With conference season officially underway, and content marketing receiving more attention from marketers, combining content and conference strategies is of increasing importance to us all. Holistic content marketing strategies are important across all online marketing disciplines.
With SES New York just a few days away, these tips can help you best make use of content marketing strategies in line with your event strategy.
Content Marketing Meets Demand Generation At Conferences
When people plan for events and conferences many people think first about specific event strategy – demand generation, networking, exhibit space, and sales goals. Conferences also provide an ideal environment to leverage creative content and align that with your demand generation goals. The end result is far more sales and a far more efficient return on your investment – no matter how big or how small.
Step 1: Create Your Content in Advance
For many, utilizing assets outside of trade show collateral is a second thought as the stress and strains of planning for a conference take their toll. Planning and preparing content specifically for distribution at conferences and events will bring you better results and ROMI (return on marketing investment)
- Create a specific piece of content, survey or report for distribution at the event.
- Blog around specific topics on the show agenda and match ideas to your content.
- Co-create content with brands, speakers and influencers ready for distribution at the event.
- Produce multiple forms of content in line with particular speaking sessions, topics and industry trends.
- Share insight and content before the show and utilize social media as an anchor for your show content and distribution.
- Get creative. The better the content, the more engaging you are – and the more chance your sales team has of converting.
Step 2: Engage and Share Content
At all stages of the conference lifecycle – pre, during, and post show – engaging and sharing content relevant to specific audiences and personas are vital. For example match your content and assets distribution to:
- Specific/Targeted buyers and personas.
- Influencers – speakers, press and attendees.
- Strategic clients and sales targets.
- Research and list every topic, every session and every speaker and plan content and incentives around this.
- Plan and time social media activity and sharing of your content and assets around specific sessions.
- Engage with speakers and attendees before the show and share your content ideas in advance.
- Promote your content via competitions, surveys, giveaways well in advance of the show to build social media traction.
- Liaise closely with you sales team and map content delivery to attendees, key clients and key targets as part of demand generation campaigns.
Placing a case study or a specific piece of content or information in front of a person at the right time and in the right way and format can help fulfill your strategic goals conference goals straight away. Just one piece of creative content delivered at the right time in the right manner can make all the difference
Step 3: Capitalize
The bottom line is that conferences are all about sales. It does not matter if you spend $3,000 or $300,000 on a conference the key to success is how you utilize your content and assets, engage and share, and then convert business.
Some companies may spend $300,000 on a conference and get a huge return, while others get a mediocre return. Vice-versa, companies spending $3,000 on a conference may get a fantastic return. They key difference is content, social and sales alignment. Spend does not always correlate with return at conferences but content and preparation does.
- Ensure that content creation and distribution is at the heart of your conference and demand generation activities.
- Ensure you are clear on your team targets and how content plugs into the sales funnel.
- Utilize all inbound media channels before, during and after the show to promote your content and tie this to demand generation and automation techniques.
- Be creative with post show content and collaborate with attendees after the show – this can take the form of speaker interviews and follow ups, survey results from a show, blog post summaries, viral video content, photo sharing, or competition follow ups.
Don’t ignore the word of mouth and viral content opportunity…
The Word of Mouth and Viral Content Opportunity
When we speak about content we normally think of a specific end deliverable such as piece of collateral, infographic, blog post or competition. Conferences and events give marketers the opportunity to turn this content into word of mouth content.
After all, conferences are about meeting people, networking, sharing and influencing. How you and your viral project and promote content is often under-looked.
- Create a list of all content marketing strategies and assets for your show.
- Create new, event specific assets – get creative.
- Collaborate with your sales team and representatives so they know how to pitch your content with the right message to the right audience and the right person.
- Utilize networking events around the show to virally promote your content – survey, report, collateral and insight.
- Network with a purpose – share content and insight.
At SES New York TopRank CEO Lee Odden will present a session on Creative Content – Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets. If you’ll be at SES New York (and you should be) and are interested in content, marketing, and social, you should definitely attend Odden’s session, as well as the following sessions:
- Content Marketing: How to Earn Visibility & Links through Killer Content Strategy
- Building the B2B Social Media Machine
- 4 Steps to Building an Integrated Online Marketing Campaign
I hope to see you there!