How to successfully launch a product or service at a virtual event

June, 29 2020

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A lot of businesses use events to launch new products and services. Right now, that’s not possible. 

One of our customers was planning on launching a new product this summer at a large event in America. When the event was cancelled, they decided to launch it virtually instead.

This was our first experience of helping a customer to launch a product at a virtual event and we’re pleased to report that it was a success. 

If you’re wondering how best to go about this, here are some of the things that we learned.

Understand your audience

This is standard practice for a physical event, but it’s even more important for a virtual one. You need to be targeted in your messaging and approach, otherwise you’ll lose your audience right away.

We’d already spent a lot of time mapping out the end customers’ priorities for the physical event we were planning to launch at. This meant we could carry over everything we already knew about the customer to the virtual experience.

Here are a few questions that will help you put yourself in your customer’s shoes:

  • Who are we trying to reach?
  • What will they want to know?
  • What’s their preferred learning style?
  • Where can they go for more information?

Create a range of content

Ordinarily a member of your team would chat to attendees, tell them about the product and answer any questions. In a virtual setting, you need to use content to do the same job.

For this launch, we produced three different pieces of content to give users as much choice and depth as we could:

  • An animation that described the key product features and problems that it solved
  • A discussion between two neutral experts that talked about some of the same issues but felt much less promotional in tone
  • Written content that went into detail and answered key questions that weren’t covered in the videos

Creating a range of different content gives your audience more choice and gives you more opportunity to answer their questions. It also means that whatever your audience’s preferred learning style is, you have something to offer.

One animation, one discussion video and a longer piece of written content felt like the ideal blend in this instance. But you’ll need to base your content on what you know about your users.

It’s also important to give users a way to contact you directly if they have any questions that you haven’t answered. A contact form is one way to do this, but a phone number or chatbot will be more real-time.

You have three minutes to make an impact

At a physical event, a customer might spend 10 or 15 minutes of their time at your stand, especially if this is a product they really want to know more about. During that time, they will probably be quite focused on what’s in front of them.

The virtual experience is totally different. You get less time - around three minutes maximum - and there is a much higher chance that your customer will get distracted. To deal with this, you need to create a targeted experience that taps into the specific things that they want to know and adds as much value as possible in a short space of time.

You don’t need to tell them absolutely everything you can think of, but you do need to zero in on the key things that they need to hear. 

Personalisation is another way to quickly connect with a user. You can use personalisation explicitly, by using their name when you welcome them to the event. Or implicitly, by curating and recommending that you think they’ll be most interested in. 

Make your landing page easy to find

We created a single landing page with all of the content hosted on it. We then made sure that the landing page was easy to find by giving it pride of place in the navigational menu and a large button on the event homepage. It was unmissable. 

Drawing attention to your product’s landing page in this way probably may not always be possible, but you should always make it as easy to find as you can. There’s no point creating content that people won’t be able to find.

Give users a clear call-to-action

The purpose of your landing page and content is to get people to do something. Ordinarily, this means filling out a form so that one of your team can get in touch. Chatbots are another option.

Of course, it might be the case that a user learns about your product but doesn’t need to get more information right away - and that’s OK. But you should always give users who are really interested a ‘next step’ of some kind.

You need to be clear about the call-to-action and what a user stands to gain from doing it. If you don’t push users towards an action and give them a good reason to do it, they won’t. All of your content and the landing page it sits on should be designed to maximise the likelihood of someone converting and give them more of a reason to do so.

If you’re looking for more advice on how to run a best-in-class virtual event, check out the articles below:

How to deliver a flawless user experience at your virtual event

6 things you need to know before running a virtual event


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