There are many reasons why attendees want to be a part of your digital event. No matter the reason, quality content will further improve their event experience, keep them at the online event longer and encourage event engagement. Therefore, your event planning teams need to carefully consider the content you will be promoting; consider it your bread and butter.
Having poor quality content can be extremely detrimental to your online event as this might affect sponsors’ lead retention and capture rates. Here are steps that you should take to leverage your content to improve your digital event.
Content Marketing Strategy
One of the most effective ways to leverage content is through content marketing. Content marketing is an online marketing process where written, visual, or audio content promotes a goal.
By integrating your event marketing strategy with a content marketing strategy, you can effectively promote your online event, grow your content backlog, and improve audience engagement.
If you produce no content other than what is shown at your digital event, your audience might be a little wary at first. They might not think that you have the authority to back up what you are saying. They might not be familiar with your brand in the context of providing educational and authoritative content.
Starting a content marketing strategy early on can boost this authority and provide foundational content that your audience can refer to.
Curating your content is very important. What you choose for your online event will determine its overall success. The content must make sense for the online event theme and the speakers who are present.
Your content curation will depend on the goals of your event. Set strong foundations by developing an online event strategy:
- Map out the event goals
- Identify the primary audience (or target audience) who will be attending the event
- Identify how you will measure the success of your event
Your event goals should be part of a broader marketing campaign. Therefore, identify how this event will integrate with more comprehensive sales campaigns, marketing campaigns, or an annual organizational strategy and ensure that everything lines up.
When mapping out the event content curation, try to answer these questions:
- What is your target audience looking for?
- What pain points do they need to be solved?
- Is there specific knowledge that you want to give to your audience? Is this to build brand awareness?
- What do you hope to gain from this event?
- What do you want your audience to learn?
Answering these questions and creating firm goals will only allow your brand to leverage your content effectively.
In curating content, consider expanding on past content. If your brand has been engaged in a content marketing campaign, you can use some foundational pieces as leverage. Reference these pieces so that audience members feel engaged and connected and then continue to expand on them. This way, your audience will be there with you, understanding the content and where your brand is coming from.
Content Production and Content Audit
Content production can be time-consuming, but this is one of the most critical parts of your event.
- If you have presenters, then you need to prepare them for this content production phase. Find out early what they will be presenting so that you can properly support them.
- You may also need to bring on a content writing team. A content writing team will have the experience of writing well-written and highly-researched content that fits your needs.
- Make sure that your writing team is aligned with the goals of event production. The written content should be prepared in advance.
- Map out a strategy that connects the articles and bring on a strategy reviewer, editor, and content specialist to ensure that you get it right.
You can include this content in event promotion strategies early on. No matter where you get your content, whether it is past content, newly produced content, or presented new at your event, audit this content to make sure that it hits the event goals. It may also be helpful in a variety of formats, so be mindful of that.
Once your content is ready for use, you will be deploying it. Because this is supporting a virtual event, you have a few options for content deployment. Primarily you should be hosting this in a strong virtual event platform that can host your event as a live stream or pre-recorded video.
Your content may be presented with portions of it pre-recorded and others as part of a live event. Consider this relationship and map out which parts of the content program will be interactive content and prepare for that in the production phase.
For the presentation, you may want to consider:
- Whether this content will be live or pre-recorded
- If it will be hosted as streamed content
- Who will be presenting, and will their talking head be visible on-screen
- Is there a visual component (preferable) or an audio-only
- Is this going to be interactive or one-way communication only
- If this be part of a hybrid event
Also, consider the ways that the content will engage with event marketing materials. You can provide highlights, excerpts, or challenge questions to promote the content.
How you deliver your content will affect the levels of audience engagement that are possible. Your content format will depend on what is available in your virtual event platform. It’s important to consider this aspect now so that you can improve engagement during the event.
- Audience engagement and networking is a driving factor for how you can leverage your content.
- Identify key ways that the virtual event platform can support engagement. Will it support gamification? How about sponsor badges? If your event platform can host a variety of content, then this will boost engagement.
- You might also consider audience engagement in the content development phase. The goals of your content might increase (or decrease engagement). For example, if your goals are for thought leadership, then bringing in a thought leader or visionary in the field might be of great interest to your audience.
- Make sure that your content is heavily researched so that the attendee sees the value in the content. You can also consider product or service training as part of your event offerings. This might increase interest because it keeps guests on their toes and provides some interaction with the speaker.
- Always tap into those live chat, polls, and one-on-one sessions so that your attendees stay connected to the presentation.
- Video content is great for social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, but you might want to consider other avenues. For example, if you have a social media influencer present, then they could turn around and promote their portion of the event on social media. Tap into influencer marketing before the event and during the event to boost engagement.
How to Leverage Content Post-Event
As you develop your content strategy, one of the most important things to consider is how the content will be useful after the event. You’ll put in a lot of work for making this content for the event, and it should not go to waste. Your curation strategy should consider how the content will be evergreen. While topical subjects are important, you also need staple pieces that will be informative and useful for more than a few months.
You also need to make the content available on-demand following the event. Putting the content behind a paywall will improve the desirability of that content. This will encourage visitors who come to your event website to seek access to undoubtedly high-end content, especially if the content you offer for free is valuable to them.
Also, consider how this content can continue to be supported through digital marketing and content marketing campaigns. Don’t promote the content as outdated (and already used); instead, take parts of the content and expand it. Consider its usefulness as a starting point for a webinar. Maybe there were aspects of the discussion that lit up the live chat. Tap into the parts of the content that sparked interest and give your audience what it wants.
Every good event depends on well-thought-out and high-quality content. Therefore, your event planning teams need to carefully consider the type of content that will be produced, how it will engage with the audience and address their pain points, and the ways that the content can be used long after the event is over.