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13 October 2015 

How To Develop An Effective Content Strategy For Events

Josh Naehr
How To Develop An Effective Content Strategy For Events

Developing a content strategy for your events can help bring value to your customers so they keep coming back.

The issue with any content strategy is time. Time to sit down and think about what kind of content should be created, time to stop and write, or record, edit and publish, and time to engage with your audience to promote the content you created.

In order to save time you have to break down the content strategy for the event or conference you are planning step by step. Creating this process from scratch will take the longest amount of time to build, but once you have content production foundation you will see how much time you can save and how much more interest you can attract in your conference or event.

You may have more than one event, or you could be spending all year planning just one, either way, the question to ask yourself is, “How can I consistently create quality content for events?” In other words, understand where your event can add value.

In order to create a fantastic content strategy for events, you must first understand how your event and the expertise that your business has gained can add value to your audience.

By creating a valuable content strategy for events, you’ll help solidify your event as a “thought leader” while drawing in a larger audience of readers who might also be interested in attending an event.

Marketo breaks down the secret content creation algorithm as follows:

content strategy for events formula

(Be sure that you understand your audience before diving into a complete, content strategy. Check out this post building marketing personas to see how you can understand your audience by contextualizing your leads to sell more tickets.)

Break down the content creation equation by splitting it in half. Ask yourself a few questions to figure out both your customer’s needs and values:

  • What impact do I want the event to have on the industry?
  • What are my goals for my attendees – what do I want attendees to do/learn?
  • How do I want my attendees to feel when they leave?

Great questions to ask yourself in order to find your brand’s expertise are

  • What is my position relative to my industry/niche?
  • How can I help my attendees, what do people associated with the event know that attendees should know?
  • What is something that only my event has the ability to provide?

Once you have these questions answered, you’ve built a strong platform from which you can provide value to your audience.

Now you can begin the ideation phase for creating your content. There are 3 main ways of finding ideas on what to give to your attendees:

1. Find The Most Valuable Content

The “Skyscraper Technique” comes from marketing expert, Brian Dean, with the premise that the best way to provide the greatest value is to find already existing content that has been the most interesting to your audience.

Begin this step by finding the most popular resources among your audience. Analyze the subject matter, structure and design of the content to try to figure out what made it successful in the first place. The most important tip for the “Skyscraper Technique” is to focus on what is leverageable from the very beginning.

Just because you find a very popular piece of content does not make it leveragable. There needs to be an opportunity to build upon so that you can drive traffic toward your site.

For example, if your event is based on Human Resources a great place to start is to use SEMrush to find the most popular keywords in your industry. Just type your industry into the search bar to find the metrics on different search engines.

Once you have a list of keywords take one that interests you, and head over to Buzzsumo. Do a content search on the keyword to find the most shared links. This step is crucial because social shares are a direct sign of a community being interested in a topic. If people are not talking about it they probably won’t be searching for it.

Now that you know what keyword you want, and the most popular form of it, it’s time to find what is leveragable. Brian Dean outlines three main ways to find if the content can be leveraged:

  • Length: Experts want something that is completely comprehensive. Whenever you write a post ask yourself the question, “What can be done to make this post even more comprehensive.”  A content strategy for events needs to recognize the minute details that most will skip over.

  • Relevancy:  If there is content that is over a year old, chances are there is new information on the subject. Dive deep into the most up-to-date trends on the subject matter so that your attendees will view you as someone who understands the latest best-practices.

  • Design: Sometimes you will find content that is outdated visually, but still provides great value. Leverage this opportunity by making the piece beautiful. Great examples of this are infographics that go viral. People love to look at something that is both informative and nicely designed. Content that is hard to read neither converts, nor nurtures.

Ultimately, the best way to reach the greatest value is to leverage all three aspects so no one can “out-leverage” you.

2. Find The Questions Your Audience Is Already Asking

By listening to the questions your audience is already asking online, you’ll get a better understanding for the type of content that they will find valuable. Hopefully you know your audience well enough that you’ll be able to know right away where to look for their questions. But in case you’re not sure, consider investigating the two platforms mentioned below.

Reddit: One of the most popular websites in the world, Reddit is a network of forums where users discuss various topics. From marketing, to major league sports, to scrapbooking, Reddit is comprised of “subreddits” for users to discuss a specific topic.

The platform is known as “The front page of the internet” because it’s where many people gather to share excellent content from all over the internet.

Reddit is fantastic tool for event planners interested in writing quality content, because they can listen to their audience as they participate in relevant subreddits. If for example, many people are asking the same question that you can answer, consider writing a killer blog post and then sharing it in that “subreddit community.”  Take a look at this post for more explanation of how to leverage Reddit.

Quora: The purest form of user generated content in a niche, Quora connects every skill level of an industry to find best-practices. Every position, from founder to entry levels, speaks openly on the channel.

how to create content for events

content strategy for events

On top of that, the site is very strict about legitimate posts so when you find something of value you know that it is real.

3. Create Content That Fills In The Gaps

As your are going through your journey of building a content strategy for events make sure you keep notes on things that you cannot focus on at the moment. Keep a reference of ideas that you find based off of the other two approaches listed here. Aggregating every leveragable opportunity you see for content across the web allows you to maintain a list full of ideas that are already qualified for action.

A great way to do this is to find the questions that haven’t been asked. The easiest way to do this is to ask the question, “But now what?”

Many times popular content either stops one step short, or does not connect every dot, often leaving the audience with burning questions that no outlet has answered.

Conclusion: How To Implement A Content Strategy For Events

Developing a content strategy for events will always take some time, but if you break it down from the start, things will always run much smoother. The best way to to build a content strategy for events is to find the most popular content in your industry by using “The Skyscraper Technique.” This will show you what existing content can be leveraged.

Another way of brainstorming content ideas is to find the questions your audience is already asking. Find out where your audience asks the most pressing questions, and strategize your content to fulfill their needs. Sources such as Quora and Reddit provide valuable insight into the pain-points deep within any industry.

Finally, create content that fills in the gaps. Keeping tabs on ideas you don’t have time to work on will give you a list of content to create without having to do research. Anticipating questions by asking, “What Next?” will give you new a new perspective on the needs of your community that most publishers would never look at.

Want even more advice on content marketing strategies for events? Download our latest ebook by clicking the link below!

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