by Jenise Fryatt | Featured Contributor
Marketing yearly events online offers advantages that other forms of online marketing lack.
Each year offers new opportunities to build on what was accomplished the year before. Consistent application of your marketing strategy serves to build community online. This feeds the onsite event community which feeds the online community ad infinitum.
Those who understand this onsite/online cycle are able to capitalize on it to build a community which practically markets itself.
The key is realizing that your online marketing is merely an extension of what you’re doing at your event anyway; ei facilitating information sharing and networking.
Here are three ways your event can guide and create content and engagement opportunities for your online marketing:
Are you making sure that the gold nuggets of wisdom shared by speakers at your event are being captured for use in your online makreting?
Perhaps you are already doing this by creating daily event newsletter summaries for your attendees. Kudos to you if you are! Now, why not use these summaries to create blog posts throughout the year for your content marketing online?
Blog posts created in this way are uniquely oriented for your target market, providing value while at the same time giving potential attendees a taste of what your yearly event has to offer.
You can include a call to action at the bottom of each session summary that says something like, “Did you enjoy this post featuring Speaker Sam’s presentation from last year’s conference? Don’t miss the great speakers at our upcoming conference July 6-11!” And make sure you link to your registration page.
Perhaps you have recorded videos of speakers from your last conference. You certainly can upload them to an online video hosting site such as You Tube or Vimeo and then embed them in their entirety on your blog.
But you may find that, due to audience attention span limits, choosing a particularly inspiring or information-packed 10 minute clip is more effective. You can add a text introduction explaining why you chose the clip or outlining a few of the most important takeaways.
You may also want to include a short Q&A with the speaker about what he or she thought were the most important takeaways from the presentation.
And again, always include a call to action linking to your registration page at the end.
User Generated Content
Nothing rallies your event fans more effectively than the opportunity to share their experiences online while at your event. So make sure everyone knows what your event hashtag is by including it in all of your marketing materials.
Make sure you have incorporated irresistible sharing opportunities onsite. Put some thought into just what types of experiences or visuals would compel your attendees to post photos or comments regarding your event on social media.
Provide photographers (armed with photo release forms) who can quickly snap photos of attendees and post them on your event’s Facebook page. Don’t worry if you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, a volunteer armed with an iPad can serve just as effectively.
Scavenger hunts and giveaways can also be used to encourage social media interaction onsite. Use your imagination!
With all of this great activity going on, you’ll want to post display monitors showing the hashtag stream at various locations thoughout your venue. Incorporating the most popular social media platforms will help to ensure everyone’s contributions are seen.
You’ll also want to capture your user generated content for use in your marketing. Applications such as Storify allow you to put it all together in an aesthetically please summary that you can embed directly on your website.
The networking and information sharing you facilitate at your event is exactly what your potential attendees are looking for online. Thus, virtually everything you provide at this year’s event can be used to build content and a thriving community for marketing next year’s event. Understanding this key point will save you time, money and effort – but only if you are marketing a yearly event online.
Jenise Fryatt is well-known in content marketing and event marketing arenas.
As Content Marketing Strategist for Smarter Shift, she employs her knowledge on behalf of the company as well as its clients. She also served as moderator for three regular Twitter chats and founded the popular #ContentChat which focuses on topics of interest to content marketers.
As part owner in an audio visual company, Jenise has a special connection to the events industry. She’s been a regular blogger on various sites on the topics of social media and events and spent three years writing for the Cvent blog on the topic of digital marketing for events. She also co-authored two research papers for Meeting Planners International (MPI): one on The Strategic Value of Virtual Events and another on Hybrid Events.
However Jenise’s true passion is sustainable living. In addition to co-hosting The Sustainable Living Podcast, she lives on her own three acre homestead and is currently in the process of obtaining her Permaculture Design Certification.
A yoga instructor and long-time meditator, she integrates a mindful approach to all of her work and believes the key to this, and virtually every other problem, lies in cultivating a heart-centered life.