The following is a guest post from Scott Lum of Microsoft. Scott is our featured Thought Leader in our upcoming Thought Leaders LIVE Webcast, “Using Digital Events as a Hub for a Content Marketing Program.”
Virtual and Hybrid events can be much more than a digital extension of your in-person event program. The field of content marketing has been evolving quickly for both large and small businesses. Companies have always used content of various types in their marketing efforts but new digital, social and mobile channels have made organizing and communicating the content much easier. Instead of treating content marketing efforts as siloed experiences, marketers need to integrate their efforts to tell a story that resonates with their customers.
There are several advantages of using digital events (virtual/hybrid events, webcasts, live chats, etc.) as a centralized point for content marketing:
Natural Integration Point
Digital events are a natural integration point for traditional and new marketing channels. When developing a virtual and hybrid events we already leverage many types of rich content and marketing channels:
- Traditional marketing – e-mail, newsletters, whitepapers, case studies, etc.
- Social media – blogs, micro-blogs, online communities, etc.
- Digital – streaming & on-demand video, websites, banner ads, etc.
- Mobile – streaming video, apps, location-based services, etc.
- Partner integration – leverage your existing vendor/partner ecosystem.
A regular cadence of digital events is a good source of fresh content for building and nurturing a community. One of the challenges of keeping your community active and engaged is providing valuable content on a frequent enough basis to keep them coming back to your site or social account. Developing a spectrum of low-cost to high-quality digital events can help you increase your frequency and provide value to your audience.
Fish where the fish are
Digital event content can be distributed in places where your audience naturally congregates – that could be your company’s website, social media site, or 3rd party sites. Live streamed events and on-demand content can be syndicated through a number of channels with calls-to-action back to your assets.
Nurture your existing customer community
Content marketing is not just finding and converting new prospects. Rich, customer-focused content is a great way to build advocates, thought leadership and build lasting relationships. Digital events can add real-time engagement with your company’s subject matter experts and provide a proactive way to build customer satisfaction.
Build a 365 environment
Digital events are a great starting point to build a year-round ecosystem for customers to find out about your products, get support, find knowledge base information, engage with your community, etc. Look for ways to mash-up many of your other content marketing efforts to intersect with your dynamic digital event efforts to create a vibrant customer engagement environment.
Content marketing can be an important touch point for marketers to engage with their audience by providing information customers value in a number dynamic ways. Look at ways to leverage your digital event program to bring your content to life and drive traffic to your sites. But what if you could take that engagement to the next level and use your digital events to power your content marketing strategy? What would you create?
Good resource for learning about content marketing: Content Marketing Institute
I’m presenting a Live Webcast on Content Marketing with INXPO on Thursday, 04/26 at 12PM ET. I hope to see you there.
Post contributed by Dennis Shiao