Event Marketing & Experience

What is Content Marketing for Events, and How Does it Really Work?

Victoria Rudi
October 26, 2017

Table of Contents

Create an event webpage, start a blog, publish a few posts, share them on your social media, and … done! There. You just promoted your event and reached a bigger number of potential attendees. Now that you’ve applied these “tricks,” all you have to do is sit back and wait for the magic to happen.

Yet, the blog traffic didn’t skyrocket, and neither of your social media channels fired up with comments or shares of the content you produced.

What happened?

Why didn’t content marketing work for your event? How does content marketing for events actually work? Is it something you can rely on when designing the overall marketing strategy?

Your concerns are totally understandable. Multiple articles on event promotion advise you to “just create content,” and don’t bother to explain the real mechanics behind how to produce remarkable content marketing for events.

As famous author and entrepreneur Joe Pulizzi notes, “The biggest issue is usually that event professionals don’t know what they are trying to do with their content … they just feel that they need to be creating content for Facebook, Twitter, the blog, etc., because that’s what we do when we promote events.”

Why Content Marketing for Events doesn’t work for you

Let’s take a quick look at some of the things you most probably do, thinking that this is how content marketing for events actually works:

#1. You create a blog just a few weeks before the event

Let’s be real: It takes Google some time to index your blog, so there’s no way you can establish (and grow!) the authority of your event by setting up a blog page right after announcing it. You must take time and build the blog gradually, increasing constantly the engagement and number of visitors.

#2. You publish generic content

People won’t waste time on reading something irrelevant or something they feel like they’ve already read 100 times before. You may think that the event program and speaker’s profile is a good topic for a blog post, yet there’s nothing more boring than reading generic content.

People are seeking for insights and valuable knowledge that will solve their immediate problems. Remarkable content is perfectly aligned with their needs and adds value to their professional or personal lives.

#3. You have no clue who your audience is

Not understanding your target group ( your potential attendees) will, most probably, condition you to publish irrelevant content. You can’t create something truly good without knowing who your end receivers are, what their needs and worries are, and what tone you should use to talk to them.

#4. You ignore the editorial calendar (or not having one)

When developing content strategy for events, you must have a well-defined editorial calendar.

#5. You avoid hiring professional content creators

Why hire a professional writer, when you or someone from your team could produce a certain number of articles per week? It’s so easy: just sit and write. Wrong. To write an attention-catching article, you need the hand of a professional who can grab the attention of your potential attendees from their first click of your article.

#6. You stuff your event-related content with keywords

So you’ve heard that SEO is the king and Google will punish you for not taking care of it. Look, nobody knows for sure the magic formulas Google uses to rank the content. Plus, the rules are constantly changing. So don’t rush into cramming tons of keywords into your event content. Do you actually think people will read incoherent blog posts filled with weird words that are repeating themselves constantly?

To make things even more interesting … do you know what the most difficult thing about content marketing for events is?

When publishing blog posts, eBooks, or videos for your potential attendees, you must fight for their attention. And the war for people’s attention is tougher than ever these days … take a look at just how much content gets published on a daily basis:

  • 2,602,858 emails per second (Source)
  • 2 million blog articles per day (Source)
  • 7,669 tweets per second (Source)
  • 790 Instagram photos per second (Source)
  • 300 hours of YouTube videos per minute (Source)

There’s no other way to break through the noise than to produce and publish remarkable content that will make people notice your event and start talking about it. As Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, notes, “Content is what people want online, and marketing and advertising is what people easily avoid.”

If you want to really grab the attention of your potential attendees, remember that your content can’t directly advertise your event. On the contrary, it should add as much value as possible, and engage your target group.

Things you can do with content marketing for events

So what can you do instead?

