The emergence of virtual events and training sessions (by MSPs) arrived on the scene as the result of the pandemic. MSPs were put into a situation where they were quickly rolling out technologies, like Microsoft Teams. Once rolled out they subsequently needed to train large numbers of clients on these tools.
Here we are nearly a year after the pandemic was declared and many MSPs, their clients and prospects are still working remotely. For some, this change is one that will remain permanent and because of this, MSPs will need to continue to train on the technologies that they deploy. Here are three basic marketing tips to run a successful virtual training session.
Email is the most direct and effective way to promote your event.
To promote your sessions to your clients, prospects and influencers, you will want to send one to two mass emails: one 14 days before your event and a second 7 days before your event. If your event reaches capacity after the first email, great — the second email isn’t necessary.
Also, try experimenting with different formats (i.e., emails with images and text or a more personalized and more simple plain text style of email message).
External promotion: social media, partners and event platforms.
Are you a member of a local association like a Chamber of Commerce or a business networking group? Many associations have event pages where you can upload your event details to. If you’re lucky the partner may share your event details in their own email blasts.
Depending on your social media reach, social media may or may not be the best vehicle for your event promotion. But if you haven’t yet invested much time into building your social media presence, you can start now.
In the MSP industry, LinkedIn is the most common platform for sharing content. Be sure to use local hashtags to draw more attention to your event notice. Also, both LinkedIn and Facebook (FB) offer greatly improved event features. Do keep in mind you may have people register on these platforms but don’t expect them to show up. Ensure you provide a direct registration link to anyone who registers on your social media event posts.
If you do have a good FB following, we highly recommend investing some marketing dollars to boost these posts. This will help build brand awareness and will put your event in front of many more professionals. You can customize who you target by location, age, interests and more. You don’t need to spend much to drive traffic to your event registration page. Start with a small budget around 50 dollars and experiment.
Lastly, we encourage you to put your event on an event platform like Eventbrite. This will allow people in your area to organically find your event. Why? You want to build your database. You will most likely have people register that are not a good fit for your services, but they will benefit from your training and you just never know the influence an attendee may have in your local business community. Word of mouth referrals are still the most effective marketing you can have. When using an event platform be sure to use a tool like Zapier to automatically bring those leads into your database. Add a tag to keep your event list separate from your other lists.
The day after your training session, send out a feedback survey with slides. If you want to share the event recording you can do that too.
You’ll also want to follow-up with prospects via telephone. Use your event tags to schedule dials. Inside sales representatives (ISR) can always benefit by having a fresh premise to nurture relationships with prospective business partners. Get the ISR to ask about the event that they attended, why they attended and try to book a meeting to take the conversation to the next level.
Finally, don’t forget to connect with your attendees via LinkedIn as part of your sales process!
With a thorough follow-up process, effective promotion, quality emails — while developing a growing database — your events will be successful and will help your MSP grow!