According to a recent Eventbrite study, 3 out of 4 millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying an item.
In today’s world, we are seeing a rise in popularity of the “experience economy.” That means, people are more willing to spend money on experiences rather than commodities. Experiences are their own category - just like goods and services.
When creating content journeys for your event, it’s important that we consider the experience economy and our audience's diverse learning styles. Every person consumes and interacts with content differently and gauging our audiences diverse learning styles can help us guide and design content that resonates with our audience and gain actionable insight from our audience.
So, how do you convert passive participants into active contributors? Here are 3 simple steps to building an engaging content journey for your next event.
1. Understand Your Event Target Audience Persona
There is no single "right" way of thinking, learning, and behaving.
Building personas allows us to recognize the needs of our buyers and gives us the ability to get closer to them by segmenting our audience into groups with similar profiles, interests, and learning styles so we can better target them and create value.
Designing a content journey should start by truly understanding your buyer personas. Do the research, analyze the data, and leverage technology to help you automate the process.
What does this mean? Begin by leveraging your data and analysis. The profiles you create should include demographic information, behavior, and engagement data as well as a “day in the life” story that describes how the buyer goes about their daily lives, what triggers them and how they reach purchasing decisions.
Look at your resources and budget before you begin. This can help you decide if there is a specific persona you want to target or allocate more resources into. Gain audience insights by doing the following:
- Interview your internal team on the message your event wants to get across
- What do you want to share with the different personas?
- Find ways to give your audience a seat at the table
For example, we know our C-level audience won’t attend our webinars, but they do attend smaller exclusive round table events with their peers. So, we will take some of our research and bring in an industry expert and conduct smaller round table discussions tailored for this group.
2. Design Your Event’s Experiential Content Map
After you have decided who your target audience persona is, create an experiential content map. To truly design an experience first content journey, we need to try mapping our events to each of the stages in the buyer journey that will engage them across each touch point leading up to, during, and after your event.
Digital events offer the best B2B content assets. With all the new event tech that has been incorporated into the digital experience, there are many ways to turn your passive listeners into engaged audience members through social media or adding surveys, polls, and gamification.
In our recent Festival for Communicators, we gave our attendees the power to host their own mini-meetings and create and join brainstorming sessions. We acted as an industry connector and provided our customers with the opportunity to create meaningful connections and share control over their own experience.
After you have figured out who your target audience is, answer these questions:
- What topics are most compelling for specific persona?
- How do we get people to engage with content?
- How is consumption happening?
- What is the best way for persona to digest content?
Remember, your content evolves as your audiences needs evolve. So, make sure you keep referring to these questions and seeing if certain aspects need to change.
3. Build and Nurture a Digital Community
In this new digital age, we see that people really value deep and meaningful connections. And isn’t that the point of hosting these events? To provide our audience members a place to network with people who have similar interests.
Every audience member consumes content differently. Some prefer to read; some like to listen via podcast, and some like to watch panel sessions. So, how do we take the stress out of producing content for multiple learning styles? Simple. Develop content in format that suits the buyer journey.
While everyone uses different metrics to measure the success of an event, the overarching common goal is to build an event that has a strong brand experience and nurtures meaningful conversations. Examples of successful digital communities showcase their buyer’s journey. People like learning from other people and below are two great examples of companies that have built great digital communities.
Peloton has done an exceptional job building and nurturing their online community. What makes them stand out is they have built up of micro-communities that their customers want to be apart of. Let’s be honest, sometimes getting yourself to the gym is the hardest part, but Peloton has made it so that people want to show up to class and participate with their favorite instructor.
Peloton has also done a great job successfully creating “FOMO” for those not involved in the community. Some people who don’t own a Peloton or aren’t involved in the online community often find themselves wishing they were because it is a place to establish meaningful relationships.
Another platform that has harnessed the power of storytelling and the buyer journey is the TEDx platform. This is a great example of how people love to learn from other people and hear real stories and how people have overcome challenges and obstacles. When you think about it, TEDx is just case studies at scale and are all organized by individuals who want to learn.
We can look at TEDx as a great example of gauging what type of content the audience wants to see without getting stressed out over constantly providing new content. Sometimes finding ways to repurpose content is just as effective.
Measuring Your Event’s Impact
There are so many KPI’s and metrics to gauge during a digital experience, it could get overwhelming. Sit down with your team and measure what matters. Then decide what action you take out of that and what are you going to do with that data.
Make sure you pay attention to how the needs of audience is changing as well and what they are trying to tell us.
Watch Our On-Demand Session
Want to learn even more? Check out this on-demand content we think you'll love!
Watch the full video of our expert panel of meeting professionals as they share their vision for mastering the content journey in 3 simple steps and what this means for the future of events.