Category Archives: Event marketing

MarketingCamp: Making the Most of Content – Before, During and After the Event

content marketingEarlier this week, one of my articles was published. I write and speak about content whenever I can because not only am I passionate about it, it really is the quickest and most effective way to generate a lead. The article discussed why content needs to be purposeful and how we can go about making it so.

Writing the article got me to thinking about how we, as marketers, pick and consume content.

We are very busy. Our time is at a premium.  So, how do we determine what is read-worthy?  Looking at lead generation, the first step to attracting a prospective reader is that the content needs to resonate with the reader. The question to ask here is “does this content resonate with me?” If it does, then we read a little more. The content also needs to tell a story and keep the reader engaged. I call this “Argo-izing your content”.  If you saw Argo, Argo had its eye on the ball throughout the film. It never let up, it moved the story from the beginning to middle to the end, it connected every piece together, until the end and it kept the audience engaged. The question here is “am I engaged?” And last, the content needs to have some type of call to action – the call to action is based on the purpose. The call to action might be to educate (to get the reader to take action in their own marketing), download a white paper, watch a video, share the content, retain the content, etc.  The question here is “does the content make me do something?” The underlying theme is both the content creator and the content reader must always have their “active voice” on. For the content creator, it is to continuously and consistently deliver content that resonates and engages with the reader and elicits them to take action. For the reader, it is a decision of whether to invest time in the content.

So, how does this relate to MarketingCamp?

Ask“does the content resonate with me?”. If you have not already checked out the incredible list of current proposed sessions for MarketingCamp, this is your first stop. Peruse the topics, read the descriptions and prioritize the content that is resonating with you. Did you know that you get to vote on the topics? Attendees choose the content. Picking and prioritizing content before arriving at MarketingCamp will save you time – you will know your top topics of interest ahead of time and the only thing you need to do is go to that session.

Ask “am I engaged?”. During the session, if the content being delivered is not resonating with you, feel free to exit the session and go into another session. MarketingCamp is for marketers and you not only get to determine what content is for you, you get to do something about it – attend the sessions that are right for you. And, if the session is right up your alley, participate by asking questions, providing ideas or interact in other ways.

Ask “does this content make me do something?”. After the session, you might get some great ideas to take back to your organization, you may want to chat with the speaker, or talk with your fellow attendees. You may find that after you have digested the content, you’ve come up with additional great ideas that you want to try. Go for it. The sky’s the limit.

Here’s to a wonderful MarketingCamp experience and the opportunity to be exposed to amazing content.

Image credit: MediaWhiz

content marketing sue durisSue Duris is the President of M4 Communications, Inc. She has more than 25 years of corporate marketing and communications leadership experience in the technology and entertainment industries. She is a published writer who frequently speaks and writes on content marketing, PR, branding and strategy.







Three Tips for Successful Networking at an Event

That guy at a networking event

For many people, the word “networking” brings up images of this guy (left). It’s no wonder so many people have negative connotations about networking. After all, no one wants to be ‘that guy’.  

The good news is that collecting business cards and spamming people (both written and verbally) with why you’re so great is not actually networking. In fact, if you try to network like this, you’ll quickly find that not only does it not work, it’ll have the opposite effect and turn people away.

So then what is networking? In its simplest sense, I like to define it as actively looking for ways you can provide value to others with similar interests.

Why network?

  1. It’s the #1 way to identify and secure business & career opportunities.
  2. The strength of weak ties: the more “weak” ties in your network the wider the variety of opportunities you’ll be exposed to. This topic could be its own blog post. If you’re interested in more check out Reid Hoffman’s post or the original research paper.
  3. Your network goes with you throughout your career.  

Making your networking productive is as simple as following these three steps:  

Three tips for successful networking: 

  • Know your objective.
  • Proactively engage…then listen.
  • Follow-thru

1. Know Your Objective
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter’.”  

Without focusing your networking efforts, you’ll end up very busy, but frustrated at a perceived lack of progress. If you’re going to spend time attending events, you should spend a little time beforehand understanding why. What is it you need? Are you looking for business clients? Job leads? Potential employees? Advice?  

These (and more) are all valid reasons for networking. But decide before the event which objectives you’re targeting. Going in blind and ‘seeing what happens’ leaves you open to missing what you really needed. Objectives don’t need to take a lot of time. For example, something as simple as “speak to at least 2 people I can follow-up with regarding career advice” is enough. Remember, you don’t need to meet everyone at an event to make it a ‘success’ – simply meeting your personal objectives makes it a success for you.

2. Proactively engage…then listen
If you feel uncomfortable at events, realize you’re far from the only one who feels that way. Getting started can be as simple as breaking the ice. Yes, I know that’s usually easier said than done, but one of the benefits of an event like MarketingCamp is that everyone is there for the same purpose. No one’s going to care or remember how a conversation was started, only that they enjoyed the conversation. So smile and say hello. Or get really fancy with “May I join you?” or “What brings you to MarketingCamp?”. And don’t hesitate to ask questions in the sessions at MarketingCamp. It’s a great way to generate follow-up conversations with the speaker or other attendees afterward.  

Once you’re in the conversation, the most important thing to remember is to LISTEN. There’s no better way to find out how you can help someone than to ask questions and listen. But you have to really listen. Planning what you’re going to say next about yourself while smiling and nodding doesn’t count. Remember, networking is about actively looking for ways you can provide value to others. Make it about them and you’ll find that the opportunities to speak about yourself will come up naturally.

3. Follow-up
The most important part of networking, and unfortunately the most neglected, is to follow-up. Follow-up doesn’t need to take much time. In many cases, simply mentioning that it was nice to speak with them and offering a follow-up discussion is enough. If appropriate, let them know you’re open to assisting them in the future and to feel free to contact you. If they gave you advice, let them know what you did with that advice. If you offered to help them in some way, be sure to do so.

A final note on follow-up. Many people, myself included, use LinkedIn to maintain their network. It’s a wonderful tool when used appropriately. I don’t recommend using the generic LinkedIn invite text. Take a couple minutes and write something personal to remind the recipient where you met, what you discussed, and why you’d like to stay connected. It’s not only a helpful reminder to the recipient, it also shows a little thought.  What are some networking tips you’ve found useful? I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments.  

Jonathan ChizickAuthor bio: Jonathan Chizick is a Strategic Product Marketing executive at Samsung, responsible for identifying new startups and executing partnerships. He is actively involved in the Silicon Valley startup world, both as an angel investor and advisor to several startups and Venture Capital firms. Jonathan is also co-founder and CMO of MarketingCamp, bringing together innovative Marketing thought-leaders from across Silicon Valley.