With the discontinuation of corona measures, many companies are asking themselves how they should reposition their live communication in the future. In this context, a paradigm shift is on the horizon for the role of events in the marketing mix:
Whether real, digital or hybrid – the camera is increasingly an integral part of any event production. This is changing the role of live communication: As a hinge between branding and content marketing, live communication is opening up new ways for denser and more efficient communication.
In the development of a communication strategy, events are often at the end of a long journey. Starting with strategy, branding, website, social media, POS measures, etc., it is a long way for many companies until event measures come into focus. Sometimes they are even independent of the rest of the marketing mix and implemented as a separate stream of measures. (See left side of graphic)
I would like to advocate a different approach here: If you establish live communication between branding and content marketing, it becomes a tool to bring the communication strategy to life and drive content marketing. How does live communication work like this? From my point of view, the following three steps have to be observed on this path. (See right side of graphic)
1) Internalizing the brand: What do we want to achieve?
The path to live communication with more impact starts with a strategy process: corporate strategy, values, core messages, themes, products, … all this sets the context for the development of communication measures – including event formats.
From here, the goals of an event must be inferred: What do we want to achieve? Do we want to inspire new customers? Should existing customers be taken a step further? Should the community be strengthened and customers increasingly connected with other customers?
These questions are absolutely necessary and without clear answers, you won’t get to step two. But at the same time, you must not get lost in the strategy. Strategic processes in companies are sometimes so long that everyone eventually has a vision of the big new thing in their heads, but concrete measures are becoming noticeably more vague. With each strategy meeting, the vision is replaced by just one more question: What are we going to do now?
2) Events as incarnation of the brand
At this point, events are wonderfully immediate and concrete: while some strategy processes die in beauty on their meta-level, events plain and simple turn core messages into events. In live communication, target group analysis and brand positioning suddenly become a concrete date, a sequence, a dramaturgy, a happening. Strategy becomes concrete. Messages become tangible. In the concept and production phase, the core message takes shape and the strategy becomes an experience.
And it is precisely now, when the event takes on a definite form and the strategy becomes a concrete measure through the event, that it is important to look for cross-connections from the event to other communication channels in order to make the content and emotions of the event visible on other channels as well.
3) Create experiences and talk about them
Events are complex measures and often represent the spearhead of what a company has to say to its target group. It would be a waste to simply burn up this energy on day X at time X as a single measure. What’s more – whether physical, digital or hybrid – the camera is part of almost every event production. So why not turn a single event into an entire firework display?
Where live communications and content marketing work together, a single event can grow into a whole series of touchpoints that revolve around the same message and create coherent campaigns with events at the center. From landing page teasers to various social media posts to newsletters to blog articles, etc. In the run-up to the event, protagonists can be portrayed, their core theses presented or surveys launched. Guests are involved live via Q&A or polls. After the event, top statements and emotional scenes of the event are published as snippets or entire parts are made available on-demand as video. Communication becomes an event.
The great advantage of this model is that all the measures outlined can be included in the development of an event production and efficiently produced from there. This means that separate content does not have to be developed for each stream of measures, and the communication ultimately appears more coherent and interconnected for the target group.
Are you ready for more «Live with Impact»?
I hope I have been able to inspire you to explore new avenues with your live communications as well. At Live Lab, we are proud to have brought our own content unit on board for our event productions at the start of the pandemic. Together we have had very good results in combining event and content and have accompanied our clients from the strategy to the event.
We will be happy to advise you free of charge and without obligation in an initial meeting, in which we will present our competencies and cases to you in more detail.