Right alongside its social marketing counterpart, content marketing is a topic that has gained a lot of attention from event organizers in the past few years. If you use social media to promote your event, you will quickly realize that first things need to come first – or, in other words, if you want to have something to spread in the social space, you need to have a content marketing plan in place first so you have something worth tweeting about!
However, content marketing is usually not an exhibition organizer’s main focus, and most organizers have serious time constraints that inhibit content production. How can you successfully use existing sources to enhance your event’s brand and credibility, and the attendees’ experience at the same time?
Generating and sharing content
In a session I recently attended at IMEX in Frankfurt, Frost Miller Group, Inc. president Kevin Miller and IMN Solutions vice president Barbara A. Myers introduced the Big Bang Theory of Content Marketing. As the infographic illustrates, every conference and exhibition produces a fantastic amount of content through educational presentations, exhibitors promoting new products, white papers, photos and video, etc.
The question is: how can these sources be most effectively used for marketing purposes without giving away too much information before the event? Miller and Myers suggest that the organizer, presenters and exhibitors should work together to create content. This could result in having the presenters writing a blog post on the session they will be holding at the event – not revealing all of the session content but just enough to generate interest. These blog posts would then be published in the event’s blog and be promoted through social media. There are various other ways of sharing content before, during, and after the event that might be relevant, such as show dailies, e-books, photo & video galleries etc.
Benefits for all parties involved
One of the shortcomings that have been identified by Miller and Myers is the time aspect. Exhibition organizers tend to wait too long until the content is shared. Content should be shared while it is “fresh,” i.e. as quickly as possible during or after the event. This will help to extend the lifecycle of the event, creating year-round communities among your participants instead of one-time visitors, and build momentum for future events.
Distributing content will also enhance the credibility and brand of the conference or trade show as it will serve as a valuable resource for the industry. Content marketing plays a significant role in SEO which can help with attracting and marketing to new attendees, and it notably improves organizer, exhibitor and sponsor ROI by extending their opportunity for relationships with attendees.