We are all looking for some “precedented times” and no one more than those in the event planning and event marketing industry. Everything from tradeshows and meetings to concerts to Las Vegas residencies to Broadway shows has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The events industry was hit harder than most. When there are no events, what do those whose job involves event promotion do? Most likely, to keep up with cancellations and changes to new ways of doing things, there is a mind shift that takes place. There are adjustments to how you approach planning and marketing an event.
Event marketing is always changing, but what can you expect in the future in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? Keep reading to learn what the future of event marketing may look like.
Virtual Events Going Forward
In-person events will return but virtual events will be a big part of the events market in the future. Why not? We have the technology and companies have seen it work well for them out of necessity over the past 14 or so months.
Webinars, live streams, virtual reality events, and webcasts make virtual attendance possible and have over the years. Now it’s more mainstream to do things that way. It saves money and travel time too.
Venues may have drastically different rules regarding capacity. More space is needed to keep people separated so that will mean having fewer people attend events.
The event planner will have to pay attention to regional regulations. Rules differ from state to state and country to country. Can you host indoor events? Is there only a certain number of people allowed? What are the space requirements?
Insure Your Event
Putting on an event is a huge investment. People are hesitant and moving cautiously about scheduling meetings and events. When at one time insurance protected you in the event of an earthquake, hurricane, flooding, or cancellation, now you have to worry about an unpredictable global pandemic. A discussion with the venue should take place before making any commitments.
More for Your Money
In order to bounce back, venues must realize that following the lockdowns, businesses may not have the budgets they used to have to put on events. Tight budgets mean planning carefully and trying to get more for your money and not spending frivolously.
The Future of Event Marketing
Now that you know what the future of event marketing may look like, what are your thoughts? Will things ever be the same or will virtual and digital events be the new norm? Let’s wait and see how new regulations will impact the industry.
Are you looking for marketing services that work and will take your business to the next level? We at CommCore Marketing are here for you. Whether you need assistance with project and brand management, online and social media marketing, offline marketing, graphic design, or website maintenance, the CommCore Marketing team is here to help! Contact us today.
The answer to this question is not an easy one. Unfortunately, there is just no cookie-cutter strategy for how frequently you should blog.
However, there are several points to keep in mind when seeking success with your blog…
You Have to Build a Reader Base
As a new blog, you will have to put some time into the content. Blogging is not a “build it and they will come” type of industry.
The internet is saturated with content, and you have to work to get your voice heard and noticed. Presence is key– let the internet know you are here and you have something of value to offer.
If you are starting out, you can post anywhere from once per month to a few times per month. This way, you are committed to getting your blog out there but not stressing yourself out.
If you’re running a more established blog, you have more flexibility. You can post once a day, a few times a week, once a week, or occasionally.
In any case, you will want to stay consistent with your output. The more content you put up, the easier it is for you to be discovered and for people to engage with you. Consistency helps hold people’s focus.
It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
What matters more than how much content you put out is the quality of content you put out.
Why do people come to read your blog in the first place? Because they are seeking some sort of value. It’s not of any concern to your readers how much content you’re publishing if it doesn’t offer something of substance.
Quality content is what generates engagement. Quality content is what generates leads.
Remember that the purpose of content marketing is to offer value and demonstrate expertise to your target market. This can only be accomplished if your content is delivering that purpose.
Blog Strategically, Not Just Frequently
Sure, blogging with some sort of frequency is important. If you consider that your content is your product, you will want to keep offering it so you keep people coming back. The success of content is measured in views, engagement, shares, and links. You need to keep this in mind as you dedicate time to your blog. It’s not always about creating a new product– or content –it’s about driving up those metrics.
One in ten blog posts is compounding, meaning that organic searches increase its traffic over time (HubSpot, 2016). And over its lifetime, one compounding blog post creates as much traffic as six decaying posts (HubSpot, 2016). Because of this, HubSpot dedicates time to update their old posts to capitalize on this traffic trend. So blog success isn’t necessarily dependent on your posting frequency, but more so the strategy you use to drive traffic.
Also keep in mind that the more content you publish, the more search engines will notice and the more you will have to work with. But at the same time, you don’t want to publish so much that you burn your readers or yourself out. The strategy is key in blogging.
