Content marketing is one of the biggest trends to sweep the marketing world in the last decade.
Many readers are already well-aware of the benefits of inbound marketing, and the role that generating helpful content can play in attracting website visitors, creating leads and making sales.
But for those still skeptical about the effectiveness of content marketing, here’re a few key statistics from Stanford University to note:
● Content marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional advertising
● 58% of online consumers trust editorial content
● Clicks from shared content are five times more likely to result in a purchase
If you’re an event marketer with a limited budget, this should come as fantastic news. Content marketing is one of the most effective tactics for driving new customers, in this case, new event attendees. And you can create a content marketing plan rather easily.
Here are some innovative ways to generate valuable content without having to spend long hours writing and without hiring extra staff members.
After I discuss content production methods, I’ll also discuss often overlooked but equally important aspects of content marketing: promotion and distribution.
Content Creation Tactics
Market Speakers With Short Interviews
One of the biggest reasons event attendees will choose to attend your event over others is because it provides them with an opportunity to learn from experts.
In a study conducted by HubSpot, 79% of respondents reported that they attend events or conferences in order to learn.
This means that your event speakers are a fantastic resources for event marketers to harness in order to promote an event.
Organizers can ask booked speakers to participate in a short video interview. To do this, organizers can either hire a local freelance videographer to go to the speaker and read a series of questions you’ve provided while filming the answers.
Or, organizers can send a complimentary camera (like a GoPro) to the speaker and in exchange ask that they record a brief video of themselves answering a few questions you email them.
Either way, event organizers will have video content that can be shared on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram and Facebook to draw attention to your event.
Event organizers can also use a video transcription service to turn the video interview into written content that you can later share on your blog.
Video Transcription: Make Videos into Blog Content
In the example above, organizers of the Inbound marketing conference use video interviews in speaker bio pages to give visitors a better understanding of who will be speaking at the event.
Crowdsource Content From Passionate Event Attendees
Depending on the sort of event you’re organizing, event attendees may have created some outstanding content that is worth sharing with followers on social media, with contacts in an email database, or with visitors to an event website.
In the example below, an attendee going to Social Media Marketing World created an outstanding Youtube video for fellow attendees, walking them through how to use the event’s networking app.
Attendee User Generated Content (UGC)
In the example above, an attendee simply wanted to provide added value to fellow event goers.
Once the organizers discovered the video, they shared it with followers on social media, a tactic other event organizers can use when they discover great content created by event attendees.
Alternatively, organizers can reach out to event attendees who are VIPs, or who have attended the event in previous years to ask if they will write a guide for newcomers. The guide can be shared on a blog or on a third party publishing platform like Medium or LinkedIn.
Organize Pre-Event Online Hangouts and Blog About It
Many organizations are turning to online forums as a way of better connecting with people. SEMrush hosts weekly Twitter chats, Bizzabo created a group for event planners and marketers called Eventovation, Growthhackers features AMAs (ask me anything) with prominent business leaders.
Organizing pre-event hangouts either via a platform like Google Hangouts, Blab or by simply using Twitter, will help to bring attendees together while also generating noticeable pre-event chatter online.
The best part about creating these online gatherings is that the content discussed can be summarized in a post-chat blog post that can be shared with potential event attendees.
Repurpose Visual Content From Past Events
Event attendees will undoubtedly take plenty of photos and videos when attending an event. It’s in event marketers’ best interest to collect these media assets, as they can be re-used in marketing collateral.
In the example below, the organizers behind Dreamforce use images from a previous Dreamforce conference to reach potential and past event attendees on Instagram.
Dreamforce: Past Event Image
Thirty second snippets from recorded sessions, and interviews with event attendees can also be shared on social media networks as a way of reminding followers to register for an upcoming event.
Media content from event attendees can be used in promotional material on an event website as well.
The key is that organizers must be able to collect these great assets, tools like Flickr, Tint or plain old social media hashtags can be used to see and collect awesome content from event attendees.
Make Slides From Previous Speakers Available Online
Presentations from past sessions can be turned into fantastic content. More and more, event speakers are making the decks they build for an event available online, and organizers should capitalize on this content to better reach potential attendees.
In the example below, Joe Pulizzi chose to share his slides from Conductor’s C3 marketing event with his followers on SlideShare.
Joe Pulizzi SlideShare
Publishing the presentation online helps to raise awareness of C3 while also bringing increased attention to Pulizzi.
Organizers should consider asking if event speakers are okay with their presentations being converted into SlideShares. That way, organizers can reach SlideShare users when the presentation is published. Plus, SlideShare presentations are embeddable, so they can be placed into a blog post that dives into a specific session, or that summarizes multiple sessions.
Content Distribution Tactics
Make Sure Content Is Shareable
When publishing content online, the name of the game is promotion. Creating fantastic content isn’t enough, the content that is created must be distributed properly if it is going to have a positive impact on increasing the number of people who register for an event.
That means that all content must be shareable. Blog posts need to have titles that are not only optimized for SEO, but that will grab the attention of people who discover the content organically, on social media or in an email.
Coschedule offers a free headline analyzer tool that makes it easy to write headlines that readers will be more likely to share.
Distribute Content To Your Contacts
Often event marketers are focused on sending emails directly promoting an upcoming event to a database of contacts through an email service.
While directly promoting an event to contacts is certainly a useful tactic, hitting contacts over the head with overly promotional material can cause people to ignore your emails, or worse, to unsubscribe from them altogether.
Event marketers should use email as a distribution asset to share helpful content with email contacts. This is a great way to encourage contacts to check out your event website once more, and if you include a compelling CTA within the content itself, it can also prove to be a more effective way to increase event registration.
Ask Event Evangelists and Influencers to Share Content Online
If you’ve created what you think is a valuable content asset, there is no shame in asking influencers to share it online.
One of the best ways to do this is to first share the content with influencers for feedback. Chances are your contacts will give you a few recommendations to make it better, but overall, they’ll like the piece.
If this is the case, you can follow up by asking them to share the piece with their followers.
This is a great tactic because your event speakers and other influencers are likely already being followed by your target audience. Sharing a piece of helpful content will encourage targeted audience members to check out your event website.
Embrace Content Syndication
Some worry about publishing content on other platforms. Contrary to popular belief, syndicated content can be a fantastic way for event organizers to reach a wider audience on already popular platforms.
LinkedIn Pulse, Medium and Tumblr are all great and accessible content syndication platforms, though simply having a piece syndicated on an industry website can be equally productive.
While some event marketers will argue that syndicated content can mean fewer people visiting an event website, this type of content also provides an excellent opportunity to grow brand awareness.
If content includes a call to action on a syndicated outlet, it can actually serve to bring even more visitors to an event website.
Build Valuable Content And Invest In Content Promotion
The key to successful content marketing is to create content that is truly valuable. Simply creating short listicles might not be good enough to create the kind of waves event marketers dream about.
Instead, event organizers and marketers must think how they can leverage the unique access that is afforded by organizing a world-class event. Access to influential speakers and influencers is one angle many event organizers should pursue to create content that is truly valuable for example.
Once a great piece of content is created, it has to be distributed properly. Content creation is just 50% of a successful content marketing campaign. Event promoters should think about the channels that their target audience is using and should attempt to distribute content on these channels.
If done correctly, content marketing can help to increase event buzz, while also serving to build a prestigious event brand associated with thought-leadership.
Do you have more event content marketing tips? Let us know in the comment section below.