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How to Create Awesome Content From Your Next Event Experience

Image via Flickr user richard.scott1952

This is a guest contribution from trade show expert Peter Symonds. 

Over the last few years, content marketing has grown from a marketing tactic used to generate publicity and inform customers, into an essential strategy for promoting any startup, SME or large company online.

The basics of content marketing are fairly simple: publish great content that solves your audience’s most common problems, informs them of the latest developments in your industry or teaches them something new and helpful.

Coming up with the strategy is often straightforward. Coming up with the content, on the other hand, can be tougher. From startups to small businesses, many companies’ content marketing campaigns burn out due to a lack of ideas.

If your business exhibits at trade shows or appears at other events, you have a great opportunity to get new content ideas – as well as detailed interviews – from the attendees and influencers you interact with during the event.

In this guide, we’ll share four techniques that you can use to create amazing content for your company blog, YouTube channel, guest blogging campaign, or other content marketing strategy from your next event.

Learn your target audience’s biggest pain points

The most effective company blogs discuss their audience’s pain points. Pain points are issues that your target audience is struggling with – inefficiencies in production or marketing, for example, or problems collecting payments from their customers.

Understanding your audience’s pain points is the key to closing sales and, online, an essential element of creating engaging content that your readers don’t just scan and close, but truly connect with and share.

Use your next event as an opportunity to learn more about your audience’s top pain points by interviewing people who visit you, or the people you meet. Ask them what issues they currently face, what they’re struggling with and what they want to improve.

Prospects are usually eager to answer questions and engage in conversation, unlike online. A quick and simple interview performed on 50+ prospects at a trade show, conference, or networking event will give you greater insight into your audience’s pain points than a month-long online customer survey.

Once you understand your target audience’s pain points, you’ll have a deeper level of understanding about what they want to read, listen to and watch. Dedicate each new blog post to a different pain point and you’ll command attention online.

Take note of the 10 biggest pain points mentioned by your target audience. Break each point down into smaller, highly-focused topics to fill your editorial calendar for the next few months with engaging content.

Build a network of influencers and content promoters

Events can be great places to meet prospective clients and customers. They’re also great places to meet people in a similar situation to you – startup founders and marketers eager to grow their businesses, often through content marketing.

12 months ago, online helpdesk startup Groove had a company blog full of engaging, interesting content. They also had virtually no readers – a situation that many online businesses and startups can certainly relate to.

Groove now has one of the technology startup world’s most popular blogs, with over 1,000 shares on their average blog post and hundreds of thousands of readers. Their promotional strategy was simple: build a network of influencers and promoters.

Building an influencer list over email takes a lot of time. At a trade show, however, it takes only a few minutes of conversation to get to know someone within your niche or industry and discuss how you can work together to promote each other’s content.

Reach out to other marketers and entrepreneurs at your next event and build a list of influencers. Afterwards, invite everyone to a private Skype group, email list, or online community to promote each other’s content via social media.

It only takes a few retweets and status updates to give your next blog post the traction it needs to reach thousands of readers. Focus on building your network at your next trade show and you’ll never worry about content promotion again.

Ask your customers about their favourite blogs and websites

Knowing what your customers struggle with will help you discover new topics and trends to write about. Knowing what your customers already like to read will show you exactly where you should be promoting your content in the future.

From industry forums that attract your target audience to popular blogs that could be major marketing platforms for you, chat to your customers about what they like to read online and you’ll discover hundreds of content ideas and opportunities.

Over the last year, many technology companies have discovered that the “biggest” blogs and aggregators – places like TechCrunch and Hacker News – aren’t quite as valuable as they thought. They send lots of traffic, but rarely is it qualified.

Smaller blogs and communities, on the other hand, are often highly responsive to good content. While they don’t send as much traffic as the big names, the traffic is highly qualified, focused and genuinely interested in learning more.

Don’t just use your next trade show or conference as an opportunity to discover new content ideas for your business – use it to discover where your customers hang out online and the topics they like to read about.

Interview influencers and thought leaders in your industry

Connecting with influencers – entrepreneurs, scientists, columnists, authors and the other well-known people within your industry – is tough. They’re often too busy for the phone, unresponsive via email and surrounded by assistants and other people.

At a conference or networking event, however, many of your industry’s most recognisable names will be far less defensive. They’ll be interested in learning more about your brand and may even provide a short interview about themselves or trends in your industry.

