Virtual events just might be the most powerful tool an influencer has in their arsenal.
These events create opportunities for new followers, lucrative sponsorship deals, and even direct revenue.
Of course, they have the biggest impact when done well.
What to consider when planning a virtual event
Live video in the influencer space tends to be best received when it’s not overly scripted.
Audiences like to feel that their favorite personalities are being genuine and approachable. Because of this, a lot of influencers underplan their virtual events.
This is a big mistake. Virtual events are something extraordinary, something outside the normal run of operations. It takes planning for things to run smoothly enough that the audience feels the event was worth their time and attention.
Here’s a few things to consider:
How will the virtual event be funded?
Live streaming is a low-investment technology, but there are still costs involved.
With the added production value necessary for special events, those costs may be higher.
Influencers need to decide how they’re paying for their event in order to create a budget. Depending on what technology is being used, there are a few ways to generate income from a live event.
The most common are ticket sales, ad revenue, premium levels, and direct business sponsorships. Choose based on what the goal of the event is (attracting new followers, moving an audience from social media to a custom platform, generating revenue, and so on).
What’s the key selling point of this virtual event?
As discussed before, virtual events are special. There needs to be something different to generate excitement among viewers.
This could be:
- Guest stars
- Live release of special content
- An usually big project that requires extra resources
- Presenting the results of a long-running experiment or project
Whatever it is, make sure that it’s both on brand and something extra to bring in curious viewers.
Don’t write a complete script, but do have a thoughtful series of events that makes audiences log out feeling satisfied.
How can the audience interact during the virtual event?
Audience participation and a sense of community are among the biggest draws of live video.
Don’t forget to leave room for viewer interaction.
There are limited options on social media (mainly live chats) but influencers who own their own platform can use live chats plus custom emoji and reacts, boosted comments, linked Discords, inset viewer reactions screens for those asking questions, and anything else they have set up on their platform.
Will there be anything audiences can take away?
The best virtual events give attendees something they can take away from the event.
This might be as simple as an exclusive early download of newly released content or a badge displayed by their name on the influencer’s platform.
Can viewers who missed the event watch it later?
Decide whether and when the virtual event will be available for those who don’t watch live.
It’s tempting to make events exclusively live, but that does limit the event’s reach and impact to a certain extent.
The best technology for virtual events
Most social media platforms have some kind of live streaming feature that can be used for a live event, but the best technology will always be one the influencer owns.
Having a custom content platform gives influencers more options for running successful virtual events.
It also helps avoid technical disruptions while gathering valuable data on audiences’ preferences that can be leveraged across all platforms.
The most important thing influencers can do is to evaluate virtual events after they’ve ended.
Look at what worked and what didn’t, and make adjustments when planning the next event.
FanHero has set up virtual events for influencers in sports, music, fitness, and many other areas. If you’re an influencer looking to incorporate virtual events into your content strategy, let us show you why we’re the right partner for you!