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Why Events Should Be at the Center of Your Content Strategy

Events account for a significant portion of B2B marketing spend. Despite sizable event budgets, marketers aren’t doing enough to integrate events into broader content marketing strategies. To maximize your return on events, you’ll need to move them to the center of your content plans, where they’re deeply embedded in your editorial calendar through a diverse selection of content types and mediums, from the traditional text-based blog to video.

At Uberflip, we’ve adopted this approach and as a result, we’ve not only extended our event’s lifecycle, but created consistent, high-performing content that’s surpassed our expectations.

Refining Our Approach

We refined our approach to leveraging event content on the proving ground of our industry-led conference, now in its third year. Conex: The Content Experience was created to further the conversation around how marketers can best lead their prospects through the buyer journey, armed with content, and an improved experience. Today, the conference is a unique opportunity to connect face-to-face with marketers in content, demand generation, and digital marketing, to take part in something special, together, as part of a growing movement.

But for us, it’s much more than an event. It’s a content engine. Events like Conex are a treasure trove of source material. With a little planning and the right team in place, you can do interviews, shoot videos, film presentations, and hold live broadcasts. Even a single presentation can be broken down into blog entries, Slideshares, infographics, and snackable content for social media.

Today, the event has moved to the center of our content strategy, offering us a higher return on our event investment, providing greater educational value, and bringing our message to a wider audience.

Video Unlocks the Real Power of Events

For brands like ours, video presents a fantastic opportunity to tell a compelling brand story in an easily digestible package. Take for instance, our Rethink Your Content Experience video series.

In years past, we typically recorded keynotes and made them available in their entirety following our conference. Last year, we realized that the vast majority of our audience was unlikely to listen to the 30-minute recorded presentations, or read in-depth wrap-up articles. So we decided to respin the recorded presentations to create punchy, 90-second TED Talks–style sizzle videos that were strong enough to stand on their own.

The series was intended to be educational, digestible, and episodic in nature, with each video offering up key learnings and takeaways. The videos would also do double-duty and be used to promote the following year’s conference. One of the biggest advantages of this approach was that it provided more creative storytelling tools to work with, to draw out audience engagement and elicit emotion.

Have a look at the example below, with the one and only Ann Handley:

As you can see, we enhanced each presentation with dynamic, kinetic text, and splashes of color. The on-screen action, coupled with an original score, provided a consistent mood and tone, increasing the overall emotional response to each piece. The biggest advantage to the format, however, was that the pace and nature of the presentation that we were repackaging could be controlled. This made it easier to deliver a focused message.

Our Video Objectives: Brand Awareness and the Halo Effect

By creating standalone, Uberflip-branded content, we aimed to increase brand awareness and generate interest at the top of the funnel. But more importantly, by aligning our brand with industry influencers—not just via our conference, but on our Content Hub and on social media—we could continue to enjoy the halo effect of being seen as a thought leader in our industry. With this format, we could encourage repeat visitors, give people a reason to come back to our site, and capitalize on shorter attention spans.

The Results: Not Your Average Content by Far

The Rethink Your Content Experience video series delivered on all fronts and really hit the mark with our target audience. Between November 1, 2017, when we launched the series and April 30, 2018, when our 10th video was published (there will be 12 in total), the ‘Rethink’ series drove more than 35,000 organic views across our owned and managed channels. Interestingly, it performed best on LinkedIn, which generated 70% of our views. What’s more, the series has so far generated more than 300,000 impressions on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

When we set out to create these videos, one of our goals was to increase engagement with our content, and the results surpassed our expectations. On our Content Hub, the average time-on-page was 80% higher than the hub average. It’s also seen significantly improved bounce rates that were 43% better than average. We also saw significantly higher session durations that were 250% higher than average. And, not surprisingly, more pages were visited per session (85%) after having watched a video.

Moving Events to the Core of Your Content Strategy

To maximize your return on events, you’ll need to move them to the center of your broader content strategy, where they’re deeply embedded and inform a diverse selection of content types. If you’re eager to pursue video, remember that the most effective videos will speak to your audience’s emotions, which is why pairing the right story with the right format is so important.

For brands, video presents a fantastic opportunity to tell a compelling brand story, in an easily digestible package. And the proof is in the pudding! As a result of the ‘Rethink’ video series, our visitors stayed significantly longer and viewed more pieces of content.

Need inspiration for your own event-based content marketing videos? Watch the full Rethink Your Content Experience video series here.