By Ben Keeton and Sally McMahon
Major events are often the drivers of success for growing organizations. Not only are they a potential revenue generator, but they also offer a unique opportunity to make a big splash among members and potential partners. A successful annual event lets young organizations demonstrate the strong work they have done over the course of the past year.
However, events can be tricky to pull off. With limited resources (both financial and personnel), smaller organizations can be stretched to take the rights steps to execute an event and drive attendance. With a little outside expertise and a major focus on content marketing, you can help raise awareness about your event and exceed your event goals, ensuring successful growth and an increase in name recognition in the community.
Earlier this year, IGE Media had the opportunity to partner with the Kentucky Life Science Council (KLSC) to help drive attendance at the annual Derby Partnering Summit.
The Derby Partnering Summit (derbysummit.com) brings together students, advocates, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics and researchers from disciplines across the life sciences industry, including therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices, healthcare information technology, health and wellness technology, nutrition and agriculture. A diverse crowd, for sure.
The key to success is to identify areas of focus and establish a timeline for both parties to follow. There were event details to consider (hotel/venue, registration, catering), which we have experience with because of our annual MediStar Awards. There was also the larger task of reaching both new and established audiences. The first goal was to help identify the new target audience and establish a plan to engage their attention.
Why Content Marketing?
Why is content marketing important in this process? Because content marketing will allow KLSC to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
We took KLSC through our planning process using the three levels of content marketing. First, we helped them make a clear, executable plan by clarifying the story, developing goals and objectives, developing editorial calendars and style guides, creating content mapping and creating a channel strategy.
Next, we implemented that plan by populating the web site with valuable, relevant, and compelling content (both curated and original) using the style guide and writing guidelines and editorial calendar mentioned above. Then we posted content using content mapping and channel plans.
The result: a community of listeners was built by building an audience through e-news sign up, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We created conversations and established listening posts and responded to those conversations with additional content. We developed and implemented a promotion strategy as well as measured progress using the analytics pyramid.
How can we measure success? By using key content marketing metrics such as consumption metrics (How many people viewed or downloaded the content?); sharing metrics (How often is the content shared with others?); lead generation metrics (How often does the content result in some form of lead for the event?); and sales metrics (How often is the content resulting in event registrations?)
Start With Goals
For events, there can be many goals. Whatever your key goals are, write them down and make this the first step.
- Attract more attendees.
- Share ideas and promote collaboration.
- Drive more attendees to the event.
- Lower attendee churn.