Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

How event planners and people running meetings can use content marketing techniques for success 

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We’ve all been in meetings and at conferences that were just bad. A waste of our time. Why am I here? Who thought this was necessary? Might as well have left me a voicemail that I could easily ignore. Ha.

Many times when meetings or conferences blow for the attendees it comes back to one or more or these: 

  • The need of the audience wasn’t clear 
  • The presenter didn’t tell a story or worse didn’t tell a relevant story
  • It wasn’t clear what the presenter actually wanted from the audience. Even though I don’t sell from the stage, there’s always a call to action. Tell better stories, for example. 
  • The whole thing was a sales gimmick and it was super obvious.

All of these can be overcome with some simple authentic storytelling content marketing techniques. Here are the steps: 

  1. Determine if the event or meeting is even needed.
  2. What’s its goal and what will attendees get out of it. Give before you get something. 
  3. What unique and interesting story can you tell around the point of the  event?
  4. How will you measure success?
  5. How much will this whole thing cost and how will you pay for it?
  6. Make a plan with timelines and tie that back to the overall point of the event or meeting. 
  7. Implement.

Once you get used to this process, it can be done walking to a meeting. And you can adjust it on the fly even. No need to overthink it. Just think the right amount!

How do I know this is needed?  Well, I’ve been to more than my fair share of bad meetings and conference talks. Ones where they just dump stuff on you. Stuff their bosses or maybe marketing thought was necessary to share. 

That’s the kind of content that is CRAP (aka Content Really Annoying to People). Don’t do it. It doesn’t mean you can’t toot your own horn. Please do from time to time. Share the accomplishments you are proud of. Congrats on the achievement, by the way. But if that’s all, please run a commercial on YouTube and let us skip it after five seconds. 

Why do we share stuff that is irrelevant to our audiences anyway? Easy answer: Because it seems important  to us. So we think it’s important for a certain meeting or conference talk. But it’s really not. 

Journalism example Inbound: 

I remember my times as a rookie journalist when editors would cut the heck out of my stories. 

Hey, hey, that sentence is needed!

Why?

Because I put it in there and the story can’t  be told without it. 

Of course, most of the time it totally could be told without it and sometimes even made the story better. But through my lense it was needed and important. It’s hard to distance ourselves from ourselves afterall. We ourselves are always right there. Ha. But we have to try. Then melt your own needs with the needs of the audience. 

Here’s an example from this blog: 

My social media how-to articles perform by far the best. But they are not my favorites to write. These kind of articles are, but far fewer read them. So I do them both. Sometimes at the same time and in the same post even. I melt interests! It’s meaningful for all of us. 

Just make sure to keep your audience in mind and make it worth their time. Once you do they’ll make it worth yours. 

Here’s to fewer crappy meetings and conferences. 


Christoph

Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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