Whether hosting or attending an event, you should have an event content marketing strategy in place. The ideal event content marketing plan brings your audience to the event through a combination of written content, video, social media, and livestreaming. With SXSW coming up next week and part of our team planning to attend, we created our own event content marketing strategy and wanted to share with you how we plan on tackling this massive event.
For the purpose of the blog, we will mostly look at how to cover an event that you are attending. If you host an event, your event content marketing may look a little different, yet some of these tips will still apply.
SXSW is a huge event and we are not a huge company. Chris and Matt plan on attending a number of events, talks and exhibits at SXSW, but they can only cover so many events. Because of this, we created an event content marketing strategy to both maximize their time and give our audience as much information as possible. The first step in this process: create a schedule for Chris and Matt. Creating a schedule ahead of time, especially for a large event, allows the team attending the event to make efficient use of their time. You do not want to find yourself at a large event wondering, “What’s next?”
Don’t just consider what you’ll be doing at the event. Think of your timeline as before, during, and after the event. Before we even go to the event, we are going to be posting our SXSW preview blog post that sets our expectations and begins our coverage. During the event, we obviously have our coverage, but then our team back at the office will assist the team on-site with assets. After the event, we will have some additional coverage, perhaps a wrap-up post or a conversation on one of our podcasts.
The next step in our event content marketing: deciding what content to create. Even before the events start, our entire team thinks about what kind of assets we need to create to support it. For SXSW, we put together a strategy of livestreaming at the event as well as blog content before the event. The blog will serve to advertise our livestreaming on Instagram and encourage those interested in our coverage of SXSW to follow Chris, Matt, and our official 2930 Creative channels as we make live updates.
This step requires some careful consideration. In our opinion, every good content marketing should address a few key questions. By deciding what kind of assets we wanted to create ahead of time, we answer the question of “how” we want to cover SXSW. I personally think how we share content is incredibly important to consider. In this day and age, companies have access to a ton of different channels. Just offering one type of content seems a little lazy to me. For example, we don’t just want to share our thoughts on Twitter; we want to livestream through Instagram, create vibrant graphics that will grab people’s attention to use on social streams, and more. Mix it up and create some diversity in your assets to appeal to a large range of people.
However, an equally important question to consider is the “why.” Why should people care that you are covering this event? For most of us, we are not Mashable or Wired, but many companies create social content that makes it seem like they are trying to be: live blogging, breaking news, etc. The thing is Mashable and Wired can do what they do because they have the resources and clout to do it. Like everything, it is important to play to your strengths. We recently sat down as a team to discuss why someone should listen to us. We realized that our strengths include having great personalities on our team and offering an interesting perspective on events. We’re not going to compete with Mashable, but neither should you! Instead, offer something different. Offer something that’s distinctly you and your team, which will ultimately satisfy the question of “why.” For us, instead of just offering the news, which would probably not pull in that much attention since you can get the same news on other sites, we are going to offer our opinion on things and our perspective. Don’t create content that someone else could possibly do better; make content that is distinctly you!
For some of us, networking is easy. For others, not so much. However, chances are you might strike up a conversation or two during one of these events. When you do, have a business card ready. Yes, it’s the 21st century and there are other ways to share contact information, but business cards are still a good go-to. Your business card should have your contact information, but it should also include your social profile of choice, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or something else.
Connecting with someone else on social does more than just create a new fan for your brand. If you meet someone in person and have a good connection with him or her, you are more likely to communicate with them on social. There are people who I met at conventions years ago that I still message, even though we haven’t seen each other since.
Events can be overwhelming, but creating a plan before you head to an event can make it all manageable. We hope you enjoy our own coverage of SXSW next week!
Josh Duke is the director of content at 2930 Creative and wishes SXSW took place closer to him.