It's becoming clear that content marketing is the most effective way to reach attendees in the year 2013.
No longer are blogs and social media written off as the realm of kids and technogeeks.
Broadcast approaches continue to draw meager results and marketers everywhere are scrambling to meet the needs of a business world where individual quality content has emerged at the center of a sound marketing strategy.
This is good news because conferences, meetings and other events have been incredible content generators from the beginning. Presentations, panels, discussions and workshops, even keynote speeches provide digestible content that is particularly useful to the larger community to which your attendees belong.
So how can event planners best generate and use quality content to market their events?
Capture As Much Content at Events as Possible
Don't let this valuable information fall to the wayside. Record or video tape it; or hire someone to take notes and summarize it. Whatever you do, get it down for posterity and make sure to have all speakers, whose content you plan to use, sign waivers giving you permission for this.
Though it's nice to have, you don't need a plan for how you will use your captured content. You can figure that out later. Remember there are companies (such as Smarter Shift, for whom I work as a Social Media Strategist) you can hire with the experience needed to take your content and transform it into something that is attractive to an online audience.
Use Captured Content to Drive Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your blog is normally at the center of your online content marketing strategy. So use the content you've captured to create at least one blog post per week. If you begin to post quality content on a regular basis, you are likely to see a boost in your website's search engine rankings.
Use Captured Content to Build Community Online
As you publish your quality blog posts throughout the year, make sure to promote them in the online communities where your attendees hang out. Use your conference hashtag, if you have one. Make sure that you are contributing to the community by sharing outside content and promoting others much more than you promote your event or your blog posts.
Create New Content
While content captured at your event can provide you with a treasure trove of blog posts throughout the year, it's important to appear current. So don't hesitate to address any hot topics you see emerging in your online communities. You can also do interviews with past attendees, industry VIPs or past or future speakers.
Take Advantage of Online Content Monetization Opportunities
Consider new streams of revenue that can be created by selling content online. You might wish to sell short videos from your conference, or create a white paper or ebook for purchase. Monetizing your content can be an excellent way to generate passive income over time that takes only a moderate amount of initial effort.
Once you've decided to pursue content marketing, create a comprehensive strategy that includes long and short term objectives and regular assessment using analytics tools. Also make sure to have all speakers, whose content you plan to use, sign waivers giving you permission for this.
It certainly is a new marketing world out there and events are in a prime position to take advantage of it. If you're an event planner, now is the time to beef up your digital marketing skills and create your new media strategy. If that isn't an option, consider hiring a company that specializes in digital or content marketing.
(Photo by Lel4nd)