Your audience is streaming everything. They’re listening to their favorite music on Spotify or Apple Music. They’re binging their favorite shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Some of them are even watching their friends bake on Facebook Live or Periscope. If the public is consuming so much digital media, why are some organizations still struggling to engage prospective attendees with digital content? I caught up with Donny Neufuss to hear his perspective on how associations and corporations can capture more online attention. As Director of Business Development for PRG, Neufuss has worked with some of the largest corporations and associations in the world to turn virtual engagement into a reality.
1) You can’t accomplish everything at once.
As an organization embarks on the first steps of its digital strategy, it’s important to identify the main objectives. Do you want to expand membership? Are you looking to attract more sponsors? Or do you simply want to make some money? You may answer yes to all these questions, but Neufuss reminds meeting professionals that streaming requires some baby steps. “I break streaming into three categories — reach, relevance and revenue,” Neufuss, says. “If you’re starting out streaming your content, you’re probably going to have to focus on one of those buckets.”
“Everyone organization wants to do all of them,” Neufuss adds. “They want to reach a wide audience. They want their content to be relevant, and they want to charge for it. But the truth of the matter is that it’s tough to accomplish all of these objectives at once. You may be able to over time, but in the early phases, pick one of these primary goals.”
2) It’s not all about numbers.
Consider the videos on YouTube with millions of views. It’s tempting to think that these videos have done their job. They got some attention, right? Sure, reaching viewers is one piece of success, but Neufuss highlights that it’s not about getting people to tune in; it’s about getting them to do something after they’ve consumed the content. “A lot of people in the digital events space focus on how many people were watching or how many hours of content were consumed,” Neufuss says. “But big numbers aren’t worth boasting about. Instead, you need to find out how those numbers translate so that you can go to a sponsor and say, ‘Your investment turned into a million dollars in new revenue.’”
3) Find your viewers when they’re not watching.
You may be able to motivate attendees to register for a free webinar, but what’s your strategy for continuing to keep your organization top-of-mind after the program ends? Neufuss says that the most successful organizations are taking a sophisticated approach toward retargeting their attendees. For example, he mentions self-service platform AmpLive, which helps organizations collect a massive amount of data about attendees while they’re watching an online program. Those insights help shape conversion efforts that turn views into actions. “As soon as a live stream finishes, you can follow up with a campaign,” Neufuss says. “Today’s advances in data management allow event professionals to refine and target to get very specific based on attendee behaviors and preferences. That’s where organizations will unlock the future of revenue generation.”
Neufuss’ expertise isn’t confined to behind-the-screen experiences. Click here to check out his thoughts on one wearable technology that can revolutionize face-to-face general sessions.