Your online event is a great way to connect with your existing customers and reach new audiences that may turn into new customers, if you manage to resonate with them well. But not all audience members are the same. I don’t mean it in the “everyone is unique” meaning, but rather in the type of audience they are.
While every person has different likes and kinks, when it comes to what type of audience they are, they generally fall into one of three categories – the spectator, the participant and the spy.
In this article we will explore how to approach each type of audience to turn them into customers (if they aren’t yet), and give them an experience that will make them remember your brand and leave them wanting more.
The passive spectator
Remember that person in high school that never asked a question, never participated in debates no matter how heated they were, and just watched things as things happened? This is similar to the passive spectators in your online event.
The fact this type of audience member is not actively engaging with your event (commenting, asking questions) doesn’t necessarily mean they are not interested in what’s happening in it, or that they won’t buy anything.
In fact, there will probably be two types of spectators in your event. The ones that just have the event running in the background while they’re doing other things like working, cooking, looking at social media and so on, and the ones that are actually watching your event with their (almost) full attention, but do not engage with it in an active way.
While active participants are naturally more inclined to engage with your event by commenting, liking and asking questions no matter if you tell them to or not, spectators need a little (or a big) nudge.
To try and convert a passive spectator to an active participant you need to persuade them that it will be worth their while. One way is driving them to ask questions by emphasizing the rare opportunity they have right now to get their questions answered live by an expert or a favorite influencer.
For example, if you are hosting a cooking class event, you can remind your audience that this is a great time to ask the hosting cook any question they had in mind and get an answer live. If you are hosting an “ask me anything” event with an influencer, remind your spectators that their favorite influencer is there to answer (almost) any question they had in mind and always wanted to ask.
Another option is to remind your audience that there is a giveaway coming and ask them which product they would like to receive as the giveaway, and mention that the product with the most votes will be the chosen giveaway. Show them how engaging with your event right now is going to be beneficial for them in some way or another.
Another thing to remember about some of your passive spectators is that they might not be commenting or asking questions, however they are there to take advantage of the crazy live discounts you’re offering and the possible chance to win a giveaway.
To increase your sales and get more new customers, offer special discounts on the products you’re highlighting and talking about and make sure to announce sale prices out loud. Add a sense of urgency by reminding your audience that these sales are valid only until the end of the event.
These tips are true for creating active engagement no matter the type of audience, but really emphasizing the benefits spectators will get once they engage is a great way to try and drive them to action.
The active participant
Active participants are every host’s dream. However, to make sure they feel appreciated and included as they want to be, you need to pay attention to a few key points.
Unlike the passive spectators, your active audience is naturally inclined to take an active part of your event. They like, they comment, they ask questions, and if your event and products are attractive to them – they buy. To ensure these awesome attendees get the most of your event and keep coming to your future ones, you need to acknowledge and appreciate them.
Just like we talk about in XXXXXXXXX (LINK TO ARTICLE), you need to actively acknowledge your most engaged audience and give them the special attention they deserve. This could be done in different ways, such as reading their comment out loud and saying their name, alongside a following appreciation like “that’s so true!”, “really good point there” or “thank you so much!”. If you’re hosting with an influencer, make sure they acknowledge the audience’s comments as well.
When it comes to questions, answer as many questions as possible from the audience – that is one of the biggest values your event is giving them and the best way to engage with them on a personal level.
I’ll admit, that’s a hard one. The spy is a participant that is there to, well, spy on your business, your event or your influencer. It might be for their own business competitive research, to create a review about your event, or to copy what you’re doing.
While they are unlikely to buy anything, they may very well comment or ask questions as part of their intended goal. You probably can’t actually identify the spy in your audience, but you can try and resonate with everyone watching your event on a personal level, making the spy more emotionally attached to the person behind the brand.
Generally speaking, when people feel that they know other people on a personal level, it is harder for them to treat them badly. True, business is business and a more personal connection won’t make a spy, in case they have their own competing business, close their business and devote their life to helping yours.
However, showing your audience your true amazing self and making them understand there is a real person behind these products and services makes it harder for some people attending to treat or speak about you badly, even online.
In case the spy is there to create a review about your event or your business, it is a great opportunity to show them how amazing the people behind the brand (you and your influencers) are, how hard you’ve worked to create this awesome experience for your audience, and how much you appreciate every single person that attended your event – no matter their goal.
Remember, having a spy in your event means that you’re doing something right. Take that as an opportunity to prove to them and to yourself how amazing you, your brand and your products are, and how much you appreciate your customers and audience.
Anyone that leaves your event with a positive, personal-level experience has the potential of becoming an advocate of your brand, or at the very least not a hater.