Every planner knows that successfully promoting an event requires generating the right kind of buzz. While there are multiple ways to do this, one of the easiest and most effective is by creating content that engages the audience. Content marketing helps planners optimize brand promotion while also highlighting what make their event a “can’t-miss” experience.
Content Marketing to Drive Event Attendance
Determine Your UVP
Each piece of content you create must communicate your event’s unique value proposition (UVP). Why should prospective attendees sign up for your event? What problem are you solving for them? What will they learn? Who will they meet? Recognizing your event’s UVP should be your very first step.
You most likely already have some idea of who your audience is. But it’s hard to create a content strategy around theory.
Sit down with your team and actually write down attendee personas. Really delve into who it is you are trying to connect with and draw to your event. Go ahead and give them a name, job title, demographics and challenges they face. Make them as real as possible. These personas will be built based on data you’ve collected from past events, as well as educated guesses.
Why is this step important?
Because for content marketing to be effective, you must know that what you are writing and sharing will resonate with your target audience. Having vague ideas about the kind of information that might be helpful to your prospects isn’t going to drive attendance.
Select Your Content Channels
There are a dizzying amount of content marketing channels available to event planners. In our experience, it’s best to put the bulk of your content on digital real estate you actually own. So this means creating posts for your blog, videos for your website, and newsletters for your email list.
Yes, you can and absolutely should be very active on social media channels as well. You simply don’t want to rely on these too heavily as the algorithms can change quickly on there and, without warning, thousands of followers can suddenly be missing or no one sees your Instagram Stories. And there goes time and money wasted.
Having said this, when choosing which SM channels to be active on, go back to those personas and consider where your target audience is hanging out. Twitter might work great for some event planners while LinkedIn might work better for others.
We have found that having a strong social media presence is particularly helpful during the event. So you might want to use your blog posts and newsletters pre-event to really generate buzz and share information about the event such as who will be speaking, entertainment, food etc.
Then during the event itself, think about live tweeting to offer any important updates or share fun pictures and videos. Remember to use your #Event Hashtag on all of your tweets.
Talk Up Your Speakers
Undoubtedly your speakers are the main draw of your event, so be sure to craft content around what they will offer. What topics will they be covering? What is some compelling background information you can share about each speaker?
Our clients have had great success creating simple content pieces such as “5 Fun Facts about So-in-So.” Content created around your speakers definitely shows prospects your event is valuable.
Answer Common Questions
FAQs are great pieces of content that can also drive attendance. Beyond speaker information, everyone has those questions about the venue, drink options, special dietary concerns, accessibility, parking, public transportation, and more.
Why not be proactive and answer these questions right out of the gate. It shows prospects they can relax because you are fully in control.
Commit to the Process
Our final content marketing tip would be to understand that content marketing does drive results, but it takes time. As the old saying goes, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Think of your content marketing efforts as an ongoing project, not something you do for a few weeks before the event.
And this means that when your event is over, you stay in touch with your attendees. Send thank you emails with key takeaway content from the event. We have found mini ebooks with event highlights and insights work really well.
The bottom line is, when you focus on nurturing real relationships with people instead of generating sign-ups, you’ll see how easy it is to have massive crowds show up for your future events.
If you’re not using content marketing to generate buzz for your events, you’re definitely missing out. While it takes time to fully develop a winning strategy, it is completely worth it when you see how content truly drives attendance.
Need any help planning your next event? From marketing to venue selection and hosting memorable hybrid events, we help our clients host memorable events and also get the very best return on their investment.
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J.Shay Team is the generic alias for our event staff that want to submit work anonymously.