8 Tips to Sell Out Your Virtual Events Using Affiliates

Discover 8 of the best strategies to sell out your virtual events using affiliates.

Sell Out Your Virtual Events Using Affiliates

The global events industry is projected to hit $1.6 trillion by 2028.

With the world still dealing with the pandemic, businesses have turned to virtual events to generate leads and connect with their audiences.

But virtual event marketing isn’t always easy. Businesses need strategic systems to encourage people to sign up and attend events.

That’s where affiliate marketing comes in. You can get your affiliates to promote your event to their audiences by starting an affiliate program. You pay affiliates a commission on any sales they refer to your site. This is tracked using an affiliate link, and affiliate tracking software. We recommend you start your affiliate marketing program using top affiliate software.

This article will show you eight ways to sell out virtual events using affiliate marketers.

The eight tips we’re sharing today include:

1. Strategize with affiliates before they start running campaigns

Whether you’re planning an in-person or virtual event, event management essentials remain the same.

One of those vital essentials? Creating a game plan with your affiliates.

Before starting affiliate campaigns and promoting a virtual event, be sure to do the following.

Start with your goals and mission statement

Before your affiliates can understand how they can help you promote your event, it’s essential to share your “why.“

Be as specific as possible when communicating your company goals and mission to your affiliates. For instance, instead of stating, “I’d like to grow my social media following,” try, “I’d like to grow our Instagram account from 10,000 to 20,000 followers by Spring.”

Go over audience personas

Lay out your audience personas in front of your affiliates. Go over each persona in detail so your affiliates can better understand how to tailor campaign copy and lead magnets.

Segment your audience personas

Segment your audience personas into specific groups. Discuss potential funnel ideas for each audience segment.

Audience persona example
Image Source: Hoostuite

Discuss storytelling and copywriting techniques

It’s crucial to get on the same page regarding specific copywriting and storytelling techniques you’d like affiliates to employ. If, for example, you decide to create a logo for your event or other marketing materials, make sure that they are available for your affiliates. That way, they can share your logo on social media while promoting the event

Take some time to go over your brand’s written communication goals. Be sure to cover any specific language you’d like affiliates to use.

Provide access to company logins for important tools

If there are any specific tools you’d like your affiliates to use, be sure to provide company logins and instructions for each of them.

After discussing each tool, send affiliates a digital reference sheet going over the information you just covered. This way, they can easily refer to the sheet when they need a tool — and avoid reaching out to you unnecessarily.

Here’s an example of what your reference sheet might look like:

Affiliate Marketing Tools Reference Sheet

  • Company-wide password tool: LastPass
  • Affiliate marketing control center platform: Tapfiliate
  • Tweet scheduling software: Hypefury
  • Instagram scheduling software: Sked Social
  • SEO tool: MarketMuse
  • Discuss previous event results

No matter what type of event it is, go over the marketing analytics, do’s, don’ts, and lessons you’ve gathered from previous virtual events.

Finally, create a multichannel strategy

Create a multichannel strategy together with your affiliate marketers.

First, consider the big picture. Then, work with your affiliates to create an individual strategy for each channel.

2. Design a lead magnet strategy

Design an effective lead magnet strategy in line with your company’s goals.

Refer to your audience personas here, too. What kinds of lead magnets would your personas flock to? What would they perceive as valuable?

For instance, your audience might love the opportunity to join a course series. Or, if they have diverse needs, you might use a variety of lead magnets depending on your funnel plans.

In case you’re stuck on lead magnet ideas, here are some examples:
Early bird tickets: Entice your audience to sign up for your event by promoting discounted early bird tickets.

  • Gifts: Offer your audience gifts in exchange for signing up for or attending your event.
  • Downloadables: Offer your audience valuable downloadables, such as helpful tutorials, guides, listicles, and educational videos.
  • Contests and giveaways: Encourage your event to go viral with large giveaways and competitions.

Jasmine star instagram post
Image Source: Jasmine Star/Instagram

3. Create a content marketing strategy

Lock arms with your affiliates to create a content marketing strategy aligned with your goals.

When designing your strategy, be realistic. Content marketing is a beast in and of itself, so you may need to diversify your efforts. For instance, one affiliate posting a weekly article may not do the trick. But if you have ten affiliates posting a weekly article, you’ll be able to scale your affiliate content in no time.

When discussing content strategy, focus on user intent. Regarding your line of business, what are people searching for?

For instance, if you sell skin and beauty products, your target audience might type the following in Google:

  • Best acne treatment products
  • Best skincare products
  • Organic anti-aging skincare
  • Eco-friendly skin care routine tips
  • Skincare essentials and best practices

If your affiliates are well-versed in content strategy, you may not need to do any hand-holding here. But if your affiliates don’t have experience with keyword planning, we recommend supplying them with content briefs.

For instance, for the key phrase “best acne treatment products,” your content brief would include:

  • The key term “best acne treatment products”
  • Related keywords, which might include terms like: “acne solution,” “acne cream,” and “acne wash”)
  • Frequently asked questions, which might include: “what’s the best acne face wash?” “How can I take better care of my acne?” “Will my acne ever go away?”
  • Competitor articles list, which lists three to five high-scoring articles based on the same key term

To take it a step further, you can also include a suggested content angle, an outline, and a summary of what you want.

Before handing out briefs, make sure you and your affiliates are on the same page about posting frequency. You’ll also need to develop a variety of ways to market the blog content on other channels.

