Evergreen event content gets its name after the tree that keeps its leaves all year round: the evergreen. In other words, it refers to creating content that lasts. And things made to last command respect. Just think of the pyramids in Egypt or the Great Wall of China.
Events are, of course, experiences that should be lived and enjoyed in the moment. But let's not forget they’re superb opportunities to create some top-quality content.
Evergreen content is built to be of value to your audience for a long time. This sets it apart from content that focuses on ‘trending’ issues.
This blog will give you the knowledge and tools to make evergreen content marketing a reality for you and your business. So get reading, and we hope you enjoy!
1. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is the first port of call when brainstorming ideas for evergreen topics. There are two ways you should look at it:
- If you know your audience's common problems, you can make evergreen event content that focuses on the solution.
- If you know their common desires, you can make evergreen event content that focuses on how they can achieve them.
But what is knowing your audience? Fundamentally, it’s your customer's demographics, such as their age, location, gender, likes, dislikes, etc.
Furthermore, knowing your audience also avoids insulting their intelligence. Conversely, it can also avoid confusing them. Because knowing who they are and what they do will tell you what you need to outline and explain and what you don’t.
For example, if your content mentions something like blockchain, do you take the time to explain what that is? If you know that blockchain is a known quantity in their industry, you don’t. If it’s not assumed to be a well-known entity, you can make your content more helpful by explaining what it is.
And how do you go about understanding your audience? Well, for starters, you can speak to your marketing and sales department, who almost certainly have this information ready for you.
If not, don’t fret. Read this handy guide on 10 ways to understand your target audience to learn more for yourself. An effective way to make this information actionable is to build effective user personas for your audience.
2. Produce Evergreen Content From Video Footage
Video content continues to grow in popularity in every field and should absolutely be a crucial part of your virtual event strategy. And when it comes to evergreen content, your video packages must serve a
clear purpose: they should either entertain or educate your audience (but preferably both, of course).
Here’s the thing, though, finding fresh footage is easier said than done, especially if you’re in an industry where shooting footage isn’t part of your daily duties. Well, events are goldmines for capturing live footage, so as we said, make sure it’s part of your virtual event strategy.
The easiest way is to live stream your event with several cameras. This can be done by bringing in a professional production team. However, it can be done cheaper by live streaming across various social media platforms.
Once you’ve got all your raw footage together, ensure that you don’t blow all of your footage straight away. If you package it all in one big piece of content, most people won’t watch it through till the end. 58% of viewers watch a business-related video all the way through if it’s less than 60 seconds. Only 24% will finish a video longer than 20 minutes.
Facebook recommends that small businesses keep videos to around 15 seconds as much as possible. They shared that 47% of the value in a video is delivered in the first 3 seconds.
And plus, once you’ve used it, it signals the symbolic end of the event. However, if you release it in small, fun-sized portions, people will stay engaged to the end, and they’ll look forward to the next one.
3. Get Ideas From Attendees
Here’s the thing, you can spend a long time brainstorming what you think people will want. But here’s a secret, you can just ask them! Yes, one of the best ways to pick evergreen topics is just to ask your target audience!
This does two things. Firstly, it empowers you with the capability to reframe your presentations and content during your events. And secondly, it’s fantastic for future reference when molding your evergreen content marketing.
So those are the benefits, but how do you extract the glorious evergreen topic ideas your attendees have? There are two primary ways of doing it: live polling and Q&A sessions.
To think of a quick example, if one of your guest speakers is giving a talk on marketing trends in 2022. You could do a live poll asking what they consider the most essential elements of good content from the following options:
- Engaging storytelling
- Well edited copy
- High volume production
- Low cost
- Professional writing
So, if most of your audience chooses engaging storytelling, that empowers your guest speaker to lean more heavily into solutions for that problem in real-time.
In short, live polling is a quick and decisive way to understand what your audience thinks and what it wants; its power also comes from its ability to change things as they happen and as vital info to use long after the event is over. Check out our guide on making the most out of live polling at events to learn more.
Then you have Q&A sessions. They’re great because they yield an entirely different type of data, leading to an altogether more dynamic evergreen event.
For example, following on from the engaging storytelling poll result, an attendee’s question could turn the talk in a fascinating direction by asking your expert speaker to explain why it's not advised to use the passive voice in business writing; and if it’s okay to use it sparingly when appropriate.
And before we move on, a final remark on Q&A sessions. They make your attendees feel heard. They bring added value to your guests who want to feel part of the action. And that sentiment will make for more fruitful evergreen events, we promise!
4. Draw From User-Generated Content
As you’re well aware, attendees will be making content of their own at your events, primarily through social media. This is a fantastic organic marketing strategy. Plus, you can use this to build on your chosen evergreen topics.
And the beauty of user-generated content is that people get a kick out of their name being put out there. It’s something they can show their friends and family. So it makes your audience happy, and it gets people talking about it!
Your virtual event strategy can’t just hope for user-generated content, though. You need to encourage it. So, of course, create a catchy hashtag and gently prompt guests into joining the conversation.
However, not every guest will be keen to post content of their own volition even then. So further incentives might be needed. A simple solution is to set up a contest where people who use your designated hashtags can win a prize.
Once people start posting, you can sift through to find the coolest takes - and perhaps crucially - find hidden VIP members of your audience! If there are high profile influencers, experts, or successful figures in your crowd, their content is the ultimate proof that your event is worth taking notice of, and most importantly, will make for more effective evergreen event content.
It’s easier said than done, of course. That’s why we thought long and hard about it. Our solution is Hallway Chatter. A dynamic virtual & hybrid space where attendees can hang out; where their content will be displayed in our futuristic virtual halls.
5. Take Advantage of Post-Event Engagement
Once the event is over, the virtual event strategy still rolls on. To promote your evergreen event content, you need to keep engaging with your attendees, and your target audience after the event is over.
After all, without evergreen content marketing to get your brilliant ideas out there, what’s the point in doing it in the first place?
Remember, just because this is post-event doesn’t mean it should be an afterthought. Your post-event engagement should be an integral part of your virtual event strategy.
- Send a thank-you email: Sending a thank-you email is excellent for retention and engagement. It’s also a good way of disseminating essential information on what’s going on on your end. And make sure to be versatile and send a ‘sorry we missed you’ to no-shows.
- Create a post-event page: Make sure to lure people in with on-demand content, fun stats, photos, early-bird offers for your next event, and of course, the fruit of your precious evergreen topics!
- Ask them to fill out a post-event survey: This will help you organize a better event for your attendee the following year. And to incentivize your attendee, make sure to offer a little perk, like a discount code or entry to an exclusive prize draw.
- Pursue a personal follow-up strategy: If you made a strong connection with an attendee or you’re a fan of their user-generated content, creating a personal follow-up is a very classy touch!
- Share relevant event content: Remember, as we said, in engaging, digestible portions.
- Send invitations to your following events: Here, you can use evergreen content marketing to increase the attendance of your next event, where you can generate new evergreen topics, creating a cycle that will build your brand for years to come!
And as we said, this should be an integral part of your virtual event strategy, so be sure to track your post-event engagement like any other part of your event planning activities!
So, there you have it. If you follow the above advice, you’ll have all the knowledge you’ll need to form your own evergreen content marketing.
But knowing how to do something is half the battle. You’ll also need the tools to make it happen. There are many great event platform companies out there, and you’re free to choose who you want.
However, we’re very proud of our work, and we think you should stay evergreen with MeetingPlay. We have all the tools you need - all intuitive to use, built uniquely for you and your event.
You can book a free demo of our products to see why we’re so confident.