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How to build a content marketing machine that resonates with customers

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Best Practices, Event Marketing, Marketing, Online Resources, Social Media, Tools and Software

Does your content marketing strategy feel suspiciously like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks? You’re not alone. 

Creating an effective content strategy to market your events business can take up a massive amount of your valuable time. And it’s easy to get discouraged if you’re too focused on minutiae rather than details that produce tangible results. 

We’re diving into the crucial aspects of crafting an ultra-powerful content marketing machine that will reach your ideal audience, increase brand awareness, and ultimately drive your business growth.

We’ll discuss:

  • Defining your ideal customers and researching/analyzing their behavior online
  • Determining your content pillars to craft a well-rounded strategy
  • Diversifying content formats to broaden your reach
  • Content optimization for your website, landing pages, and social media
  • Planning and organizing your content to reduce busywork

Planning Pod’s streamlined event CRM and lead management tools are a great compliment to any marketing program, enabling you to easily capture leads on your website, manage your entire sales pipeline and close more sales.

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Defining your ideal customers & researching/analyzing their behavior online

Defining your ideal customer is a critical step in marketing and growing any business. That’s why we’re starting here … because if you haven’t done this yet, you shouldn’t even be thinking about other aspects of content marketing.

By focusing on the right audience, you can tailor the message of your content (as well as pricing and overall experience) to truly resonate, setting the stage for better engagement and higher ROI. 

Here are some best practices in identifying your target audience as an events business.

Analyze your existing customer base

  • Start with past clients: Who were your most positive and profitable clients? What commonalities did they share in terms of demographics, interests, and event goals? Use surveys or interviews to delve deeper into their motivations and preferences.
  • Segment your data: If you have a diverse client base, segment it based on key factors like event type, budget, or industry. This will help identify patterns and niche opportunities.
  • Review customer feedback: Analyze feedback forms, online reviews, and social media mentions to understand what resonates with your audience and identify areas for improvement.

Research your competitors

  • Who are your competitors targeting? Analyze their marketing materials, website, and social media presence to understand their target audience and identify potential gaps you can fill with your own content.
  • What are their strengths and weaknesses? If you can find a way to offer a unique value proposition or cater to a specific segment they neglect with your content, you’re golden.

Define your business’s unique selling proposition (USP)

  • What common pain points are you addressing for your clientele? Do you provide white-glove service so clients don’t have to worry about details falling through the cracks? Have a recommended list of vendors clients can trust? Have a different team member solely dedicated to the care of each client? Clearly articulate the unique value your business offers and the specific audience who will benefit the most.
  • What makes your business unique? Differentiate yourself from competitors by highlighting your specific areas of expertise, unique packages and offerings, and anything else that sets you apart.

Consider the demographics and psychographics of your ideal audience

  • Go beyond basic demographics: Age, income, and location are important, but also consider interests, hobbies, values, and lifestyle choices. The deeper your understanding of your audience, the more effectively you can tailor a content marketing strategy to them.
  • Use online tools and surveys to gather the details: Platforms like Facebook Audience Insights can help you obtain detailed information about your target audience, and there are a variety of survey tools available (like SurveyMonkey, MailChimp, or JotForm) that you should take advantage of to gather details that serve your content strategy.

Create a detailed customer profile (or several)

  • Compile all your research and insights into a clear profile of your ideal client (or clients). At the very least, include these details for any client segment:
    • Demographics
    • Psychographics
    • Pain points
    • Motivations
    • Preferred communication channels
  • Give each client segment a name and persona: This personalizes your client profiles and makes it easier to understand and tailor your content marketing efforts to what information is valuable to each of them. It’s also a great resource that can be used to quickly train new team members who contribute to your content marketing strategy.

Most importantly, remember that identifying and understanding your target audience isn’t a one-time process. As your business evolves, so too should your understanding of your target audience. 

Work with CRM platforms like Planning Pod that can help you continuously and passively gather data on your best customers, and use tools like Google Analytics to evaluate the success of your website and blog content. Get familiar with social media dashboards and reporting. Then, refine your ideal client profiles over time to ensure your business offerings resonate with the right people.

