Content marketing: an essential marketing tool for your event

As an event organiser, your success depends on visitors – both the number of visitors and their ‘quality’.  So how do you ensure these things? Social media is useful for raising the profile of your event.  Here are some tips on how to spread word of your event among your target group using social media.

 #1 Do a baseline measurement

If you are planning to do social media properly, it’s essential to make it easy to see what the returns are. Performing a baseline measurement based on the current situation or the previous event is a great starting point.  How many followers do you have? How many likes? What is the proportion of social media traffic to your event website? And which social media channels does it come from? What is the reach and the click-through ratio? And so on. Partly on this basis, you can also formulate the KPIs in your plan (see #2) even better. Of course, you need to repeat this measurement, for example periodically or one month after each event.

 #2 Make a plan

Step 2 is to make a plan. A well-planned approach produces the best results.  Your plan will need to be a practical one covering all facets that are important for social media in connection with your event. That may mean a social media plan, but a detailed section in your current marketing or event plan will also be fine. The point is to ensure synergy between offline and online and between online and social media. The inclusion of elements such as choice of social media channels, choice of tools, determination of type of content (for each social media channel), webcare and planning is indispensable.

 #3 Draw up an inventory of accounts and tools

In the plan, you have worked out what you are going to do, and how and when you are going to do it. You should next draw up an inventory of all social media accounts and tools you want in order to check whether and to what extent these are present and up to date. Much of this activity consists of one-off tasks that you will no longer need to think about afterwards. It is of course also important to enquire about or even go in search yourself for a variety of new tools, techniques and tactics to make life considerably easier for you and/or your event organisation.

 #4 Draw up an inventory of content

The plan has been made, you’ve noted down your ideas regarding content and all your tools and accounts have been set up and optimised. The next task is to collect your content. That means whatever texts, images, infographics, photos and other material you already have that can be used and whatever else can be sought out, collected or created.  That might include content from previous editions, as well as content from partners, participants or other stakeholders of your event. There’s no need for you to do everything yourself!

 #5 Write out your content

Write out your content and draw up a concrete schedule. This content is what we call generic content: it is not tied to current events. Over time, you can supplement this generic content with topical content, because it is of course also important to reflect current developments. Barometers recording the number of stand-holders, speakers and visitors are always nice, as are relevant trends and developments in the market. In addition, you can also claim your own hashtag (but check this on Twitter of course!), set up a promotional carousel with stakeholders and devise targeted campaigns and actions.

 #6 Phase your content

Broadly speaking, there are three phases: before the event, during the event and after the event. Beforehand, you should approach potential and confirmed stand-holders, identify your target group on social media and put together the different content flows. As you approach the event, generating enthusiasm and the desire to take action in the right visitors who are active on social media becomes increasingly important.

During the event, the focus is on the programming, with speakers, interviews with stand-holders and visitors, live polls about the specific components of the event and of course video. Once the event is over, you need to consider the summary, the event’s reach and visitor satisfaction: in short, your focus is retrospective. This post-event communication can also be used as the starting point for the next event!

 7# Get busy!

‘Content is king’, as the saying goes, and of course the content of your message is important. However, there are many other (repeat) activities that you can perform every week in order to make your event really world-famous via social media, including  following your target groups, blocking inappropriate accounts, liking positive messages, checking for new responses/private messages, running campaigns, getting involved in conversations, cleaning up inactive accounts and reusing successful messages. In other words, being successful on social media is mainly about getting busy – and of course constant fine-tuning!

How well are you doing?

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Facts and figures:
  • The average share of traffic from social media is around 5%. For KYSM clients, that share is between 15% and 60%.
  • Events for which KYSM takes care of social media always have a reach of more than 300,000
  • KYSM reaches at least 50 times more than the number of followers and fans of social media accounts
  • On average, between 5% and 35% of messages containing a link are clicked on (Google AdWords has a CTR of 1% to 5%, and Facebook ads less than 0.25%)
Author Reinoud Bliek is an entrepreneur at Linkin Business since 2007. Linkin Business is an agency for marketing and strategie. In 2015 he started social media agency Kickstart Your Social media (KYSM). At KYSM Reinoud is the person that monitors the positioning and the distinctiveness of the company and of its customers. Moreover, he ensures that social media becomes an extension of the marketing and business strategy resulting in structual better results.