4. Employ an SEO strategy

All of the tips we’re sharing today are important, but this might be the most important one.

To ensure the content your affiliates create is seen, employ an SEO strategy.

When it comes to SEO, it’s not just about optimizing blog posts and keyword research. It’s about optimizing everything related to the affiliate content and the channels it will be posted on.

That means your affiliates have a game plan for optimizing everything they touch, including:

  • Any landing pages they create
  • Social media content they post (note that each channel will have different SEO needs)
  • Blog content
  • Email content
  • Ad content
  • Video content
  • Etc.

If you’re not well-versed in multi-channel SEO strategies, you might need to hire an SEO strategist for help.

5. Brainstorm an email marketing strategy

Email marketing is one of the best ways for affiliates to get up, close, and personal with their audience. It’s also free and takes little effort to set up.

Email marketing quote
Image Source: Emma

When brainstorming an email marketing strategy, consider your audience personas. What email habits do they have? How often do they check their inbox? What messages do they value most?

Finally, decide on an email marketing game plan. What kind of content would you like affiliates to email out, and how often?

It’s also important to decide if you’d like affiliates to create an official newsletter that goes out at the same time each month or week.

In this case, your email marketing plan might look something like this:

  • Daily inspirational emails with value-driven content
  • Weekly promo emails
  • Monthly newsletter with behind-the-scenes content, testimonials, features, and updates

6. Create a social media marketing strategy

Meeting people where they are is the key to marketing.

If you’re an in-person sales rep and your target audience frequents your local beach, guess where you’re going to meet them? Your local beach.

If you’re in online sales and your target audience loves spending time on Twitter and Instagram, guess where you’re going to meet them? Twitter and Instagram.

When creating your social media strategy, be sure you know the channels your audience frequents most. If 80% of your audience uses Facebook all the time, but only 1% of your audience uses Pinterest, it might not be wise to use Pinterest. It’d be equally unwise to avoid Facebook when it plays such an integral role in your audience’s lives.

Next, take a look at your audience’s social media habits. Do they love perusing Instagram Stories? Do they soak up TikTok videos like the sun? Do they have trouble saying no to a good contest?

What about the people they engage with? Who do they follow, and why? What posts do they comment on and why? For instance, maybe they prefer engaging with eco-friendly brands on Twitter and vegan influencers on YouTube.

Finally, create a game plan keeping every audience segment’s habits in mind. For instance, if we use the example above, your social media plan might look like this:

  • Post Instagram stories daily
  • Post TikTok videos every other day
  • Organize monthly contests
  • Collaborate bi-weekly with eco-friendly brands on Twitter
  • Hire vegan influencers for weekly sponsored posts on YouTube

7. Discuss video marketing expectations

Video marketing is taking the world by storm with Stories, Reels, YouTube videos, and Tiktok videos leading the pack.

Video marketing is an effective affiliate marketing tool because it conveys a level of reality that nothing else can. In other words, when it comes to showcasing your brand, online videos have a powerful way of communicating value.

When discussing video marketing strategy and expectations with affiliates, keep your goals and research in mind.

For instance, let’s say two of your goals include:

  • Showing more people how to use your products (explainer videos)
  • Highlighting the benefits people receive from your products

And let’s say your research reveals that:

  • Your audience loves Instagram Reels
  • Your audience can’t get enough of live-streamed videos on Instagram and YouTube

In this case, part of your video marketing plan would include different types of video and might look like this:

  • Use Instagram Reels to share product demonstrations
  • Use live YouTube videos for interviewing customers using your products
  • Use Instagram Live to share product benefits and answer questions from the audience

8. Decide how to integrate informational marketing

Informational marketing refers to sharing educational or informative content your audience is interested in. Examples include webinars, guides, how-tos, tutorials, ebooks, and courses.

When deciding how to integrate informational marketing into your affiliate game plan, consider your audience’s habits. How much do they value informational marketing? What kind of informational content do they value most? Where do they digest informational content most?

Use the answers you gathered in your research to decide how to integrate informational marketing into the big-picture plan.

For instance, if your audience loves informational emails and blog posts, you’ll focus your efforts there. If they love grabbing courses and workbooks on social media, then that’s where you’ll focus your informational content.

Start selling out your virtual events

With the world still dealing with the fallout from the pandemic, businesses have turned to virtual events to generate new customers and build trust with their audiences.

But virtual event marketing takes process and strategy to achieve goals and encourage people to attend.

That’s where affiliate marketing comes in. No matter what the future of virtual events is, or the type of virtual events you are hosting, these tips will help you to sell out tickets using affiliates. Get a free 14-day trial of Tapfiliate to get started and sell out your virtual event.

To recap, here’s a quick list of the tips we shared:

  • Strategize with affiliates before they start running campaigns
  • Design a lead magnet strategy
  • Create a content marketing strategy
  • Employ an SEO strategy
  • Brainstorm an email marketing strategy
  • Create a social media strategy
  • Discuss video marketing expectations
  • Decide how to integrate informational marketing

Craving even more affiliate marketing tips? Head to the Tapfiliate blog for guides, tips, and more.

Start your affiliate marketing program now with Tapfiliate. Try all the features: 👉get a 14-day free trial here

Mark Ankucic

Mark Ankucic is the content strategist at Sked Social, the world’s best Instagram social media scheduler. You’ll often find him tinkering with SEO, tweaking copy for conversion, and scrolling social to find the latest news in the world of content.

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