Content marketing in its simplest form is creating and sharing valuable and consistent content to attract new fans and retain your existing audience.
The goal of content marketing is to provide useful information with, hopefully, an engaging twist. The material you share builds trust, brand awareness and establishes your company or brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Events are a cornucopia of content
If you are an event organiser, you should definitely have a content marketing plan for your events. You can develop a meticulous plan for all your events or focus more on some key events that have the most potential to act as brand builders.
It’s useful to separate event communications from content marketing for events. An event should be one part of your overall content marketing strategy and in the context of this blog we are looking into the different actions you can take to use your events in the marketing mix. In this context, we exclude event communications you do for your event’s participants.
Although the participants of your event can be included in the target audience of content marketing, the main objective is actually to increase your reach outside of it.
Events are a powerful media with lots of potential for content marketing. If you want to check out our all-in-one event marketing guide, you'll have more ideas for each step of your event's lifecycle.
Take your audience on an exciting journey and pay attention to the details that elevate your work.
First, the rules for effective content marketing
There are obviously some ground rules we should discuss before jumping into creating materials. This might be the boring bit if you are more excited about creating the actual content than thinking about the constraints that give your job some limits.
- Set clear goals: Before you start creating content, you need to define what you want to achieve. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales?
Having clear goals will help you create content that is tailored to achieving those goals and it will help you to position the event content in line with the rest of your marketing.
- Know your audience: Understand who your target audience is and what they are interested in. This will help you create content that resonates with them and drives engagement.
You can also visit some of your older content for inspiration and insights about the behaviour of your existing audience.
- Plan ahead: Make sure you plan your content production timeline well in advance of the event. This will give you time to create high-quality content that aligns with your goals and resonates with your audience.
- Be creative: Don't be afraid to try new things and be creative with your content. Use a variety of formats such as videos, infographics, and social media posts to keep your audience engaged.
- Measure your results: After the event, analyze your content performance and measure your results. This will help you identify what worked and what didn't, so you can refine your strategy for future events.
5 creative tips for your event’s content marketing
Tip 1 - Event announcement
Your event itself is a statement. When you planned one and decided to launch it to the world, you made yourself an expert in the topic. When you first release your event, make sure you do it properly. Pay attention to the details, make sure you make it visually appealing and talk to your audience with the language they understand and respond to.
This is your opportunity to place yourself as a thought leader within your industry, so make sure you have really thought about the topic you will be presenting and how you’ll make an impact with it.
Create a blog post about the topic of the event and use it to attract people to register. You’ll catch two flies with one go - you’ll talk about the topic and support your SEO activities and you’ll get people to register to learn more. For distribution, you can use newsletters, social media channels, networking groups, etc.
Tip 2 - Speaker spotlight
If you choose to utilise this opportunity, may we suggest you think how you can add some spice in the execution.
Instead of another factual talking head, why don’t you try something different. Could the speech be interesting and emotional or could you utilise a special, and maybe a bit surprising, location for the backdrop?
Create a video or blog post featuring the speaker of your event. Share the post on social media will allow you to leverage your speakers network too when you tag them in the post. Encourage the speaker to share it with their own audience, too.
Tip 3 - Behind-the-scenes content
Create a behind-the-scenes video, images or blog post showing the preparations for the event. Focus on details, fun or interesting stories and surprises. Share the post on social media and with your extended network to generate excitement among your audience.
A helpful tip is really to think like a photographer. What kind of a story would a single detail in an image tell?
Would there be an opportunity to create PR? Maybe you have an exciting speaker or an innovative topic that has relevance in a wider societal context? Pitch the story to a journalist but remember to do it in good time and consider providing the outlet an exclusive story.
Tip 4 - Let your participants be your marketers
How can you take your audience on a journey with you? Competitions have been around for a long time and for a reason - they create excitement. And with all the opportunities to tag friends you can easily multiply your audience. Encourage comments, tags, specific hashtags and see your follower base grow.
You can also share the best user-generated content on your own social media channels to engage your audience even further and show the buzz around your event.
You can collect and use user-generated content during the event and post-event, too. Think about what you can do before the event to make sure the content you capture at the event is powerful. Concerts are a good example of this. Loyal fans will often dress up specially for an event and this will 1000% create images and stories that capture something special.
Tip 5 - Recap & follow up content
Create a video or blog post recapping the highlights of the event. Did someone say something powerful, did something special happen that is worth recapping, what did the participants think about your event?
Share the post on social media and tag your attendees and speakers to encourage them to share it with their own audience.
Schedule the share to go out within a few days of the event to keep the momentum going and show your appreciation for your attendees.
Short and sweet recap about content marketing for events
Elevate your work with simple and effective activities that make your events a big piece of your content marketing efforts. Events are a big investment of not only money but also time from your team's calendar and your participant’s calendar. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity and moment during the event’s life cycle to generate content.
Tip 1 - Event announcement is a statement you make about your thought leadership. Make it count.
Tip 2 - Speaker spotlight will draw in fans from unexpected sources and lets you layer your topic with personality.
Tip 3 - Behind-the-scenes content build excitement and anticipation but do remember to tap into emotion.
Tip 4 - Let your participants be your marketers and you’ll have a myriad of POVs and ambassadors.
Tip 5 - Recap & follow up content to create even more pieces of content. Don’t believe just me, but take a look at this oldie but goldie from Gary Vee.
Hero photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash