Generate Pre-Event Hype With Content Marketing

As most event planners know, the ability to build momentum is a crucial factor in any event’s success. Events, conventions, trade shows or conferences, they all begin well before the opening session, so generating anticipation requires a coordinated marketing effort over months or even years. Content marketing has emerged as a strategic tool to build excitement around events. Still, event planners don’t always have the time or the know-how to develop a content marketing campaign and thus may end up missing out on the benefits of this marketing strategy. In this post, you can learn why pre-event content marketing works and find tips on how to implement it.

Related: Digital Transformation in the Meetings and Events Industry

Why Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves the creation of materials that provide information and/or entertainment to a targeted audience. This content can include anything from e-papers to video to blog posts to infographics and including social media, podcasts, etc. 

Content marketing is different from advertising or traditional marketing in that it focuses on value. Offering free, relevant, and useful information makes a positive impression on the audience and can influence the decisions, as confirmed by recent statistics: more than 70% of marketers say content marketing has increased engagement and leads. Moreover, content marketing involves lower costs than traditional advertising but has better conversion rates.

This strategy suits the events industry, which is becoming people and experience-centric increasingly. And since delivering value is also the key concept here, pre-event marketing is a natural match that can increase your chances of reaching your target audience. For instance, you can reach potential attendees who don’t know about the event. A content marketing strategy can position your event online, making it easy to find in search engines or social media feeds. Remember that a staggering 96% of event attendees do an online search before attending an event, so this is a golden opportunity to present your event as something that cannot be missed – FOMO itself can be a powerful took motivating people to attend!

Related: Tips For Encouraging User-Generated Content At Your Conference

Pre-conference content marketing can also reach those who have already registered and build excitement in the lead up to the conference or event. Some attend because their employees send them and not necessarily because they have a strong desire to be there. But if they see the value and relevance of the business event, they’re more likely to spread the word, and word of mouth is powerful marketing. Lastly, content marketing can reach those who are undecided, and a timely piece of content marketing may be just what moves them to take action.

Pre-Event Content Marketing Ideas

Curiosity is an important motivator, and teaser campaigns keep the audience guessing and keep your event top of mind. Here it’s essential to create anticipation without creating unrealistic expectations, so always get the input from a professional with experience in the marketing world applied to events. 

Content marketing and social media marketing go hand in hand. You should create a calendar of posts leading up to the event in a variety of formats. Visual content and in particular videos are a must, as new research shows that people remember visual content up to 6 times more than written content. Short-format sneak peek or behind-the-scenes videos do particularly well and reveal a more personal or candid side of the organiser. The videos can feature mini-interviews with keynote speakers too – don’t forget that a well-known speaker is THE reason why many people attend a live event.

Posts promoting your event shouldn’t read like a monologue but should be all about interaction with the audience. Ask questions, request feedback, run polls (there’s a dedicated feature on Instagram Stories) – in short, keep the conversation going. You can also create a LinkedIn group, which works well to promote conferences and other professional events and allow speakers and attendees to interact before the event.

Related: Three Ways In Which Social Media Are Becoming Increasingly Event-Centric

Pre-event content marketing lends itself well to gamification, which can boost engagement since it’s proven to tap into psychological mechanisms like motivation, self-confidence, and purpose. You can achieve this by encouraging potential attendees to share event hashtags and offer them a fitting reward for inviting others to register for the event or conference.

In any case, it’s essential to create a branded and coherent pre-conference content marketing strategy that specifically addresses the interests and needs of your audience. Remember that the scope of those needs and interest may go beyond the actual event, so don’t forget to offer value by publishing content with useful information about the destination, what to do near the venue, transportation tips, etc.

Conclusion

Pre-event content marketing can generate awareness, build loyalty, drive up attendance, and ultimately boost ROI. Inbound marketing one of the most valuable marketing strategies for conference and event planners wanting to reach and engage as broad an audience as possible. If you’d like to learn how a tailor-made pre-event strategy can benefit you, get in touch today. As an expert creating content that generates pre-event hype, I’ll be happy to explore effective content creation ideas for your conference or event.

A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan

A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event’s Communication Plan. Compelling and engaging communication is an essential aspect of conference marketing, as it plays a crucial role in driving genuine engagement. Since social media marketing is a powerful tool used to achieve the same objectives, it makes sense to incorporate it into your event’s communication strategy. In this post, we show you how to leverage social marketing tools to boost communications and make your event stand out.

