If you are an event marketer, chances are that you are always looking for ways to make an indelible impact on attendees. Through eye-catching displays, multi-media presentations and demos, and impressive attendee experiences, you seek to inspire action among attendees and maximize the return on the typically large investment that goes into creating an extraordinary event experience. But, to truly promote your brand and leave that lasting impression, it’s crucial to embrace the power of an authentic content marketing campaign.
There is a marketing principal that says that it takes seven “touches” before someone will internalize or act upon your call to action. This means that it isn’t enough to show up with the best on-site experience. Effective event marketers create additional brand touchpoints before and after their events through powerful content marketing campaigns. By utilizing authentic content, you can connect with your target audience on a deeper level, build trust, and capitalize on the experience that you are creating for attendees during your event.
Let’s delve into the world of authentic content marketing and discover how it can elevate your brand’s presence and attendee engagement at events.
WHAT IS CONTENT MARKETING?
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action around your brand. The goal of content marketing is to provide information that is useful, informative, and entertaining to the target audience, without explicitly promoting a product or service. Marketers use a variety of content media including emails, blog posts, videos, social media posts, white papers, infographics, podcasts, and more.
Content marketing is often used to build brand awareness, establish thought leadership, educate the audience, and generate leads or sales. By providing valuable content that addresses the needs and pain points of your target audience, you can attract and engage potential customers, build trust and credibility, and establish a loyal following through content marketing.
It’s important to note that content marketing is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It requires consistent effort and investment over time to achieve results. However, when done correctly, it can be a highly effective way to build a strong brand and drive business growth.
WHY IS CONTENT MARKETING IMPORTANT FOR EVENT MARKETERS?
…Because authentic content marketing generates interest, helps to create buzz, and puts your brand at the top of the minds of potential attendees. Here are a few additional reasons why content marketing is crucial for event promotion:
- INCREASE AWARENESS: Content marketing is an effective way to reach a wider audience and increase awareness about an event. By creating informative and engaging content that resonates with your target audience, you can create intrigue and a desire to register and engage.
- BUILD CREDIBILITY: Establish the brand and the event as a credible source of information and thought leadership in the industry through your content marketing efforts. By creating high-quality content that educates, informs, and entertains a target audience, event organizers can position themselves as experts in the field and build trust with potential attendees.
- GENERATE LEADS: Content marketing can be used to attract potential attendees and generate leads for the event. By offering valuable content that addresses the needs and pain points of your target audience, you can capture the contact information of interested prospects and follow up with them to encourage attendance.
- CREATE COMMUNITY: A way to create a community is through the effective use of content marketing. Once an attendee engages with your brand, you have the opportunity to capitalize on the engagement by extending an invitation to a special experience or offering an incentive to engage further.
- SUPPORT SEO EFFORTS: Content marketing can also support search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, making it easier for potential attendees to find an event or experience online. By creating high-quality content that is optimized for relevant keywords, you can improve your website’s visibility and drive more traffic to your branded microsite for the event.
By creating valuable content that resonates with the target audience, event organizers can create a strong brand identity, engage potential attendees, and drive ROI.
It bears mentioning, though, that content marketing efforts should be authentic and come from a place of honesty and sincerity. Authenticity is essential in content marketing because it helps to build trust between the customer and the brand, establish credibility, enhance engagement, and build loyalty with the target audience. When a potential customer feels that the brand is genuine and authentic, they are more likely to engage with the content, share it with others, and ultimately, become customers or loyal fans of the brand.
HOW CAN EVENT MARKETERS MAKE CONTENT MORE AUTHENTIC?
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: To create authentic content, it’s important to understand the needs, interests, and pain points of your target audience. It also helps to develop personas for the ideal customer to create more customer-centric content. Conduct research, analyze data, and engage with your audience to learn more about who they are, what they care about, and what resonates with them.
- BE HONEST AND TRANSPARENT: This can be difficult for brands to achieve, but authenticity requires honesty and transparency. Be open and honest about your intentions, and don’t try to deceive or manipulate your audience. Be transparent about your sources, your methods, and your biases. Consider discussing initiatives that the brand is engaging in to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), sustainability efforts, and accessibility.
- USE REAL PEOPLE AND REAL STORIES: Real people and real stories are more relatable and engaging than generic marketing messages. Use real customers, employees, and partners to share their experiences and insights. Share real stories about the event and its impact on people’s lives and businesses.
A great example of this is Southern California’s Helpful Honda People campaign. It’s a radio and TV campaign that features real people with real issues that Honda helps solve. It’s authentic. It pulls at the heart strings, and it makes the audience care about the people in the story and Honda as a brand.
- SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY: Inject your brand’s personality and voice into your content. Avoid corporate jargon and buzzwords and use a tone that feels natural and human. Use humor, creativity, and personalization to make your content stand out and feel more genuine.
- FOCUS ON QUALITY OVER QUANTITY: Authenticity requires quality over quantity. Don’t just create content for the sake of creating content. Focus on creating high-quality, valuable content that addresses the needs and interests of your audience. Remember that your content may have different purposes. You might be seeking to entertain, to educate, or to inform. Be intentional with your content. Use data and analytics to measure its effectiveness and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Authenticity in content marketing requires a deep understanding of your audience, and a commitment to a campaign that inspires action through genuine voices and stories. By creating a content marketing strategy and timeline well in advance of an event, you can create more authentic content that will help drive engagement and maximize ROI at your event.
And finally, remember that an event’s opportunity starts long before on-site registration opens. Every brand touchpoint and interaction before an event leads to a stronger potential engagement during the event.
If you’d like to form an action plan that will deliver results before, during, and after your next trade show or event, we’d love to help! Let’s develop a strategy together to nurture your audience and create a memorable experience for your community.