#8 | Content Marketing For Events: It’s No Longer Optional, It’s Essential
One of the most underrated skillsets in event marketing is agility.
Marketers who possess the ability to intelligently adapt strategy and fine-tune tactics in the heat of a campaign will always outperform those who take time to change direction or hesitate under pressure.
To be truly agile, marketers must embrace the power of analytics and continually measure what return on investment (ROI) their campaign is generating. This allows them to proactively refine campaign tactics on the go and ensure their event has the best chance of success possible.
Furthermore, strong reporting strengthens the influence and power of marketers in an organisation’s decision-making process.
Measurement and reporting starts from day one
There’s still a misconception that measurement and reporting is something for the end of a campaign – helping teams adjust for the next event.
To be effective, measurement and reporting must be a constant and ongoing process. At a minimum you should have some form of weekly reporting and ideally you would be looking at event marketing performance on a daily analysis.
Real-time reporting gives senior management a way to be able to make rapid, but informed decisions. Tactics such as email marketing can be adapted and reworked during event promotion if they are underperforming, rather than be a source of regret at the end of a campaign.
Similarly, tactics which are bringing in great results can be given extra resources to maximise their impact. Measurement is as much about finding out what works as what doesn’t. The longer you wait to find out what is functioning and what isn’t, the longer you are under resourcing or over resourcing elements of a campaign.
Less is often more
Good reporting comes as much from what you don’t measure as what you do measure.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to evaluate a wide range of functions. But this is a double-edged sword. One of the reasons many marketers are suspicious about reporting is they may have previously tried to measure too many metrics and ended up wasting valuable time with little to show for it.
Information overload will paralyse decision making as the sheer level of data available will blur the overall picture, making it tough for decision makers to make clear and correct calls.
The best event teams focus on a small, but critical, core of metrics and use these as the central indicators from which to take a ‘health check’ of an event campaign and know their marketing ROI.
Key examples of vital metrics you should be measuring include:
- Bookings: Forecasting of how many bookings you need to make over a set period to hit your target is pretty standard stuff. The key is to make these forecasts show week by week bookings needed, rather than monthly, for longer. In conjunction with other metrics, this makes it easier to quickly see which tactics are moving the needle.
- Leads: New leads should be formally recorded as well as where they originated from. You will also want to keep a track of the percentage you convert to sales and the ones that fall off. If telesales is failing to convert enough leads do they need more support or extra training? Is the messaging right or does it need adjusting? Good reporting on leads can help you find answers to these kinds of questions.
- Channels: It’s vital you know what channels of communication are delivering for you, which need boosting and which may even be put aside. Marketers must understand everything from where their web traffic is coming from to whether their social media accounts are growing to the results of their PPC campaigns.
Reporting on the above areas doesn’t have to be so detailed you need a degree in mathematics to understand the metrics. You just need the top-level numbers that give you a reliable guide as to what is working in your campaign and what is falling short of expectations.
Today’s marketing teams need a ‘numbers person’
Being able to present data in a simple, clear way is a rare and specific skill set. Just like marketing teams need people who can write good copy, they also need someone who can crunch the numbers and make them easily digestible for others.
Numbers give you power, but only if those numbers are crystal clear and don’t confuse the matter at hand. You may need a numbers person to crunch the data, but turning numbers into actionable insight is the #1 skill every event marketer should have.
Reporting strengthens a marketer’s hand
Finally, strong reporting is one of the best ways of demonstrating the value of good marketing to internal and external stakeholders.
Strong measurement and reporting not only helps create optimum conditions for an events campaign, but also empowers marketers who can use the data they uncover to influence stakeholders and demonstrate the ROI from marketing – ensuring the required level of support and investment is forthcoming.
Having results to hand that indicate the performance of a campaign is a great way to relieve unnecessary pressure and get sign off on new ideas or new budget allocation.
Reporting, done correctly, provides visibility of your work and the ROI it produces, which can be shared throughout an organisation and used to demonstrate the true value good event marketing brings. The more others understand the value you add, the more resources and support you’ll get on future projects. And what kind of event marketer would say ‘no thanks’ to that?