This post is for all of you responsible for organising B2B events. The highlight of Advertising Week Europe for me was the LinkedIn B2B Forum. The half day forum took place for the first time during the week-long event at the Ham Yard Hotel with packed auditorium of B2B marketers – it just shows how important and relevant this topic is in today’s marketplace!
The speakers covered extensive range of topics such as understanding big data and being creative with it, having strong values within the organisation, being authentic and building strong, lasting relationships. As Dean Aragon from Shell Brands International put it perfectly “B2B involves leveraging the left and right sides of the brain. You must stay conscious of the fact that they need to buy something from you, but they also need to buy into you.”
I probably enjoyed the most the talk by Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing at LinkedIn, who presented key ideas from his book Welcome to the Funnel.
He talked about creating content through storytelling and breaking down complex and long pieces into manageable bits of content. He suggested that in the “B2B environment you have to become the media, tell your own story and own the conversation … that it is not about producing more content, but providing more relevant content”. He used an analogy of the Big Rock, a substantial amount of content B2B are used producing and in order to reproduce it in small pieces, suggested to think about it as a leftover turkey.
Let’s say your Big Rock is a book, a way of reproducing it will be breaking it into blogs, slide share, video, webinars etc. and scaling it – more with less. He noted an excellent point that there is always new audience waiting to discover this content. On LinkedIn, there are four content hubs – Slide share, LinkedIn groups, sponsored updates and company pages across which you can distribute your content.
And now comes the best part of his talk: How to mix-up you blog content and stay interesting? He presented an interesting way how to spread the content over the week and the type of content B2B marketers should be posting and differentiating it every day.
Weekly blog content
Monday: Raisin bran – “how to”, “5 tip for” etc. articles in order to ease the audience into the week.
Tuesday: Spinach post – more difficult to chew but good for your readers. Focuses on thought leadership and research.
Wednesday: Roast post – a substantial 1500- 2000 word post also for SEO purposes. With this post you can aim at owning the conversation as discussed above.
Thursday: Tabasco post – coming towards the end of the week, take a very strong and opposing view on something and express your honest opinion.
Friday: Chocolate cake – ease your readers into the weekend, put smile on their face and make them come for more on Monday.
The hybrid marketer
He continued and said that it is not enough anymore to be an expert in one thing and marketers today need to know about multiple disciplines – PR, SEO and content strategy. Today’s marketers need to make changes based on everything and understand the entire process. He added that event marketing is an important element as well as building a thriving community to become your brand advocates. He took the music bank KISS to best demonstrate this analogy.
I think that his analogies were great – giving a fresh perspective into the mystery and even complexity of B2B marketing. To date, I still find it sometimes challenging breaking these enormous pieces of information into small, manageable and entertaining pieces of content.
Content strategy for B2B events
To this I can add three more tips for how to promote your B2B event content.
Firstly, the importance of visuals and storytelling through visuals. Happy attendees, attractive food presentation, venue set up and more can assist you with promoting B2B events.
Secondly, consider mainstream B2C social networks such as Facebook and Instagram where attendees spend their leisure time. I noticed that B2B event organisers tend to create their own hubs and communities, but why not to connect with your audience where they are already?
Last but not least, post on weekends, too. Many attendees are so busy during the week they will leave checking out the event on the weekend, so make sure you are relevant.
To conclude, I have to add that as event organisers we need to include pre, during and post event content strategy into this equation. Producing content on a daily and even weekly basis is time consuming, and with trillion things going on for event planners that is the last thing you want to do. I can recommend you getting in touch with social influencers, attendees, speakers, exhibitors and sponsors to help you out and create valuable blog content and try schedule posts couple of weeks in advance.
For everyone it will work differently and it is an ongoing trial and error process. Unfortunately I don’t have one magic solution for each individual business, but I hope this post gave you some more tools to consider and that you will find them useful for your next event.
I would love to hear what are your preferred channels and techniques for promoting B2B event content.