Have you ever attended an event that lacked engagement? How did you feel about that? Did you stay long?
We’re willing to bet you felt out of place or that the event was a waste of time. You probably didn’t sign up for additional events or buy anything. You may have even opted out of the host’s email list or stopped following them on social media.
Because you didn’t experience value. You didn’t get the chance to be heard. You didn’t feel seen.
And that’s a problem.
But the good news is, you know what it’s like to be an unhappy attendee. And as the host of an upcoming virtual event, you can use that as leverage.
In fact, in today’s article, we’re going to show you how to boost engagement rates during virtual events by activating your brand identity.
And to give you even more value, we’re going to show you how to actively build your brand identity before, during, and after your virtual events.
Ready? Let’s take a look.
What Is Brand Identity and Why Is it Important?
Brand identity is the element you use to leave a lasting impression on your audience. More than brand image or branding, your brand identity is what sets you apart from everyone else.
The key elements of brand identity include:
- Brand mission
- Brand personality and tone, i.e., humorous, educational, sarcastic or feminine
- Brand story
- Brand culture
- Brand image, such as your logo, colors and style
- How your brand helps others
- Why your audience loves your brand
- Your brand’s special magic sauce and competitive edge
Why it’s important to activate your brand identity before, during, and after virtual events
Brand identity is something you actively build on. Paving the path before the event creates anticipation for the big day. Activating your brand identity during the event gives attendees a reason to stay and interact.
And continuing brand activation after the event helps your brand leave a lasting impression and builds loyalty and connection with your audience.
Learn all things brand identity
If you’re still discovering your brand identity, dedicate time to learn more, like you’re doing with this article. You can also use open educational resources, like StuDocu, to access university-level study materials and really increase your knowledge.
If you haven’t established your brand elements yet
To activate your brand identity, you need to make sure you have all of the necessary elements ready for your event. These elements can include your logo, website, social media assets, font choices, color scheme and more.
If you’re a new business or if your event is coming up soon, consider utilizing a full-service branding company, such as Tailor Brands, to save time.
Before the Virtual Event
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork, let’s look at four ways to activate your brand identity before your upcoming virtual event.
Host a brand identity meeting
Set yourself up for success before the event by hosting a brand identity meeting.
Even if you’re a solopreneur, conduct a solo meeting to refamiliarize yourself with your brand elements and what you stand for.
During the meeting, focus on the key elements that define you.
- What does my audience love most about me?
- What do I love most about myself?
- What does my audience need?
Finally, decide which elements to focus on during the event.
For instance, you might decide to focus on your tone, colors, vision and brand story. That might include using your wit and humorous tone, infusing your brand’s warm color palette into the webinar slides and telling your rags-to-riches story.
Get proactive about virtual event cybersecurity
In 2020, there were several infamous cases of hackers gaining access to virtual conferences by posing as attendees. Unfortunately, that’s not the only cybercrime that can take down an event.
To protect your reputation and your audience, make sure that provisioning access to your virtual event is done securely. You can also hire a cybersecurity expert to point out your vulnerabilities and help you create a security plan.
Entice your audience with a sneak-peek video
Grab your best clips from a previous event and use them to build anticipation with your audience. Be sure to showcase your brand identity in the sneak peek video by placing an extra focus on your brand personality and how you serve your audience.
You can also draw audience members in by creating a memorable event invitation. Using photo effects and filters to create your invitation can help you captivate your audience and build excitement for your upcoming event.
Create an engaging content hub
Creating a content hub to house all of your past and current events is an easy way to drive further engagement after your event. Having such a resource page also helps you position yourself as a virtual event expert and trusted resource.
Let’s take NVIDIA for example:
NVIDIA, a global leader in graphic processing and artificial intelligence hardware, hosts a content hub featuring webinars on multiple subjects, like VR, AI, quantum computing and more.
Using this hub, visitors from across the globe and in several industries can find and consume resources relevant to their needs and come to understand how the NVIDIA brand positions itself as a leader within the technology industry.
During the Virtual Event
Now that you’ve prepared yourself for the event let’s discover how to activate your brand identity during the event.
Create a branded hashtag
Encourage event vitality by asking your audience to post their attendance on social media using a branded hashtag.
For instance, if your business is called Money Matters and you’re hosting a financial education webinar, then your hashtag might be #moneymatterswebinar or #bestmoneymatterswebinar.
If you’re feeling stuck on what hashtag to choose, consider using a hashtag generator for ideas.
You can also enter anyone who uses your branded hashtag into a contest to win a special prize.
Workshop and engage with attendees live on camera
Jasmine Star, a business strategist and entrepreneur, has a knack for boosting engagement with event attendees by bringing them live on camera.
Her special magic sauce? Workshopping with attendees to not only answer their questions but also solve their unique business challenges. (Editor’s note: ON24 Forums is exceptionally good at this.)
You might not have time to bring endless attendees on-screen, but you should consider dedicating a block of time to bringing on as many people as you can.
If you don’t have time to workshop your attendees’ challenges, you can also conduct a simple Q&A.
After the Virtual Event
And finally, here’s what to do after the virtual event.
Connect with post-attendees by writing intentional copy
Customer-centric messaging is crucial for brand activation, so make sure to write engaging copy that nurtures your audience after the event.
If you struggle with writer’s block when creating your copy, a sentence rewriter can help.
When creating copy for individual marketing channels, start by setting a goal or intention.
With your intention in mind, begin crafting your copy using the following template:
hook + context + value + call to action.
Set up a strong follow-up email sequence
Keep the momentum going after your event ends by setting up a strong follow-up email sequence.
Keep the goals that you set for your event in mind when planning your content.
For instance, if your goal was to market your new link-building course, then your sequence might look like this:
- Email 1: Thank attendees for coming to the event.
- Email 2: Send your audience a free gift for attending (give a gift that delivers value).
- Email 3: Use social proof and your brand story to inspire your audience to join your course.
- Email 4: Offer a discount for your upcoming course if attendees sign up by the end of the week.
And that’s it!
We hope this article has inspired you to create new ways to activate your brand identity before, during, and after virtual events.
Here’s a quick recap of the tips we shared today:
- Before the event
- Host a brand identity meeting
- Get proactive about virtual event cybersecurity
- Entice your audience with a sneak-peek video
- Create a webinar page
- During the virtual event
- Host a podcast episode simultaneously
- Create a branded hashtag
- Workshop and engage with attendees live on camera
- After the event
- Connect with post-attendees by writing intentional copy
- Set up a strong follow-up email sequence
Craving more tips for your virtual events? Head to our blog for more actionable advice for your business.