The promise of professional growth. The excitement of striking new connections. The anticipation of hearing and learning from industry legends and up-and-comers. The marketing industry conference and event circuit is an absolute gold mine of opportunity.
What’s one of our favorite ways to strike-it-rich at any industry event? Panning for content gold.
The content marketing gold rush that started roughly a decade ago has content marketers stamping, picking, drilling, and grinding away at content creation so they can break-ground with their audience and fend off the competition. And industry events can be boomtowns, not only allowing you to make the most of your time, budget, and resources—but also ideate, create, amplify, and repurpose compelling content that will resonate with your audiences.
How do you uncover golden content nuggets at industry events? Let’s dig in.
Before the Rush, Put Your Pre-Prospector’s Hat On
Before rushing to golden conference lands, it’s critical to pre-prospect your mission to ensure you have the right information, focus, and tools to unearth content opportunities.
Some of the actions to take here include:
- Dig up event-related hashtags so you can keep track of what’s happening before, during, and after the event, as well as engage with speakers and attendees. Pay close attention to specific themes or topics being shared. This can be the start of content ideation.
- Strike a connection with speakers, presenters, and attendees on social media and start to engage with them. This could not only help you land some new friends before the event, but also lay the foundation for amplifying the event-inspired content you create.
- Survey the schedule of events and pre-select the digging fields (e.g. keynote addresses and breakout sessions) you want to go to. Pay special attention to sessions that have the most promise for helping you grow as a marketer—not simply create content. If a session has the potential to inspire you, it’s likely that you’ll be able to parlay that into great content for your audience, whether they’re fellow marketers or chief technology officers.
If you thought content gold could only be found when you’re physically at the event, that’s fools gold. Pre-event content creation is a golden opportunity for any marketer.
“Reach out to the conference organizer, sponsors or speakers at the event that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews,” Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing’s CEO and a seasoned conference speaker and prospector, suggests. “A series of interviews can be branded with a common theme and header image to let readers know there’s a connection to a conference.”
The key here? Choosing speakers that align to the topics and brands of interest to your unique community.
Tip for creating #ContentGold around industry events: Reach out to organizers, sponsors, or speakers that represent topics and brands of interest to your community to do pre-conference interviews. @leeodden Click To Tweet
Once Your Arrive, Stake Your Claim
You’ve arrived in the land of golden content opportunity. You have your content prospecting plan in place. Now it’s time to sharpen your marketing pickaxe and start digging up the field. This is where you stake your content claim.
To break-ground on content mining and creation, we suggest that you:
- Get to your digging fields early to get a primo spot. This will ensure you can clearly hear and see the presentation, and give you a better photo opportunity. All of this is critical for creating content on the fly.
- Leverage flakes of speaker and presenter insights to create content gold in real-time. Whether you’re live-blogging or live-tweeting, keep an ear out for inspiring quotes and insights that you can share quickly with your audience. (If you’ve done your pre-prospecting diligence, it should be easy to mention/tag speakers in your social media posts. This will add credibility and make it easier for speakers to engage with and amplify your content.)
- Participate in Q&A sessions to extract nuggets of insight that can enhance your content. Most speakers try to leave time at the end for audience questions. Use this as an opportunity to ask a specific question that can not only add more depth to your content, but also something that your audience would truly want to know.
Whether you missed your opportunity to ask a burning question or you’re interested in some one-on-one time with a speaker, take the time before or after their session to introduce yourself. You may just strike gold.
“Many speakers will also share their slides with you (if you ask nicely), which can be a fantastic resource for live blogging or taking information back to your team,” Ashley Zeckman, TopRank Marketing’s Senior Director of Digital Strategy, speaker, and seasoned live-blogger, shares.
Once the Rush is Over, Take Your Content to Repurposing Boomtown
Think that content gold isn’t possible after a conference has panned out? Guess again. Gold fever can strike again. How? Repurposing.
- Those quotable moments you pushed out via Twitter? Roundup up your favorites and repackage them as a conference wrap-up post. Or leverage one quote that directly speaks to a pain-point, attitude, or question your target audience can identify with, and build almost net-new content around it.
- That one-on-one question you asked a speaker? Share it out on your social networks and ask for your audience to weigh in, too. (Oh, and then, leverage that UGC for another blog post or two.)
- Those photos you took? Bring them to life by putting them into a video slideshow and sharing with your network.
- Those interesting topics or common themes that arose during your networking interactions or learning sessions? Run them through your editorial process to determine whether they’re a fit for your audience, opportunities, and objectives.
Whether you feel a conference produced dust, flakes, or enormous golden content nuggets, don’t underestimate the value of the content that you have gathered.
As I recently shared in a post (which coincidentally covered how to repurpose content marketing leftovers … and was inspired by another piece on repurposed content cobbler, which happened to feature one of my favorite conference quotes from Jay Acunzo):
“All content—fresh or seemingly expired—has the potential to be carved into something new and fresh.”
See. Content gold right there.
Strike Content Gold at Your Next Event
Seasoned content marketing writer or not, industry conferences and events are golden content ideation, creation, amplification, and repurposing opportunities for every marketer.
So, as you saddle up for your next conference, remember that content gold awaits you—if you’re willing to claim it.
Speaking of conferences? TopRank Marketing’s next stop is B2B Marketing Exchange from Feb. 25-27, 2019 in sunny Scottsdale, AZ. Our own Lee Odden will lead a session on leveraging influencers and interactive content to take B2B content from boring to bold. In addition, myself and Ashley Zeckman will be on-hand to learn, connect, and, of course, create content gold.
Will we see you there? Tell us in the comments section below.
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