On Wednesday, October 21st Spitche, MeltinLab, and Eventtia will be joining forces to host Get Together, a summit for marketers seeking new ways to connect, build communities, and create powerful experiences, all online. 

As part of this, we’ll be bringing in CMOs and Executives from the likes of New Balance, Chanel and FNAC to discuss retail and the role of E-Commerce.

To find out more about the event along with how you can register, please visit the event website.

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With traditional sales in decline, most, if not all, shops have taken their businesses online to survive the pandemic.

That’s why it should come as no surprise that E-Commerce has seen a 129% year-over-year growth in the U.S. and Canada, and while that’s great news for the industry, the same can’t be said for individual brands. 

The competition is getting steeper and online shopping behaviours are changing faster than ever before. So how do you cut through the noise, build trust, create experiences and do all the other things that customers have come to expect?

The answer lies in building an online community through online events. And to help you with this, we’ve drawn up tips on how to leverage online events so that you can start building an active and engaged community. 

Why build a community with online events?

It’s important to understand why online events are such a valuable asset to building your community. And the answer to this is that online events naturally create experiences. 

Both online communities and online events share a very big similarity, they bring people together around a common interest. Given that 54% of customers say companies need to transform how they engage with them, online events offer something different than the usual methods of digital marketing.

This allows brands to connect with their community on a personal level – critical for building long and meaningful relationships, and even more critical considering how difficult it is for brands to stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Plan recurrent events centred around your product or service

Beyond the end goal of selling more, it’s important to take a step back and identify how online events are going to fit into your larger marketing and business objectives. Running regular events are key so whether that’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, it’s important to provide your community with consistency. 

Of course, the aim of the game should be getting your attendees to try the new product or service. But even if you don’t have any launches in the pipeline, there’s still plenty that you can be doing. For example, you could offer training sessions or tutorials. The main purpose of online events should always be to encourage regular community engagement so use the different formats to your advantage.

Invite influencers and valuable speakers

Whether you’re just starting e-commerce or you’re a recognised brand, working with influencers and industry leaders is a great way to leverage the trust that they’ve already built with their audience. By doing so you can increase your brand exposure and reach out to untapped audiences.

To find the right influencers and speakers, do some research online. Have a look at things like the number of followers they have, how much engagement they get, and their channels of exposure. 

Then it’s time to start the outreach process. Build a contact list and get to know the people before reaching out via email. Make sure that your emails are personable and provide background information about your company and what you’re looking to accomplish.

Turn your audience into nano-influencers

Your community is your best ally. While macro-influencers are good to reach out to the mass, your own community, clients and attendees are already advocating for your brand.

Tools like Spitche allow you to reward members of your community for their engagement on social media as well as the content they produce online for you.

Not only it creates authentic engagement for your brand, but it also makes them more loyal and proud of being a member of your circle.

Get your attendees involved with Q&As, live polls, and product voting

What sets online events apart from other types of marketing is engagement so use all the tools that you have at your disposal to your advantage.
By that, we mean Q&As, live polls, voting, live chats and so on. These tools enable you to create a dialogue with your attendees which is the key ingredient for building trust. 

By doing so, you make your attendees feel involved with the experience. These tools give them a voice and it lets them have a say in the event. As for you, this is a great way to receive instant feedback on your brand and products or services. With real-time responses, you’ll be able to identify what’s good and what’s not so good. 

Get people testing the product and run online workshops

54% of customers say it’s harder than ever for companies to earn their trust. That’s why for every e-commerce seller, it’s a necessity that consumers trust your brand, product, and the experience on offer. And the best way of doing that is by letting them get hands-on with your product. 

First, get them to test the product so they familiarise themselves with it. Then offer regular workshops covering different features that will turn your customers into product experts. Compared to watching a video on YouTube or reading a manual, this provides a much more immersive way for them to learn. Just remember to include plenty of time for questions at the end.

Provide product discounts to attendees and create post-event content

It’s important to reward loyal attendees by offering them some sort of discount. Everyone loves a bargain, and by doing this you can expect to increase the number of attendees while driving sales – a win-win situation. This can work as a great marketing tool before the event to spark some real interest in your event and also instil that fear of missing out feeling amongst your attendees. 

And as for after the event, you can repurpose all of the content that you’ve created. This is great for reaching new audiences and reinforcing your message, all while saving valuable time with content production. The best thing is that if you’re running regular events you’ll have plenty of different options to choose from. For example, workshops can be published on YouTube and a podcast series can be created covering talks from well-known influencers.

Final thoughts

With 84% of consumers saying that the experience is as important as the quality of the goods, online events provide the perfect opportunity to make this happen. And by following these tips, you’ll have no trouble building a community of educated, trusted and engaged customers.

Looking for more valuable content on Marketing, Retail, Digital and E-Commerce?
Join us at Get Together on October 21st for an open dialogue on marketing today and what you need to move forward.