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Tips for Encouraging Engagement During a Virtual Event

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Tips for Encouraging Engagement During a Virtual Event

Convincing people to sign up for a virtual event is one thing — keeping their focus once they log on is another. After investing a massive amount of time, money and effort into planning a virtual event and attracting attendees, you don’t want that effort going to waste, so you must take steps to foster engagement during the event.

This lifecycle of a successful virtual event can make or break how effectively you convert event attendees into viable leads. People often find issues with unengaging virtual events. Boring content, disorganized hosts/moderators, lack of opportunities for interaction and uncharismatic speakers top the list of leading problems associated with virtual events.

According to Zachary Bosin — Vice President of Product & Growth Marketing at BlueJeans by Verizon — mastering virtual events matters more than ever. While virtual events aren’t going anywhere, they aren’t the only option anymore. “The world is never going back to a pre-pandemic experience,” Bosin noted. “With some trade shows and conferences coming back, we are really going to have to continue to evolve our approach when it comes to creating digital engagement.”

Let’s look at a few ways marketers can make their next virtual event more engaging, giving them a higher return on their investment.

Be Adaptable

The beauty of any type of event lies in the ability to interact with others — even if it occurs digitally. Interaction comes with variability, and predicting exactly how a virtual event will pan out can pose challenges. That’s why adaptability remains a vital skill for any marketer to have ready and waiting.

To foster engagement, you may need to pivot mid-event to adjust the conversation to what the audience finds compelling. Thanks to chat features, polls and other engagement tools, you can learn what makes your audience tick in real time, enabling you to shape the content throughout the event.

The host can’t do all the heavy lifting here. You will likely need a community manager on hand to engage in the chat, help guide the host towards new conversation topics and manage those fun features like polls.

To stay adaptable, you can also keep on top of the latest trends during the planning stage in the virtual event space. “As a marketer, you’re always kind of looking at the trends and trying to understand what’s going on in the broader world and from a business to business perspective,” Bosin explained, “It’s critical to understand what’s happening in the consumer world and how those technological shifts and those media consumption shifts are going to have a dramatic impact when you’re reaching out to buyers and decision makers because you wanna mirror those same trends.”

Use the Right Tech

Virtual events are here to stay, so many businesses now seek the right tech to make their virtual events a success. In 2021, 85% of those surveyed indicated that their organization faces pressure from employees and customers to improve event technology. An equal number of respondents cited plans to evaluate new virtual event technology that same year.

How can the right tech take a virtual event to the next level and encourage engagement? With BlueJeans Events, you can elevate your brand by using your logos, background and colors. Branding a virtual event is one of the best ways to improve the professionalism of the event from minute one.

With your virtual event in full swing, you can highlight multiple presenters with dynamic on-screen layouts, add ticker banners, enable lower third callouts and take advantage of other features that make the event easier to navigate and more engaging for attendees. 

Engage Directly with the Audience

Digital marketers can benefit from trying to mirror in-person engagement tactics by adapting them for the virtual world. For example, when someone attends a conference, they can often raise their hand at the end of the session to ask the speaker a question. With BlueJeans Events, you can use Q&A, chat, polling and hand-raising tools to give event attendees the chance to engage with presenters and moderators and to add to the conversation at any point throughout the event.

Bosin explained how to use some of these tools to your advantage during a virtual event. For example, Bosin advises incorporating polls at different milestones throughout the event. “Everyone’s warming up — it’s kinda like an icebreaker,” Bosin observed, “Let’s throw a poll out there and see how people feel about a certain topic.”

Event moderators can allow attendees to ask questions, and the most popular questions can then appear on the screen for everyone to see. Not only do these features give attendees a chance to become more engaged and make them less likely to sign off early, but they also give them the chance to be heard.

Key Takeaways

Major brands find virtual success by hosting their events using BlueJeans Events. One success story includes the Phoenix Suns — a basketball team put in a difficult spot when fans could no longer attend games in 2020. How could the Phoenix Suns find new ways to bring the in-arena experience to fans and engage them after a months-long hiatus in the NBA season? They relied on additional streamed video content that enabled real-time participation. This work enabled the Phoenix Suns to offer unique experiences, and they engaged fans around the world through contests, giveaways, chat, polls and Q&As.

Penske also found they couldn’t host in-person racing events in 2020 and turned to BlueJeans events to turn its Indy 500 events virtual and to hold the drivers’ meeting and a partnership event. With the help of BlueJeans Events, Penske delivered best-in-class entertainment experiences to more than 25,000 fans who saw all 33 drivers of the Indy 500 virtually.

With a willingness to adapt, the right tech on hand and a desire to engage directly with the audience, marketers can keep their audiences engaged virtually.

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Twitter Experiments with Reply Filters, Timeline Controls, and the Capacity to Search Your Tweet Likes

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Twitter Experiments with Reply Filters, Timeline Controls, and the Capacity to Search Your Tweet Likes

Amid the various large-scale changes at Twitter, the platform is also working on some smaller tweaks and updates, which may or may not ever get released, but could provide valuable functionality for many users.

First off, Twitter’s testing the ability to search through your Likes, so you can find out who, specifically, has liked your tweets.

That could help you glean more context when reaching out to someone, or just another way to understand who’s responding to your tweets.

And it could be particularly valuable as a research tool for marketers in understanding their audience and who they’re reaching with their tweets.

Twitter’s also testing a new way to filter your replies, which could be handy if you get a lot of responses to a tweet.

Tweet reply sorting

I mean, I’m not sure how many people are getting so many replies to their tweets that they need a filtering option, but for those that are, this could be a simple way to ensure you’re staying up on the most relevant responses and responders, to better manage your engagement.

Finally, Twitter’s also experimenting with new timeline settings, which would provide more control over your timeline and pinned lists.

Twitter timeline controls

Note also, in the middle screen, that Twitter’s developing an option that would enable you to hide your tweet view counts, which would provide another way to manage your activity in the app.

As noted, all of these are in test mode, with Twitter engineer Andrea Conway posting them for public opinion, before exploring further development. But they could be handy, and while they’re not game-changers as such (which may mean they get less priority), smaller tweaks and updates like this could be significant for certain users, and could make it easier to manage your tweet activity.

We’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

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Fed-up accountant 'shocked and disappointed' after his Facebook account is taken down again

A fed-up accountant has spoken of his “disappointment” after his Facebook page was taken down AGAIN. Last July, we told how Suleiman Krayem feared …

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.



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