How to Use In-Person Events to Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy
Building your very own tight-knit community is every entrepreneur’s dream.
After all, when you have a pool of people that adore you and believe in what your brand stands for, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
When you incorporate in-person events into your content marketing strategy, you open the door to endless community-building opportunities — both online and on the ground.
By focusing on your target audience and the needs they have, you can create events that expand your online and physical reach and gently nurture your leads closer to conversion.
If you’re ready to learn how to use in-person events to improve your content marketing strategy, you’ve come to the right spot.
In today’s article, we’re walking you through how to do just that in just a few simple steps.
Ready to learn more?
1. Plan, batch, organize, and post your event content
During in-person events, your marketing team may be busy doing a variety of tasks, but they’ll still need to keep a close eye out for potential content opportunities. That’s why it’s essential to put a plan in place before your team heads out to the event.
Here’s an example of a potential plan:
- Marketing employee 1: Shoots professional still images of the event
- Marketing employee 2: Shoots professional videos of the event
- Marketing employee 3: Interviews happy customers and collects social proof at the event
- Marketing employee 4: Builds relationships with the prospects that attended the event
- Marketing employee 5: Livestreams milestone moments at the event
Immediately after the event, ask your marketing team to cull through the content they gathered and choose their top picks. Then, use a social media scheduler tool to batch and schedule your event content to post on social media.
2. Use networking events to build content marketing connections
Building connections at networking events created for marketing professionals can help you find like-minded marketers that can help you improve your content strategy.
Before attending the event, consider using an online photo editor to create a digital presentation card or other visual aids so you can quickly use them to show others what you do.
When you attend networking events catered to marketing professionals, you have the opportunity to meet: influencers, affiliate marketers, writers, editors, photographers, designers, ad specialists, and more — all of which can help you uplevel your content.
For instance, locking arms with influencers can help you expand your online reach. And networking with affiliate marketers can help you scale your content marketing efforts with ease.
As with any relationship, take the time to nurture your professional connections before expecting a collab or business opportunity. Once you’ve established a healthy relationship, look for mutually beneficial and practical ways to work together to create engaging content.
3. Lean on social proof
In-person events can give you a huge advantage over all types of competitors, if executed the right way. You can use these opportunities to connect with your audience, build rapport, and gain valuable insights you can use to improve your content marketing strategy.
Once you’ve established trust, you can start asking for testimonials, reviews, and customer stories to build social proof that you can later implement into your content.
For instance, if you sell men’s hair growth products, you can ask your VIP customers to share their results with prospects at your event and post their results in their social media Stories with a branded hashtag. You can also ask your happy customers if they’d like to earn commissions as affiliate marketers to really get the momentum going.
A great way to encourage attendees to provide social proof is to host events that allow them to test out your products and/or services. For instance, if you own a real estate firm, consider offering a free pre-approval quote. If you’re a banking company attending a university-wide event, consider educating students on loan repayment tips and showcase your student loan calculator so they can quickly figure out how much they owe and how to effectively plan to pay it off. Or, if you run a bakery, consider handing out free cupcakes and cookies.
After the prospect uses your free service or tries a free product, politely and professionally ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving you a quick two-sentence testimonial, rating, or if they can post about your brand on social media using a dedicated branded hashtag.
4. Don’t forget about virtual and hybrid events, too
While we’ve been placing a focus on in-person events, it’s important not to forget about virtual and hybrid events, either.
For instance, TradeZella, a trading journal, has a large community where members share their trading performance, tips, and investment options in group chats and Zoom — and then later, on social media, too.
This is an incredibly creative way to nurture audiences and collect valuable insights you can later use to elevate your content and build brand authority.
You can also live stream your in-person events so anyone can attend them regardless of where they are in the world.
5. Build momentum with generous discounts, contests, and raffles
Give prospects a reason to attend your event by offering generous discounts, contest entries, and raffle submissions in exchange for their attendance.
Don’t forget to build momentum for the event using social media, email marketing, and your blog before it starts so you can reach a wide audience. And of course, be sure to create content at the event so you can later post it on your blog, social media, and in your newsletter.
When choosing prizes, focus on ones you know your prospects and customers would love. For instance, if you’re a career coach and your financial assessment package always receives glowing reviews, then consider offering a new customer special or generous discount off that package.
Or, if you own a travel agency, consider entering attendees into a raffle to win an all-expense paid trip using your best-selling tropical island package.
6. Use problem solving themes
Create a series of events focused on solving your audience’s problems. You can then live stream these events on your podcast show, social media channels, or record them to use later on your blog, website, and in email marketing.
You can also repurpose content from these events to use as blog posts, ultimate guides, and ebooks.
Here’s an example of problem solving events:
If you’re a wedding planner, you might set up the following series of problem-solving events for your target audience:
- 10 Do’s and don’ts when looking for your dream wedding venue
- How to plan your vows in a weekend
- How to plan a wedding guestlist with ease
- Monster in law got you down? How to handle intrusive inlaws when planning your wedding
- 5 mistakes you can’t make when you’re planning a destination wedding
- How to finalize your wedding theme and color palette
- How to finalize your bridesmaid dresses
- 8 vendors every bride in the NYC area can’t live without
Events like these are invaluable to your target audience as they can show up for free and walk away with tons of insights that can alleviate unnecessary wedding stress.
Once they realize how much stress relief they can enjoy from just your free events, they’ll start to wonder how much more value you can provide if they invest in an official wedding planning package.
To make the most of this tip, be sure to pitch your products and services to your audience after each event to boost your lead scoring. You can also ask if they’d like to be notified by email for future events, in which case you can add them to your prospect-nurturing funnel and gently nudge them toward conversion.
Every entrepreneur dreams of having their own community one day — a tight-knit group of happy customers and curious prospects to continuously nurture and sell to.
When an entrepreneur builds a community, there’s no limit to the goals they can achieve.
And that’s why in-person events are so effective at elevating your content marketing strategy.
When you incorporate in-person events into your content marketing strategy, you’re paving the way to limitless community-building opportunities.
By focusing on your audience’s core needs, you can grow your outreach efforts and build trust with both prospects and established customers.
If you’re ready to use in-person events to improve your content marketing strategy, we hope this article has given you the boost you needed.
This article was written and co-developed by Kelly Moser, co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era and content manager at Login Lockdown.
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