7 Event Blogging Types and Best Practices for B2B Marketers
When you’re blogging to promote an event, what are event blogging best practices and how can you get your content to create buzz, increase qualified attendees, and generate leads, before, during, and after your event? Event blogging needs to present information in a way that hasn’t been done before, generate interest around your event, and also provide valuable, compelling reasons to attend your event. Let’s get started on how you can use event blogging to drive demand at events.
First off, just like any successful blogging program, it is important to keep in mind the right marketing mix. The most successful blogs are comprised of many different types of posts. What exactly is the breakdown of successful B2B blogs? According to Forbes, you want your blog to be a combination of posts featuring newsjacking, instructional information, business/personal spotlight, cheat sheets or top tips, visual or media based posts, or entertaining, top of the funnel posts. Additionally, there are ‘types’ of blog posts that you can always rely on when you’re not feeling particularly inspired and need to scale the content marketing burden.
With that said, you can apply the same B2B blogging strategy when you’re crafting your event blogging strategy. So what are go-to posts that you can write to scale your event program and motivate prospects to attend your events? Here are our top 7 ways to promote your events through blogging:
Sneak Peek: A Behind the Scenes Event Preview
Readers of your blog like to feel ‘in the know,’ like they’re aware of special offerings before your event. Creating anticipation before your event is key here, so have a strategy in place for how you’ll make your booth or tradeshow different from the competition.
In our post What is MarTech 2016 and Why Should Data-Driven Marketers Be There? We did just that. We described the three ways that you can make your booth stand-out at tradeshows: entice, educate, and engage. Then we provided examples of what we would be offering at the upcoming MarTech Conference. We discussed leveraging gamification at your event like using branded scratcher cards to get prospects to talk with you on the sales floor, providing an infographic of what your products or services do, and having an interactive quiz so attendees can test their knowledge at your event.
This post was helpful in that it provided marketers with ideas and inspiration that they could leverage at their event, and it gave our prospects a sneak peek into what we’d be offering. When we exhibited at MarTech, we were told by event staff that our booth generated some of the highest number of leads on the exhibitor floor. So promoting your event on your blog in the right way can have a direct influence on your sales pipeline.
Cheat Sheet: Top Tips for Hosting an Event
Similarly to the strategy that we mentioned above, when you provide prospects with ideas on how they can easily execute a successful event, you will have captured your reader’s attention, established your thought leadership, and made your prospect excited to attend your event.
For a Halloween-themed post on our blog, we provided event planners with their choice of a tip or trick sheet that they could use at their events. Our ‘trick’ checklist provided items that you can’t forget in order to run an event smoothly, like identifying goals and measurements pre-event, scheduling pre-show staff training meetings, and updating print collateral: brochures, case studies, promotional offers. The tip sheet provided 5 examples of what project plan summaries, company attendance checklists, staff schedules, shipment checklists, and promotion plans look like, as well as actual sheets that event planners could use for their events.
This blog post had one of the highest download rates of our content on our website, and it was a testament to how prospects are looking for ways to streamline their event planning process.
Make it Rain: Throw a Contest or Giveaway
Recently as part of our lead generation strategy for Marketing Nation Online, we partnered with marketing industry leaders in creating a contest that we called a Marketing Scavenger Hunt. In essence, when prospects visited our virtual booth or attended our presentation (or those of our partners), they were automatically entered to win one of three prizes: an Airbnb vacation, plane tickets, or lift tickets.
To promote our presence at the event, we ran our blog post: The Search for Prizes Is on at Marketing Nation Online in Our Marketing Scavenger Hunt. The post created excitement around our contest, explained how you could increase your chances to win prizes, and got buzz started about our presentation. From our blog post, we generated more traffic to our event registration landing page and had a significant boost in registrants for our event. So, by using a gamification strategy in conjunction with your event blogging strategy, you too can drive traffic to your registration landing page and increase conversions.
