose several channels that best reach your target audience, including: Email, like segmented funnels to build up hype and encourage registrations. Social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn posts, stories, short videos, a summit Facebook group, giveaways, or ads. Paid advertising, like Facebook image or video ads. Content, like a blog post about the summit, guest blogging, press release, or podcast interview. Affiliate marketing, which involves incentivizing speakers, sponsors, your network, or attendees to get other people to register for the event.

2. Create a promotional content calendar that outlines deadlines and assignments for asset creation, review, and distribution.

Use a content calendar tool like Trello or Airtable to help assign tasks, set deadlines, and visualize the workflow for creating, reviewing, editing, and scheduling or posting promotional materials.  Break each task into manageable pieces. For example, creating a promotional graphic may include reaching out to speakers to ask for a headshot, choosing a template or design tool, choosing summit colors and fonts with your team, writing the copy, editing the copy, asking for approval, finalizing the graphic, and scheduling the Instagram post in your scheduling tool.

3. Create branded visual assets for all chosen channels to announce the date, speakers, agenda, registration reminders, and access pass details.

Create a summit logo or consistent branding elements, like a color scheme and font, that match the tone of the event. Use tools like Canva or Visme for graphic design, and Filmora or Final Cut Pro for video editing. Use a tool like Canva to make multiple versions of assets with different aspect ratios to meet channel specifications. Example assets include: Graphics for social media posts or emails. Social media banners, like for Facebook, your Facebook group, or YouTube. Teaser videos, like WISP’s promotional video with footage of the speakers, summit information, and benefits. Videos with your speakers or sponsors. Ad graphics.

4. Prepare promotional text content that your team, your speakers, and third-party partners can use or promote.

This may include email copy, press releases, social media captions, or a blog post with information about the summit’s theme, partners, speakers, or FAQs.  Include a CTA to register in all text content, or for segmented audiences that have registered, include a CTA that upsells a better access pass or asks them to share the event with friends.

5. Build a registration landing page with shareable social media links and summit details.

Use a landing page template or builder, like MailChimp, Wix, or Instapage. As the event gets closer, you can gradually add more information, but start with at least the summit topic, the date, pricing info, and registration form. Include things like: A registration form. Topic and title. Event schedule. Listed benefits of attending, like Digital Branding Summit’s list of benefits and the offer for a free playbook with sign-up. Speaker bios. Sponsor info and a call to action to get involved. Pricing info.

6. Send promotional assets to speakers and partners, and ask them to promote the summit to their networks through social media posts, emails, and reposting your brand’s promotional efforts.

Request that all event partners and speakers promote the event. Give instructions and prepared assets, copy, or templates. Tag them in the promotional content you share on your brand’s social media platforms. You can also incentivize third-party promotion with commission, discounts, or through affiliate marketing. Use affiliate tools like Tapfiliate or Post Affiliate Pro to help run the program.

7. Add virtual summit announcements and promotions to your website.

Add popups, banners, or sidebar call to actions to your website to promote the summit, using a widget like Popup by Elfsight or through your website builder. This may include a countdown, discounted access pass offer, or call to action message like Are you coming to the summit? Other persistent summit promotional efforts may include: Add a promotional banner or box to your email newsletter. Update your Facebook banner with a summit graphic. Put your summit registration link in your Instagram bio.

8. Launch your first round of promotional content that builds up curiosity for the summit around 1 to 2 months before the event.

Early promotion may include a save the date email, mysterious countdown on your website to a surprise announcement, and announcing the summit date and topic to your social media channels.

9. Launch another wave of promotional content 2 to 3 weeks before the event that reveals all the important information and registration info.

Examples include a short video that reveals the speakers, a LinkedIn post when the schedule is set, an email to your target audience with full speaker bios, or Facebook ads with the promotional graphic. Since virtual summit audiences can cover many time zones and regions, consider segmenting the email audiences by region to send promotional content at a convenient time for that audience and releasing other promotional content at various times to diversify who first sees the posts.

10. Launch the final push for registration in the last few days leading up to the event, using time sensitive language to show urgency.