What if we told you that you could make a splash at an event without one member of your team setting foot in the venue? Just think of the travel time saved…
All jokes aside, Kinvey (pronounced like “convey”), a cloud service provider for mobile apps whose marketing was until recently headed up by Joe Chernov, did just that with the 2013 AWS re:Invent event. Held in November of last year, AWS re:Invent is the largest gathering of developers and technical leaders from the AWS (Amazon Web Services) community, and while the Kinvey team wanted to go, no one was able to make it. Physically, that is.
We chatted with Kelly Rice, Kinvey’s Content Marketing Manager, about how Kinvey used a Hub to generate buzz and establish a presence at AWS re:Invent simply through their content marketing efforts.
Why they used Hubs
Since AWS re:Invent is such a large event, Kinvey knew there would be a lot of content and chatter leading up to it that they could take advantage of. A Hub was the ideal way to bring that content into one place – a one-stop-shop for event news, updates, etc. Although Kinvey wasn’t actually going to the event, there was no reason they couldn’t become a resource for those who were.
The result was the AWS re:Invent Hub – “A Hub for articles, tweets and videos related to re:Invent.”
“We wanted to coattail the buzz that would already be occurring and use it both for our own brand, and as a resource for others. The idea was to create a place for all things AWS, that people could look to for information instead of having to navigate all of the content that was floating out there,” Kelly says. “Hubs was an obvious choice, since it creates a central place for content that looks really nice and connects everything together.”
They weren’t entirely sure if it would work, but figured it would be a fun experiment. A Hub is simple to set up and if they could get some traffic to their own website and maybe even a few conversions out of it, that in itself would be a huge win.
How they used Hubs
“Kinvey basically used the Hub as a portal for newsjacking the event,” explained Kelly. “We found as much content and information as we could about re:Invent and fed it into the Hub to create a whole experience.”
The Kinvey team, being content marketing pros themselves, knew exactly what type of content to look for to create a valuable resource for AWS re:Invent attendees and those who simply wanted to follow the event (read: potential customers). The bulk of the Hub was dedicated to blog content that was being pushed out by companies either attending, sponsoring or regularly reporting on re:Invent. Over a dozen blog feeds were added (check out their Cloudability collection and CopperEgg Blog collection for examples), already providing a wealth of information about the event.
They also created a Twitter list of re:Invent speakers and AWS influencers and fed it into the Hub so readers could easily see what everyone was talking about, as well as a few Custom Collections – Tips & Tricks for re:Invent 2013, Tips for AWS Deployment & Usage and Cloud Computing News. To round out the Hub, they added videos of event speaker presentations and interviews via a YouTube playlist.
Each collection was peppered with CTAs, be it to follow their AWS list on Twitter (which Kelly said returned especially awesome results), or to download one of many relevant eBooks that were linked to Kinvey landing pages to generate leads.
Getting the word out
Kinvey used their own blog and social channels to promote the Hub, reaching out to influencers and relying on organic promotion to get even more buzz going.
“Since we had created this central place where all of our own and others’ content was available, it made promotion that much more simple,” says Kelly. “Depending on what we were highlighting specifically or who we were talking to, we would link either to different collections or to the Hub as a whole. You’re essentially promoting everything no matter what you share, since it’s all connected, really.”
Promotion continued even after the event ended.
“We shared the Hub and would say ‘Check out what you missed’ to keep the momentum we had.” Kelly explained.
What they would have done differently
Though the AWS re:Invent Hub was a success, we asked Kelly what Kinvey would have done differently if they were to go back and do it all over again (or perhaps for the next event they can’t make it to).
“We were happy with the way the CTAs turned out as our team did a great job customizing different images for them, and they performed quite well,” Kelly told us. “I think we would have put more in, and probably targeted them a bit better to really drive those results.”
As Eloqua users, Kelly also says they would have made use of our Eloqua integration – had it been available at the time the AWS re:Invent Hub was created (so close!). This would have allowed them to collect reader information directly through a Form CTA that’s synced to an Eloqua email list. From there, they could also have taken advantage of the recently-released Success CTAs, which would give readers access to Kinvey’s eBooks immediately after they sign up to download them.
That said, the AWS re:Invent Hub was an experiment gone right and we’re pumped that Kinvey saw Uberflip as the perfect partner in making this brilliant content marketing idea come to life. How many companies can say that they kicked ass at an event they never even went to? Perhaps now, a lot more!
Whether you have an event coming up or simply want to see the difference centralizing your content makes, click below to try creating a Hub for free.
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