As partner specialists and a virtual organisation, we have worked hard over the years to create a digital first approach for our clients throughout their customers buying journey. Recently, we have been working with Dave Chaffey, co-founder of Smart Insights to channelise his infamous RACE model which is designed to help marketers plan, and manage tactics in a more structured way – you know it’s a great model when it’s gets the respect of the CIM! – Jo Dunkley, Director
Events have long been the bread and butter tactic for the channel industry – so, if you have had lots of partner events cancelled and are looking to create the possible from the impossible, then virtual events and the three steps below could be of interest.
1. Nail your content journey
As the market grows and becomes more complex and competitive, the demand for content is increasing. Now’s the time to make sure that your content plan maps effectively to your customer journey to your virtual events. Differentiate from competitors by clearly and consistently communicating your value proposition. Here’s a few things you could try:
- Start with your sales pack. Are you doing enough to entice your partners into signing up? Yes, the practical information is essential, but can you include some video testimonials and highlights from last year to better represent the experience? Don’t forget to include links to post-event content from last year too. Feeling brave? Ditch the PDF for a playbook and take the first step toward a truly virtual experience.
- Once you’ve secured your list of partners and sponsors, start creating content to reach end users. Pre-event Q&As for your blog, video interviews, surveys for social or podcasts can spark interest in hot topics or tease new product launches. Just be sure to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach and tailor content to each of your audiences and their pain points.
- Engage industry influencers and commentators, as well as the press, to help promote your virtual event. By doing this you can far increase your reach and start a conversation on social that you can use as insights for during and post event content.
- Invite partners, distributors and end customers to engage in a 121 conversation. Delegates and speakers are more involved when you talk to them on a personal level. Use personas and data to identify and target conversations that can be continued throughout their event journey.
- Finally, don’t forget that events content needn’t be delivered in silos. It can be reused and repurposed as part of your always on content strategy to truly maximise customer engagement and impact post-event.
2. Create meaningful, measurable interactions
We’re not just talking about relevant, personal conversations and demos. Expand your opportunities to generate leads or interact with partners and end-users by introducing gamification and more immersive experiences.
Whether an online or offline event, digital enables the creation of virtual treasure hunts, competitions, leaderboards and more. A bit of light relief and healthy competition, coupled with an incentive can help build positive brand sentiment, enhance customer experience and generate measurable interactions.
3. Race to the front with a truly virtual event
In today’s digital world you can create truly online events that offer a premium experience for all customer types. The challenge is to make the desk or mobile-based experience informative and worthwhile. Here are some of the things you could try:
- Enable users to pre-register for virtual breakout sessions using video conferencing or live streaming. Automate pre-event comms and tease users with pre-recorded messages and insights into what will be discussed.
- Curate an experience where the delegate is in control. Create a virtual lobby and main hall for customers to choose the direction in which they want to take and for partners to entice them in with fully branded virtual stands.
- Enable partners to fully customise stands with their branding, custom graphics, video screens and downloadable content.
- Allow partners to broadcast simulive content, for example, host a pre-recorded webinar with a live introduction and Q&A session at the end.
- Enable group and 121 chat pre, during and post the event.
These are just some of the things you can do in our ever-changing, complex world of channel marketing. – Jo Dunkley, Director
Looking to enhance your virtual events offer?
If you are looking to host a virtual event or want to know more on how to engage your audience to get attendance, get in touch today. If you would like to know more about our Channel RACE model in conjunction with Smart Insights click here for more information. For more information, contact us today.
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