Marketing a virtual event, or an event of any kind, can tremendously improve your return on investment, as well as provide your association members with an essential benefit that keeps them renewing their dues every year.
To continuously host successful virtual events, tracking metrics that will help you improve event marketing year after year is essential. This is the easiest way to measure success, see which areas need improvement and which ideas need to be scrapped. When you have access to previous years metrics, you can easily set new goals based on prior events that help you continuously make improvements and have an idea of where your metrics should be through each phase of marketing and promotion.
There are many different metrics you can track, but these 4 virtual event marketing metrics will give you the best information to use to make informed decisions.
- Click-Through Rate
- Registration Numbers
- Conversion Rate
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Another way to determine the effectiveness of your event marketing is to track click-through rates. Click-through rates tell you who was interested enough to click on your ad, email link or call to action and potentially take action. Tracking this metric tells you how effective your keywords, images, copy, artwork or videos are in persuading your audience to take action and register for your event.
To determine what resonates with your audience, run a few test campaigns to see which type of marketing messaging and graphics will work best for you and let those stats guide your decision making. For example, if marketing materials with a guest speaker’s face generates a higher click-through rate, this tells you using faces in your marketing is more interesting to your audience, so you’ll want to incorporate that into your event marketing plan.
Registration numbers show you where you want to be or where you should be (if you have access to historical data) at various points of your registration cycle. This helps you benchmark how well your marketing plan is performing through each step so you know how effective (or ineffective) your marketing efforts are. With virtual events becoming more prevalent, your cycles and pacing of registration will differ from in-person events since you will be able to promote right up until the event goes live. However, you can still use data from in-person events as a blueprint for your virtual events registration process.
Once you have repeated this process a few times, your numbers will become more precise and you will be able to make accurate projections and set appropriate, attainable goals to continuously improve your event marketing.
Cost-per-click tells you how much you’re paying every time someone clicks on your ad. Like click-through rates, you can look at overall cost-per-click or drill it down into specific ad groups or keywords to see where your spend is making the most impact. Not every advertising platform is going to have cost-per-click charge, but if you use this as a form of effective advertising, it’s important to know which ads will have the most impact and be worth your investment.
For example, if you have a high cost-per-click that drives conversions, keep it. This ad generates the most interest from your audience so you know you are effectively reaching them and this is worth your investment. Conversely, you might have a keyword that drives impressions, but little to no conversions (registrations). This indicates it’s time to change the keyword or the ad altogether.
The most important metric to track is your conversion rate. Your conversion rate tells you how many of the people you targeted took action and registered for your event. Measuring conversions tells you overall how successful your marketing was and if you met the goals you set in the planning stage. Did you meet and/or exceed your goals, or did you fall short? Carefully evaluate your conversion rate to see what worked, what didn’t work and what you can improve upon for your next event.
To accurately measure your conversion rate, you’ll want to consider using an attribution model to determine how credit for a conversion is assigned to touch-points throughout your promotion process. The most common models used are last click and first click. Last click means the very last interaction they had with your marketing materials before they converted is given credit for the conversion, and first click assigns credit to the very first interaction they had that led to a conversion. Either method will help you determine where your conversions are coming from and which marketing materials and channels work best for your organization to drive registrations.
Understanding how your audience perceives and interacts with your event marketing materials will help you improve your strategy to get your maximum return on investment and increase your registrations every year. The more information and understanding you have, the easier event marketing will become. Throughout the process, be aware of how well your materials are performing and which ones result in more interactions or registrations. Test your strategies, examine results and shift investments accordingly.