The reason for the blog is that there is a lack of awareness of the benefits of a ‘Content Marketing Strategy’. The idea of a ‘CMS’ is still pretty cutting edge so don’t be annoyed if you have arrived here not knowing exactly what one is. The lack of awareness of a ‘CMS’ isn’t a real surprise as the idea of a specific content led marketing strategy for business events is relatively new. Michael Heipel’s fantastic blog from April 2012 was one of the first and is still certainly still one of the best on the subject.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
People attend events owing to the content and a CMS puts that content (rather than the messaging about the event) at the heart of the marketing message. Your strategy for marketing your event is based on actual content: blogs being one well established use of content. But it’s not only about the content it’s about the timing. The content marketing strategy starts way in advance of your event and really never probably finishes!
A holistic successful marketing campaign will mix traditional marketing messages with content based marketing.
Do we need a content marketing strategy?
Developing and implementing a CMS certainly takes time but it takes a lot these days for someone to decide to attend your event. So earning their trust shouldn’t be easy. A CMS helps your attendees clear the many hurdles that sit between them and your event. And oh boy! Are those hurdles difficult to clear right now! Here’s a few of them:
– Your event is likely to be one of many competing for space in a crowded market
– You are likely to need your attendees to pay (and right now there are a myriad of problems behind that)
– If not to pay then they will at least need to spend time out the office
– How can your attendees be sure that they will receive what they want out of your event?
– You event may be a new player on the scene or perhaps at least a new event
So how do you differentiate yourself and help persuade your potential attendee to be an actual attendee? The answer in part is a Content Marketing Strategy.
Content it’s all about content
Here is what I consider to be the fundamentals behind a successful content marketing strategy:
1. Don’t just tell people what they will get at your event PROVE IT
2. You have to start directing your prospective attendees to great content before they have decided to attend your event
3. Most of that content should be exclusive to your event (the more the better)
4. Attendees have to play an active role in either deciding on some of the content or at least taking part in its creation
5. Content has to be generated by attendees at your event
6. The content on the day has to be fantastic
7. Content from your event has to be used after your event to continue the content marketing cycle
8. You have to ensure that the event/s that your CMS support are included in your messaging
Does it work?
As Michael explains in his blog it is now a major marketing strategy for the Word Newspaper Congress. I believe it has been a major factor behind the success of our event Tech-Fest. So there is some strong evidence already.
If the CMS approach works then only the events that have true, valuable and unique content will survive. And wouldn’t it be great if we could help separate the wheat from the chaff. A CMS is surely one of the best ways for us to do that.
And finally the best thing is that you can decide if it works or not.