How events have become a crucial part of B2B content marketing strategy
The history of events in the B2B sphere throughout the last three years has been something of a journey. Confined to strictly online affairs following the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses adjusted to new technology platforms to bring the physical to the virtual, all whilst retaining engagement and interest. Online events quickly rose in popularity, and not just due to their necessity. They offered greater convenience, reduced cost, and a greater reach for businesses. So, it should come as no surprise that as the world re-opened, demand skewed towards a ‘phygital’ approach, whereby online content has become a far bigger part of physical events.
Maximising in-person events has become crucial for B2B marketers, especially those looking to optimise their content strategy. Events are a powerful tool to do this, and their potential as a lead-generating mechanism shouldn’t be overlooked.
In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into five key tips that show how events can be utilised to build out a full content marketing strategy.
- Content strategy and event strategy go hand in hand
The first mistake made by businesses is failing to connect the dots between their content strategy and their event strategy. Your content strategy takes time, preparation, and planning – and so does an event! Aligning the two is key for an end-to-end and inclusive experience; so, get started early, and begin mapping out your content plans long before the actual event. Examples of pre-event content include promotions via video formats, or images that showcase speakers. Creating a buzz is pivotal, so ensure your content is punchy, eye-catching, and engaging.
- Processes are key
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail (or so the adage goes!). Implementing the right processes will help you to build up a content machine – consider what your objectives are before the event, and what your goals are post-event. Are you looking to grow brand awareness, generate new leads, or both? For example, businesses looking to drive demand generation may place emphasis on user-generated content. They may incentivise their attendees to share event content on their social profiles by hiring a branded photo booth, or encourage them to interact with a branded hashtag. Promote your event content on different channels, such as social media, and ensure you leverage your email databases.
- Know your audience, and build stronger relationships
The success of marketing can often be attributed to one decisive factor: knowing the audience.
Regardless of whether they’re online or in-person, events foster meaningful interactions; and meaningful interactions allow us to build relationships. However, before you can get to the stage of facilitating these, businesses must ensure they’ve actually attracted the right audience. Consider who exactly you’re targeting – what industries do they work in? What platforms can they be found on? Once you’ve ascertained this, shape your content to target these audiences. For example, a B2B technology event looking to attract other technology companies may target their audiences with thought-leadership content from a respected event speaker. Or, if you’re running a smaller event looking to target C-Suite executives and high-ranking individuals, invest in targeted event ads that focalise on these accounts.
- Events might last a day – but your content shouldn’t!
Content is king when it comes to keeping the buzz going after an event. Maximise the longevity of your event by generating as much content as possible on the day; record the talks, interviews, and focus groups, and split the videos into short, impactful clips.
Video is one of the most compelling forms of content – in fact, Video content is therefore a great way to drive leads – for example, distributing a persuasive clip of an event speaker can be a powerful way to assert your brand as a thought-leader. Or, if you’re a business with a technical product that appears complicated from the outset, utilise a clip of a speaker breaking the product down in an accessible format.
…but don’t neglect text completely! Content will achieve maximum results when presented via multiple touchpoints. So, as well as your video content, create written content that focuses on any evergreen topics and themes addressed in the event. This will enable you to widen distribution and repurpose long after the event itself has finished.
Whatever the format, post-event content is key to keeping a channel of communication open and can aid in building communities and generating new leads.
- Try, try, and try again
When it comes to holding a successful B2B event, it’s not always a linear process. In fact, successful events take commitment, time, and a lot of testing. Try out different formats, such as online or via small and large-scale in-person events. Ultimately, the most important take-away is understanding the relationship between your content strategy and the success of your event. Content is what draws your audience in; so, make it as engaging and meaningful as possible. And, once you’ve told your audience your event is worth attending, show them.
Want to take your content marketing strategy to the next level? Or want to chat about how to get the most out of an upcoming event? Get in contact with a member of the Velo team on our contact form or via our LinkedIn page.