Content marketing for events: 7 essential tips
For the last three years Kontenthaus has run many content marketing campaigns for large and small events organisations. We learned that the same rule applies to marketing as to all other editorial content: it as has to be relevant and actionable. This will make the difference between a content marketing campaign that is average and doesn’t deliver and a successful marketing channel that delivers valuable leads to your show website. Here our team shares some insights we gathered over that time:
1. Create a content platform
Yes, your content has to live somewhere, so create a section on your website or indeed a completely new website where you curate and publish all your content. Why is this important? Because you need to have a place to you send people to. It doesn’t necessarily have to become a destination site for the industry you’re targeting (although it can), but you want to invite people into your playground where you can furnish the place with lots of call-to-actions.
2. Build a 12-month content plan
It’s critical to have a consistent editorial plan for the entire year. By creating useful content on a regular basis you are driving valuable traffic to your site. You are creating trust and authority and you are reinforcing your core brand messages. The latter is really important. Before planning your content, decide what the event is about, what makes it different to other similar events. Settle on 3-5 core messages and reiterate them through quality content.
3. Involve your speakers in content creation
Spend effort in encouraging your speakers to create content via guest blogs ahead of the event or by interviewing them or polling them. These are the thought leaders everybody wants to listen to, so give them some airtime before the event. This is great PR, but delivered in an editorial voice. The secret is to choose your speakers wisely. Your event producer should know who is most likely to create engaging content. The message has to be relevant to your audience and it has to be actionable. Make sure you have a strong editorial lead!
4. Implement a smart amplification tactic
There is tons of content out there, so you need to be smart about how you amplify your content. Yes, use SEO and most of event organisers have a pretty good direct marketing database, so email is going to be a really powerful tool. But you’re only going to reach people that already know about you. Also invest in using speakers and key social influencers in amplifying your content. How do you do this? Quite simply by creating high-quality features and interviews with them and encourage them to distribute it to their followers. Once you’ve done that, experiment with paid campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn and other social channels to reach out to new audiences.
5. Make it easy to share content
This is simple, but not everybody gets it right. Make sure your wifi is working and that everybody knows the password. Ask speakers to display their Twitter handle and the conference hashtag at the beginning of their presentation. Maybe you should think about creating a dedicated space for bloggers with high-speed internet connection and nice coffee. Also ensure you feed them with content about subjects that are important to you. It is all about ensuring that you are steering the conversation.
6. Take charge of reporting on your own event
The event itself is a great opportunity for you to leverage amazing content to market your brand – not only on the show floor but globally! Make sure you have people on the ground that initiate and actively participate in conversations on social platforms. And if you are really serious about it consider a live blog. This can be a mixture of fun things from the show floor or social events, social media curation and actual coverage from conference sessions.
7. Be visual
Visual content delivers the best engagement, so whatever you do think about a visual angle to tell the story. Video is important format, but it has to be succinct and meaningful. Nobody wants to watch through lengthy videos of people talking about themselves and very few people will watch through a recorded presentation. Get an interviewer to keep it short and snazzy. Anything more than 90 seconds will be a wasted effort. After the show – instead of just putting slideshow online – create some slideshow mashups of the main threads and publish them on slideshare as well as on your own website.
Just be smart and always keep in mind that everything you produce should be useful and relevant.