Virtual Brand Activations: 7 Ways to Gather a Global Audience Online Seamlessly

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TikTok, Costa, McDonald’s; some brands are firmly etched in our brains like the familiar faces and voices of our family. We know how they look; we know how they speak; and above all, we know what role they play in our lives.

But what about new businesses? 

When a company first opens, nobody knows what the business is, let alone the brand. The brand (which, of course, builds a company’s “desirability” factor) is essentially lifeless.

The goal of virtual brand activation is to attract and engage with a target audience so that consumers learn that a new or growing brand is present.

This doesn’t only apply to new businesses. If a company wants to rebrand itself, it’s not enough to make a few changes and hope that people notice. The marketing team needs to go through the process of making their customers aware of the new concept and switching their minds over to it. Unlike brand marketing, brand activation transports a brand from one state to another.

We know what you’re thinking: 

This sounds great, but how do you go about this when digital has become the “new physical”?

How do you create a virtual brand activation that not only inspires and sells, but connects with a global audience on a personal level?

We’re glad you asked:

1.Get Your Guests Involved

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Virtual brand activation provides you with the opportunity to connect with consumers anywhere in the world.

That’s the good news.

The bad news?

People feel more comfortable switching off their cameras than they do walking out of a room full of people. Your brand activation needs to be engaging and fun. At the same time, it needs to educate about your product and brand.

Think of ways that you can use your brand to connect with your audience and practical things you can do to encourage them to take action during your event. This may mean asking your guests to take part in fun games (focused on your brand, of course!) or asking them direct questions about their opinions. 

It’s as easy to leave a virtual event as it is to join it. You need to keep your attendees engaged and involved from start to finish.

2. Give Them the “Feels”

Making your guests feel something as opposed to just seeing your brand will leave a lasting impression. We may consider ourselves to be logical and modern human beings, yet we make many of our buying decisions with the instinctive part of our brains.

Clever, aren’t we?

Apple is an excellent example of a brand that appeals to consumer emotions to create a connection. Its strategy uses simplicity, a sleek design, and a desire to be part of something bigger and better.

Think about the emotional appeal of your brand. Consider how you can connect with your guests’ hopes, desires, anxieties and fears.

When we market our brand, we know that certain products, such as HubSpot VoIP integration, will appeal to customers’ desires for more efficiency and productivity. Instead of simply running through the features of what is on offer, we connect the benefits to the customers’ emotions.

3. Make the Message the Goal

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Planning a virtual brand activation can conjure up a multitude of unique and creative ideas. The bridge between your brand and global recognition is yours to build, and you can use whatever you want to build it.

It’s exciting!

But here is a little inside intel to set you off in the right direction…

Many virtual brand activations seriously underperform.

Why?

Because attendees miss the message amongst a barrage of cluttered creative features.

The trick?

Be imaginative. Be inventive. But keep the core message at the center of your creativity. Your virtual activation needs to make perfect sense to your participants. Your creative elements should attract them to your brand, not distract them.

4. Create a Virtual Walkthrough

You’ve got all these wonderful ideas about how your brand activation will play out. But how do you make sure that your event makes the right impact on your guests?

There’s only one way to do it: By putting yourself in the shoes of your participants.

Grab your team and conduct a virtual walkthrough of your activation from start to finish. 

What gets your attention? What do you see, hear, and feel? How is the experience relevant to you, as the consumer?

Consider writing a story from the perspective of your target customer. Jot down things such as how you (the customer) found out about the virtual brand activation. What made you want to take part in the event? What is compelling you to check out this new brand?

5. Provide Value and Incentive

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Attending your virtual activation to get to know your awesome, world-dominating brand is a no-brainer, right?

Not to the consumer who knows zilch about it!

When deciding whether to join your event, there will be only one question on the minds of your potential guests…

“What is in it for me?”

Consumers weigh up their willingness to join an event based on the value they are likely to get out of it. Think of your guests’ time at your event as an investment. What reward will they get for dedicating one or two of their precious free hours to you and your event?

6. Make it People-Friendly

One of your guests may have had a tiring shift at work where they have had to conform to rules and regulations all day. Another may be a stay-at-home parent who is looking forward to an hour or two of respite. Another guest may need to take medication halfway through your activation.

Having a structure and some basic ground rules is a good thing, but being too rigid (such as having set toilet breaks!) is likely to annoy your participants.

Now is your chance to make a great first impression of your brand and the people behind the brand. Use your activation to show that there are caring people at the heart of your company.

This could mean offering practical online communication tips such as providing a list of UCaaS providers or links to relevant blogs or videos.

The point is to make your event guest-friendly. People buy into people, after all.

7. Set the Next Steps

What are your guests going to take away from your brand activation? What actions do you want them to take?

Your brand activation doesn’t stop when your event ends; you do not want your attendees to leave with only a memory.

Your virtual brand activation is a springboard for building trust with your intended audience. Encourage your guests to keep engaging with you by sharing useful and relevant information that will show you are an expert in your field. If your retail store is launching a new clothing line, for example, you could share relevant articles about dynamic store merchandising or other useful topics.

The Bottom Line

Creating a virtual activation offers a great foundation to gather a global audience for your brand. By following these top tips, you can deliver an original and engaging activation that helps to get your audience thinking in the same way about your brand as you do. 

Stay fresh. Stay connected. Stay influential. (That sounds like a brand tagline itself!)

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