An impending event is any future occurring event that two parties can agree will take place. For example, a moving date, our home sold and we now have 30 days to pack up and move so the new owner can move in.
Knowledge of an event like this can make a sales person’s job much easier since decisions must be made by the impending event.
When you recognize an impending event, there are steps to take to make a sale – but that’s a topic for another time. Right now, we want to take advantage of the event with content marketing that fills up our pipeline with good prospects.
Uncovering impending events depends on whether it’s personal such as a birthday or a move in date, or if it’s a public event that everyone knows about like Halloween.
In the case of personal events, you’ll want to prepare content that works for everyone who has a similar profile at any time during the year – a.k.a. evergreen content.
Personal impending events: birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras, proms, graduations, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, births, showers, reunions, moving out/in, awards, retirement, funerals, vacations, etc.
Public impending events:
- Retail: Black Friday, Cyber Monday
- Holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Back to School, Halloween
- College sport events: NCAA BCS Bowl Series, Road to the Final Four Basketball, Big Rivalry Games
- Professional sport events: The World Series, The NBA Playoffs, The Super Bowl
- The Olympics
As a marketer you might ask yourself: “what impending event does my ideal customer have that aligns perfectly with my business?”
The rabid sports fan scenario
Let’s say your company has a target audience who are rabid sports fans. You may find it worthwhile to cover the next big rivalry game on your blog like this:
- Break down the teams, strategy for both sides and predictions
- Host a pre-game poll on who will win, encourage voting and opinions
- Use social media to tally up votes
- Publicize the big rivalry game at parties, radio stations, TV stations, websites and other places
- Take advantage of advertising opportunities (including your own products/services)
- Offer congrats to the winner
- Show the play(s) of the game highlights
- Provide interviews with the players, coaches and fans (if at all possible)
The deep feeler scenario
Now, let’s say your company has a target audience who are big time romantics. You may find it worthwhile to cover the next big celebrity wedding (i.e. Prince William and Kate Middleton) on your blog like this:
- Discuss/review how the couple met
- Share the details of the proposal/engagement
- Discuss the impending wedding: costs, guest list, ceremony venue, bridal party, wedding attire, bride, groom, best man, wedding service, wedding music, wedding ring, reception and celebration, honeymoon
- Host a poll on any of the above and/or what the future holds for the couple, encourage voting and opinions
- Use social media to tally the votes
- Create a downloadable guide (or something similar) to the event in exchange for an email
- Publicize the wedding at parties, radio stations, TV stations, websites and other places
- Take advantage of advertising opportunities
- Publish hot topics hours before the wedding: “What to do if you weren’t invited to the wedding”
- Show/share highlights from the wedding
- Get reactions from people who were there, if possible, or pick a few people to post their reactions on your Facebook page
- Follow up with details about the honeymoon
As you can imagine impending event marketing is effective when it is planned for in detail well ahead of schedule.
Use an editorial calendar
You’ll want to use an editorial calendar to keep track of impending dates to schedule Pre-event, Event day and Post-event content along with authors, ideas and other pertinent info. If you don’t have an editorial calendar, you can learn more about it here and download a template.
Outsource your content creation if necessary
- Determine your goals
- Most writers are typically good at one type of content and not others
- Scale content creation with checklists
- There are a number of good writing communities and freelance writers to begin your search
Promote your content
Preparing your content in advance is only the first part of success with impending events. To get your content to the target audience you’ll need a promotion plan that utilizes social media, email marketing and word of mouth to build a huge following pre and post event. A few promotion tips:
- Profile your ideal customer so they will not be able to refuse your content (nail the title)
- Build the relationship – lots of tactics, but with impending events use mystery and unknowns to keep people interested throughout
- Utilize partnerships to spread the message as far and wide as possible
- Recruit influencers and even celebrities if it makes sense
Measure content performance (KPIs)
- Page views, average time on page
- Number of shares
- Identify engaging topics
- Track links (i.e. bit.ly)
- Leads, sales, subscribers
- Setup goals in Google Analytics to track your impending event KPIs
We have a one page worksheet to plan for (and take advantage of) the next impending event: The 4-Part Formula To Impending Event Marketing. Just ask and we’ll send it right over.