In August 2020, Facebook’s business audience had the opportunity to monetize virtual events through Facebook Live. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this function came in handy – conducting live broadcasts has become one of the ways to generate direct income. It was especially useful for those who previously made money on offline events, but lost this opportunity due to quarantine. What is the essence of such monetization and how to increase engagement in events?
Paid Online Events: How to Use the Feature Smartly
Online events on Facebook mean live performances of different formats and trends (humor, music, sports, presentations, exhibitions, excursions). Paid events include those events for which participation is charged at the time of registration. The price is set by the organizer when creating a virtual event, always indicating the account for receiving payments. If you have never come across this monetization method, you will be interested to know how to use it.
Connecting the function is easy – everything is described in detail in the corresponding section of the Facebook help center. In short, all you need to do is choose a venue, familiarize yourself with the proposed conditions and accept them, and also set up an account (or choose from the ones previously indicated).
Such online meetings can be held both on Facebook Live and on a third-party web resource. The difference is significant: by choosing the first option, you will open access to the event only to those who paid for a visit (the exception is free access) and save the recording, choosing the second – you will not be able to save the video for those who missed the broadcast.
Creating an event is half the battle; it is much more important to tell a wide audience about it and achieve a high level of participant involvement.
In our other material, we have collected 5 reasons why no one may know your brand.
How to promote paid events
Promotion of an online event has two key goals – increasing online awareness and attracting a new interested audience. Facebook itself offers the following promotion methods:
- Advertising. Suitable for promoting both regular and virtual events. The bottom line is that your event will get into the news feed and will be shown to a lot more people than if you just posted a post on your page. Doing so will quickly spread the news and double your ticket sales. The main thing is to competently approach the coverage of the target audience, as an option, to conduct retargeting – then those who have already been interested in events before will definitely know about you.
- Co-organization. If you don’t want to create an online event alone, appoint a co-organizer. When a partner adds your event to their calendar, their subscribers can view the event and receive invitations.
- Reposts. A long-known and never failing method is reposting. By talking about the planned event in other social networks (on the page, in thematic communities, in Stories) and inviting your friends to share the news, you will significantly increase the chances of success.
- Invitations. On Facebook, you can provide subscribers with free access to the event (limited to 50 people). If the guest accepts the invitation, they are entitled to join the online event completely free of charge. You can find out about the status of invitations (who has already accepted, and who else is thinking) by going to the page with statistics.
How to increase engagement
The first method mentioned in Facebook’s recommendations is still the same promotion. But there are 3 more important tips to keep in mind if you want to attract the attention of a new audience and keep the interest of already registered members:
- Uncover the cards. As much as you would like to create intrigue, it is better to honestly tell the guests what awaits them. It is not necessary to reveal all the secrets – it is enough to draw up a speech program and place it on the page or directly in the description.
- Be flexible. If the promotion “does not go”, that is, you see that tickets are being sold out reluctantly, change the conditions. Choose a different date and time, but do not forget to warn those who have already purchased tickets. Those who are not satisfied with the new conditions need to make a refund.
- Prepare yourself. Before starting the broadcast, check if the equipment is in order. A golden rule of thumb for those remotely working with the public is to go live early, taking the time to troubleshoot issues that may suddenly arise after launch. Time is never too much – you can devote it to the presentation of the event program.
Paid online events are a real chance for companies and independent authors to earn money from the comfort of their homes by providing the target audience with exclusive access to their video programs. Plus, according to product marketing manager Aurora Kurland, Facebook is currently testing the feature with Rooms. This means that the number of participants at events will increase (compared to Facebook Live, which is focused on broadcasting). Perhaps now is the time to stop dreaming and start acting – include paid events in your strategy!