Think of every professional event you have ever attended. What hooked you into going?
Was it the speakers?
Was it the food?
Perhaps it was the fact that they were including shiny ballpoint pens in the goody bags for each attendee. Whatever the reason, you likely learned this information beforehand through some form of content marketing.
Whether through emails, media attention, social media posts, or blogs, content marketing ensures the buzz about your event will spread and attract guests to fill the seats.
To inspire your own event content marketing efforts, here are three B2B events that ran successful content marketing campaigns to build and grow their attendance!
Dubbed by CNBC as the “Super Bowl of software,” Salesforce’s annual gala, Dreamforce, is the largest software industry event in the United States. This year’s event is expected to draw a crowd of about 150,000 people to San Francisco, California, but it didn’t get that big overnight and content marketing played a pivotal role in its growth.
Dreamforce has hosted big names such as Neil Young, Hillary Clinton, Jessica Alba, and even Bruno Mars to draw attendees in for their massive event and the buzz around these stars ensures press and media coverage. But if you don’t have the money to bring in an A-lister for your event, look for alternatives to drive conversation about your event. For instance, is there a locally-famous cover band you could fete? Or local media celebrities (like Parks and Rec’s local talk show host Joan Callamezzo)?
Taking advantage of social media, Dreamforce also markets their event on their respective accounts for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as encouraging live tweeting the entire event. They even created a Youtube channel dedicated solely for marketing the event, covering everything from previous event highlights to preparing for the upcoming gala.
With the combination of marketing their big names, using savvy video content, and their slick social media campaign, Dreamforce has earned their status as the Super Bowl of the tech world.
Content Marketing World
Documenting the content marketing efforts of the biggest content marketing event in the United States is certainly an interesting proposition: get ready for some content marketing-ception!
Content Marketing World (CMW) just wrapped up its 2015 session and my fellow co-worker, Rachel Burger, attended the event and said she learned more in five days than she would have in a year of doing research on her own. But would she have even known about the event had CMW not engaged in such a successful content marketing campaign?
Maybe, but most likely not.
CMW had a very successful content marketing strategy.
Their strategy included their own blog, which CMW regularly updates with news about event changes, photos, and other reports on the event. CMW also had several big names to market the event including Nick Offerman (also known as Ron Swanson from the hit show Parks and Recreation) as well as actor John Cleese.
Taking advantage of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter, they were able to engage their followers with blog posts and other purpose-built content to bring in a crowd of over 3,500 attendees!
Finally, we make it to Oracle Open World. While this was once the biggest software industry event (a mantle now claimed by Dreamforce), it’s still a popular force to be reckoned with. In fact, this year the open source giant has big plans to step up the modernization of the conference and even announced that Elton John and Beck will be performing for the Oracle Appreciation Event.
Just like the other two major events, Oracle OpenWorld makes the most of their social media presence on Facebook and Twitter to market event sessions and speakers to different types of attendees. A new smart marketing tactic for Oracle has been their commitment to promoting the event as “zero-waste” on their blog, making it the environmentally friendly choice for software/tech events!
Oracle OpenWorld was able to bring in 60,000 attendees from 145 countries in 2014.
All three of these events have embraced a similar content marketing strategy, combining social media, content blogging, and promoting big names which has put them ahead in their respective areas!
How has content marketing affected your event promotion? Have you had success with your own content marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below!