There’s this train called Content Marketing and you really should hop on it. According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 88% of marketers in North America use some form of content marketing to promote a product or service. Out of those marketers, 76% of respondents say that they plan to produce more content this year than in previous years.
Yet for some reason, those in the events industry are seriously lagging behind in hopping on the content marketing train. Earlier this year we surveyed 500 event professionals about trends and best practices. Our findings showed that the majority of these professionals (85%!) still rely heavily on email marketing alone for their marketing efforts. Email is great, but it really is only one part of a much bigger marketing picture.
This may be good news for you. In fact, this may be very good news. Event professionals who implement a content marketing strategy will have a true first-mover advantage compared to those who are unwilling to try something different and experiment with new marketing techniques.
Critical to the success of any content marketing strategy is the EIDO (Engage, Inform, Delight, Offer More) formula. In this article, we’ll take a look at how EIDO can help you either kickstart your content marketing efforts or improve the content marketing plan you currently have in place. For more about this formula and implementing a strategy, you can download this free ebook on the subject.
“If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.” – Mel Brooks
If your content is to stand any chance at being successful, it needs to be noisy and colorful and lively. There’s a lot of content out on the internet, and although this saturation of content may make up a lot of noise as a whole, not all of this content makes enough noise on its own. The writing may be clunky, the topics may be uninspired, and the overall tone may make more of a whimper than a bang. In the loud marketplace of the internet, your content can’t afford to be a whimper. It needs to be a BANG. If your content isn’t a bang, people won’t read it and in turn, they won’t find it valuable.
A few tips to make your content more engaging:
- Incorporate dynamic content like pictures, embedded videos, bullet points, pull quotes, and, yes, even GIFs.
- Use Mel Brooks quotes (a little bit of humor never hurts).
- Experiment with different content formats to see what most resonates with your audience.
Case Study: SalesForce DreamForce
Every year, Salesforce holds what is one of the largest software conferences in the world: Dreamforce. In order to build buzz for their 2016 conference, Salesforce created a Facebook Live Video and allowed viewers to “Like” and ask questions in real-time as Salesforce representatives discussed the event with each other and special guests.
By tapping into the power of live video, Salesforce created an engaging event experience that encouraged their viewers to interact with their content.
“If you see something, say something.” – U.S. Department of Homeland Security
So you’ve made a lot of noise and you’ve got your audience’s attention. Congratulations! Now what? Why should someone spend time reading your content? Chances are, your target audience is in need of some kind of information. They may be looking to gain some information about the event you’re organizing, or maybe they’re just looking to learn more about their job or industry. Now it’s time to make your content worth your audience’s time. Now it’s time to add value to your content by being informative.
A few tips for making your content informative:
- Incorporate statistics, as well as professional opinions and extrapolations (conducting your own research is a big plus)
- Pull in someone else from your company or industry; a quote can go a long way
- Provide examples or case studies of what you’re talking about
Case Study: DigiDay
Digiday is a leading publication that has global reach. Throughout the year they host various summits and award galas that bring together some of the best in the publishing, branding, agency and retail industries. Digiday publishes phenomenal written content, but they don’t just rely on that for generating buzz around their events. They also publish numerous videos and podcasts that feature leading names in the industry.
Many of the participants of these podcasts are also speakers at DigiDay events, which gives DigiDay the opportunity to also market their upcoming events to their audience.
“To infinity and beyond.” – Buzz Lightyear
You’ve caught your audience’s attention, you’ve offered them some valuable information, now it’s time to offer them delightful content that goes above and beyond their expectations. You want to give your audience some unexpected value. If you employ all other aspects of the EIDO formula you should end up with something that delights your readers. It’s the competitive edge that gives your content just a bit more OOMPH.
A few tips for offering delightful oomph:
- Provide social sharing resources (like “Click-to-tweet” buttons) to make it easier to share golden nuggets from your blog
- Offer membership to an online community for readers to continue the conversation
- Offer additional resources like free eBooks and webinars
Case Study: Bizzabo Event Directories
On the Bizzabo blog, we frequently feature massive directories for events happening throughout the year. These directories cover a variety of events–from media conferences to Bitcoin conferences. Our most recent directory features over 120 tech conferences throughout 2017. Instead of just creating a list and calling it a day, we invite readers to submit their own tech events to the list.
In going the extra mile and allowing our readers to contribute to our resources, we aim to deliver some delightful oomph to our content marketing regiment.
“The second rule of improvisation is not only to say yes, but YES, AND.” – Tina Fey
The final component of creating stellar content with the EIDO formula is saying YES, AND. “YES, here is some engaging, informative, and delightful content for you AND here is some more content that you can check out.” By constantly offering more content for your target audience to consume, you’ll be helping to nurture your audience to leads and leads to event registrants. Your company, your brand, your event is much much more than what a reader can glean from one piece of content. How can you steer your target audience to other meaningful content?
A few tips for offering more in your content
- Hyperlink relevant keywords in your copy that point back to other resources on your site/blog
- Leverage an email workflow to remind contacts about your latest ebook or video
- Place CTA (Call-to-action) buttons throughout an event website that links to a “convince your boss” PDF
Case Study: Social Tables
Social Tables does a great job of offering more content. While reading through a piece that covers sponsorship marketing for events, I found this smattering of offerings at the bottom of the page.
Notice how there are opportunities for me to:
- Sign-up for email updates
- Share my own sponsorship efforts with the Social Tables on Twitter (+1 Engage!)
- Check out other blogs
- Give Social Tables a try
- Download a whitepaper about the events industry
All of these offerings make up for a truly YES, AND experience.
Test Your Content Marketing Strategy
To help event professionals get a better sense of how they’re content is doing, we’ve created this simple rubric for an honest self-evaluation. As tempting as it may be to give yourself fives across the board, you’ll have a better idea of where you can grow with more truthful answers.
What are your strongest areas? Where could you stand to improve? You can learn more about the EIDO Rubric in our content marketing eBook (see below).
Wrapping Up: Cracking the Content Code
By Engaging, Informing, Delighting and Offering More in your content, you can establish a strong online presence for your organization or event. Of course, there’s way more to content marketing than the EIDO formula. It’s also essential to have a set plan, measure your efforts, and draw meaningful conclusions from your findings. Savvy content marketers also need to learn how to master the Virtuous Content Cycle, partner with other publishers (like this blog post for example), and make Google magic happen with sound SEO practices.
You can learn more about content marketing for events – and check out more templates and activities–in our eBook, Cracking the Content Code. Many professionals still lag behind in their content marketing efforts, here’s your chance to step ahead of the field.