Pro tip: Make use of guest bloggers, who can provide great content for you on your blog and freshen things up for your readers.
What is the Major Source for Your Blog Traffic?
Search engines, social media, or direct traffic? What source gets you the most traffic?
Search engines favor longer-form, quality articles. If they’re really good pieces they will continue to rank in search engines. If you get the majority of traffic from search engines, you can get away with posting less.
Social media, on the other hand, is far more demanding. If you get most of your traffic from social networks, you will need to be posting at a higher frequency. And that content is typically better if it’s short-form, in listicle format.
If you get most of your traffic from email subscribers, your frequency will fall in between posting to please search engines and posting to please social.
All of the most successful blogs have experimented with the frequency of their posting at one time or another in order to understand what schedule best suits their audience.
We strongly encourage you to do the same. Every blog is unique and what will work best for each blog is unique as well.
Every blog is different, but every blog must produce quality content if it has any hope at succeeding. Quality will always win over quantity. The strategy is more important than just frequency.
Bear in mind the source of your traffic when considering the frequency, but embrace that the internet is a fickle being and experimentation is the best approach to learning what works best for your blog.
Back when ranking on search engines was the main motivator for content marketing, marketers were all about written content.
Now it’s all about video. In fact, almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. So there’s a reason that every single major media platform is becoming video focused…
Facebook users consume 100 million hours of video every day (TechCrunch, 2016)
82% of Twitter users watch video content on the platform (Twitter, 2015)
45% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy into the next year (HubSpot, 2018)
45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. (HubSpot, 2016)
When Instagram introduced videos, more than 5 million were shared in 24 hours (AdWeek, 2013)
Video will represent 82% of all IP traffic in 2021. (Business Insider, 2017)
When it comes down to it, video just offers a whole different level of connection to your audience. But there are deeper reasons beyond just jumping on the video marketing trend that are of benefit to businesses.
If you haven’t started using video as a part of your marketing strategy yet, here are four reasons why you should.
1. Video Educates
Here’s the thing about inbound marketing: it all starts with awareness and education.
After the awareness stage of the A.C.E. funnel, buyers want to learn more. And what do you typically do when you want to learn more? You hit up Google. But are most people more likely to read an article about it or watch a video?
According to Pearson Prentice Hall, 65% of the population consists of visual learners.
The overwhelming majority actively seek out video visuals to educate themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about creating an awesome blog, but the statistics speak for themselves. The video format is simply where most people seek value.
So it’s really silly not to give the people what they want— which is videos. I talk a lot about social distribution and how to get your value out there. Video is indisputably pertinent to distributing value.
If you want people to be educated by what you have to offer, then put it in a video.
2. Video Earns and Retains Audience Attention
55% of people consume video content thoroughly (HubSpot, 2016).
We at The Modern Marketer have discussed how short the average attention span when it comes to reading articles. Most people only read about 1/5 to 1/3 of an article. So that being said, and considering the statistic above, you would think capturing attention with video marketing is a breeze, right?
Just because you create videos doesn’t mean people will pay attention. Just like with written content, it doesn’t mean you can simply create it and people will flock to engage with it. Millions of videos are being uploaded every day, so there’s a lot of competition to consider.
Content is still king. You have to go deeper to provide value that’s worth people’s attention. You have to earn that attention still.
The best strategy for grabbing that attention through video is to create it consistently. You still want to be providing value that your audience wants to see, but by keeping it up consistently you can engage people at different angles and perspectives and effectively cut through the competition.
Consistency will always be key with the content you put out in any context. But video is especially crucial to invest in consistently because of the ROI. 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI (Adobe, 2015).
So the benefits of video really do pay off. You just have to be able to consistently deliver that value.
3. The Most Intimate Form of Marketing
Video is by far the most intimate of all contextual formats. Through what other medium do you have the opportunity to be as raw, transparent, and upfront as you can be with video (particularly live video)? Certainly not through written content.
Marketing is all about storytelling. Video goes beyond just the intimacy of showing an audience your body language and the way you speak. It teaches people how you think.
That aspect of video is perhaps the most significant benefit of all. If you’re on the path of thought leadership, this is the best format to really put your brain on display and show people some of the deepest value you have to offer.
