According to market research company, Forrester Research business leaders “concede that based on how customers behave and buy, content marketing is crucial to their success.” Leaders of the biggest and most successful businesses have spent time researching effective marketing channels and conclude that content marketing is one way to effectively build relationships with potential attendees.
Social media in itself typically won’t be enough, paid advertising might be effective but requires some skill to master if you don’t want to lose a great deal of money, and search engine optimization is effective but can take some time to work.
Content marketing actually makes all of the aforementioned marketing channels easier to execute, while also being an effective marketing channel in its own right.
Here you’ll learn how to produce and distribute marketing content to market your next event.
What is Content Marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.”
Content can take the form of written articles, videos, infographics, presentations and audio recordings designed to educate an audience about a specific topic. The idea behind content marketing is that by providing helpful content for your target audience, you’ll be able to attract people to your website and once there, you can also educate them about your events.
For example, to educate event planners, Bizzabo wrote a blog post about how to choose event registration software. Similarly, Social Media Marketing World maintains a website, podcast and Youtube channel in order to educate potential attendees while also raising awareness about their event.
How to Brainstorm Content Ideas
If you’re interested in getting started with a content marketing strategy, but feel intimidated about writing helpful articles or producing videos, have no fear. The key to generating valuable content is to listen to your audience. Understand the questions that potential attendees are already asking, and try to provide them with answers that they will likely find helpful.
If you’re organizing a conference for arts educators, then content that teaches them how to better build lesson plans might be very helpful for them. You can figure out what kind of content would be most helpful by logging into forums used by your potential attendees and monitoring what people are asking. Popular forums include Quora and Reddit.
Other popular channels that organizers can use to listen to potential attendees is to take to social media and either listen to your audience, or directly ask your followers (assuming they are potential attendees) if they have questions that they would like answers to.
As a way of creating a connection between the marketing content you generate and your actual event, you can simply create content that is related to event sessions you already have planned.
Content Production Tips
Event planners have one thing in common: They have very limited time thanks to hectic schedules. For many organizers it might be out of the question to spend a few hours creating blog posts, videos or podcasts. Fortunately, organizers who are interested in implementing a content marketing strategy can make use of others to produce the content for them.
Consider asking event speakers to produce content that potential attendees might find helpful. Afterall, they are experts in their field and content that they produce will most likely find an instant audience with people already following their work.
In addition to adding event speakers to produce content for your event, you can also find talented freelance writers on platforms like Upwork or Guru who can quickly turn a content idea into a reality.
Effective Content Marketing Channels
Once you’ve created some valuable content, it’s time to distribute it. Social media is a channel for distributing content to potential attendees. Tweeting out a link to the piece of content will drive social media users to your website, also increasing the chances that they actually register for the event.
In addition to social media, email marketing campaigns that promote content to those scribed can be a great way to re-engage with leads.
Organizers should also consider writing content for other websites (called guest blogging). This type of content creation helps to get in front of a larger audience, thus increasing the reach of your event.
If you produce video content, then be sure to publish it to Youtube and Vimeo and if you create a Podcast series, than publishing it on iTunes is a must.
Education Begins Before Events
Content marketing is a proven marketing channel that makes it easier to reach potential attendees. By educating your audience about issues relevant to them and to your event, you can create an event brand that is viewed as a “thought leader.”
To create valuable content listen to your audience, and then consider asking event speakers, or freelancers to produce materials if you don’t have time. Once written you can then distribute the content on various marketing channels like social media, or through email marketing campaigns.
For additional event marketing tips, download a free ebook on proven event marketing strategies for organizers.
David Epstein is the content marketing manager at Bizzabo. Launched in July 2012, Bizzabo is the world’s first event success platform. It helps organizers create successful events by empowering them to build amazing websites, sell tickets, grow communities, go mobile and maximize event experiences – using a beautiful, user-friendly platform.