*Excessive analogy warning*
I love food almost as much as I love content marketing, so the idea of talking about the two together makes me happy (and admittedly, a bit hungry).
When you think about it, event content is a lot like food in that it needs to be appealing and in the right proportion if you want it to be digested. When it comes to portion control, I came across a graphic today that I thought broke down the “what” and “how much” of content pretty marvelously.
Along these lines and to align with my food analogy, here’s my recipe for how event organizers can most effectively serve up the content their audience is craving.
Did you know that the average attention span is somewhere around 8 seconds? Which means I lost most of you somewhere before the graphic above, but in case you’re still reading, here’s how this applies to your event content strategy.
Your event is likely going to last more than 8 seconds, but in the time leading up to and after your event there are many, many 8 second increments that you could fill with valuable content pieces. And knowing what you know about your attendees’ interests, you could break content down into tasty little morsels of value-added info for them to snack away on.
A few great content bits to put in your snack bowls:
- Curated content: Use content aggregation applications like Feedly to source information, and serve it back up to your audience in summarized fashion. They’ll appreciate the variety and volume of information they value!
- Social posts: It’s probably no coincidence that Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet. Social platforms are the ultimate snackable content buffets. Just be sure to choose the locations your event audience likes to go or else your content will remain uneaten.
- Images and graphs: A picture is worth a thousand words, which is great because you don’t have time for a thousand words – you only have 8 seconds! Quick images with facts overlaid and simple graphs or charts are ingredients you must have in your content kitchen if you want to satisfy your audience.
Sometimes the content occasion – perhaps a compelling topic or reaction to a new bit of research – calls for something a little more sizeable. These items can be perfectly paired with your social media initiatives so you can extend your content reach and ultimately feed more people. In this case, try serving these:
- Blog posts: Many content experts claim that 500 words is about the right length for a blog, but don’t sweat it if you go under or over a bit. For example, this blog is actually 934 words, but, hey, I’m the chef so I’ll decide the portions here!
- Infographics: These design-oriented communication pieces are a personal favorite of mine. Check out this checklist of 10 best practices for creating infographics.
- Webinars: When done right (here are 20 webinar tips to try), your 30-60 minute webinar on a highly relevant topic can give your audience a great taste of your expertise.
Your filling content is the rich, satisfying stuff that will make people want to come to your table as opposed to someone else’s. These are the substantial, data-filled content pieces you can serve up to your audience to help solidify your position as the subject matter expert you are. Filling content takes a lot more time and effort than the other types, but the payoff usually comes by way of satisfied brand advocates and new audience members.
- Event content: What is the best way to ensure your attendees get real educational value from your exhibition or conference? The experts at UFI offer great tips, emphasizing the importance of knowledge-sharing and working closely with exhibitors and other stakeholders.
- E-books, white papers, and printed books: These informative content types provide great depth on a subject, and really satisfy the reader’s craving for knowledge.
Too full? Still hungry? Or just right?
One of the biggest things new content chefs often wonder is - how often should I serve each content type? The key here is to understand your audience and how big their appetite is for content. Event attendees are always hungry for knowledge – that’s one of the key reasons they attend your event. When it comes to offering valuable information, there may not be too much for this audience. But, typically the more valuable the content, the more time it takes to cook it up. So, it all depends on what you’re able to invest.
My recommendation is that you start somewhere – perhaps devise a target number of each content type per week or month – and see if you can achieve that goal while taking into consideration how your audience is responding to your efforts. The beautiful thing about content creation is that there is a variety of different ways to create it and serve it up!