As a company with a B2B audience be it physicians, business decision makers in MNCs or governments, it is likely that you are using physical events to present your product and services to the market. In most cases, only a fraction of your target audience will attend your events, due to time and cost restraints or other priorities.
However, “non-attendees” in your target audience are nevertheless prone to be interested in what is going at the event despite their physical no-show. At Vertic, we have documented this interest as peaks in social media conversations and searches within the event themes just before, during and after a given event.
In other words, your audience is more susceptible to consume content in the period around events than otherwise. To get the most out of your event investment, it is therefore an obvious choice to digitally amplify event related content through those three stages to reach non-attendees alongside enhancing the influence on those who physically attend the event.
There is a far larger number of decision makers who will not attend the event but will research it before-hand (in case they may want to attend) and / or would want to consume content about the sessions during and after the event.
Because there is interest in the event (pre, during and post) even by non-attendees, we can leverage on this interest to get your event-related content to these interested business decision markets
There is a number of tasks involved in digital event amplification.
An Event Content Hub
You need a Content Hub designed to publish relevant content and enable social participation before, during and after the event. The content hub should cater for all types of content including videos, infographics, text and slideshows; all of it of course optimized to be viewable on multiple screen sizes.
Define an editorial calendar matching themes of the event against available existing content within the corporation and your partners. A content audit allows you to define the gap between the event themes and the available content.
Content Creation and Repurposing
Based on the content gap analysis, bespoke content for the event hub can be created, existing content repurposed, and select third party content from partners and analyst houses can be selected for curation. On the difference of “sharing” and “curation” click here.
Sequencing of Content and Posting to an Event Twitter handle
The Content Hub should feature functionality that allow you automated, scheduled posting of content to the hub itself as well as Tweeting through an event Twitter handle. This allows you to focus on “unplanned”, contextual tweeting and authoring of time critical content during the event.
Integrating the Event Content Hub in Personal Social Selling
Attending employees and partners should be informed on the use of the content for personal Social Selling before, during and after the event. As a rule of thumb, you should instruct everybody to share 2 pieces each day from the hub to their network as well as make at least 1 unplanned tweet during each day of the event. Leveraging the aggregate network of participants is a critical success factor for the amplification to take off. To enhance the visibility of the aggregate social network within a corporation, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be deployed.
Building an Organic Digital Audience
Before an event, you can use social media monitoring to identify primary influencers online. You should find a selection of big Twitter handles and bloggers. As regards Twitter, define a strategy for the big handles to follow your event Twitter handle and reach out on a 1to1 basis to key bloggers. The objective is to get our tweets retweeted, republished in industry media and your event content referenced in posts by bloggers in order to maximise circulation around the event.
Starting the Amplification
Before the event start to amplify perspectives and content for the upcoming event through LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, via your Twitter handle through Direct Messages, through Outbrain and via email. Include content such as a KOL video reflecting on his expectations for the upcoming event, teasers on key trends and invitations to join the conversation on the event Twitter handle. Continue this amplification throughout and after the event featuring content from the event Content Hub as well as bite sized reflections and updates authored at the event itself.
A Digital Event Dashboard at the Physical Event
The event content hub and the event handle should be completely integrated into the fabric of the physical event. At the digital event dashboard participants should be able to follow the social buzz of the event through a “real time feed” with all mentions of the event in media and in social media.
The dashboard should be designed to attract participants to the booth and incite further digital participation and interaction at the booth with your staff. Include a video team on the ground collecting testimonials from KOLs. Posts these on the event content hub and amplify focusing on targeted LinkedIn sponsored updates as well as emails sent by individual sales reps.
Integration of Event Presentations with Digital Event Amplification
Make sure presenters reference content from the hub during presentations and make all materials available via the Content Hub only, thereby driving traffic to the site and triggering distribution of the content in the digital eco system by the attendees. Also, a offer quick poll on the hub to use for real time voting during presentations, again driving traffic, awareness and engagement with the content.
After the Event & Learnings
Both organic and Paid Media based amplification should be continued after the event. Testimonials videos, KOL summaries and feedback on questions posed during the event, should be posted on the event content hub for approximately six weeks following the event.
Lastly, make an analysis of the digital footprint of the digital event amplification. Formal KPIs for a physical event are typically “attendance” at the event or visits at your booth within the event, event face-to-face meeting, new contacts and leads. Your virtual attendance through digital event amplification is likely to outnumber the physical attendance by a factor in the 1000s. Contacts in terms of follows on LinkedIn, the Event Twitter handle as well as the number of engagements such as shares, likes and comments should be primary KPIs.
If you want to know more about the great work Vertic is doing, check them out here.