How to Take Your In-Person Experiences Virtual
Moving your operations from in-person to virtual is stressful. It’s ok, don’t let the necessity of having to convince you it’s not. The PR and marketing industry has faced many challenges throughout the years, but none like the challenges posed by COVID-19. Now that virtual experiences are a part of our “new normal,” it’s time to revise your customer engagement and continue to bring quality content to your audience. But how do you take your in-person experiences and make them digital while providing audiences with the best experience possible, you ask? Here are our tips for doing so.
Have a Plan
The first tip is the one that makes the most sense: have a plan. When the pandemic began, many companies started mapping out their plans for continuing operations as best they could while many — including businesses themselves — were under a shelter-in-place order. But now that we’re 6 months plus into the pandemic, it’s time to revise your business plan. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not in terms of your operation and engagement tactics. And if you’ve received any feedback from your audiences, a factor that in, too.
When it comes to creating virtual events, you have to have a game plan, too. And the earlier you start planning it, the better. If you need to, hire a project manager or seek project management support. Consider what kind of experience you want your virtual event to have. Where will it be hosted, when’s the best time to have it, and how will you promote it?
Have a Content Calendar
Keeping up with social media posts can be time-consuming, from figuring out what content to share, when, and how often. But the first step is to learn what kind of content your audience responds best to. Once you’ve got a good idea, create a content calendar to schedule your posts. They should feature a blend of content like useful blogs, podcasts, reposted content from credible sources, etc.
What makes this a helpful tool for bridging the social distancing gap is that it gives your audience the feeling that you’re still present and a wealth of knowledge, even if you’re not physically there. And if you find yourself overwhelmed with social media and creating engaging posts, let Joseph Studios lend our services to you.
Turn on the Camera
We know, despite cameras being a standard feature on many laptops and desktops, none of us want to be on camera. But in the post-COVID age, we’ve all been given new roles: content creators. In America, we key in on body language and facial cues, and it’s hard to pick up on those without a camera. So, turn on your camera! The use of a camera strengthens your relationship with your audience, increases relatability, and significantly boosts engagement. It can also raise donations and be used as part of a student’s online class. The best ways to engage your customers with cameras include:
Set up a webcam: Conferences and meetings are most beneficial when you use a webcam. It helps people put a name to a face, network with others, and humanize the person interacting with them. For company- or department-wide meetings, turning on a camera can help your team reestablish a connection with one another.
Conduct a live stream: Platforms like Twitch, Zoom, and Instagram are the perfect vessels for conducting a live stream. In-Person events like classes, webinars, and workshops can shine because live streaming allows for the time to do deep dives on topics, plus your audience can ask questions and receive answers in real-time.
Short video lectures: Clips that are 30 seconds to a few minutes long are great for how-to tutorials, behind-the-scenes, answering FAQs, highlighting interesting facts, and showcasing features. Often found on YouTube or Facebook, they’re perfect because they’re easily digestible yet informative and don’t require the viewer to dedicate too much time out of their day.
One of the ways to keep up engagement with your audience even though you can’t be there physically is to find ways to keep your company on their mind and stay relevant in their eyes. You can accomplish this by keeping your audience up to date through social media posts and news on your websites. Share the same number of things and portray the same energy you would have in person.
For places like museums, galleries, airports, and aquariums, get interactive by doing behind-the-scenes tours of the facilities. Use it to make visitors reminisce on their last visit, or for those who have yet to visit, show them what they’re missing. Offices, exhibits, favorite spots, and kitchens, are all fair game for engaging customers if you know how to use it!
Run “Ask Me Anything” Sessions
Another way to take your in-person experiences virtual is to host an AMA session. You may have heard about them from Reddit or Twitter. Here, people in your community can ask questions, and members of your staff answer them, sort of like free for all interviews. AMAs most commonly occur after webinars when your audience is more engaged, but you can make them ongoing, one-off events. Hosting them virtually even has an advantage over hosting an AMA in person.
You can even invite SMEs to be guests in your sessions. It gives a different perspective offers variety to your events. And we consumers like variety. Hosting AMAs helps you foster a deeper connection with your clients and help them stay engaged with your company. By allowing them to ask you anything, your audience becomes more trusting and may find your company more relatable.
Gamify Their Experience
People are suckers for a way to make something dull fun and exciting. So, why not encourage your audience’s virtual engagement by adding a game element to their experience. Create quizzes, word puzzles, and scavenger hunts. Say you need feedback from your community, send out a survey. If it’s possible, reward your audience, be it with praise or incentives like small prizes or discounts for participation.
Joseph Studios: Helping You Grow Your Virtual Presence
The COVID crisis has created some interesting challenges for businesses when it comes to creating a virtual experience that’s just as impactful as being in-person. And that’s where Joseph Studios comes in.
Are you interested in enhancing your virtual presence? Contact us today!