7 steps to a successful content marketing strategy for events

Content marketing is a big theme at this year’s Event Marketing Summit. There is no doubt that we are seeing a real change in the way event marketers use content, but how does it really work? Over the past few weeks we talked to some of our speakers and compiled a list of seven top content marketing strategy tips.

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.

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.

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. Get an interviewer to keep it short and snazzy. Anything more than 2 minutes will be lost. 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.

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