Public events are a terrific way to get your business name out there. Whether it’s a trade show, community festival or a banquet; whether you are organizing it, attending as a sponsor, vendor or speaker.
Whatever the reason for your attendance, these types of events can create a lot of buzz that can be harnessed and turned into good momentum and marketing for yourself.
Effective special event content marketing builds awareness and creates relationships which continue long after the event is over. It requires action on two fronts: social media (which you can read about here) and content marketing.
Social media may be a little more straight forward, but content marketing is just as important and effective. Here’s what you can do to take full advantage of special events, not just before, but during and after as well.
Before the Event
I probably don’t need to tell you the importance of raising awareness and excitement surrounding any special event your business may be a part of. But, just in case: It is very important to raise awareness and excitement about upcoming special events.
Blogging: Blogging may not be an area of pre-event marketing you immediately think of, but it is just as useful as social media. Write blogs about the event itself. The more blogs you have about or related to the event – with a little help from our good friend SEO – increases your chances of being discovered as people search for information.
Blogs spotlighting certain agenda items, spotlighting special guests or speakers or chronicling the behind the scenes and lead up to the event will not only help you be seen but start building excitement. But, don’t limit yourself to just that. Create blogs on topics related to the event and use that topic as a way to tie into the event itself.
Email: While you try to reach a wide audience through blogging and social media, don’t forget about your regular contacts. Reward those on your email list with perks like early registration or discounts. Send out reminders as the event gets closer and closer.
Also on the web side, be sure you create a unique landing page on your website that you can direct readers of these blogs and emails to for more information and registration.
During the Event
On the day(s) of the event you may be busy making sure everything is going well or managing your booth and traditional blogging will likely take a backseat both in regards to time and the effectiveness of social media. That doesn’t mean, however, that you get a pass.
Live blogging: Use Live Tweeting throughout the day, offering updates on the event or just encouraging people to stop in. Facebook’s “write a note” posting option allows you to write more long form posts and can be an avenue for live blogging as well.
Take lots of photos: Need I say more? Take pictures of everything: people who visit you, your booth, other booths, interesting things you see around the event. You can turn around and immediately post these photos on social media or save them for post-event activity (I’ll tell you how soon).
After the Event
You are probably exhausted after all the work that went into putting on and contributing to the event, but don’t call it quits yet. There is still the business of follow-up content marketing to attend to. After that you can take a nap, promise.
Blogging: Remember all those pictures I told you to take? Put them to good use with a roundup post, documenting the event. It’ll be a fun piece to share and also come in handy when you are trying to build interest next year.
Emails: Were you able to pick up any new contacts at the event? Awesome! Make sure you follow up with an email thanking attendees for coming to the event or stopping by your booth. Courtesy counts. It’s the same reason people like it when you send thank you notes after job interviews, graduations, weddings, yada yada.
With a little bit of forethought and planning, your next special event is sure to be a hit and you can ride its momentum in the following days and weeks.
To learn more about special event content marketing, download Lorraine’s presentation