The Formative Content offices have been unusually quiet over the past fortnight with our teams working on location around the world, providing digital event newsroom content for a number of our clients.
With many of our team members from journalistic backgrounds, providing live coverage for large-scale events is a familiar assignment. This, combined with our experience in social media and digital content, makes our approach to event coverage incredibly effective.
When you think about content in relation to an event, you might just focus on the component parts such as speaker presentations, and maybe a summary blog post and overview of how the event ran. But by infusing quality content throughout the full event lifecycle, you have an opportunity to create multiple touch points for audiences – which, if done right, can help you achieve your broader business objectives.
How can you create quality content for your event?
A dynamic, long-term plan is at the heart of good content strategy. These 5 tips will help you focus and ensure the make the most of your event.
1. Really understand why you’re running the event
There was a time when events were run just for the sake of having an event, or maybe because there was marketing budget left to spend. These days organisations are a lot more savvy about the events they’re running and they’re part of a broader sales target. To be able to create quality content that delivers, you need to spend some time upfront to understand:
• What the business objectives are and what the event objectives are that feed into them
• Who the people are you’re talking to – the buyers, the influencers, your employees
• What your key messages are for each of those audience groups – what do you want people to take away from the event
2. Create an end to end content plan
An event isn’t just about one day on a calendar anymore and it doesn’t happen in isolation. Start your plan well in advance of the actual event dates – take into account how you will use your blog, social media and other marketing channels to start to create a buzz around your event in the lead up to invitations being sent out.
What topics will excite your potential audience and persuade them to attend in person? How can you share that content so it reaches the right people and makes them want to tell their friends about it? Create your Digital Action Plan , taking into account what you want to be talking about before, during and after it happens. Don’t forget to link back to the objectives, key messages and audience you identified in the first step.
3. Allow for flexibility
While having a content plan is important, you’ll need to factor in room to listen to the wider conversation – what are people talking about on social media that might be relevant to your event, speakers or content? What other news, trends or stories might lend themselves to fuel your content?
Keeping an ear to the ground and being responsive will keep your content agile and relevant to your audience. Remember though, don’t try to respond to everything – keep your objectives and strategy in mind.
4. Share the event experience with those who can’t make it
The joy of technology means that we don’t just have to rely on the people in a room to help us achieve higher level objectives. Live streaming, Twitter coverage and fast-turnaround video are ideal for keeping the outside world informed.
We do this for a lot of our clients and also see tech and gaming events doing a great job of this.
5. Track, measure, nurture
It might be stating the obvious, but the best way to assess whether your content is working for you, is to measure it. Before you start, take stock of your analytics across social media, your website, brand health and other indicators that link back to your overall objectives. Then run analytics regularly throughout the event period. Did your content reach the right people? How can you make sure that you continue to talk to the people who loved your content, to nurture the relationships that you’ve started to form?
Don’t just use an event as a hit and run – take the time to follow up. That way you’ll have a better idea of how to shape and improve your content for your next event.
Given the right kind of focus, quality content can really help to elevate an event from being just a meeting, to being something that can leave a lasting impression, for all the right reasons.
If you want help making the most of your content, please do get in touch. You can also download our report, The Future of Events: The Challenge of Digital for further insights into how technology is changing the shape of events.
Formative Content is a UK based content marketing agency producing high quality content, live event coverage and strategic communications support for clients around the world.