And over time as your thoughts change and evolve, this will reflect in your videos. People get to see your story play out in front of them.
Your growth as a brand and as a person is so well documented in video that if you lost everything tomorrow— your audience, your clients, your advocates —you have an entire archive of your digital assets there to provide value.
Video truly personifies who you are as a brand and documents your story well beyond any other format.
4. Video Gives You a Reputation for Wisdom
No matter where you are in business, whether you’re just starting up, you’ve been in business for years, or maybe you haven’t even started yet— you have an idea.
Putting that idea out there is an integral step to brand awareness, right? So when you put that idea out there through video format, you’re presenting an opportunity to demonstrate to an audience a type of value that is very seldom replicated: wisdom.
But it doesn’t come right away, and it doesn’t come to everyone. Everyone can talk a big game. Everyone can call shots and miss. But if you really, truly know what you’re talking about you can amaze people by speaking your vision into existence.
Value can also be heightened in videos when you speak about a trend. People always want to hear about the latest thing and what it will do for them. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. People always want the latest information.
That relevant value does wonders for your reputation and adds value to your brand as a whole through wisdom.
If you haven’t been convinced yet that video marketing is for you, then you’re making a big mistake. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (Aberdeen, 2015).
Don’t hesitate to include video into your marketing strategy: no matter your industry, video has the opportunity to impart value and heighten your marketing game like nothing else.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action (Content Marketing Institute).
Content can mean:
Social media posts
Flyers and other print material
Content in any of the above formats can provide value to an audience. And if it is both relevant and consistent enough, it will drive profitable action from your audience.
Content Marketing Actually Offers Something Your Customers Want
Traditional marketing is becoming far less effective while content marketing is on the rise. Why?
Because content marketing provides what traditional marketing doesn’t: value and relevance.
When you understand how the buying cycle works, you can start to see where content marketing succeeds and traditional marketing falls short:
Awareness: The customer becomes aware there is a solution to a need they may have
Research: Upon becoming aware of a solution, the customer will educate themselves on offerings of solution
Consideration: After deciding they have obtained enough information about the solution, the customer will compare and evaluate the tangible solution offered by different vendors
Purchase: Once the customer has selected a vendor to fulfill their need, they will move forward with the transaction
Traditional marketing is good for the last two steps— offering an option, a sales pitch, and a call to action for how to buy the product or service.
Traditional marketing is also known as push marketing which is all about pushing the ad message out in front of anybody.
Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing
In push marketing, there’s no room for the first two steps of the buying cycle.
But with content marketing, the first two steps are the most important. The aim is to raise awareness and then educate an audience on a solution they may not have previously considered.
By tapping into the first two steps of the buying cycle, content marketing does a great service to consumers by offering them honest, valuable, and relevant information. There are no strings attached. There is no luring and no shady sales tactics in content marketing. It is honest and upfront.
This is why this type of marketing is otherwise known as pull marketing. Because it is designed to attract customers through search engine optimization, which allows the consumer to find brands through relevant searches.
The consumer is pulling marketing to themselves that they find relevant and of value.
When the first two steps of the buying cycle are accomplished by you, the marketer, you have established ethos with the consumer. With that trust, you can establish customer loyalty far more effectively than any form of traditional marketing can.
So How Do You Get Started?
First, you need a plan. Like with any marketing, it’s not wise to just throw money at something and trust that it will work simply because someone told you it would.
Ask yourself these questions:
What am I trying to achieve with content marketing?
What media make the most sense for my target audience?
Which social platforms do my target audience spend the most time on?
What kind of content schedule can I commit to?
What kind of content should I create?
When you have answers to these questions, you have the skeleton of a marketing plan in place, which is all you really need. You shouldn’t wait and dither around until the cows come home. Having some content out there is better than having none.
So then, it comes down to execution.
You have a few options when it comes to executing your content marketing.
