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How to Market an Online Conference with Lately’s Kate Chernis
I recently interviewed Lately co-founder and CEO, Kate Chernis about how conference marketing has changed over the past two months. 50,000 people standing 6 feet apart, masked up in a stadium? Not happening. But online conferences are not exactly new. It’s just that now, it’s the new norm.
Not surprisingly, the marketing of conferences – whether in person or online – is also woefully dinosauric; every conference you can think of has CONTENT OUT THE WAZOO that’s talked about once (at best) – only to be tossed aside into a vast cemetery of wasted effort. (Think: interviews, panels, keynotes, yada yada.)
Kate offered some thoughts on how conferences can catch up with the times and make online events more palatable and marketable to the very customer they’re trying to reach.
SE: Why do you think conference marketers need a new mindset?
Kate: The old way of conference marketing was “in-the-moment”; now, now, NOW. The urgency. The FOMO. But no one in their right mind is going to sit on their yoga-pants buttinski watching umpteen Zoom meetings all day for three days. Which is why the new way must be “after-the-fact.” As in, Replay City. Like TV and radio, people don’t have to consume conferences live – they can binge, later. And more importantly, they want to.
SE: How do you know what people want and then provide them that very thing?
Kate: It’s not just a matter of putting content online for folks to digest at will. It’s about binge marketing it to them, so that not a drop of gold gets wasted. First, when creating longform content (interviews, panels, keynotes, even blogs or online articles) STOP thinking of it as a one-time use. Program what you produce to be as evergreen as possible. Plan for it to be legacy content so that whether somebody consumes it today or in five years, there are still magical nuggets that shine. Second, once your content has been published, mine it for that freakin’ gold! Transcribe every speaker event. Find the golden quotes throughout. There will be hundreds. Use ALL of them. Match up the audio or video clips with each quote and turn into droves of social posts to continuously drive traffic back to the original overtime, FOREVER. Because if they’re going to binge watch, you’ve got to binge market.
SE: How hard is it to change things up and ideate and innovate during this new normal?
Kate: I mean, that’s a whole heckuva lot of manual labor. Blahrg. Plus, how do you know which quotes are any good? Feels kind of random…. Enter Lately, whose artificial intelligence uses legacy content (like podcasts, videos and blogs) to learn what your audience cares about and then builds a writing model based on what it learns to automatically create – you guessed it – droves of social posts. Huzzah! But they aren’t just social posts. They’re social posts with matching mini- video or audio clips that have been automatically tested and proven to resonate with your audience – so you can stop GUESSING what to say.
Lately’s AI doesn’t stop there. It’s also able to create original content based on what it’s learning (currently in super top-secret beta). Like the way Netflix learned what we all wanted to watch? And then used that data to recommend relevant content, based on what it learned? And then used that data to create original content, that’s now the most-watched on its platform? YASSSSS.