Yesterday we talked about defining an always-on content strategy for events. Now let’s look at how events are such a huge part of an effective Content marketing strategy!
It may sound backward, but live events could be what your current marketing strategy is missing, and they don’t have to be a massive production to plan and run.
To really understand this concept, you need to start thinking about events as another channel for your content marketing efforts, rather than as a separate type of marketing in their own right.
Live events don’t have to be huge conferences or trade shows either. A simple webinar is a great example of how you can add live events into your content strategy without needing a massive budget or a lot of planning.
- Events are one of the most effective marketing channels. You can make them a core part of your content marketing strategy.
- Digital events are a cost-effective and easy way to replicate offline meetups and conferences.
- In-person events don’t have to be huge occasions – small budget events can be effective too.
Live Events Beat All Other Marketing Channels
So why exactly should you start using events in your content marketing? The simple answer is that they work. Over 80% of C-suite employees agree that event marketing is critical to their success while almost a third of marketers say that live events are their single most effective marketing channel, as per a survey by Bizzabo.
No wonder then, that a popular roster of digital marketing events across the world is a draw for even the most seasoned content marketers. The reason why events are so effective is that they give you the opportunity to engage with your audience or customers on a one-to-one basis. Rather than simply consuming content in a passive way, they have the opportunity to interact with you and actually become a part of your marketing efforts.
Consider something as simple as a small brand event that you run for local influencers. Not only can you create a video of this event, which will be valuable promotional content, but the influencers can also create their own content about the event, helping you to spread your message, build brand awareness, and reach a wider audience.
Using Events in Your Content Marketing Plan
So events are an effective form of marketing in their own right, but they can also be a very useful source of valuable content that will keep on working for you long after the event itself.
Let’s take a more detailed look into some of the content you can create on the back of an event:
- Pre-event promotional blog posts and videos
- Videos and audio recordings or podcasts covering the event
- Promotional guest posts and interviews
- Live tweeting and other social media posts during the event
- Pre-event promotion and social media posts from attendees to build buzz before the event
- Interviews and video clips of event speakers
- Live webinars and streaming videos.
Essentially, an event – any kind of event – gives you a new opportunity to create interest and excitement around your brand. It can help to spice up a content strategy that’s becoming stale.
How to Run an Event Without Blowing Your Budget
Obviously, not everyone has the budget and resources to run huge events. So what’s the solution if you’re a small company with a more modest budget?
Online events are the cost-effective solution to this dilemma. While you may not be physically meeting face-to-face with your audience, they still offer many of the same advantages of more traditional events.
By running a digital event you can instantly reach a global audience with minimal planning and lead time, in a very inexpensive way.
Some types of digital events to consider include webinars and live streaming video.
Webinars are a type of interactive live online event that may include a combination of live video, audio, digital slides, and audience polls and discussion.
They’re usually 30 – 90 minutes long and have an audience of dozens to hundreds of attendees. Most webinars require attendees to register prior to the event, which can be an effective way to build your email list and send reminders and other content prior to and after the webinar itself.
You can build a webinar around a number of different content ideas, but the key is to offer a hook such as in-depth training, detailed case studies, or other exclusive information that isn’t available in your regular content. Webinars can be an effective way to drive sales, but they work equally well to boost audience engagement and your subject matter authority.
While webinars are a live event, you can get more out of them as a content channel by recording them and offering the replay for download. Hosting regular webinars is also an option as they’re so easy and cost-effective to setup.
Live streaming video is another type of online event that’s become hugely popular over the last few years. This is due to increased platform support and integration with services including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. In fact, live video is expected to grow by 39 times over the next five years.
Live streaming events are not as structured as a formal webinar. Also, attendees tend to be opportunistic viewers and aren’t necessarily willing to pre-register as they would for a webinar.
This informal approach can be great for engagement and transparency, and building relationships with your audience, particularly if you pay attention to comments as they come in and respond to them in real time.
Just as with webinars, you have the option of recording and publishing a live streaming event for your audience to view at a later date.
Going digital is not your only option if you want to pull of an event on a budget. You can also plan an in-person event in a cost-effective way by thinking on a smaller scale.
Meetups and appreciation events are usually small, intimate gatherings that give you the chance to meet some of your local audience face-to-face, building relationships and driving sales.
Think about the best type of event to connect with your particular audience, and what you can offer to entice them to come. This might be in the form of free drinks and food, a goody bag, or simply the chance to be an “insider” and get a behind-the-scenes look into your brand.
Need Help with Using Events in Your Content Marketing?
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