Events and Snowmelt Marketing

Just as snowmelt is an important part of the annual water cycle, events can be a watershed of content that continually refreshes your community.

While Spring is in bloom, here in the Pacific Northwest, the news is warning that the Northeast may see snow this week – up to a foot, in come locales. It may seem odd that snows will come this late in the season, but the Northeastern Summer will be better for them.

Snows melt; we all know that. When snowmelt happens, it creates surface runoff – an important source of water in the lowland watershed. Regular rains also contribute to lowland water levels, but the benefits of a rain come and go quickly. Snow contributes an ongoing source of water, melting slowly over time.

Events are like good snowfalls.

Events are great ways to engage your community. During an event, people are taking pictures and posting them on Facebook. Interesting conversations spill over onto Twitter and are immortalized on blogs. If you’re lucky, you might even make it into the evening news!

After the event is over, however, what’s left? Your customers all have memories – good ones, you hope – but new things come in to take their attention away. You can create new and timely content to continue engaging your community. These one-off initiatives are more like Spring rains – here today, and gone tomorrow.

However, if you plan your event correctly, you can create a bunch of content that you can slowly release over time. This content can remind those that attended your event of what a great time it was, and keep the conversation evergreen, just as snowmelt keeps many a lawn from turning brown and uninviting.

Creating Snowmelt Content

In order for content to be useful weeks and even months beyond your event, it must have ongoing value. Some suggestions:

1) Create content that is easy to acquire and that can be gotten from many different sources. While on the Gamerati Tour 2011, I started making short ‘I am the Gamerati’videos with people at my events. In each video, someone talked about something that happened during or because of gaming, each one ending with the phrase ‘…and I am the Gamerati’. I was able to record hundreds of these videos, and am still releasing them on Gamerati.TV, even though the Tour ended nine months ago.

2) Release portions of content over time. We’ve recently started a “Hanging Out” series of interviews on Gamerati+ during which Gen Con’s Peter Adkison speaks with an industry professional about life and gaming. Before each event, fans can submit questions via Google Moderator – a number of which are chosen and invited to the Hangout so they can ask them ‘in person’. Those fan questions, and the guest responses, are also recorded. However, instead of releasing a flood of videos all at the same time, we’re releasing the “Hanging Out” video first and using the fan questions as snowmelt content over the subsequent weeks to point back to the initial event.

3) Repurpose portions of content as part of subsequent releases. Instead of releasing portions of content over time, you release it all at once. However, you then use parts of the original content in conjunction with others and create new releases – sometimes combining like items, or combining a portion of an old piece of content with new content to make it even more fresh. The easiest example of this is using a photo from a past event to encourage people to come to a future one. You can get more sophisticated, though, and create content that is specifically designed to be modular. If you’re running a Settlers of Catan tournament at your game convention, ask the champion for ‘3 Tips for Tackling Catan’ and release that on your YouTube channel. Then, over the next three months, take clips of each Tip and use it as a seed for an entire article on your blog that digs deeper into that strategy.

You can tweak your content creation strategy in any number of ways so it acts more like a snowfall than a rain storm.

What events do you have coming up? How will you create snowmelt content from them?

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