In the early days of internet marketing, having a basic download was enough to capture leads for a product or service. Today, the internet is far too noisy for that and for branded virtual events.

Today, these relationships require trust. It’s hard to capture leads now without offering something valuable in return. Event marketing can build that trust by providing something of value within an engaging and memorable experience that customers love. Mastering a branded virtual event can boost conversions at every stage of a sales funnel. Here’s what businesses need to know.

Optimizing the sales funnel

Sales funnels look slightly different from company to company but generally contain these three stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

A branded virtual event fits into each section of the sales funnel by setting goals unique to each. In fact, up to 74% of consumers cite quality event opportunities as a deciding factor in purchases. Let’s take a look at how these break down.

Awareness Stages

Virtual events make great top-of-funnel tactics. A customer may have no knowledge of a business (or possess passing knowledge), and engaging with customers at this stage provides a foundation for all interactions that come after.

Some great top of funnel events or event components include:

  • Networking events: Introduce potential customers to others in their field, experts, and mentors, and most importantly, members of the company itself. 
  • Speaker events: Curate speakers around specific topics or themes that are of interest to the target customer or audience.

These virtual events provide an introduction to the company, create trust, and begin to build relationships with customers or the target audience.

Consideration stages

The initial interest won’t last without a nurture sequence. Events can help nurture those beginning relationships with customers. 

These events can help continue the nurture cycle and help move the audience to the next stage.

  • Workshops: Build authority and provide lasting value for attendees by offering training that empowers them to overcome a pain point. 
  • Seminars: Build authority and thought leadership by hosting seminars with great speaking panels and audience-driven Q&As.

These branded virtual events offer a high level of authority-building value and encourage those in a sales funnel to interact more deeply with the company.

Decision stages

A virtual event at the decision stage can lock in buyers on the fence or become the final step in the decision process. 

  • Launches: Close the deal with customers by showcasing new or improved products and services. A well-crafted launch showcases company innovation and creates buzz.
  • Demos: Whether it’s a single product demo, an event where the company showcases all products and services, or an event hosted with multiple parties, a branded demo event brings buyers together.

At any stage

Some events have value across different stages of the funnel. 

  • Conferences: A conference may be suitable at any stage in the funnel, but it’s particularly effective with leads about to close the deal. It generates excitement, connection, and provides a source of learning and exploration.
  • VIP events: Whether a company is courting new customers or nurturing existing ones, VIP events are engaging and reignite relationships.

Building a branded virtual event

So how can companies build value-driven virtual events that attract new leads and nurture existing ones? There are a few considerations.

Understand the audience

Companies must have the data necessary to make decisions about the target audience. What are their pain points? What are their interests? Why are they attending an event in the first place?

Focusing too much on what the company wants or has to offer can quickly send prospects running. Instead, a thorough and deep understanding of the target audience helps companies make decisions about the value they can offer.

Personalize the experience

Virtual events provide opportunities to connect with like-minded people but only with personalization tools. The platform should support chat features that open dialogs between the organization and attendees or between peers. 

Advanced breakout sessions also provide the type of engagement that attendees crave. A seamless transition between large sessions, breakout rooms, and smaller one-on-one chats offers a frictionless experience for attendees. Plus, with recording features and personalized links, organizations remove obstacles to full engagement.

Master the technical

Technical difficulties are a wet blanket for event engagement. Organizations should choose a platform with experts that can solve technical difficulties for both attendees and the organization in real-time. Solving these issues removes friction and ensures that attendees will want to attend again even with unforeseen challenges.

Virtual events also provide valuable sources of data for organizations. They can provide pivotal insights into the target audience, but only with efficient data capture. The right platform should offer efficient data capture that respects audience privacy and ensures companies continue to provide value.

Optimizing your marketing funnel with branded virtual events

Instead of returning to business as usual, virtual events provide a well-rounded source of engagement at each stage of the sales and marketing funnel. Organizations using value-driven virtual events will be able to enhance their customer experience all along the way — from brand new interest to reigniting existing relationships. not only provides beautiful branding and event planning but offers unparalleled technical support to ensure a frictionless experience in this new virtual world. Companies can host virtual events with the impact that people crave.

It’s time to schedule a demo to find out how we can take your organization from boring webinars to virtual events that create buzz, authority, trust, and meaning.