Evolving from online personal journals more than a decade ago, blogs have now become a marketing force that generates sales and boosts conversion of leads. Accessible to all, blogging is an incredibly convenient way to relay information and entertain readers. Bridging the gap between the stringent undertones of official sites and the informal quality of social media like Twitter and Instagram, blogging provides a channel for communication between you and your audience, as well as an opportunity to inject a voice and personality in contrast to cold, manufactured marketing messages.
Why use blogging as a marketing tool?
Blogs are a growing resource for reliable information, so there’s no better time to tap into the channel as a marketing tool for your event. Besides relaying information to your readers, blogging also comes with many benefits that are extremely helpful to your event’s brand awareness, brand loyalty, and brand recall.
It adds a human touch to your event
It’s a tried and tested fact — nobody wants to read a commercial. While blogging is seen as a more informal channel for marketing, it adds a human touch and creates a platform for two-way conversation between you and your audience. When you blog, your writing style informs your audience about your brand’s personality and voice, assuring them that they are interacting with a real person. It is also a great opportunity to encourage feedback from them and address any concerns.
It improves your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With fresh content posted regularly, you are generating a lot of keywords that could show up on a search engine’s results list when your potential audience is looking for related information. Take the opportunity to include popular and relevant keywords and topics in your postings to increase your blog’s visibility in search engine results. This generates more traffic to your event website, that could in turn translate to an increase in event awareness.
It builds trust and a following of readers
A blog is a great platform to establish your event page as a trusted source for information in your field or industry. By frequently updating your blog with the latest well researched content, you can generate a following of readers who will grow to depend on information from your page. This is a great opportunity to place a relevant call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your posts, such as encouraging your readers to attend your event for workshops and talks, as they are likely to be more comfortable responding to your CTA once they see you as an expert in the industry.
It optimizes sharing and circulation on the web
Blogging paves the way for easy sharing of your content across social media. Create interesting and unique content that propels sharing — aim to make your content viral. Viral marketing encourages word-of-mouth from your audience that generates invaluable publicity, resulting in low cost and high returns for your marketing budget. To optimize sharing for your readers, include social sharing buttons in your blog, and update your social media with blog posts. You can also incorporate subscriptions and feeds that will deliver your content to readers automatically.
It generates buzz and excitement leading up to your event
Blogging is a great way to keep your attendees on their toes! Update your blog with posts about your preparations for the event, interviews with guest speakers, and other details so that your attendees have something to look forward to. You can post relevant content about topics that will be raised during the event to keep your attendees informed, and even invite them to send in questions via the comments section and have your speakers address the questions during their talk.
Who should you engage to write for your blog?
So you’ve decided to adopt blogging in your event marketing efforts — how do you produce quality content that can attract online traffic and who should write said content? While a flair for written language is always an advantage, the truth is that anyone can write for the blog, as long as there is a consistency in your house style and tone of writing.
Who could be more informed about the industry than you and your staff? A voice from the company itself will prove very helpful in addressing technical subjects as well as in represent the brand’s attitude on certain topics up for debate. Staff contributions also ensure a steady stream of fresh content (draft an editorial schedule so that your blog is regularly updated), attracting a steady stream of readers daily.
Guest or reader contributions
You can also encourage readers to contribute their own takes on relevant topics. Not only does it introduce a refreshing perspective, idea, and voice to your blog, it can also generate conversation between readers as well as between you and your audience. However, do set up clear and specific guidelines for guest contributors to adhere to and filter the contributions such that the posts will add valuable content to your blog.
Industry experts who have established an authority in the field can be assets to your blog as they add credibility to your content and direct their own following of fans and readers to your blog. You can also invite guest speakers from your event to contribute articles in order to introduce their talk or workshop. Cross-promote the content between the event page and the expert’s social media to generate online traffic and publicity for your event.
Like industry experts, popular bloggers have established personas and a loyal following of fans and readers that rely on them for news and information. Rather than asking them to contribute to your blog, you can leverage on the popularity of their personal blogs. Invite bloggers to your event and have them blog about it to direct traffic to your event. While it is best to engage popular bloggers involved in your field to attract your target audience, inviting bloggers that are not directly relevant to the industry may also introduce a novel take on the topic and unlock a new group of audiences.
What kind of content is effective for marketing?
As mentioned above, quality content is imperative in blogging. Readers seek reliable and timely information that are entertaining and uncomplicated. In the sea of information available, the format and type of content you post can contribute a great deal to whether your target audience will turn to you as a trusted resource.
Current events always generate debate and discussion, and attract searches on search engines. Reporting on the latest news and events with a relevant angle to your niche can guarantee more traffic to your blog and establish the blog as a dependable source for the latest industry news. Use related and relevant keywords to boost the reach of your content and attract online traffic.
Interviews are great for tapping into the your interviewee’s following, especially if he/she shares the article on his/her social media. Interviewing industry experts adds credibility to your blog and allows readers to gain insights on your interviewee’s success story, knowledge and views on certain industry issues. Be innovative and adopt a unique angle so you can present unconventional facet to your interviewee.
Convenient and bite-sized, listicles are easy-reading and great for sharing on social media. In fact, listicles are one of the more popular formats for blogging in recent times. Organizing the information into a list allows readers to skim through the content, pick up what they need and act upon it! List-type posts are also great for introducing facts about an otherwise technical topic. Be sure to back up your points with trusted resources and choose a topic that is attractive and entertaining to read.
How-tos and guides
How-tos and tutorials that guide readers through skills and procedures are extremely informative and valuable, making them a popular type of content for attracting traffic. Readers who are having difficulty understanding or am facing problems in performing the skill will turn to you as a source of solution for them, so make sure that your tutorial is precise, easy to understand, addresses most of the problems faced by your audience and offers practical advice.
Rather than text, infographics present data and information in the form of images, which makes it easy for readers to digest and understand the statistics in your content. Infographics are fun to read and also convenient for sharing on social media, so it’s a great format of content to attract more readership. Aesthetics play a big part in infographics, however, so make sure your graphs and charts are well designed and present your statistics clearly.
Despite having been around for some time, blogs are still steadily rising in potential as an effective marketing tool for events. One of the best tools you can utilize for online marketing, a successful blog can:
- give your event a human touch,
- improve your event page’s visibility on search engines,
- establish your company as a trusted resource of information for your readers,
- generate online publicity through optimized sharing,
- and keep your attendees and potential audience hyped up about your event.
The informal and conversational tone of blog-writing makes your company appear more approachable, and establishes a platform for two-way communication between you and your audience, as opposed to one-way marketing messages that are becoming increasingly stale. With the right content and format of writing, almost anyone can write for your blog, making it a marketing tool with low-cost and high returns. Are you utilizing blogging effectively for your marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below!