All professional planners know that events are like every big festive holiday. The day itself has the most attention, but it is what you do in the lead up to the event that determines its success! For any type of event – exhibition or roadshow, dinner & dance or product launch, virtual or on-site, an omni-channel pre-event content marketing strategy will build up enough excitement to generate buzz, garner attendees and drive a successful event!
Unfortunately, some planners are continuing to use outdated marketing methods in an attempt to generate pre-event hype. Using techniques that are no longer relevant to today’s marketing environment isn’t just pointless, they could be detrimental to your event strategy.
Considering that, both live event attendance and virtual event attendance figures are expected to grow in the future. Product marketing and event marketing are very different. Product marketingis about generating a large number of visitors and then tailoring the on-site experience to engage specifically with demographics who are statistically most likely to convert.
Event marketing is backwards. Engagement comes first as a way of getting people through the door, and it’s on the day that planners can work on resonating with large numbers of visitors. The problem that’s occurring is that we have a forecasted lull in attendance figures, while at the same time event planners are largely failing to make the necessary changes to better promote events to the right people, at the right time.
Pre-Event Marketing Through Content
Content marketing is widely considered to be one of the most effective forms of digital marketing today. It includes a wide range of content such as articles, white papers, blog posts, infographics, videos, and interviews. Content marketing can play a significant role in generating pre-event hype, but only if it is utilised in the most effective ways. Creating great content that will stand out is not that easy. A common issue with contemporary pre-event content marketing is that it’s still a concept that is very much in its early stages, and many marketers are still clinging onto older ideas which don’t always work.
Scarcity Content Marketing
Scarcity can work very well. Flash sales generate more than other deals. However, today’s consumers are getting wise to the trick, and any false claims of scarcity in content can be seen as manipulative.Thus, make sure, to be honest in your content strategy and desist from seeking short-term wins at the risk of suffering long-term damage to your event brand by lying to potential attendees.
False Content Marketing
Sharing any consumer-created pre-event content, such as social media posts by prospective attendees, or perhaps content from attendees of previous years events, is a great way to promote the event and generate interest. But be warned: false hype is more recognisable than you may think. In today’s digital age, not only are we looking at the quality of online reviews, but we’re also looking at quantity.
Great Content Marketing Ideas
The good news is that there are some very effective ways to generate pre-event hype using content marketing which can help to engage audiences, improve attendance, and increase event awareness. Here are 4 great ways to strengthen your pre-event content marketing strategy
- Choose the right platform content
After all, even the most incredible piece of content will fail to have the desired impact if it is not seen by the right people, at the right time. That’s why it’s essential to consider the right publishing platform. The platform will depend on your target audience.
2. Tease your audience
Teaser campaigns can be hugely effective, releasing short snippets of content across an elongated period, maintaining interest for longer. The idea is to generate just enough excitement and engagement to keep them coming back for more.
3. Give a sneak peek
Getting creative with your content is a great way to generate interest. Try to think outside the box, moving away from basic event details to include more engaging content, such as blog posts written by your speakers, or interviews with exhibitioners.
4. Long-tail optimisation
Research suggests that we are generally more interested in local news than we are about news at a national/international level. While national awareness of an event can be beneficial to an extent, local marketing may have a greater impact. Try to include long-tail keywords in your content relating to location, ensuring your content is seen by those most likely to be excited based on geographical venue.