When developing a content marketing strategy, it’s all too easy to limit content to the usual suspects – for example, blog posts, case studies, white papers and social media posts. While these are all great ways to get your brand’s message out to current and prospective customers, they represent only a small portion of the potential to engage with these audiences.
So, what other channels are available to help your brand optimize its reach and influence? One approach that’s growing by leaps and bounds is live event marketing. This type of content marketing gets you face-to-face with your target audiences, offering a unique opportunity to establish rapport while also providing the chance to learn more about these audiences.
Live events – whether webinars, livestreaming from tradeshows and industry meetings, Instagram stories, Facebook videos or live Tweeting – is the new go-to channel for growing brand visibility. And, savvy marketers are taking notice. According to Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks and Trends, 80 percent of mid-to-senior level marketers said live events are critical to their organization’s success, and 31 percent responded that event marketing was more effective than digital, print or email marketing.
Lights. Cameras. Action!
Following are just a few examples of live events that can elevate your marketing efforts. Although these ideas can be implemented by any company looking to grow brand awareness, they are particularly well-suited for small to mid-sized Building Products Brands with more modest budgets and resources.
Local Brand Events. Think about holding a brand event featuring local influencers speaking about the latest industry happenings and trends. For example, arrange to have a Design-Build influencer speak at a local NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) or NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) chapter meeting. Because these events are more focused, they are also more targeted… making it easy to seek out and connect with customers and prospects.
You can livestream from the event (more on that later) and also create a video, providing valuable promotional content that you can repurpose after the event has concluded. In addition, influencers will typically develop their own content around the event and share it via their social channels – helping to endorse your message, generate additional brand awareness and connect you with a broader audience.
Webinars. A webinar is a great way to establish your brand’s thought leadership, with the added benefit of generating leads. In most instances, attendees are required to pre-register for the webinar, which provides a convenient way to build your email list while also allowing you to send targeted content… prior to and following the event.
Why not develop a webinar series around a broad array of content ideas? However, remember that it’s crucial to offer content that participants will perceive as valuable – for example, in-depth training, detailed case studies or white paper research results.
Fortunately, today’s technology makes it easy and cost-effective to host a webinar. To optimize your investment, consider recording the webinar, which will allow participants to download it and listen again at their leisure. Or, make the webinar available on your website and via an e-newsletter as gated content.
Livestreaming. Livestreaming video is another approach to online events that has become increasingly popular. According to a survey by Livestream and New York Magazine, 80 percent of respondents said they would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are making it easy to livestream from virtually anywhere.
Industry tradeshows, in particular, provide plenty of opportunities to livestream – whether you conduct a virtual tour of the event for those who didn’t attend, or showcase the happenings at your booth. You might even consider conducting a live podcast or hosting a Twitter chat.
Livestreaming is a valuable vehicle for creating authentic audience engagement and building relationships… especially if you monitor comments as they come in and respond to them in real time.
That’s a Wrap
When added to a traditional content strategy, live events can help to generate increased interest and excitement around your Building Products Brand. An added advantage of event marketing is the ability to put the content to work long after the event itself has concluded. Ways to effectively leverage online events include:
- Developing and distributing a post-event e-newsletter that recaps the event and includes a link to video highlights
- Creating a blog post summarizing the event, that also shares interviews and video clips of event speakers and participants (testimonials)
- Offering visitors to your website the opportunity to download video and audio recordings or podcasts from the event
Live events have become a critical part of Building Products Brands’ content marketing strategy. If your team hasn’t yet implemented a live event strategy, it’s time to consider adding it to the mix.