Most marketers will agree that events are one of the most challenging one-off content marketing techniques to successfully pull off. From creating the Twitter build-up and coordinating speakers, to getting the live video streaming to look professionally done, an event can require a lot of energy and organization.
If you believe your work is done when the last event swag bag is given away and the lights go down, you may be grossly missing the true potential of an event to market your brand. Which means you are also probably dragging down your event ROI, big time.
Events are meant to be the beginning, not an end. Through repurposing your content strategically, you won’t just keep the ideas and messages of your event fresh in your participants’ minds, you’ll find that you are cultivating a brand community, the seeds of which were planted when your event demonstrated the deep value and insight your brand has to offer.
Here are the actions you can take to leverage the full potential of the event. After all, your team put in all that planning, effort, and resources for a reason.
Use Instagram to Visually Share Your Event
Spread the word of what happened at your event through pictures. While it’s definitely important to use social media accounts to promote your event beforehand, don’t underestimate the importance of social afterward. In fact, with visual sharing networks like Instagram, you may even get more of an impact with your repurposed event content, just as sites like Twitter and Facebook are ideal for making announcements and building interest as your event approaches.
Should you create a separate Instagram account for your event?
- If it’s a big conference or festival, creating an Instagram account that’s separate from the brand makes sense.
- Also, for an event that’s going to happen again, such as an annual conference, or if your brand makes a presence at other events regularly, a separate account is useful.
You can post photos from the event, including highlights and thank-you’s to your attendees, speakers, and to those that helped make the event a success. Both those who were there and those who missed out may enjoy seeing what went on.
This is a great way to motivate some post-event engagement. If you do a good enough job keeping your event page interesting, you’ll already have an Instagram audience when it’s time to start posting promotional flyers and announcement for your next event, including your countdown.
Use Your Event Survey Feedback to Craft White Papers
Surveys can be a powerful way to keep your attendees engaged while at the event and to garner some valuable market data, as well as insights into what people like and are interested in to help you make next year’s event better. They are also prime material for repurposed content.
If you approach your event surveys strategically – and ask the right questions – you can basically gather unique data on your market, which you can then use to create your own, high-value white paper. Especially for B2B marketing, this is an efficient way to take advantage of the fact that you’ve managed to bring dozens, or even hundreds, of industry individuals into one space. Combine your survey results with outside research, quotes from speakers and thought leaders, and you have an in-depth white paper. Make it available for download on your website, let people know about it on social media, send it out to an exclusive email list, and repurpose your white paper into blog posts or other types of content. And, of course, tie the white paper into your amazing event.
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, is a big proponent of the podcast. He points out that podcasts are relatively inexpensive for marketers to create and deliver. Today, they are also convenient for your audience to digest as they can be effortlessly downloaded to a smartphone and listened to in the car, on the bus, out in the garden, or really anywhere. With headphones and a mobile device, podcasts have become the ultimate content medium for multitaskers.
You know those survey questions you asked? Use some of the answers and insights to help come up with podcast content.
- Interview speakers, asking them the questions that weren’t covered during the event.
- Create discussions on the top issues raised in the surveys.
- Delve deeper into the event topics – are there any follow-up issues, new developments?
Post-Event Blog Posts
Think you can only squeeze a blog post or two out of your event? You need to drink more coffee. You can fill your blog schedule with relevant content based on an event for months.
Instead of just making a list of topic areas, approach your repurposed blogs from a different angle. Have the intention to keep the collective conversation going. Discuss what was learned at the event – by everyone, not just the participants, but the people behind your brand.
Write about fresh insights that occurred because so many people came together. Explore the new ideas brought up on social media post-event. Basically, what was inspired by the action of bringing people together for one purpose? Was it revealed that many individuals are lacking knowledge in industry tech innovations? Were a lot of attendees saying their customers are looking for more of xyz, even though most businesses are still taking an outdated approach, focusing on zyx?
Look beyond the obvious, and you’ll find that you have more than enough nuggets of interest to create truly valuable blog posts inspired by your event, not just a rehash of what happened.
Segmented Email List
Make sure you create a separate email contact list for those who attended the event. This list is pure email marketing gold. Why? Because you’ve got your interested, engaged, motivated market segment right here. Make them feel as valuable as they are.
It’s important to nurture these leads. Plan out well-timed email campaigns to thank them for coming. Invite them to the event’s Instagram page. Let them know when you publish relevant blog posts or send an email to provide a link for them to go and download your free white paper. Don’t forget to create special offers, just for these individuals, such as discounts on your next event or other promotional offers.
Don’t miss the opportunity to relationship-build with your past attendees. And, build that all-important brand community, the buyers, and leads who will share your brand’s stories, recommend your business – and, probably, show up at your next event.