You know the drill: another day, another piece of content to connect with your audience.
You churn out post after post, social media update after social media update — typing, typing, typing all the way.
It reminds me a little of this classic Dunkin’ Donuts commercial.
We’ve all felt like Fred the Baker from time to time — dragging ourselves to our keyboards to create yet another readable, but forgettable, post.
What if you could break the “time to make the donuts” cycle with an information-packed piece of content that readers would line up (and sign up) to consume?
Enter the content event
Content events aren’t blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, infographics, social media posts, or email newsletters.
Content events share a few things in common:
- They happen on a specific date
- You send out an invitation to attend
- You gather RSVPs
- You offer some kind of “replay” of the event
- You follow up with attendees when the event is over
The most important characteristic of a content event is that it’s delivered live — like the upcoming Authority webinar, How to Create a Recurring Content Event that Builds Your List, which occurs this Friday, October 10 at 11:00 a.m Eastern Time.
Content events create a level of excitement and engagement that goes beyond everyday content consumption.
Because they happen at a specific moment in time, both delivering and attending them feel like a special occasion.
Three types of content events
There are three events that qualify as live content events, and I’ve listed them below in order from simple to complex:
- Live teleclasses
- Live webinars
- Live presentations
If you’ve never hosted a content event before, start with a teleclass. The technology is easy to manage, and you don’t have to create any slides.
Instead, you can focus on:
Deciding on the date for the event, and the technology you’ll use.
Find a date and time that works for your audience, and sign yourself up for a teleclass service. A good one to try if you’re just starting out is FreeConferenceCallHD.com.
Working on a compelling event name.
It’s essential to write an irresistible event name. Don’t be afraid to make a big promise and use a title that creates curiosity.
Pinning down your goal for the event.
Do you want to attract more people to your email list? Or do you want to offer a product or service after your presentation? Or do you simply want to communicate solid information and build your authority? (Why not aim for all three?)
Writing a series of invitations to the event.
Create a separate email list for the event, and as people sign up, set up your subsequent emails so they don’t go out to people who are already on the attendee list.
Preparing a follow-up email you’ll send after the event.
Have an email ready and waiting that you’ll use to deliver the replay of the event.
Assembling the material you’ll present.
Include an introduction, an overview of the information you’ll cover, a few main points, and a summary of the lessons taught during the event. If you want listeners to take a specific action, include a call to action at the end.
The basic preparation steps for a webinar and a presentation are similar: focus on your goal, invite attendees, present, and follow up.
Maximize your content event results
To boost the number of attendees at your content event, try a multi-pronged promotional strategy:
- Email marketing, to invite current members of your email list to attend
- Blog posts, to reach a wider audience
- Social media posts, to reach friends of your followers
To boost your attendee numbers even more, consider:
- Asking colleagues with similar audiences to mention your event to their followers
- Buying social media ads to get your event in front of more people
- Writing guest posts with an invitation to the content event in your bio blurb
Don’t be shocked if you spend as much, or more, time putting together the promotional materials for your event as you do putting together the material you’ll teach during the event itself!
Running a content event is like planning a dinner party. You spend days — maybe weeks — planning, prepping, inviting, and following up on invites. The event itself comes and goes relatively quickly.
But if you do it right, the effects of your content event will be felt for a long time. And your audience will appreciate that this time you went beyond making donuts.
Flickr Creative Commons Image via Paul Townsend.