Many marketers are scared to ask for an interview with an established person. The most common fear is that asking for an interview is too selfish and self-promotional – after all, it’s incredibly helpful for your brand’s reputation and credibility.

Most influencers benefit just as much from a video interview for your company blog or YouTube channel as you do. It gives them a new audience, new exposure and the publicity they need for their careers. It benefits both of you in the same way.

Before your next event, reach out to your industry’s influencers via Twitter or email (here’s a helpful guide to getting them to notice your emails) and try to set up an interview. You may be surprised by how many positive responses you receive.

More content ideas

  • Invest in photography – you’ll be surprised how much you can use high-quality images from the event in company literature, on your website, on social media and even for link building
  • Conduct a quick industry-relevant survey of visitors to your booth – use a prize draw as incentive to enter and use the findings to create a press release to promote awareness of your business.
  • Create a time-lapse video of the traffic to your booth throughout the day to document your trade show experience
  • Live blog or Tweet the events of the day as it unfolds using the official event hashtag, offering key tips to those who couldn’t make it
  • Publish a round-up post of 10/25/100 key takeaways from the event and ask the organisers to promote it via social media
  • Make your blog posts more visual and interactive by embedding Tweets, Instagram images and Facebook posts from the event

Are you getting the most from your event attendance?

Events are great opportunities to generate leads and close deals. However, if you think of them purely as sales-focused events, you could be missing out on blog and video content that could strengthen your brand and help your company grow.

Are you really getting the most from your attendance? Treat your next conference or trade show as a sales and content opportunity, and you’ll walk away with both a stack of names and business cards and enough great content ideas to last for the next 12 months.

Peter Symonds is a trade show marketing expert from Display Wizard. For more practical tips on how to increase the ROI of your trade show marketing, download the Display Wizard Guide to Exhibiting at a Trade Show.

 

 

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger
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How to Create Awesome Content From Your Next Event Experience

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Here’s How Veteran Search Engine Expert Danny Sullivan Writes

In 1996, the Unabomber suspect, Ted Kaczynski, was arrested. TWA Flight 800 crashed off the coast of Long Island, New York. Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States. The movie Jerry Maguire hit the silver screen. “Macarena” was the hottest song. And some of you were probably born.

For Danny Sullivan, 1996 was the year he published research called A Webmaster’s Guide to Search Engines.

Wait. You mean there were search engines before Google? Indeed.

Danny has been in the industry for more than 20 years, and he is arguably one of the smartest people on the planet when it comes to SEO, which is why we booked him to speak at this year’s Authority Rainmaker event.

After publishing A Webmaster’s Guide to Search Engines, Danny founded the website Search Engine Watch, which eventually became “must reading” (according to Google’s Matt Cutts) and “the most authoritative source on search” (according to Tim Mayer of Yahoo!).

Sullivan eventually sold Search Engine Watch to Jupiter Media and stayed with the company until November 2006.

The Seth Godin of search?

After leaving Search Engine Watch, he started Search Engine Land, which he runs to this day. He also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series.

When it comes to search, Danny is overshadowed by only one other person: Matt Cutts. And the case could be made that Danny is actually more visible, since Matt took an indefinite leave from Google.

So I’m going to go on record as saying that Mr. Sullivan is the Seth Godin of search.

It’s an understatement to say Danny has got his fingers on the pulse of search. He’s a crazy prolific author, on top of the latest developments within minutes of the stories breaking. It helps that he’s on a first-name basis with the big players in search.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how a crack journalist lives and works (particularly in Southern California), then take a peek inside Danny’s Writer File. And did I mention he works on a treadmill, too?

Yeah, what doesn’t Danny do? Thanks for sharing with The Writer Files, Danny!

About the author …

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Danny Sullivan, and I’m a journalist who covers the digital and search marketing space.

What is your area of expertise as a writer?

I’m especially known for my writing about search, which I’ve done for nearly 20 years now. But my expertise is really trying to take technical subjects and break them down into easy-to-understand explanatory journalism.

Where can we find your writing?

I primarily write on MarketingLand.com and SearchEngineLand.com.

The writer’s productivity …

How much time, per day, do you read or do research?

I probably read about four hours per day. It can vary, and that’s a guess. I’ve never thought to add it up. But I read a lot.

Before you begin to write, do you have any pre-game rituals or practices?

