You’ve posted on social media about your next business event, but no one is registering. Why isn’t your content working? Well you can’t do it haphazardly. You need a plan. Here, I list out some recommendations for content marketing before, during, and after your event.
Here’s the podcast episode:
Or if you’d rather watch the video:
So you’ve added your latest event to your company’s calendar on your website. You’ve put it on Facebook, Eventbrite, and wherever else you can think of to list it. But why isn’t it working? Why aren’t people buying tickets? You need to know. I get it, I understand.
Before, During, and After Your Event
Why isn’t your content working though? Like everything else with marketing, you can’t do it haphazardly. Your content marketing should support your event before, during, and after the event. Mull on that for a second.
What have you done leading up to your event, in terms of content and other marketing efforts, that would urge your audience to attend your event? Maybe there isn’t a lot that you’ve done, but that’s okay. There’s always time to come back from that, and do it better next time. That’s the Kaizen principle, and the goal is always to do things a little bit better each time. That’s basically what we’re going to do for your content marketing.
Content Marketing During The Pre-Event Phase
Videos and Blog Posts
You can record videos, as well as write blog posts, about the event and the event topics. You could talk about the topics that your event will address.
Let’s say it’s a small conference on digital marketing with the specific theme of virtual reality. You could create a series of blog posts/videos on virtual reality in marketing or where we think it’s going.
You don’t want to make it sound like an ad though. Remember: this is content marketing, not traditional advertising. You don’t want to sit there and plug your event throughout the entire blog post. That gets irritating.
Guest Posting and Podcast Interviews
At that point in time, it would also be a great time to do a guest podcast interview/video show/blog post talking about these topics and mentions. When you guest this way, the hosts typically allow for you to include a link back to your website.
That’s valuable to you because you’re borrowing someone else’s audience and credibility, in order to get eyes on your content. Of course, you want to be worthy of that, but it’s a strategy you can use to bring in people who may not have normally heard of your event.
Especially if you go on a podcast, where they’ll often ask you if there’s anything that you’d like to talk about or are excited for.
And that’s when you say, “You know what? As a matter of fact, John, we are getting ready for an event at XYZ company. It’s a big business conference. We’re going to be talking about the future of digital marketing, things like augmented and virtual reality, and how those things may or may not play in our marketing space. And we’re just really excited about that.”
John is probably going to respond with something like, “Oh yes, you know what? We’ll include a link to your event page in the show notes. Hey everyone, you definitely want to make sure you check that out and see if you can make it to XYZ company event.” See how this works? Now you’ve gotten some publicity and online PR.
Content Marketing During The Intra-Event Phase
Designate People for Different Tasks
How do you do content marketing for your event while it’s happening? This is typically a little faster. It’s not going to be as polished, so you may want to designate some people ahead of time.
If you’re the CEO of your company or if you’re the marketing events manager and you’re just running around taking care of everything anyway, maybe designate this task to someone else. That way, you don’t have to worry about it.
You’re already doing enough as it is, but you want to plan ahead of time, so designate these people beforehand.
Collect Video Testimonials
What you want to do is get short video testimonials. They should be recorded with somebody’s phone, so they can easily be uploaded to the company media repository. Video testimonials from people who have come for the first time, or who keep coming back are always fantastic.
If it’s a recurring event, then you can share testimonials from before. You can schedule them, so it happens during the event.
Encourage Attendees to Use a Hashtag
You also want to invite guests to use a hashtag. Oftentimes this is easily done by placing little cards or signs up on the tables. “Capturing a great moment at X event? Use this hashtag to share it with everyone!” Or whatever you want it to say.
The hashtag is awesome because it’s user-generated content. And if social media users show that they’re having a great time learning a lot at your business event, that’s going to count for so much.
User-generated content leads the pack in terms of what consumers see and what people trust. You want to cultivate and encourage it from your attendees after the event.
Thank Your Attendees and Sponsors
You want to get on social media. Thank the attendees, and thank your sponsors for your event. One way to appeal to event sponsors is to guarantee that you’ll thank them and put their names out there. Don’t forget to thank your sponsors!
You want to tag people: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc. Tag your sponsors, attendees, speakers, and anybody who contributed. If you’re a photographer on-site, share those pictures and tag the people who will get the word out about your events.
Want to read more about appealing to event sponsors so you can hold bigger and better events? Read our blog post or watch the video here.
Content Marketing During The Post-Event Phase
Generate Buzz for Your Next Event
Now that we’re in the post-event phase, you want to get people excited for the next event. You want them to mark their calendars, so when you post about it, they’re like, “Oh yeah, let me add that to my calendar. I need to go to that. That was a great event.” Or even, “I missed out. I don’t want to miss out again.” That’s another thing that social media will do for you.
You can send it out to your email list as well. There are people on your email list who did not attend your event. They missed out. Show them what they missed. Send an event recap. Create a great post with photos from the event if you can. Then share that article on social media and with your email list.
Did you have someone tasked with taking photos at your event? Create an album, and share that with your attendees via email. Those email’s are practically guaranteed to get high levels of engagement. People love photos of themselves.
That’s what your content can do. It can show everyone what they missed, and remind the attendees of the great time they had, how valuable it was to be there, and get those insights in person.
You want to share those takeaways because it could be an inspiration for new podcasts, videos, images or art about the event. Share those takeaways, and please support your sponsors.
Really, Don’t Forget to Thank Your Sponsors
Make sure you thank them, and that can’t just be the logo that you shared on the event page. Thanked them by email. Thank them personally. After the event, follow up and say thank you. Make sure that you deliver everything you said you were going to deliver.
That’s a quick rundown of how you could use content to support your events and generate more buzz. Show your appreciation to the attendees, sponsors, and anyone who organized it.
If you get any PR, make sure that you thank those media outlets for talking about your event. Don’t let that go unnoticed. You want to make sure that you thank everyone who supported you.
Send Event Recaps, and Don’t Stop Your Content Marketing Yet
You want to use your content to support your goals at every stage: before, during, and after. Just because the event is over doesn’t mean that your content marketing for that event is over.
I see that a lot, which is typically where it falls off. Event recaps are great things to send. You can also post them as blog articles. Go ahead and try that out!
If you have an event coming up, and you want to sketch out a rough content marketing strategy, I’d love to check it out. I can’t create the whole content strategy for you (not for free anyway), but I’d love to check it out and give you a few pointers.