Determining your content pillars

Once you have a thorough understanding of your target audience, you can begin to devise content pillars, which are essentially categories for your content that speak to your ideal customer base.

Creating strong content pillars is crucial for an effective content marketing strategy that attracts and engages your target audience while establishing your expertise and brand identity. 

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Let the needs, interests, and challenges of your ideal customer dictate your content pillars

Now you know your audience. You understand their needs, interests, and challenges related to events. Use that information! What value can you provide that addresses their pain points and establishes you as a trusted partner? 

Maybe they have concerns about working with the right vendors; you could create a YouTube video going into detail about how you handpick businesses for your vendor list. Maybe they need guidance with an event theme; you could offer a series of Instagram reels overviewing popular themes for certain types of events. The possibilities should be dictated by what matters most to your target audience. 

Ensure that your pillars align with your business goals and event types

What are your overarching marketing objectives? Brand awareness, lead generation, event registrations? Think about how your content pillars can drive engagement to achieve these goals. Pillars based on your offerings may support lead generation, while pillars based on event trends may be better suited to brand awareness. 

On the other hand, what types of events do you typically book, coordinate and/or execute? A great option could be to create pillars specific to each event type (e.g., weddings, parties, galas,  conferences, workshops, festivals). Another is to create pillars based on broader themes, such as event technology and sustainability.

It is crucial to stay updated on current trends in your industry and the event space in order to establish yourself as a trusted expert. What are industry leaders discussing? What topics are gaining traction? You should make sure you create content that gives you a proverbial seat at the table when it comes to any hot topic in your niche of the event industry.

You should also frequently analyze your competitors’ content pillars. Identify their strengths and weaknesses, and find opportunities to differentiate your content from theirs. You can probably execute similar content, but always ask yourself how you can make it more engaging than your competition does.

Brainstorm potential pillars, focusing on value and differentiation

What can you uniquely offer your audience compared to your competition? Are you known for specific expertise, speaker access, or unique event experiences? Find ways to address what sets you apart in your content.

It’s also important to focus on the “why” behind each pillar. Clearly identify the value your content provides to your target audience and how it connects to their needs and challenges – you want to make it easy for them to recognize why they should give you their business.

Refine and prioritize your pillars

Ensure your pillars are distinct, yet interconnected. They should create a cohesive narrative around your brand, event business offerings, and trending industry topics relevant to your audience. You should start with 3-5 core pillars that comprehensively represent your business.

Like your ideal customer profile, content pillars are a living document. Regularly re-evaluate their effectiveness, track their performance, and adapt them to changing audience needs and industry trends. This ensures your content remains relevant, valuable, and continues to attract your ideal event clients.

Diversifying content formats

These days, if you’re not diversifying the format of your content, you’re missing out on a plethora of opportunities to reach your target audience. This strategy is crucial for capturing attention in a crowded market and reaching your ideal clients where they prefer to consume information. 

By now, you should have a solid understanding of how your ideal audience segments prefer to consume information. Make sure to produce content in formats that you know your ideal clients will be seeing.

NOTE: Video content is king in this day and age. Check out this article with more information and best practices regarding video content marketing to drive brand awareness and business growth.

Experiment with formats

  • Go beyond text: The days are gone when a simple, text-based blog would be enough for housing the majority of your content. Visuals like infographics, photos, and videos should be a complimentary part of any text-based piece. People are simply drawn to visual content more than they are to text. 
  • Explore interactive content: Find every opportunity to use quizzes, polls, and contests to engage your audience on a variety of platforms and collect valuable data. This kills two birds with one stone: your audience is more enticed to engage, and you gather tangible information to continue building your marketing strategy. 
  • Consider audio content: Start a podcast to establish thought leadership or interview notable guests. You can reach an entirely different swath of people through platforms like Spotify or Apple podcasts in contrast to social media or your website.
  • Repurpose existing content: No piece of content should live in only one format on only one platform. You should be milking it for all it’s worth. Extract snippets from blog posts, videos, and webinars to create social media posts, infographics, or other short-form videos. 