Let’s start by understanding how content marketing for events actually works. Here’s how you can use it as a promotion strategy for your congress, workshop, or B2B matchmaking dynamic:

Connect and engage with potential attendees

Who’s your best candidate to have lunch with? Someone who really listens to you and can help you solve your problems, or someone who brags about himself or herself all the time? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? Potential attendees will prefer to consume the content (and subsequently to purchase event tickets) from people (event brands) whom they’d like to hang out with.

Add real professional and personal value, nurturing your leads

If you can really help your potential attendees solve their most burning pains, you’ll be one step ahead of your competition. By producing valuable content, you’ll grow a fan base that’s truly interested in attending the multiple events you’ll run.

Practice social listening and understand what the real problems are

It’s not always easy to design a powerful and successful event program. However, creating and publishing content is a great way to network with your target group. In this continuous interaction, you can identify what your potential attendees struggle with. Moreover, you can dig deeper and understand how to create targeted content that truly solves these issues.

Increase the online authority of your event

Offering remarkable content (for free!) is your way to becoming a thought leader. “What’s the big deal?” you might be asking.

Let me ask you one question. From whom would you prefer to purchase a B2B matchmaking platform? From the person who developed the tool and is screaming on social media? Or from the entrepreneur who not only has the tool, but also has thousands of followers and a cool blog with tons of free recommendations on how to use it to achieve best results?

The answer is obvious, and it works the same way for events.

Which event would you prefer to attend: the one that gathered multiple voices around it and has raised its social and online authority, or the one that spams you with multiple ads?

Build an event community

Truly remarkable content can gather an entire group of people around your event’s narrative. Don’t lose the opportunity to boost your brand and grow a powerful and active community that’s completely engaged in advocating your event.

How to create a killer content marketing strategy for your next event

Considering all these incredible things content marketing for events can help you accomplish, it’s important to understand the key steps on how to use this strategy. Here’s a list of tips you must consider when using content as a promotion tool for your next event:

Step 1. Define the profile of your potential attendees

Understand who your event audience is. Create a document with the guests’ profiles, including information such as demographics, professional characteristics (roles and responsibilities), possible challenges they may face, and goals they want to accomplish. You need to know what these people want, what their professional goals are, and what type of event-related content will work for them.

Step 2. Understand the burning pains of your event audience

Not challenges, or issues, but BURNING pains they REALLY want to solve. Provide them quick wins and make your potential attendees understand the value proposition your event has to offer.

Step 3. Strategize your content assets through a laser-like angle

You can’t just publish articles or eBooks about everything. You need to find an angle and ways to deliver your best information. The more specific your content is, the greater your chances are to find the right event target group. For example, you’ll want to publish content not for all cat owners, but specifically for cat owners who love black cats with blue eyes that don’t react to catnip.

Step 5. Use your REAL superpowers

When generating event-related content, include the list of solutions and bulletproof systems the brand of your event or your speakers can provide (for FREE) that will SOLVE your target group’s most burning pains.

Step 6. Enable a content-testing format

Always have in mind different A/B testing parameters, to learn what content (format, topics, voice, etc.) works best for your readers or followers.

Step 7. Find the voice of your event narrative

The same way you define the visual identity of your event, you have to define the characteristics of your content’s voice. How do you want your readers to perceive you? Do you want to sound funny, knowledgeable, entertaining, or serious? Choose the voice that suits best your potential attendees!

Step 8. Set up your roadmap

Include the ways through which you are going to execute your content marketing strategy (your budget, the profile of your ideal content creator, etc.).

Final thoughts

Content marketing for events is a long-term strategy that will give you results beyond the expected n% increase in ticket sales. An efficient and well-defined content marketing strategy will empower you to CONNECT with your ideal attendees, provide them extremely useful insights and knowledge, solve the problems they may have, and ultimately get their attention, building a real tribe around the brand of your event. So don’t wait until tomorrow. Start working on your event content today.

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Victoria Rudi
Senior Content Specialist
With a Master’s degree in Event Management and a keen follower of SaaS technologies, Victoria is an event content master, producing insightful and valuable for Eventtia’s blog and beyond

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