Do it yourself
Assign the role to someone in-house
Hire a professional content marketer to do it for you
Pros & Cons of DIY
Saves you money
You have full control of your brand voice
You have full control over your content distribution
Huge time commitment
Takes a lot of energy away from your business
You have to stay up to date on the best content marketing practice like SEO and the best times to post
Pros & Cons of Doing it In-House
Might save you money
Takes the job off your plate so you can focus on building your business
Might be more reliable than doing it yourself
Takes away some control of your brand voice
Your in-house staff person may or may not be a good writer, and they may or may not have the aforementioned skills required to be a good content marketer
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Professional
You get high-quality professional work
You get someone who’s highly considerate of your brand voice and your target audience
You work with someone who understands the context of a larger content strategy with your goals in mind
You relinquish a lot of control of your brand voice
A good writer might not quite fit your budget if you’re not fully invested in content marketing
Some freelancers will charge you per hour, some will charge you per word,
but many professionals with marketing experience will charge per project
We all struggle from time to time with keeping an audience engaged, particularly when it comes to the Internet. There is such a vast amount of content on the Internet that you really have to produce something uniquely enticing in order to cut through the clutter. This can be very challenging. And because your relevance depends on regular activity on your social media sites, it’s even more imperative that you learn how to consistently create quality content. Here are some tips:
Create Original Content
One of the best ways to distinguish yourself in your industry is by creating something original. This means offering a new and fresh perspective and not dishing up the same ideas that have already been written.
Originality is not only important in terms of branding but also Google searches. The Google algorithm will lower the ranking for pages with content that’s simply copied. So be creative!
Pull Them in with a Good Headline
Journalism 101 will teach you that the headline is more important than the content itself. According to Copyblogger, 80% of people will read your headline but only 20% will actually go on to read your content!
On the Internet where there is endless content to access, you only have a few seconds to pull a reader in as they are scrolling down an endless stack of content. People will only read something that sparks their interest. So you have to make that headline a grabber! Phrases that make the content sound like need-to-know information are best.
Ask yourself: What sort of title would make you want to read a piece?
Cut out the fluff
No one really wants to read the extra embellishments that add body to a story– especially when there is already so much out there to capture their attention. People want to get right into the good stuff that drew them in the first place. So cut to the chase, keep it brief and to the point.
Keep it Accurate, Keep it Credible
Nothing ruins a blog faster than discovering inaccuracies. So when you cite facts, be sure to include credible sources. Consider where you’re getting your information and, after you determine it’s a credible source, you can include the link directly in your writing. This not only provides an opportunity to boost your authority on the subject matter but it also helps Google figure out how to better categorize your content in searches.
Make Your Readers Think
After reading your headline and deciding to read your content, the reader will decide within the first few sentences whether or not they want to continue reading. You must explain in your introduction why they should care and what the reader should expect to read in your piece. Be up front and be creative.
Telling stories is a great way to tie your content together and keep your readers engaged. If a reader finishes your piece with new thoughts or questions in mind, you have done a fantastic job.
Make it Practical
While reading an article by an expert is an engaging act in itself, it’s difficult to take advice unless you understand how to use it. After you have introduced an idea, be sure to provide examples so that the reader has a better idea of how they can apply your advice. After all, your goal in writing is to help others accomplish something.
Deliver Answers… and Quickly!
The reason someone clicks on your article is generally not to just hear your musings. You’ve sold them with your headline and now they want to know what else you’re selling. Don’t beat around the bush or they will be gone in the click of a button. Be direct. Provide answers. Give your reader a reason to believe you know what you’re talking about.
Add Imagery and Videos
Supplementing text with a visual is an excellent way to better illustrate your point. Plus, many people are more stimulated by visuals. The social media app Instagram surpassed 50 million users in one year (the fastest growing media platform in history) due to its unique nature of an all-visual type of social media. People are simply drawn to photos and videos. So why not use that to your advantage?
Ask Your Readers
Sometimes the best way to find out what will interest your readers is just to ask them. Getting their feedback will not only help you generate ideas but you will also build rapport with your readers giving them the impression that you are easily accessible and helpful.
Examine Your Stats
The great thing about social media is that most platforms come with built-in metrics that help you gain insight into your viewership. Looking at page views, clicks, comments and shares can help you reflect on what your readers enjoyed the most and the least. By looking at your landing page and outgoing traffic, you can see what kind of topics and searches people used to get to and from your page. All of this information can help to define your future content.
Remember, a lot of content writing is about trial and error. It is important to try many different things and see what works and what doesn’t — and when and why. The more regularly you post, the more you will learn.