Virtual Education Fairs have been around for a decade, however they’ve gained further popularity during the global pandemic. Many educational institutions quickly adapted and transformed their teaching methods through online channels. Physical events such as education fairs were one of the first to be cancelled as the global lockdown was declared. While institutes struggled to maintain a balance between online and in-person, virtual education fairs offered a reliable solution. 

This online format of student events has proven to be so successful that many institutions are considering adopting it long-term. It’s important for organisers to have a concrete marketing plan to attract more students at their online events. In this competitive landscape of the education industry, you must know how to stand out in the crowd

Now sit back and forget your worries! The good news is that we at vFairs have put our years of experience into the recipe of marketing for virtual education fairs. So let’s dive into our five tried-and-tested tips that will direct some leads your way.

Create a landing page

A landing page is the focal point of your marketing campaign. It is usually the first point of contact for your audience, serving as the face of your event and thus should be designed intelligently. Generally, the landing page of an event aims to achieve two purposes: firstly, it helps you freely address why it is relevant for the people (think of it as your elevator pitch) and secondly, it helps you capture details of your visitors with a registration page.

Here is a checklist for you to consider when creating your landing page:

  1. A compelling headline
  2. The date, time of the event
  3. The event agenda (e.g schedule of webinars, etc)
  4. A brief overview of your event (so your visitors know what to expect)
  5. Information about sponsors and exhibitors (use branded logos)
  6. Section for frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  7. Content and visuals that support your agenda
  8. Engaging video to attract and convert traffic to registrations

It’s also important to time your marketing campaign. As a rule of thumb, we recommend setting up your landing page at least 2-3 weeks before your event goes live so there’s enough time to spread the word. There are, of course exceptions to this rule — depending on how quickly your audience converts. 

Virtual Lobby Design

Social media marketing

Social media is a strong tool to create a buzz around your virtual education fair. This is mainly because students are actively engaged on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. The choice of social media channel varies depending on your target audience. Typically for a virtual education fair, we recommend you to use Facebook and Instagram as they are highly popular among students and young people in general. 

It’s also wise to use a combination of paid and organic posts along with remarketing. LinkedIn and Facebook remarketing uses web technology to track people that visit your website but leave without taking any steps to register. They work to display ads to these same people using insight tags from your landing page, helping you only invest in targeted user segments that are of value to your business. 

Protips for social media campaigns:

  1. Post around 3-4 ads per week to remain top of mind
  2. Own a hashtag (may also run a contest around it)
  3. Add buzz by using keywords in the captions
  4. Use consistent yet dynamic designs (positioning your logo the same way)
  5. Try A/B testing and analyze results to improve your future campaigns
  6. Use an interactive tone with which your audience can relate at a personal level

Digital marketing concept with online advertising and media symbols

Email marketing 

There’s no doubt that email marketing is a proven way of developing an informed pipeline of engaged students. It also helps in automating communication to connect with them online, driving action in real time. In fact, 40% of marketers believe email marketing to be the most effective channel for event promotion. So, where to begin? If you are lucky enough to have an existing subscriber base, you may reach out to your inbound prospects as a first step. Afterall it’s always smart to begin with the low-hanging fruit, i.e. your current CRM database. 

Having said that, you need to carefully curate your email campaigns. Consider the following:

  1. Target recipients (students, teachers, or consultants, etc.) 
  2. Number of emails to send and the delays in between
  3. A compelling subject line (strongly linked with open rates)
  4. Try A/B testing multiple subject lines and see what works best for your audience
  5. The body text (keep it sweet, short, preferably with a nice visual)
  6. A clear Call-to-Action button linked to your landing page (ex. ‘Register Now!’)

Remember, excess of anything is bad. While email marketing is a trusted channel for generating registration, please make sure that you don’t spam your prospects. 

Email campaign concept illustration

Influencer marketing

The concept of influencer marketing is ever evolving. Unlike even a few years ago, modern world advancements allow influencers to create an impact without the need of going out in public. With the popularity of digital platforms, influencers are able to maintain their fame even from the comfort of their homes. This ease of communication has opened the gateways to influencer marketing. Several educational institutions are involved in partnering with noteworthy influencers from the same industry to attract more students. 

While searching for your influencers, think about:

  1. Their relevance with your event
  2. Level of popularity among potential audience (e.g, students)
  3. Number of followers (look at their social media channels)

In addition, you can also involve your speakers and engage them as your event ambassadors. They can promote your landing page on their social platforms, leading to potentially more registrations. 

Influencer marketing

SMS/Text marketing

Don’t underestimate the power of SMS texts — it has a higher open rate than email. Nearly guaranteed to be read by your audience, SMS marketing has proved to carry a whooping open rate of 98%

Due to its concise format, SMS marketing drives the recipients attention to the most essential keywords. As a host of virtual education fair, you can define audience personas and schedule periodic SMS alerts with text services like Twilio

Do remember to always ask for the recipient’s consent before sending out your marketing texts. Also provide an option for them to opt out of future alerts if they are not interested. 

Character illustration of people sharing messages via SMS

Takeaway 

When planning your virtual education fair, make sure to organize your marketing strategy carefully to maximize registration and overall traction. We have curated the best practices in our marketing playbook for virtual events that can be used as a guide for your event. 

Have Questions?

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About vFairs

vFairs strives to deliver top-class virtual events for all audiences, with an intuitive platform that recreates physical events through an immersive online experience. With a range of powerful features and dedicated support for users around the world, vFairs removes the hassle from organizing, exhibiting at, and attending events such as conferences, trade shows, and career fairs. Contact the vFairs team to learn more or request a demo to see a virtual event in action. 

 


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