How Content Can Maximize Your Event Marketing
Participating in event marketing can be a pretty big deal, whether you’re joining an event as an exhibitor or putting on an event of your own. It requires time, resources, and often a substantial budget. But according to the EventTrack 2015 survey, most marketers consider the investment worthwhile. In fact, 48 percent of brands realize ROI between 3:1 and 5:1, and 29 percent report a 10:1 return on their event marketing investments.
These numbers make sense if you consider how attendees respond to industry events. The same EventTrack survey shows:
- 79 percent of attendees improve their perception of a company, brand, product, or service
- 65 percent of attendees increase their likelihood of completing a purchase during the event
- 87 percent of attendees increase their likelihood of completing a purchase after the event
So how can you get the maximum return on your event? Use event-based content to build major marketing momentum.
Content enriches and extends the experience
Aside from all the in-person customer connections, events create another valuable asset: content—and lots of it. That is, of course, if you’re taking advantage of the opportunities to create it.
Event-based content includes all the usual collateral: brochures, white papers, case studies, FAQs, and of course swag. But the best stuff comes from experiences that only the event can provide:
- video replays of panel discussions, executive and customer interviews, and product demos
- live poll or survey results
- downloadable presentations
An event provides a rich, loamy soil from which to sprout all kinds of highly engaging content. This content provides value in two fundamental ways.
Expanding the relationship with attendees: Content resulting from a live event can extend and enrich all those in-person customer connections and positive perceptions by keeping the relationship going. For example, following up with attendees of a session by providing a downloadable PowerPoint is a good way of reinforcing what they learned during the presentation, and it reminds them to follow up with your brand. It also gives them something to share.
Engaging people who didn’t attend: You can use your event-based content to build relationships with people even if they weren’t present at your event. Not only do non-attendees get a rich selection of authentic content to consume, but they also get a taste of what they’re missing by not attending the event. They might even be compelled to invest in a conference pass next time.
Tips for generating and promoting event-based content
You can use a mix of content strategies to get the most from event marketing. Remember to go beyond simply announcing your involvement with an event—offer something substantive. Below are some starting points.
- Video, video, video: Think interviews, demos, and time lapses. And with platforms like Vine and Periscope, your video doesn’t necessarily have to be polished and high grade. User-generated content is fair game. Video is a popular medium—it’s engaging, and it’s shareable. It’s a win, win, win.
- Enrich with commentary: Create a newsletter article or blog post that expands on a topic related to your presence at the show. Tease a presentation by introducing a discussion on topics that will be covered, or follow up on a presentation by going beyond what was shared. Or, summarize the presentation and include a link to an instant replay so people who didn’t attend the event can benefit from the information.
- Promote before, during, and after: Remind your audience, both the in-person attendees as well as your digital audience, of what you’re offering at the show. Build anticipation by promoting beforehand, rise above the noise by promoting during, and follow up by promoting after. Social media is usually the best vehicle, but remember to keep your promotions substantive and focused on the value of the information you’re offering. For more information, check out our post on how to promote your trade show presence with social media.
- Employ lead gen strategies: Collect the contact information of booth visitors and/or presentation attendees (with their knowledge, of course) and follow up with targeted, relevant content. Or, take some of the rich, substantive content you created from the event, an in-depth interview perhaps, and gate it behind a lead gen form. Just make sure that you’re offering enough to make it worthwhile.
Extending the value of your event marketing with content requires strategy and planning. But if done right, you’ll likely experience spillover of the ROI created from the event itself. Just make sure your event content is relevant and provides value to your audience so that you maintain the positive brand perceptions you created.