Great Expectations: Interview Event Influencers
Before an event, do your research and find out which keynotes and Influencers will be attending, speaking, or presenting at the event. Then create a “hot list” of the top 20 Influencers who you would like to get quotes from, and reach out to these Influencers asking them if they could give you a quote for your blog about what they are most anticipating at your event.
From there, compile the list of quotes, attributing each to its source, add an introduction and conclusion to it, and et voila, you have a blog featuring the words of key influencers, utilizing your own reporting and research. An advantage of doing this is that you can leverage the platform of your Influencers for a larger audience to your blog post, and this type of content involves less of your own writing but provides more value to your audience.
It’s Not What You Think: Counterintuitive Event Takeaways
As I’ve said before, negative headlines work. Studies show that if you hate a headline, you will share the content. While it might be counter-intuitive to write about an event in what could be described as a ‘negative’ way, it not only drives clicks and engagement to your site, but it increases the intrigue-factor of what you’re going to say.
This is what we did in our blog post, MarTech 2016 Recap: Is the Marketing Technology Stack Dead? At MarTech 2016, Travis Wright informed marketers that the marketing technology stack was dead. So instead of writing about the conventional “stack” concept, which takes for granted that marketers need a specific assortment of marketing technologies in order to complete their stack, our blog focused on Wright’s new vision of the marketing stack: the future of marketing technology abandons stacks altogether. Instead of one type of technology stacking on top another, martech is a rich ecosystem with complementary products that help fuel the marketer’s pipeline. We leveraged Wright’s effective destruction of the idea of a martech stack,and then captured the attention of our readers by giving them what they never knew they wanted.
Going Above and Beyond: The Event Round-up
I dislike nothing more than reading fluff pieces on events. Smart event blogging is not about patting yourself or tradeshow sponsors on the back. It’s about providing takeaways from the event that were not obvious, and giving your reader inspiration for how they could apply these learnings to their lives. In our post, How to Optimize Buyer Engagement with Personalized Lead Scoring, we did just that.
Instead of summarizing Marketo Summit 2016, or rehashing what a keynote said, (snoresville), Lynn Langmade built off points that Jamie Gutfreund, Global Chief Marketing Officer of Wunderman, made about Generation Z. Lynn described how you could take the learnings of how to market towards Generation Z and apply them towards B2B marketers. Just as Generation Z demands the highest level of marketing personalization the world has ever known, so too do B2B marketers.
For example, the way that Generation Z consumes content actually shows event marketers the way of the future and gives us a way to predict trends in the B2B space. So by blogging about and taking advantage of trends like ‘info-snacking’ and popular media types, like video and vine, you can stay ahead of the marketing curve. To sum it up, when you’re blogging about an event that you have attended, instead of rehashing what you saw, describe how what you learned can apply to the lives of your prospects.
Follow-Up With Flavor: Event Blogging Best Practices
In our Twitter Chat, marketing and sales Influencer, Matt Heinz told us,“There are many organizations that consider events their #1 source of sales-qualified leads. Getting face time with qualified prospects can significantly accelerate impact, velocity, and conversion of opportunities. Ask SFDC what their #1 source of enterprise leads & deals is…the answer is events and dinners.”
With that in mind, what kind of blogs do attendees find most useful, helpful, and click-worthy after they’ve attended events? What kind of content is going to get them to click and convert? During or directly after an event is an excellent time to release an infographic or meaty asset that not only provides instructional how-tos, but also spotlights your product. If you follow-up with your attendee with an email marketing campaign that features a blog that links to these kinds of landing pages for deeper content, you are accelerating the buyer’s journey and reminding your attendee of the benefits of your product.
In this post, we’ve provided 7 proven ways for effective event blogging. Each type of blog gives event prospects the feeling that they are getting an insider’s take and have tips and practices to effectively implement at their workplace. Additionally, event blogs focused around previews and gamification excite your prospects and give them even more reasons to attend your event. And finally, after the event, your event blogging can be an excellent way to follow-up with your prospects. With so many reasons to leverage your blog to promote your events, let your event blogging begin!