Nope. If it’s a breaking story, it’s get right in, build a good headline and lede, and punch it out. If it’s a longer piece, I often spend a lot of time writing it in my head. [Editor’s note: writing in your head is a sign of a great writer.]

Do you prefer any particular music (or silence) while you write?

Silence.

How many hours each day do you spend writing (excluding email, social media, etc.)? What is your most productive time of day?

It can vary. On a typical day, if I’m not doing special projects, anywhere from an hour to three. My most productive time tends to be late afternoon. By then, the email is dealt with and nothing new tends to break.

My most productive time is actually late at night when no one else is working, but I don’t like to work nights.

Do you write every day or adhere to any particular system?

I write when I need to, in terms of breaking stories, or when I do longer pieces as time allows.

Do you believe in “writer’s block?” If so, how do you avoid it?

I do. I tend to avoid it by just diving in.

I don’t have time to waste on writer’s block!

The writer’s creativity …

Define creativity.

Building universes out of nothing.

Who are your favorite authors, online or off?

John Scalzi, Peter F. Hamilton, and Ann Leckie are just a few of my favorite science fiction writers. I read a lot of science fiction.

Can you share a best-loved quote?

I’m terrible. I don’t have a best loved quote.

How would you like to grow creatively as a writer?

I’d love to be a creative writer, a fiction writer. It would also be nice to finally write a book.

Who or what is your Muse at the moment (i.e., specific creative inspirations)?

I don’t have a muse. I actually wrote a post on Medium called The Voices Of Inspiration, where I bemoaned that I don’t hear the muse or characters or stories the way fiction writers are inspired.

It’s depressing, because I’d love to be that way. But for nonfiction, I can just have a story fall together in my head, the words flowing in. So if there’s a writing muse we tap into, maybe I’m hearing it, just for a different type of writing.

What makes a writer great?

You tell great stories that people are compelled to read.

The writer’s workflow …

What hardware or typewriter model do you presently use?

MacBook Pro. I use multiple monitors, so I can compose on one screen, read if I’m referencing something on another, and test on a third.

What software do you use most for writing and general workflow?

Usually WordPress.

Do you have any tricks for beating procrastination? Do you adhere to deadlines?

I do stick to deadlines. If work needs to be done by a certain time, I do everything to make it happen. If you can’t, then push it back to a reasonable deadline.

My biggest problem is sometimes I just don’t want to do one of several things I need to do. In that case, “do anything” is my mantra. Even if I’m not working on the most pressing thing, doing another task means at least something is getting done.

How do you stay organized (methods, systems, or “mad science”)?

My calendar is my to-do list, with key things that need to be done posted to it. That’s pretty much it.

How do you relax at the end of a hard day?

Turn off the computer, play some Clash Of Clans, read a book, have a drink on the patio with my wife, spend time with my boys.

Just for fun …

Who (or what) has been your greatest teacher?

My high school English teacher emphasized the importance of critical thinking. He always comes to mind among my most important teachers.

What do you see as your greatest success in life?

My children and ensuring they’re taken care of and happy.

What’s your biggest aggravation at the moment (writing-related or otherwise)?

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by clickbait, that it takes too much attention away from serious issues.

But then you get serious issues that tap into clickbait to attract attention, and then I feel like everyone shares these concerns but no one does anything to fix these issues.

Choose one author, living or dead, that you would like to have dinner with.

I would literally freeze up talking with any of my favorite authors — I’d just get too shy.

Actually, it would be pretty cool to have dinner with Shakespeare.

If you could take a vacation tomorrow to anywhere in the world, where would you go (cost or responsibilities are no object)?

I’ve been to Tahiti years ago. That would be nice. Or Hawaii. Though frankly, I still love home in Southern California.

Can you offer any advice to fellow writers that you might offer yourself, if you could go back in time and “do it all over?”

I sometimes think that I should have gone to a different college for a career in journalism. But it has worked out great, so my takeaway is: don’t spend so much time thinking about what you’d do over and focus instead on where you want to go and how to get there now.

Please tell our readers where they can connect with you online.

Twitter is a great way, @dannysullivan.

And finally, the writer’s desk …

Every serious writer builds a shrine of some sort with which he hopes to entertain the Muse, whether that means sitting underneath an umbrella on a beach in a foreign country or parking it in a small shed out in the backyard.

Danny’s desk just happens to be on a treadmill — with three big, beautiful screens staring back at him. It’s in his house, so the commute is short, which is fortunate given the fact he will walk anywhere from four to seven hours in one day.

