Events provide the perfect opportunity to promote yourself and your offerings. You have a ready-made, targeted audience and a very specific time period during which you can stand out as a knowledge provider and a thought leader. It doesn’t matter whether you are running the event or simply attending – you can’t afford to miss your chance to promote yourself at an event.
Check out the five event-related content marketing hacks below and you’ll have a step up on the competition. Take this advice to heart and you’ll be able to develop a ton of content from a single event. What’s more, you’ll promote yourself from a bystander to a thought leader in one fell swoop.
Pay Attention to Hashtags and Keywords
These days, nearly every event has a hashtag associated with it. Starting a few months before an event begins and continuing for a month or so after the event, that hashtag will be in use, providing you with great conversation starters, a way to virtually meet new people, and the opportunity to share your knowledge.
Some larger events even have several hashtags. Take, for example, HubSpot’s INBOUND 2016 conference. While you could Tweet using the hashtag #INBOUND16, you could also use #HumansOfINBOUND and later #DogsOfINBOUND to jump into additional conversations and stand out from the crowd.
Who knew dogs would have the stage at INBOUND16?!
Don’t stop with event hashtags, however. Look for other keywords associated with the topic of the event. To continue with the INBOUND example, you could add #marketing, #Boston, #inboundmarketing, #socialmedia and more to your posts. In this way, you can bring yourself into a larger conversation, grow your following, and also potentially introduce more people to your event.
Here are some things you can share using your hashtag collection:
- Short quotes from sessions
- Photos of speakers
- Photos of interesting vendor offerings
- Commentary on speakers
- Responses to comments people make about presentations
Be aware that not everyone who follows the event hashtags is actually at the event. In fact, they may be looking for someone like you who can share valuable insights and commentary about the event, giving them a peek into the excitement even when they can’t attend in person.
When you share your view about the conference, you have the opportunity to provide real value and to gain a solid following as a result. Not only that, but you might even win prizes – like a free ticket to the following year’s event!
In addition to promoting myself, my Tweeting won me free tickets to INBOUND17!
Create Valuable Written Content
Have you ever tried live blogging from an event? It’s hard work, but it pays off.
Here are a few ways live blogging helps you promote yourself at an event:
- You supply valuable content to the folks attending the event who couldn’t make it to the session about which you are blogging
- You offer insights to people who couldn’t attend the event
- You provide a way to build a bond between you and the speaker/influencer who led the session
All of which combines to bring more traffic to your site and build your reputation as a “person in the know.”
While you can’t write your posts ahead of time, there are a few ways you can make live blogging easier and faster:
- Do your research. Look at the session summary ahead of time. Gather together a few related facts or links you can add to your piece that might not be included in the session itself.
- Create graphic templates. Download a photo of the speaker and prepare a template using a program like Canva. Put the photo on a single-color background, leaving plenty of room to add a quote from the speaker after the session.
- Take notes. Write down interesting snippets during the session, especially when statistics are shared. You can also share your notes via Twitter for an added live microblogging punch.
- Take pictures. Take photos of interesting slides as they are shared.
Once the session is done, bring your statistics and notes together into a single blog post. Enhance your post with the speaker quote, as well as any photos you took during the presentation. And there you go – your live blogging piece is ready to go!
Alternatively, you can use a tool like Storify to curate a series of Tweets together into a single story. Going this route is much faster because the content has already been created and you are just putting it together in a single timeline. In addition, anyone who is mentioned in your story will be notified and invited to view the piece. The negative is that while you will be promoting yourself as a thought leader, you won’t be driving people to your real estate (i.e., your website).
Events are full of opportunities to develop amazing graphics.
- Compare information from two sessions with opposing views on the same subject
- Highlight the most interesting statistics shared at the conference
- Show the demographics of the conference attendees
- Provide insights into the top social media quotes of each day
- Display the photos and bios of all of the speakers around a particular topic
- Yourself with speakers
- Speakers talking with other speakers
- Event attendees
- Booths with interesting graphics
- Fun giveaways
A collage I made of some of the awesome speakers at INBOUND16
Then share those montages within a social media post and/or blog post. Be sure to tag any people who are in the pictures for added social media oomph!
Live Stream Behind the Scenes
Everyone who can’t attend an event (and even some of those who can) wants to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Maybe they can access recordings of those sessions they couldn’t attend and see updates on the event organizer’s website. But you have the opportunity to provide something no one else can – live video from YOUR point of view.
For example, you can use live streaming video to:
- Interview speakers
- Ask session attendees for responses to what they saw
- Provide a view into evening parties
- Offer a tour of the event grounds or location
And once you’re done with your “live show,” you can use the videos in your after-show wrap-up pieces!
Share and Share Alike
No content marketing effort is complete without a bit of sharing. Of course, you have to share any pieces you create. This is not an “if you build it, they will come” effort. You constantly have to be driving traffic to your content pieces.
At the same time, it can’t be all about you. Curating content is nearly as important as creating content. Let your feed be the place everyone comes when they want to see the latest and greatest about the event, whether you’ve created it or not.
Among other things, you should share:
- Relevant blog posts that others have written
- Commentary from speakers and audience members
- Funny GIFs others have created
- Interesting graphics others have developed
Curating content allows you to:
- Develop bonds between you and those whose material you share
- Provide extra value to your audience
- Be known as generous in your praise of others
A good reputation and strong bonds between you and your audience are worth their weight in gold.
Promote Yourself at an Event – But Don’t Forget the End Game
Follow the five steps above and you will rock at using content marketing to promote yourself at any event. At the same time, remember to have your landing spot – most likely pages on your website – in tip top shape. Keep your content relevant and easy to digest. Make information on your website easy to find. Provide easy ways for visitors to contact you or an agent from your business via email, phone, visual engagement tools, and more. After all, the ultimate goal of your content marketing efforts is to grow your business and opportunities.
Do you have more ideas for content marketing hacks to promote yourself at an event? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me up at @HollyChessman.