Leverage a variety of social media platforms

  • Optimize your content for each platform: Tailor your content’s length, tone, and visuals for different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Different lengths and formats will best suit different platforms, so make sure to study up on what the algorithm rewards in different places. 
  • Utilize live streaming: Host live Q&A sessions, behind-the-scenes glimpses of your events, or event previews to build excitement and engagement … trust us, FOMO is a real and powerful motivator.
  • Partner with influencers: Do your research on relevant influencers with a significant following, and collaborate with them on content. Gaining their endorsement allows you to plug into their audience and increase your own brand awareness.

Always, always…measure and analyze metrics

It pays to establish consistent monitoring of your content’s engagement, reach, and conversions across different formats and platforms. If you see significant differences in the success of different platforms or content types, you can use that information to streamline how you spend your time creating it and where it’s worth publishing.

Content optimization

Optimizing your content and understanding SEO (search engine optimization) is a crucial part of getting in front of your ideal customers, as well as increasing brand awareness and driving conversions. This can be an intimidating thing to master, but there are some simple best practices when it comes to content optimization.

SEO and technical optimization

  • Target relevant keywords in text content: Research and incorporate keywords that your target audience might use to find your events or your event-based business. You can use tools like SEMRush or AnswerThePublic to conduct your research, and other tools like Clearscope or Yoast can provide you with a collection of related keywords to include in text content for optimization. Remember to strategically incorporate these keywords for readability, and avoid keyword stuffing.
  • Optimize page elements: Use clear titles, meta descriptions, headings, subheadings, and alt text for any images. All of these are elements that help Google to serve your content to the right audience. And don’t forget to make sure these elements are also optimized for the mobile version of your site.
  • Site speed, hierarchy of information, and sitemap
    • Use website speed testing tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify and fix performance issues. 
    • Create a clear and well-structured website hierarchy. Use a logical URL structure that reflects your event categories and content organization.
    • Submit your sitemap to Google Search Console. This helps Google understand your website structure and index your content efficiently. 
A graphic depicts the different aspects of search engine optimization, including blog, keywords, rank, optimize, position, pages, content, and links.

Social media optimization

  • Research and utilize industry-relevant hashtags: Hashtags are the keywords of social media, so make sure to include 7-10 relevant tags on any piece of social media content related to your business.
  • Trending audio: When relevant to your content, trending audio goes a long way in increasing your short form video reach, views, and engagement. Use trending audio with fewer than 5000 uses for the best chance of going viral.

Planning and organizing your content

Creating a strategic and organized approach to content creation is crucial. No business owner has endless time to spend on content creation, so streamlining your process is of the utmost importance. With the modern, advanced tools available for content creation, it is completely feasible to manage an effective content strategy with limited resources.

  • Develop a content calendar: Plan your content well in advance, aligning it with event timelines, seasonal trends, and audience interests. Include diverse content formats like blog posts, videos, social media snippets, and email campaigns.
  • Use social media management tools: Platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer allow you to schedule social media content ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about posting manually. They also provide powerful analytics at your fingertips.
  • Audit your existing content: Assess your current resources and identify gaps in your content strategy, and consider repurposing valuable content into different formats for wider reach. 
  • Segment your time: Set aside specific time for content creation, and use calendar reminders and alerts to keep yourself on track. Beware of sinking too many hours into a single piece of content, and remember that done is better than perfect.
  • Utilize AI: Artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Google Gemini can be really helpful in content marketing (if you know how to prompt them). Experiment with asking these tools for content ideas that resonate with your target audience, honing in on trending topics, or additional detail/resources that can flesh out your existing content.

By following these principles, you’ll be well on your way to building a content engine that increases brand awareness and engagement, generates leads, drives conversions, and lays the groundwork for establishing your business as a trusted partner for your ideal customers.

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