How to leverage events as part of your content marketing
It’s great to blog, create podcasts and publish videos to YouTube. But don’t forget the power of old-school physical (versus virtual) content. These are branded events, which can range from workshops and seminars to breakfast get-togethers or after-work meetups that feature an expert guest speaker.
Events such as these constitute content and therefore have a place in any plan involving content marketing for PR. They can also be a terrific way to produce lots of post-event spin-off content for online channels.
Here’s what “an event as content” might look like
Let’s say your business runs an invitation-only breakfast event for existing and potential clients.
The event features two speakers: (a) you, the owner of a business that produces software to help organizations streamline their processes and systems, and (b) an independent expert on personal productivity in the workplace.
You speak on the importance of developing systems and provide statistics to support your theories, while the productivity expert reveals six tactics managers can employ to increase the overall productivity of their teams.
This is great educational content for those attending. People will walk away having received excellent value in exchange for their time and attention.
But that’s just the start of what I like to call “cascading content.”
If you film the event, you could have enough video content for months to come.
You could edit the presentations into two videos, each with its own written transcripts and then provide this package free of charge in exchange for people’s email address. This will help build your company’s opt-in subscriber list if that’s one of your goals. Alternately, just post content onto your company blog so people can check it out without having to provide an email address.
You could go further by editing the footage into micro-videos — interesting bite-size video grabs destined for your branded social channels. Or you might design and create a series of visual tiles featuring quotes from the two speakers that can also be posted to social media.
Wait, we haven’t finished
How about turning both presentations into blog articles?
If you and the other speaker used PowerPoint in your presentations, these, too, can be turned into online content as a PDF deck published to SlideShare, which would then be shared on both speakers’ LinkedIn pages.
And what about live streaming the event on your brand’s Facebook page, broadening the reach of the content in real-time.
Additionally, you could tweet from the event, take photos and post to Instagram, then promote the blog articles you produced via your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
In effect, we have turned what was already valuable content — two stand-alone presentations delivered face-to-face to a key audience at a physical event — into an array of written, video and image-based micro-content that can be drip-fed to your owned and social channels for months to come.
The PR remit for events
Events have been a regular part of the PR professional’s area of responsibility forever. Think community gatherings, roundtables, press conferences and brand-experience zones.
Information-based events such as conferences, summits and seminars, are a pure content-marketing-for-PR play.
Remember, two key components of public relations include:
- deepening the level of connection with the people who matter most to the success of your business, cause or issue, as well as
- building recognition and reputation for your brand.
This can be done online, but we know there is nothing more powerful than connecting with people in real life to see the whites of their eyes. Of course, we can now extend the reach and value of these events by repurposing them as digital content, as per above.
In the past, your event was confined to the number of people who attended. Today, however, there are many ways to make the most of your event before, during and after it is staged — all of which maximizes the value of the time and money you invested in organizing the event.
Here are some ways to get the maximum benefit from your investment.
Before the event
- If you have engaged a keynote speaker for the event, that person could record a quick video on a smartphone outlining the speech. This could then be posted to Twitter and LinkedIn.
- The speaker could also write an article for your blog, or film a more expansive Q&A video recorded online via Skype or Zoom.
- Quotes from the speaker could be packaged visually and published on social channels in the lead-up to the event.
During the event
- Take photos of the speaker in presentation mode and post them to Instagram in real-time.
- Tweet highlights of any presentation in real-time with quotes from the speaker.
- Live stream the speaker in action on Twitter or Facebook.
- Immediately post-event, record on video comments from people who heard the presentation.
After the event
- Write a blog post and include photos from the event. If it was a full or multi-day event with lots of speakers, perhaps summarize key points made by the speakers and turn that into a mini-PDF e-book that people can download for free.
- Publish the speaker’s presentation to SlideShare.
- Upload a video of the presentation to YouTube.
- Use Twitter’s Moments function to aggregate tweets featuring the event’s hashtag.
Webinars and online summits
Like most things in marketing and communications, technology is changing the game for events.
As powerful as in-person events can be, they are also time-consuming to organize, and it often can be difficult to fill seats in today’s busy environment. Generally, they also come with associated costs, including renting the venue, hiring staff, choosing a caterer and much more. So it’s no surprise to see the rise of virtual events, such as webinars and online summits.
As internet speeds improve and platform technology becomes more efficient, the trend of holding events online so that people can attend from the comfort of their office or home will only grow.
Webinars provide additional benefits. They help you build email lists since people are required to register with their email. They give you the ability to record the event for playback on-demand or at another scheduled time. And, when they’re live, they provide interaction with participants via a chat bar.
In the past, I’ve used a platform called Webinar Ninja, which I find pretty easy to navigate. Other reputable options include GoToWebinar, Zoom and Webinar Jam. There are also of course, new technologies coming on-stream all the time. For instance, Hopin is a pretty sophisticated all-in-one live online events platform where attendees can learn, interact, and connect with people from anywhere in the world. The platform has tried to replicate the physical experience, only online; it can be used for events such as meetups, conferences, trade shows, workshops, expos and summits.Back