3 ideas for maximizing content from events

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Events offer rich opportunities for content marketing.  At the recent Vocus Users Conference, several PRWeb clients approached me about inspirational content, both for PRWeb and for other content marketing channels.

Like one of our events managers did previously (9 Tips for Social Events), I thought I’d use our own conference as an example for a post here because it’s a good demonstration in practice and I think there are a few good ideas that our own clients can copy for their own purposes.

1. Press releases. We issued three press releases over PRWeb – two before the conference to help promote it and one after the conference; the latter is a bit of a value-add for relationship building.  At first we announced the speaker line up, and later, issued a second release when two more speakers joined the lineup. Finally, we provided a recap of the event.  All in all, these three releases earned a combined 5,400 page reads and about 420 interactions – which when I started in PR long ago, a solid trade publication had a circulation of 5,000, which speaks to reaching the right readers.

It’s worth noting, I put these out over limited distribution, meaning I didn’t tap the full visibility options that PRWeb offers.  The decision to do this was based on segmenting audiences.  I didn’t pitch any of these to any media contacts; these releases, in my mind, were purely for online visibility and for those interested parties that subscribe to our news via RSS.  Notice that the last release is written as if it were a news story – in other words, sometimes the release is the story – especially when the distribution network is as powerful as PRWeb’s.

Content takeaway: there’s an opportunity for content both before and after an event.

2. Blog posts. The team was able to put together four blog posts during the event which lasted about a day and a half. All three of these were recaps of specific sessions and borrowed heavily on the tweets from participants in the audience.  More importantly, a blog should be at the center of a social media strategy — so we were able to integrate content from our social outposts in near-real time.

For example, with his permission, we uploaded Mark Ragan’s presentation to SlideShare – the presentation quickly aggregated a lot of views and was promoted to the front page on SlideShare.  We also used the event as an opportunity to interview Mark for added value which enabled us to post a video to YouTube.  The lighting isn’t perfect in the video, but that’s the trade off between posting content in near-real time, or holding onto it for post-production perfection.  In my view, perfect is the enemy of good.

Content takeaway: real-time coverage of an event can be a good source of content and it’s also a way to keep participants engaged online and off-line at an event.  It’s also a great opportunity to make effective use of your social media outposts, like SlideShare.

3. Live bloggers. Events can be a rich source of additional content because reporting on session and speakers can provide good content with relative ease.  Live blogging may come from attendees, speakers or people you invite to the event. There are several ways to facilitate live blogging.

First, when you see such content, be sure to share it because people are more inclined to write when they are recognized for it.  Second, encourage people to do it by making the suggestion – encourage people to take the ideas from your event and turn them into content.  Want to bring an iPhone camera?  Sure.  Third, invite people who blog to attend.  A good blogger is always looking for a good source of content and a place to network so it’s always worth making the ask.

Content takeaway: give up control and open your events to others that share the same interests and you’ll make many new friends.

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