At I.A.E.E. Expo! Expo!: 7 Rules for Content Marketing

By Mitra Sorrells December 6, 2012, 3:20 PM EST

The one-day trade show at I.A.E.E. Expo! Expo! included more than 250 exhibitors showcasing products and services for the exhibition and event industry. The organization announced the trade show will expand to two days next year in Houston.

Photo: Oscar and Associates, Inc.

The proliferation of social channels and increased smartphone penetration are creating new opportunities for content marketing, making it a hot topic for planners and marketers looking to drive audience behavior. At the International Association of Exhibitions and Events Expo! Expo!, which wraps up today at the Orange County Convention Center, at least three education sessions focused on the topic of content marketing for the event industry.

“We can do it better, smarter, and cheaper. Social creates opportunities for your customers and your attendees and your sponsors to tell your story for you,” said Allen Bonde, chief marketing officer at the Pulse Network, a digital media and event solutions company. “The best way to get engagement is by providing useful, relevant content, and the best measure of engagement is social sharing.”

At a session on Tuesday, Bonde shared his seven rules for effective content marketing:

1. Teach: Think educational first, not promotional. Provide content in short episodes to keep people wanting more.

2. Tap experts: Use thought leaders in your industry to create videos, blog entries, and other content for your target audience.

3. Make it easy: Remove barriers to engagement. Make it easy for people to subscribe to your content, share your content, and contribute their own content.

4. Repurpose: Find multiple uses for each piece of content. For example, a video can be shared on YouTube, cut down to a shorter clip for Facebook, and have the audio used in a podcast.

5. Create clear takeaways: Reinforce key concepts and themes within messaging. Always include a call to action, such as an invitation to request more information.

6. Track: Analyze how users discover, consume, and share your content.

7. Bridge online and offline content: Create content in an offline environment—for example at an event—and then turn it into digital content so it can live on after the event.

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