How Content Marketing Plays a Role in Your Event
Steps to get started on your meeting’s content strategy
Event marketing. Every meeting relies on it to increase ticket sales and excitement among attendees, but there are a million different ways to do it—all with varying degrees of success. Other than simply promoting your meeting to the world at large, marketers today also have to appeal directly to their targeted audiences. For meetings, that means the marketing product itself has to connect with potential attendees.
One of the most effective ways to do it: content marketing. In fact, research shows that content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. Let’s explore how content fits into your overall event marketing strategy.
What is “content”?
Before we get into the “how” of content, we first need to understand what exactly it is. For our purposes, “content” is media that provides value to a targeted audience. It can be a blog post, social media post, video—the medium is less important than the information it holds. Content subtly shows potential attendees the type of skills or knowledge they’ll learn, connections they’ll gain and so forth if they attend your meeting, proving that it’s worth it to buy a ticket and show up.
How do I produce content that will convert potential attendees to real ones?
1. Start with a plan. As with any marketing strategy, you need to start with a plan. Identify your meeting purpose and goals, and figure out how content marketing fits into the overall strategy. A big part of that is determining your audience: Because your attendees are likely a specific group of people, you need to make sure not only that your content appeals to that audience but also that they actually see it. If the meeting is for association members, for example, creating content for the association’s blog is likely a good place to start. Or, search out industry-specific hashtags to include in your social media posts to help them reach a wider audience.
2. Tell your event’s story. Once you know what kind of content will achieve your goals, and who you’re marketing it to, it’s time to get the buzz out about your meeting. Again, the key here is showing your attendees the value of your meeting—but the trick is providing new information that will get potential attendees excited. That is, don’t repeat what they already know.
Consider content a sneak peek of your event. What will guests gain, and how will they benefit as a result? When it comes down to converting potential attendees to ticket holders, that’s the question that counts. So, maybe you hired a special keynote speaker. Write up a short question-and-answer article showing off the talents and knowledge of said speaker. Of course, you don’t want the speaker to give it all away up front—but tidbits of his or her insights can boost the credibility of your event and pique potential attendees’ interests.
3. Don’t forget to be authentic. If we’ve learned anything from the now notorious Fyre Fest, it’s that overpromising your event can lead to disastrous results. It’s OK to show off what your meeting is about—but keep it real. If Oprah isn’t going to make an appearance, don’t make promises that she is. Every event has its perks, so highlight yours, whatever they might be.