If you’re unsure of where to begin with a content marketing program, here are a few tips:
Start a blog now:
Every organization has a message and each should have a blog to deliver and reinforce that brand message. Blogs are top content marketing contenders, enabling event marketers to reach interested audiences – and prospective attendees – directly. Launch your event blog, write as frequently with meaningful content as your schedule will allow and limit entries to 400 words or less. You should blog about interesting speaker topics and little known facts about the venue, demonstrating your event’s unique value proposition without selling it directly.
Engage your event speakers:
Speakers are outstanding resources for content! Ask (or require) speakers to blog about their presentations and promote their entries using social media or a link on your website. You can also ask speakers to serve as guest bloggers on your event blog. Speakers should include helpful bits of information from their presentations, but not divulge all of their presentation contents in the submission.
These blogs help to drive excitement about the topic, the presenter and the presentation. Interaction between the speaker and prospective audience members may also help to determine the scope and focus of the presentation itself. Speakers, for example, can share content and poll attendees for feedback on the direction of the presentation. This two-way interaction prior to the event will result in content of greater relevance and value to your attendees.
Identify topic experts and champions:
In addition to speakers, board and program committee members and staff can also assist with your content aggregation efforts. It is important to vary your content mix and to also differentiate the voices who deliver it. Board and program committee members have different areas of expertise and topics that they are passionate about: why not redirect that knowledge and enthusiasm by enlisting their help with delivering meaningful content to your attendees? These same topic champions can also be tapped to foster engagement by seeding and responding to questions in your social media platforms.
Staff may also contribute to your content delivery effort by sharing some “behind-the-scenes” information about the planning that goes into your event. Professionals who are not meeting planners are interested in the layers of effort that result in a successful conference. Colleagues who are unable to contribute directly to content can still be helpful by sharing information via your social media sites. A key to connecting with your attendees is to pinpoint industry topics and issues that are relevant to them. Your event program is likely already built to attract attendees, so a content marketing campaign to support these themes should be a natural extension of your efforts. Once the event program is in place, planners have a variety of resources to draw on to build content. Build your strategy and engage stakeholders to assist with the messaging. Using different voices to convey your message and content will make the information more interesting to your readers. Engaging content will encourage your readers to return, to read more and to keep your event in mind. Content marketing, like social media, is no longer a buzzword: it’s a now a business necessity.