By Josh Margo, marketing manager, Kenes Group
Many marketing specialists are hoping to implement the perfect equation that will yield the highest turnout, for an event. Unfortunately, there is no such equation, because the variables are too many to qualify. What we can do is look at creative ways to layer our content. To use the available outlets and cross the content over various channels. This will help us retain the attention of our target audience and strengthen our messages.
At the end of the day, we are much more like engineers. We are shaping a room, trying to figure out which person fits into which seat, whether it’s the speaker, the VIPs, the people in the galley, or even the ones standing outside. Each person that attends an event has different goals, and once we start looking at these goals, we can start generating effective content.
The audience can be broken down into four categories; leaders, doers, followers, and observers. Each of these audience categories has different goals at the event, and to attract them you need to generate a specific message.
Let’s look at two outlets that everybody uses today:
1) Emails, whether they are newsletters or adverts and
2) Videos, whether they are interviews, promotional or testimonial.
Each one should communicate the right message to get the desired effect of increasing event registration.
Exciting with Emails
How do we spin a sense of urgency and convey a message that speaks to the audiences’ goals? If you are not using a tool like Marketo, there are plenty of free ones on the market and some reasonably priced ones, as well. These systems allow you to set up a mailshot with A/B testing. This is important if you don’t know which categories people fall into and want to see how they react. Seth Godin, one of the geniuses in marketing, writes about using A/B testing. In summary, this is not a tool to use once and then send out the winner to the whole database. We need to break our databases into different audiences, multiple times, to ensure people are getting the correct message.
One simple example is changing how we use dividers in emails. Typically, with A/B testing, we focus on the title of an email or on a specific text. Most people don’t pay attention to the divider line between the subject or to a design used as a separator. What if instead of a simple divider, like a picture or a fancy line, we used something to help strengthen our message or target the database category?
Some examples; an infographic or a social media advert, or even a cool quote from one of the key opinion leaders. Each of these items helps to strengthen your message and interpret what your database is interested in at an event. Following Seth Godin’s blog post, once we send out the initial A/B test, and get the results, do we then send the winner to the rest of the database? No, this is where the conversation starts. Based on the reaction of the clicks, we can start to pool people together and send them even more targeted emails based on their clicking and page visits.
How often should we be sending emails to our database without negatively affecting the conversation? If you have new information that is relevant to what they clicked, then it’s always worthwhile to send an update. Think of it in terms of any type of communication. How often do you speak with your mother or your friend? How often you want to speak to a colleague or a co-worker? Depending on the type of people in your database, this will determine how many emails you should send to them.
Videos and content
Moving on to videos, we want to focus on retaining attention. The tech world is still trying to figure out ways to make shorter and shorter videos, that can still deliver a high-quality message. I would suggest 3 options to keep videos longer than 1 min, and to keep the message strong. In a classical interview video, we have the interviewee alone on the screen with an off screen interviewer. We then edit the interview to send the strongest message. Or, we have the interviewee and the interviewer sitting together in a conversation. These videos can go on for 5 minutes, but is anyone watching them to the end?
The following suggestions will certainly help, if we implement them at key points.
When you watch a video on YouTube, every few minutes, a banner advert pops up to promote a product or a website you just visited. When we add a YouTube video to our own website, we can take off these adverts. What if we used this space to advertise our own content, to strengthen what the interviewee has just said? These pop-up adverts can be about the event, a deadline reminder, another highlight, or statistics about the event, that will encourage people to r go to the website, or to keep watching.
This is what we call content layering; the first layer is the audio visual of the speaker, and the second is the pop up on top. We can also add another layer in the video itself. By filming with a green screen, you can add video footage in post-production, of what the interviewee is speaking about. The typical way people do this without a green screen is to cut away from the speaker, keeping the audio and replacing the visual with a relevant scene. A cheaper way is to film in a high traffic area but then you risk picking up background noise. The green screen is an affordable option that allows you to add more layers to your video and to strengthen your message.
The third, which is more commonly used, are text captions. These are words that appear as the person is speaking, designed to accentuate the message. For example, if someone is speaking about when they attended and how it was the best experience of a lifetime that text can be used as a caption with the catch phrase ‘experience of a lifetime’.
The more we layer our emails or videos with relevant content, the more we strengthen our message and retain the user’s attention. The layers allow us to give a longer message about our event. The key point is to continue our conversation with our targeted audience, using information that is relevant to them, specifically. The more relevant the content, the better chance you have at getting them in the door.