Elish Bul Godley has written a guest post for the blog on marketing your next event (online or offline). Content Marketing should not be by-passed but actively harnessed for your next event. Read on to learn how…
Content marketing for events: ‘There are no straight lines’. There are moveable feasts, switching goal posts and multiple variables; but no simple formula that will take you from A to B and no linear equations.
Surrender to that idea and content marketing your next event will paradoxically become less daunting and much more focused. Stick with me and I’ll summarize some best practices that will make content creation a sharper tool at your next event.
5 Key Insights for Content Marketing an Event
#1.The end is the beginning – In fact, the middle is the beginning
The image above reminds me of just about everything that matters in Event Content Marketing. It’s all about legacy and milking what you’ve done in the past to feed future marketing campaigns.
So document everything you do at the current event: record slide decks, pics, videos, statistics, social media chatter, reviews etc. Then publish and repackage when launching your next event especially if it is a recurring fixture. What does this mean in practical terms?
- The statistical data and testimonials from your previous event feeds your call for event partners, sponsors, and exhibitors for the next one.
- The audience reviews and visual content (video and gallery shots not to mention positive press reviews from the last event) are the teasers to the next one.
- The slide decks from your presenters – repackage as bit-size infographics will give your new speakers a snapshot of what’s expected when you begin the next open call.
#2. 360 degree, not one dimensional content
Think in 360 Degrees when documenting the content at your events. It’s not just the stuff on the presentation slides and the speakers on stage that you should be harvesting from. Look at the other stakeholders. Who was on the event team and what did they think? Who attended the event? What exciting new products were launched at the event by sponsors and exhibitors? What controversy was there, if any? What did the venue look like?
#3. Switch off the footlights and turn those spotlights around!
Which brings me to your audience. These are the real customers so give them a voice and use that to inspire signups to the next event.
Questions to ask:
- Who arrived that was significant in the sector? What was their demographic profile and did you spot a trend?
- Did you create any user generated content via crowd-sourcing content campaigns. What did they think? Was there Social Media Chatter that you could storify?
- Is there an element of ‘fandom’ you can tap into?
- Did they agree or disagree with what was being said?
- Did they give you their reviews in a vox pop or via testimonial?
So in effect when it comes to Event Marketing using content, you don’t just sell what’s onstage. You sell what’s offstage. You want your delegates to know who they will be sitting next to and if they’re the sort of people they should be networking with.
#4. Provide social proof in 4 dimensions
An event is a living breathing organic mass of people exchanging ideas right? It’s not a 2 dimensional block of text. It’s more than a slide deck. Your prospective delegates need social proof to know that:
- It really exists because they’re buying into something they have not sampled yet (in some cases).
- It’s worth going to because other people in their field think so too.
Document and publish your event content in such a way that it does activate all the 5 senses as much as is feasible. This means getting more visuals, video and audio in where you can.
Ask yourself – How can I let prospective delegates experience the chatter and the buzz second hand once the event is over?
For example, give them a retrospective glimpse with voxpops. Show them the picture tagging campaign results, the Hashtag-led Instagram feed and snippets of your Storify feed.
#5. The ‘Loaves and Fish’ approach
Few things on this planet were built for content generation like events. Bearing in mind you have multiple stakeholders and conversations (not to mention presentations), there’s no end to the ready supply of raw content you could use.
So when your sales and marketing team starts looking for ways to maximize the content you’ve got, remember this:
For any one piece of content there are multiple ways to recycle and repackage it for your next audience, whether it’s via:
- Evergreen blog
- Survey results
- White paper
- Visual memes with soundbites in quotation
- Tagged Instagram photos
and the list goes on…
Don’t just generate and repackage just for the sake of it
Make sure the endless repackaging is done with purpose, otherwise you’re just creating work for the sake of it.
2 things to remember:
- Fit the content tone and format to the key target personas in your audience and their likely digital footprints.
- Distribute the material along appropriate points in their user purchase journeys when interfacing with your event.
Events are a content marketer’s dream. However, because of the plethora of opportunities and avenues they can provide, you need to enlist as many people on the ground, set up processes and do a lot of groundwork setting up the right tools to document and present this golden material as and when it happens.
Remember: The end (or even the middle) of every event is the beginning of your next event’s marketing campaign. The thread that pulls one event out of another is the intelligent use of legacy content from the last one.
If you would like more information on any aspect of this article, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Elish via Linkedin or tweet her at @elishbulgodley.
Have you used Content Marketing successfully for your event in the past? Have you learned how to harness content marketing for you next event? Have you further tips to share with our readers? The best place is in the comments section below…
(image courtesy of http://www.clker.com/)