How to Boost Your Content Marketing by Leveraging Big Events

Feb 3, 2015

The days of the entire family gathering together around the console television to hear Walter Cronkite relate the top news stories are long gone. Today’s consumers are increasing turning to online media sources for information and entertainment. Members of the under 45 year-old demographic already receive more news content online than they do from print media, with 37 percent accessing news on a mobile device at least once a week.

Leverage Content Marketing around Big Events

  • While social media was originally intended to provide users with information and updates about family and friends, there has been a marked increase in demand across the social media landscape for more national and local news reporting.
  • A study released by the Pew Research Center confirms that 30 percent of consumers now satisfy their need for news content through Facebook.
  • An estimated 10 percent of the adult population relies on YouTube for news, and an additional 8 percent are getting their news from Twitter.

Whether it’s tying your brand to your company’s own hosted events or newsjacking a trending big event in real time, one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience is to insert your relevant content into the breaking news that consumers crave and in the media forums that they prefer.

How to Leverage Your Company’s Events

  1. Maximize your audience engagement prior to the event with an online calendar. Don’t forget to reinforce your efforts with press releases, posts on your company blog, and social media updates. Consider organizing a contest that encourages attendees to live-tweet the event or post photos.
  2. Create attention-grabbing, image-rich event descriptions. Never settle for a bland listing that gives readers little more than date, time and location. Create a snappy headline, use enticing text, and add relevant graphics that will draw the audience in to your event.
  3. Boost your event exposure by optimizing your calendar listings for SEO. Create keyword-rich meta title and meta descriptions for your event content.
  4. Engage with your mobile device-using attendees. Make sure that your event content is optimized to display properly across all mobile devices. Depending on the number of big events your company hosts, a dedicated mobile event calendar app might be worth considering.

The Fine Art of Newsjacking
Confine your newsjacking efforts to those breaking stories that you know something about, and that have some relevance to your brand or products. The public can easily recognize shameless marketing opportunists, and will treat your message accordingly unless you have a content hook that connects your brand or products to the news in a meaningful way.

If your company primarily does business in a local geographic area, concentrate your newsjacking efforts on local events. While events like a major golf tournament coming to town will attract plenty of big national brands, consumers will respond just as well, or better, to the local business that has ties to the local community.

Your content should feature an offer that connects to the big event. Consumers are likely to tune your message out if the tie-in isn’t made clear. For example, if you operate a pizza shop and your hometown has a major sports franchise, you could offer a free mini pizza for a limited time after each home game if the home team earns a certain number of runs.

Keep your ear to the ground for advance warning of newsjack-worthy events. Set up a Google Alert for those topics that relate to your business and industry.