Tips from the Edinburgh Festival: 3 ways content brings live marketing success

Events, shows, streaming, webinars – content underpins them all

When I visited the Edinburgh Festival Fringe recently, I was expecting culture, comedy and a break from the B2B world. What I got was a content marketing revelation.

Frequent Fringegoers will recognise it as a marketing hub. Every surface is festooned with posters and acts line the streets to entice attendees. Ventures into the city centre see visitors return with armfuls of leaflets.

I couldn’t help putting on my content marketing cap. Were the countless posters providing value for time and money? Were performers hurting themselves by overselling and underdelivering (or vice versa)? And were any of these acclaim-seeking artistes actually laying the foundations for future glory by creating enduring relationships with their audiences?

As we discussed on Content Desk last week, live events should be the apex of a B2B marketer’s efforts. But, without a backbone of solid content, they may crumble in the buildup, disappoint on the day and wither away afterwards.

Making use of tried and tested content marketing wisdom can take your live efforts to the next level.


Too many B2B marketers take the Edinburgh Festival approach: spray information into the ether and hope people turn up on the day.

A more insightful approach can pay dividends. Inviting attendees to register for updates in the buildup, whether you’re hosting a show or a webinar, provides a list of potential leads. These can be nurtured before and chased after the big day.

On-demand strategies are also essential – one third of webinar users access content this way. Circulating key sections of speeches and podcasts to your carefully crafted mailing list will mean even potential leads who have gone quiet have something to chew over.

Key takeaway: Leverage the digital tools at your disposal for your live events in the same way as you leverage them for your content, and watch ROI skyrocket.


Obtaining the backing of a famed comedian or two is the swipecard to success for acts at the Fringe. The same is true in the world of content marketing.

B2B events make up for their comedic shortcomings by providing useful takeaways to guests. Consider the Content Marketing Association’s video storytelling event on 26 September. The preview provides information on the learning outcomes and reaches out to those who may find the event particularly relevant.

This layout, in addition to an experienced speaker, Stephen Follows, has allowed the CMA to curate their endorsements and watch the positive feedback come flocking in before the event has even started. Testimonials for Follows and previous CMA teaching events take centre stage on the event’s marketing page.

Key takeaway: User-generated content and testimonials can give your content marketing a boost. Acquire the best possible endorsements for your event and watch the leads come flocking in.


The Edinburgh Festival is a hotbed of boundary-pushing art and drama. Where else is the sight of a woman weeping for 40 minutes greeted with thunderous applause?

Although naked displays of emotion are yet to catch on in the world of B2B marketing, there is a strong case for using originality to get people interested in what you have to say.

When Progressive Content’s Dan Davey was asked to speak at Mindshare Huddle last year, he didn’t do things by the book. Luring visitors with the promise of gin and tonic, Dan used a choice between Schweppes and Fever Tree tonic water to neatly make the point that good isn’t always good enough.

Key takeaway: Original events require original content – fall into the crowd and you’ll fall behind (but try not to cry while doing it).

Image: © Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

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