The event industry is no stranger to content marketing. It’s the nature of our business and therefore not surprising that savvy event organizers are using it for lead generation, engagement and retention objectives. From teasing event-based, new product launches to utilizing session content beyond the show, content marketing can lead to improved SEO, heightened brand recognition and a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) among prospects.
The Game Plan
No one is surprised to hear that a successful campaign starts with a well-laid plan. So why should marketing content be any different? Developing the best content in the world can still be the biggest drain on investment if no one gets to see it. Root your strategy in data by researching where your audience finds news, what type of content they like to find on each platform and the tone that gets them engaged (humorous, professional, conversational). Of course, a successful game plan is one that is flexible enough to adapt on the fly. If your content isn’t hitting outlined KPIs, don’t be afraid to put it on the back burner and pick it up later. In fact, updating and re-sharing older content is great for your SEO as it keeps irrelevant content off of your site. Plus it saves your team the extra legwork of creating something from scratch.
Adapt Your Content
Using a copy-and-paste approach to content dissemination is like repeating the same punch throughout a boxing match. Your content shouldn’t just be shared across multiple platforms, but adapted to fit the platform on which it lives. Intrepid Travel is a great example of an organization that knows adaptation well. One trip to New Zealand was given a Journal page on their website with a first-hand account of the adventures. They then took that story and turned it into a carousel of photos highlighting the trip on Instagram. On Facebook, this turned into a slideshow video. One piece of content, three totally different ways of consuming the story.
Consistency is Key
We’ve all heard the cries, “Facebook reach is down!” “Instagram won’t let people see our posts!” It’s our job as event marketers to serve the right content at the right time to get noticed in the face of these limitations. This means creating a content calendar that is purposeful and promotes your content multiple times. A good rule of thumb is to push one piece of content over the course of two or three weeks, testing various days and times to give people the best chance to engage with the content. Be consistent and your audience can start to rely on you to serve them this information. For example, one of our event and association clients, World Pet Association, sends out a monthly newsletter every third Tuesday via email. This email is then followed by social posts and media coverage for the next few weeks to drive home the topic of the newsletter. Every month, this audience expects this timeline and can prepare to engage with this content when it arrives in their inbox and social feeds.
Automation in Action
If you’re crunching the numbers and thinking that content marketing is a pipedream for your small team, let marketing automation alleviate some of this burden. Power Digital Marketing notes that tools like Buffer, Social Oomph and TweetOldPost are great if you want to avoid manually posting all of your messages. Plus, these platforms still let you create customized messages for each post so you avoid the copy-and-paste pitfall.
Let Your Audience Share For You
Even with automation tools, it’s still a lot of work to continually push out your content, which is why Content Marketing Institute recommends that you make it easy for others to share your content for you. By adding quick-share buttons to LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook and email, you’ve empowered your audience to become micro-influencers for your brand.
A version of this content originally appeared in PCMA Convene