I asked Danny if he wears sweatbands on his head and wrists while he works. He said, “I just wear loose shorts and a t-shirt. But I do occasionally use a towel to wipe down, because yeah, you can build up a sweat.”

Gives sweating a deadline new meaning.

DannySullivan-Desk

Ready to take your content marketing to the next level?

Danny Sullivan is among the powerhouse lineup of speakers who will be presenting at Authority Rainmaker May 13–15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. Accelerate your business with integrated content, search, and social media marketing (plus invaluable networking).

Click here for all the details and to register before we go to full price.

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post Here’s How Veteran Search Engine Expert Danny Sullivan Writes appeared first on Copyblogger.

Reblogged 4 years ago from feeds.copyblogger.com

Why Copyblogger Media is Betting Big on Podcasting

Back in 2005, I came up with the idea for Copyblogger, a site that taught people how to create text content and copy to sell products and services. Right … everyone knows that.

But did you know a competing idea was to instead start a podcast? To say that would have been the wrong move (in several ways) is a monumental understatement.

For one, I had never recorded anything other than bad tape recordings and a few .wav files. And for another, it was way to early for the medium and the technology.

But even now in 2015, why is Copyblogger Media — a company that came to prominence in part by teaching people how to write — now embracing the podcasting phenomenon this strongly? Well, in many ways, audio makes more sense for more people than text. The Internet is just now catching up.

If you want to know why (and how) we’re betting big on podcasting, you’ll have to tune in. And if you like what you hear, you’re about to have a whole lot more to listen to when it comes to digital marketing advice and commentary.

In this 48-minute episode Robert Bruce and I discuss:

  • More on why I didn’t start a podcast in 2005
  • A short history of Copyblogger audio content
  • Why we’re betting big on audio, and you should too
  • The thinking behind our decision to build a podcast network
  • A brief overview of the current Rainmaker.FM lineup
  • What’s coming next (and soon) for Rainmaker.FM …

Click Here to Get New Rainmaker

Episode No. 32 on iTunes

About the author

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is founder and CEO of Copyblogger, producer of the Rainmaker.FM podcast network, and evangelist for the Rainmaker Platform. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

The post Why Copyblogger Media is Betting Big on Podcasting appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Google Is Practically Begging Firefox Users To Switch Their Default Search Engine

A new message above Google’s search results is the most visible attempt yet at getting Firefox users to switch back to Google.

The post Google Is Practically Begging Firefox Users To Switch Their Default Search Engine appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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New Real Estate Agent Marketing Ideas | Just Do It!!!

REGISTER* for live webinar: www.kacijackson.com/smw Realtor Partner States: http://www.kacijackson.com/operatingstates Purchase Your Copy of The Instagram Blueprint for Realtors: http://www.kac.

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How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse?

Google’s mobile-friendliness update is coming this April, but should you be rushing to make your site mobile-friendly? Columnist Bryson Meunier explains how to estimate the impact on your site.

The post How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse? appeared first on Search…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Google Local Pack Displaying Logos In Web Search Results

Google testing a new local pack in the web search results that display not just maps, but also logos and pictures of the business listing.

The post Google Local Pack Displaying Logos In Web Search Results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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A Simple Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts for Facebook, Twitter & More [Infographic]

shortcut

We’re all aware that we spend a lot of time on social media these days. Many would even say we’re spending too much time — not stopping to smell the roses, so to speak. After all, the average 18- to 34-year-old American knocks around on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook for up to 3.8 hours per day.

But when browsing and posting on social is your job, it’s not like we can resolve to block Facebook during working hours. How else can we cut down on the time we spend on social networking sites so we can be more productive?

To help us browse more efficiently, setupablogtoday.com created an infographic guide to keyboard shortcuts for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and Google+. Check it out below to learn how to reply to tweets, skip over to almost any page on Facebook, mute YouTube videos, and much, much more — without ever having to touch your mouse.

social-media-shortcuts-infographic

  free social media ebook

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Taming The Beast Of The Messy Enterprise SEM Campaign

Enterprise SEM can be a sprawling operation, but columnist Ted Ives suggests an organizational framework to keep it in hand.

The post Taming The Beast Of The Messy Enterprise SEM Campaign appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Search Engine Optimization – Tips For Beginners

Web site expert and author Brendon Sinclair gives some solid tips for search engine optimization for beginners.

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