Most event organisers now run a blog, and many are expanding their marketing efforts into other forms of content marketing, from eBooks to infographics, as a way to build a loyal following for their events.
However for any event organiser, keeping your blog’s calendar full of interesting, relevant and popular topics to write about when promoting your event can be difficult.
Whether you blog once a week or everyday, it’s a challenge to keep things fresh and your events’ content marketing calendar full. However to build a loyal event following, this is absolutely essential.
So how can you keep on top of it?
Ideally the process for managing your event blog’s content calendar should be:
- Help you find ideas that have social validation before you’ve written them
- Help you find potential distribution partners as you go
Thankfully, there exists a solution that ticks all of those boxes.
It’s called Buzzsumo.
You can achieve all of the above with the free version of Buzzsumo, and they’ve recently launched a paid version too, which offers even more tools to help event content marketers.
Below, we’re going to look at the six simple steps you should take to use Buzzsumo to fill your events’ content marketing calendar and build a loyal event following.
How does it work?
Buzzsumo works by integrating with the APIs of all the major social channels of the web (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+) to measure how many times a post has been shared.
It then displays them in a simple list, with various additional features that allow you to dig in deeper, such as looking at who shared the article.
To learn how it can work for your event marketing, keep reading!
Step one: Make sure your event is live
The first thing you need to do is make sure your event is live on Eventbrite.
If you don’t have a simple, intuitive and trusted registration page, no amount of blogging – or any other kind of marketing – will help you sell more tickets!
Invest a few minutes in having the right ticketing solution before you even begin promoting the event, otherwise you could find you’re wasting your time in the wrong areas. However, once you’re live, it is time to start promoting your event and building out your content calendar.
Step two: Sign up to Buzzsumo (it’s free)
It is free, but the first step to using Buzzsumo is to sign up for an account. While you can test it without signing up, searches and functionality are limited, so you’ll ultimately want an account.
Step three: Search by keyword
The most basic step for using Buzzsumo is to search by keywords or short phrases that are associated with your event. Let’s assume you’re running a design-focused conference, so we have something tangible to work with (but the process would work for any topic and any type of event).
Once you’ve typed in a keyword or phrase, you’ll be presented with a list of results. They can be filtered by recency, ranging from 12 months to 24 hours. I typically focus on the one month option, so everything it shows me is reasonably new, but it’s had time to be shared and therefore gives a more complete view than only looking at a 24 hour timeframe. However you can find what works best for you.
Let’s try searching for the most obvious keyword: “Design”
Now you can scan down the list to see which posts have been popular in the last month relating to your events’ keywords.
Pro tip: As you scan, keep an eye out for any results that are very similar topics or headlines but in different publications. This indicates there’s been something topical that could still be worth writing about, depending on the subject.
In this case, we can clearly see that the topic of ‘designers saying no to unpaid work’ is a hot issue, so we should add this to our content calendar.
Of course, you need to put your own unique angle on the subject, so you see our topic is not directly linked to the two articles, but there are be references to them and the theme is related. This way you’re adding a unique perspective and value to the conversation.
Now you try another key word (in this case ‘designers’) and spot another trend.
This time you notice there’s a lot of interest in celebrities who used to be designers. Perhaps you can write about the interesting jobs or career routes taken by the designers speaking at your conference? Similar topic, different take, and it utilises your speakers.
Next you see something else interesting.
This seems like a pretty easy type of post to replicate. You can curate a list of the top 20 or 30 designers to follow on Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter etc.
Put these in the calendar too!
Pro tip: Keep an eye out for headlines that are popular and lend themselves to a formula, such as this one, which is Top [X] designers to follow on [Y]. These kinds of formulas can keep you going with lots of content!
Step four: Search by event-related media
Once you’ve searched for all the keywords associated with your event, you can move on to the next kind of search: Industry-specific media sites and competitor blogs.
Assuming you noticed there were a few popular posts by the same publisher in your keyword search, you might start with them. In this example it’s FastCo.
To search these, you simply need to add their domain to the search bar, or you can click on the publisher’s link in the search results.
Now you can see all of their most popular posts for the past month.
These offer up a wealth of interesting topics and formulas you can easily add to your own content calendar by adding your own angle to each of them, as we show here.
You can repeat this step as many times as you need, with as many industry publishers or competitor blogs as you like. However, for our example, lets move on.
Step five: Search by popular media
The next type of search to try is almost identical to the previous one, but your focus should now be wider, and look at popular cultural media not necessarily related to your event or industry.
These are sites like The Guardian, Business Insider, The Metro and Buzzfeed just to give a few examples.
Taking Buzzfeed as an example, we can search for what has been popular, just like above.
Here we immediately see another trend: Quizzes.
These are clearly popular, so you might want to plan a quiz into your content marketing campaign.
The reason you should try searching by popular media as well as publications that focus on topics related to your event is twofold:
- Firstly, your event might very niche, in which case you’ll need to broaden your search to find popular topics to write about; and
- Secondly, you don’t want to just write about the same things that everyone in your industry is already writing about. You need to offer something a little different, and looking outside of the scope of your industry will help make you stand out.
Step six: Search by influencer
Finally, you should see what key influencers in your market are sharing.
Pulled from their twitter streams, you can plug in the twitter handle of any prominent figures and Buzzsumo will show you what they find interesting enough to share with their followers.
In this case we’ve looked the stories shared by SmashingMag, a very popular design, UX and UI blog on the web.
This should give you yet more ideas for topics to write about, in this case we can see there are 2 out of 3 posts on mobile apps and downloads being in trouble, so you may want to cover a topic about whether designs should still be focused on ‘mobile first’?
Hopefully the topics you find based on influencers will be topics they are likely to share again, helping you identify influencers who might share your posts as you go.
In a few quick and easy steps, we end up with a full content calendar that would allow you to write a post every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month.
Not bad for 30 minutes of work!
You’re now set-up to consistently create great content that is bound to help build a loyal event following.
Much like Eventbrite is a powerful and easy tool to help drive your event ticketing and registration needs, Buzzsumo can help you fill your events’ content marketing pipeline.
Together, they’re a pretty formidable pairing and we’re sure you’ll see an increase in your loyal event following by utilising both tools in future promotional plans.
If you’d like more great tips like these, you should sign up for our next live event ‘Event Marketing for Startups‘ at Campus London, Wed 12th Nov.