Imagine you could get thousands of people from your target market together in one room - a captive audience, as it were, of your ideal customers. All of whom want to learn more about the subject you want to talk about.
Oh, hang one: you don’t have to imagine. Unlike pretty much every other industry, this is what you do for a living. You bring together thousands of people who want to learn more, from a specific target market, together in one room. That’s access and focus that most companies could only dream of.
So what are you doing to capitalise on that opportunity? To further the conversation and build deep relationships with your audience?
Because if you’re organising a large scale B2B event and you’re not thinking about content marketing, you’re seriously missing a trick.
Content marketing is all about adding value for clients and potential customers by providing resources that offer greater depth of expertise in a subject that they are interested in - or more specifically, help them to solve a problem in their field.
If you have access to an audience of people who have registered their interest in a corporate event, you’re already one step ahead. You already have a sense of what this audience wants to know about, the kinds of discussions they’re having and the issues that impact on their field. The next step is to hone in on precisely what you can do next to demonstrate that you’re an authoritative voice in the field and that you know how to address their pain points.
But let’s back up just a little bit. Because we’re at risk of skipping over the most important question of all: why?
What exactly are you hoping to get from your event’s content marketing strategy?
Perhaps you’re looking to sell more tickets to this event?
To cross-sell other products, services or events to attendees that are already on the list?
Perhaps you’re working with exhibitors to open up new sales opportunities, or to help bring visitors to their stands?
Once you know what the final destination is, you can start plotting the customer journey - and the content you’ll provide to guide them from point to point.
The next question is: who?
Who exactly is your ideal attendee? Or the ideal audience for the content you’re planning to create?
What precisely is this person hoping to get out of the event? What insights would help them grow their business or raise their profile in a company? What specific problems do they need to solve?
Often, these are the trickiest questions for a content marketer to answer - but having people signed up to your event gives you a big advantage: you can ask them.
Pre-event questionnaires are not only a good way to get the conversation going and to start developing ideas for great content, they also add an extra dimension to the event itself. Why not publish the results of your research to coincide with the conference itself, giving attendees a sense of having contributed to the debate? It’s a great opportunity to show that you’re listening and value their input.
This leads us onto the next question: what content should you create?
Once again, having the event as the central point of focus can make this a lot easier to answer. Consider this: every speaker you have lined up is a potential viral video. Every PowerPoint presentation is a potential Slideshare. Every guest is a potential source of engaging, inspiring and genuinely valuable content.
Can you get speakers to do some additional interviews (in video or written form), or to write guest articles for an event-specific magazine? To answer crowdsourced questions gathered ahead of time? To take part in a follow-up webinar or pre-event podcast?
If you can find smart ways to make the extra publicity work for your guests, too, you’re in a win-win situation.
Not only does content like this help to engage your audience and keep up the dialogue long after the event is over, it also gives you tons of marketing assets for your next event - and some top case studies to show to future exhibitors and speakers, too.
After all, you’ve already done the hard work in gathering together all these experts for your event. Why not make it count?
What innovative content marketing strategies have caught your eye at B2B events this year? Let us know in the comments section below!