- Behind the Scenes
How to use content marketing for event promotion online
By Ben Sebborn
- 08 Jan 2014
- 8 min read
Back in 2010 when companies were just starting to get involved with Twitter there was a tend for the marketing to be very braodcast orientated – that is that companies used every tweet to tell their customers what they do, pushing their advertising slogans and straplines whilst often having a policy of none-engagement for fear things might get ‘out of hand’. However there were some companies on Twitter at this point who were getting serious ROI from the channel, these were the organisations that saw Twitter as an opportunity to engage and share with their audience. This is what we in the events sector have to get better at as well – even now!
Whatever could these companies have been sharing that the other companies didn’t?
Anyone can share a picture that they’ve seen someone else posting, but the companies that really started to get something back were the ones that created their own content to share.
Even though I come from a digital marketing background, the term Content Marketing seems to me to a fairly fluffy term – it’s the kind of thing you’d expect a PR or old-school marketer to come up with, but it’s in general parlance and if you speak to an online marketer worth their salt they’ll be able to give you a decent summary about content marketing, in some ways perhaps it’s right to think about it in terms of PR, you’re never 100% sure how the content will be picked up and you have to generate a lot of it to get a gem.
In order to be successful, most organisations need to look around them to get some inspiration from what other organisations are up to and it shouldn’t take you too long to realise the successful businesses are the ones that are creating content and getting it out there and the ones that are really successful are the businesses that are producing content that people want to share. Why should an event organisation be any different?
You might also want to speak to an account manager about getting your content shared through our channels. There’s only so much we can monitor, with tens of thousands of event promoters onbaord it’s not hard to see why things have slipped past us on Facebook or Twitter so the best practice is to speak to an account managers and they’ll get the marketing department to share your content through our social media channels.
Your content has to be useful and interesting – if it’s not, just firing it down the pipeline at your customers isn’t going to get you anywhere – the age old advice about giving something away for free still holds true – it’s one of the best forms of marketing and it’s at the heart of what content marketing is all about. Instead of just promoting your event try to think about what you can give away to your potential punters that they want to consume – this could be news about DJs, it could be entertaining infographics or it could be some insights you’ve got from your data that makes your customers would find useful.
Content is king – but what is content marketing?
Virtually anything that you can create and put out there online is content, think videos, blog posts, photos, infographics, podcasts, guides – the thing it isn’t is a press release, a mission statement and to an extent it’s not editorial (although some of the most shared content online is news).
You better believe Skiddle does content marketing! You’re reading one example of it now! This is a B2B element of our content marketing strategy but of course we have a B2C content marketing strategy that’s mixed in with our editorial and native advertorial content.
You’ve got to decide what metrics are important to you when you are working on content, however from a content marketing pertspective some of the most important things to look out for are unique visitors, % of new visitors, time on site as well as offsite metrics such as links to a page and social media shares/likes etc.
Event content marketing for rankings
Some of the blogs and news articles we write at Skiddle are fairly obscure but that’s because we know the subjects we write about won’t be massively competitive so we’ll get high rankings and they’ll last a relatively long period of time – many of them won’t get a great deal of traffic however due to the specific nature of them they’ll generate consistent traffic that hopefully lead to an action, in Skiddle’s case as yours we’re looking for ticket sales when we talk to consumers, whereas communications with promoters is about signing them up and getting more tickets onsale.
How can I talk about my event differently?
Sometimes when you’re marketing online you can start to feel as though you’re scraping the barrel a bit – you’ve said just about everything you can ever say about the thing you’re promoting and all you end up with is blasting out the message “buy tickets now”, “last few tickets”, ” tickets selling fast”.
Remember it’s not enough online just to have a display ad that does the talking for you because people want an engaging personalized experience and it’s unlikely one catch all campaign can ever do that.
Getting Skiddle involved in your content marketing
In creating content and getting it out there it also gives other companies something to talk about and we’re always on the look out for editorial content to go on our news section, if you come up with some half-decent, interesting content about your event send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org and our editor will review it and see how we can Skiddle it up a bit to give our readership. Remember this isn’t about putting press releases out there, this is about speaking to people to building relationships in which they want to use your content and get it out there for you – in our case you can speak to our editor Jimmy or speak to your account manager to get them to lean on Jimmy!
Bear in mind we concentrate on those events we can make money from so before you do head over to the Promotion Centre and make sure your event is live and you’ve given us an allocation of tickets.