The Facts

Modern events must include social marketing to some extent or another, as this strategy has proven to help organisers build event and brand awareness and create an information channel that delivers what attendees expect in engaging ways. According to this infographic, approximately 40% of businesses know that integrating social media marketing into their event planning and promotion is the way to go forward.

Related: Developing Social Media Strategies for Conferences & Events

Conferences and events are now primarily social, with the most popular platforms used being Facebook (78%), Twitter (56%), LinkedIn (49%), and YouTube (42%). The effectiveness of these tools is so evident that in a recent study, more than 80% of event organisers said there were planning to increase their online marketing activities.

Why It Works

Social marketing works because it is highly versatile. In addition to increasing event and brand awareness, it can boost loyalty, generate leads, increase overall revenue, and reduce marketing expenditure. Because content is so crucial in today’s digital environment, every action you take to produce and distribute event-related content online has an impact on your event’s ranking and reputation.

Another reason to include social platforms and tool into your event’s digital marketing strategy, social marketing makes it easy to gather feedback, which is mainly valuable in real time environments (such as events), when immediate solutions and agile problem-solving are expected. Moreover, social media tools can also be used to handle customer support using a personal approach, to measure performance and engagement, and to generate valuable insights that can be used for future research and reputation management.

Moreover, a diverse online marketing strategy can extend the event’s impact beyond its actual date, add an interactive element, and provide resources that can be accessed anytime and anywhere.

How To Integrate Social Media Into Your Event Marketing And Communication Plan

When integrating marketing plans with event communications, you should follow the principles of any marketing plan: research your audience and offer an experience beyond their expectations by using a variety of channels and formats.

Related: Social Media Marketing for the MICE Industry

First of all, your event marketing and communications plan should be split into three stages: pre-event, event, and post-event. Start with creating a content production calendar and match it to the organiser’s communication goals, ensuring that it also has a solution-focused component. Think about what problems or questions attendees are likely to have: anything from the agenda to accommodation, travelling to the venue, things to do in the area, registering, buying tickets, etc. Before and during the event, your key priorities should be:

  • Considering that nearly 80% attendees use a smartphone to find info about events, communicate using mobile-friendly content and formats.
  • Make content shareable and interactive: Some ideas include Twitter chats, unique hashtags, LinkedIn invitations or showcase pages, event guides, video testimonials from previous year’s attendees, sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes footage. Ensure that content is released at the right time and familiarise yourself with the best time to post on each social platform.
  • Focus on creating opportunities for content generation during sessions and also during breaks. The objective is to build relationships and keep the conversation going using real-time tools like live streaming or social walls in the break room with live feeds or quotes from speakers. Gamification is another technique that lends itself well to conference marketing, for example creating contests where attendees can submit their own content. Doing this shifts the focus of where content and value originate from organiser to participant.
  • Monitoring is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for events. Apps can make this task much more straightforward and insightful, as long as you use them on a daily basis and use social media management tools to integrate multiple networks. And since we have mentioned apps, mobile apps for attendees should always be considered. If you choose to do this, make sure apps offer something attendees can’t do elsewhere. For example, use an app to boost the event’s social and networking component by letting attendees find matches based on interests, job title, or other relevant factors, and allowing them to book their seats next to each other.

Once the event is over, remember that content creation must be followed up with content curation. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, consider capitalising on any visual content generated during an event, such as videos, blog posts summarising the event’s highlights, SlideShare presentations, Pinterest boards, or by offering virtual access to most important sessions. And of course, always end on a positive note by sending personalised thank yous via email or social network mentions.

Conclusion

Integrating social media strategy into your event marketing and communication plan will help create a unique voice for the event and provide a seamless and wide-reaching experience that communicates value. To bring communication and engagement together, use the tips outlined in this article and don’t hesitate to draw on the know-how of digital marketing experts like fmwaechter.com who specialise in promoting events using social business models.

The post A Quick Guide To Integrating Social Media Into Your Event Communication Plan was first published on fmwaechter.com. Author Frank M. Waechter.

Frank M. Waechter | fmwaechter.com
Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Growth Marketing, Data Analytics for the Meetings Industry, Events Industry and Associations. Conference and Event Activation, Live Marketing, Onsite Engagement.
Carrer del Mestre Joan Corrales 107-109 08950 Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain
Phone: +34 691 328 572

© 2015-2019 fmwaechter.com

Turning Digital Marketing into Action