Event content is one of the most precious marketing resources you have. While traditional content marketers are forced to dig and scrape for great content, event marketers are feasting on 2-foot-tall gummy bears in Willy Wonka’s content factory.
What do I mean? Well, almost everyone out there is using the tried and true marketing technique of asking experts to provide content that offers value to prospects and builds trust and interest in your product or service.
But, getting time with experts can be hard because…well, they’re experts and everyone in your industry wants a piece of that pie (or gummy bear?).
Luckily, as an event marketer, you have a major advantage over traditional content marketers. Your events generate boatloads of valuable content, which you know is valuable because people pay for it, year after year. Those videos, live streams and PowerPoints from your events are wonderful resources that come to you at no cost and little time and effort.
It’s truly the content marketer’s dream!
Here are a few suggestions about how these resources can be re-purposed to extend the life of your event content:
Stream your keynote live
Some folks would say live streaming the keynote is a no-brainer because viewers’ sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) will motivate them to attend your event the following year. Yes, I agree it’s a no-brainer, but for different reasons.
In a society where people are exhausted and anxiety-ridden because they feel like they can’t unplug from their work email or social media, I’m not keen about the idea of capitalizing on people’s negative emotions to motivate them to take an action.
So, let me turn the FOMO concept on its head. Your keynote speaker is the one who sets the tone for your entire event, whether that’s through education, humor or storytelling, they are taking your customers on a journey and invoking positive emotion. By making that journey accessible to everyone, you’re building build brand awareness and developing long-term relationships with your customers by generously sharing some of your most powerful content. Furthermore, people who are geographically disadvantaged, or physically disadvantaged, or who can’t attend for some other reason, have an opportunity to participate in the joy of your event.
And that’s what this is all about, right? Yes, we have a bottom line. But in the end, we’re all just people trying to make other people’s lives better.
Gate quality content for lead generation
After offering your amazing keynote for free, people are feeling all sorts of warm fuzzies about your brand and excited for more. It’s not unreasonable to ask permission to market to them. Try taking some of your best content and gating it. For example, compile videos or slides of the top 10 sessions from your previous year’s event, and when someone clicks through your website to access this content, a form pops up that requests their contact information in exchange for access.
There are pros and cons of gating content. On one hand, people may value the session content that much more because, in an ironic element of human psychology, people place greater value on things they’ve had to work harder to get. On the other hand, your event website will lose the SEO benefits that non-gated content offers because gated content typically doesn’t get the same level of engagement.
Tread carefully about how much information you request. Generally, the more valuable your content is, the more you can ask from people. For example, if you’re sharing a 20-minute clip of one session, you want to keep your ask minimal. But if you’re sharing 10 full-length recordings of sessions from your event (which people paid big bucks to see live last year), you’re probably offering enough value that you can ask for additional information such as name, role, company, budget, etc., making follow-up sales outreach much more efficient because you have so much more context to understand that individual as a potential customer.
Build online community around your event content
If you would like to see a great model of how this can be done on a smaller scale, check out any professional associations of which you’re a member. Because educating their members is typically a key part of their mission, assocations tend to be great at making content from their live events available to their members year-round through their community management platforms.
For example, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events offers its members access to its MemberLink Network, which hosts active community discussions, and its programming offered live through events like Expo! Expo! is accessible on-demand.
This advice comes with one caveat. Building an online community from scratch can take a great deal of effort, but if its integrated with your website, you’ll get the SEO benefits. You also have the option of creating LinkedIn or Facebook groups. But you don’t own the platforms, so if LinkedIn’s business goals don’t align with your business goals, you could lose traction.
With these tips, you’ll be able to re-purpose that great event content to engage your existing customers, and to grab the attention of new customers. Good luck, #eventprofs!
Want to delve deeper into your event content strategy? Check out Hubb’s guide, Advanced Content Strategy.