How to Combine Trade Shows with Your Inbound Marketing Campaign
In today’s digital age, technology has become an incredibly crucial part of our lives. Human interactions are at an all-time low, with people choosing to order food, meet potential dates, and even purchase clothes and other items online. Of course, technological development is not limited to personal interactions or growth.
Companies have also hopped aboard the digital express, investing more money than ever before in internet marketing. While a good digital marketing strategy can help boost your company’s name in a crowded market – it might not be enough.
Just think about the number of e-mails you receive daily from various companies. Do you read all of them? How many do you delete without even a second glance at the subject line?
In all honesty, the answer is far too many. This is where trade show marketing comes in. By creating a marketing strategy that is built around your internet marketing plan and your trade show calendar, you’re sure to enjoy success.
To improve your engagement with your target audience, here are a few tips that you can use to better your marketing plan:
1. Define Your Goals First
Your entire marketing strategy will rely heavily upon what you hope to achieve at the end of each marketing campaign. Do you want to sign more leads? Are you looking to educate your customer base about existing products? Or, do you want to create a buzz around a new product launch?
When you clearly outline your goals, you have a better idea of what kind of tradeshow displays you need and who your intended audience should be. It’s important to have all this information on hand before you even start to create a digital marketing plan that will complement your trade show appearance.
You can do this by carrying out a pay-per-click campaign on social media to increase your base of followers. Once you have reached out to the required target audience, you can post invites to the trade show that you will be attending shortly.
To ensure that trade show goers are aware of your presence, use the trade show hashtag while talking about the event. You can also put up behind-the-scenes videos and pictures to create interest about what you’re doing.
2. Keep Your Plan Local
Today, it’s possible to send your marketing communication to people of a certain age group who work in a certain field and live in a specific area. Many brands often forget that it’s important to target local clients while preparing for an event.
If you’re participating in a trade show in Las Vegas, ensure you reach out to any and all potential clients who live in and around the area. Of course, you could also send your content to loyal customers who live far away, but the chances of them attending are pretty slim.
It’s a good idea to target your social media ads at individuals who live within 20 or 30 miles of the venue where the trade show is scheduled to take place.
3. Get People Involved
Now that you have a clear idea of who you’re trying to reach out to, you can ask those people to get involved. The easiest way to do this is by creating an articulate and compelling call to action or CTA that you can attach to your digital marketing communication.
You could ask people to confirm their attendance at the show, purchase a ticket (if required), or let you know what they’d like to see at your booth. Once again, the kind of CTA you use will depend greatly on what you hope to achieve at the end of the event.
If you’re simply looking to create more leads, you can ask people to share their details with you and offer them a gift when they show up at your booth. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to launch a new product, you can use weekly quizzes or fun activities to give people a clue about the launch.
The CTA strategy that you employ should provide you with long-term benefits. Following up on interested clients is extremely important, and failure to do so would mean wasting important marketing opportunities and resources. To increase your chances of engagement, make sure that your CTA is mobile-friendly.
Most people read e-mails and browse through social media sites on their phones while traveling. By allowing people to interact with you and your brand from their handheld device, you greatly increase your chances of enticing potential customers.
4. Have an Online Channel Ready
As your marketing campaign is starting to gather momentum, it’s important that you have a place where potential clients can go to feed in their details, sign up to your newsletter, or find out more about what you’re doing.
It’s a good idea to create a landing page or microsite that talks solely about the trade show you’re about to attend, and how your customers can attend or meet you there. The great thing about having a landing page is that you can direct customers to it even if they notice your ad offline.
Once people arrive on your site, you can ask for their details (as gently as possible), and perhaps provide them with a unique gift or discount code. You could even start a referral campaign of sorts, which will only increase traffic to your landing page or microsite.
5. Add Tech to Your Trade Show
So far, we’ve spoken about how you can use tech to encourage people to attend your trade show. But, to really draw in customers, you should seriously consider using the latest technology to enhance your booth’s look and feel.
By creating a display wall or using new audio-visual equipment, you can give your booth a bit of an edge over the other brands at the event. Once you have attendees flocking to your booth, you can spend some time with them, learn more about what they do, and hand out brochures and other marketing materials for them to peruse.
Of course, if you don’t have a large enough budget to cover the cost of renting the latest equipment for your booth, there are other ways you can engage with attendees. The easiest way is by creating a space in your booth that serves as a photo booth.
Individuals will be queuing up to take that perfect Instagram-worthy picture and sharing it online. By carefully incorporating your brand’s name or your social media hashtag into the background of the image, the trade show attendees become a part of your marketing strategy.
Every time they share the picture captured at your booth, their followers will be made aware of your brand and are likely to look you up.
Another fun and cost-effective way to incorporate your digital marketing strategy into your booth experience is by doing a live video directly from the booth. Your followers will be able to see what’s happening, and if they like what they see, they’ll probably attend the next trade show you’re participating in.
A Few Simple Things You Can Do
These points will definitely help you create a single, cohesive marketing plan that will ensure maximum engagement and participation both online and offline. However, these tips do need a significant time and money investment to work.
If you don’t have that kind of bandwidth just yet, here’s a look at a few easy ways in which you can organically promote your brand to your audience:
Put a link to your website or an ongoing digital campaign in your e-mail signature.
Make the effort to reply to as many queries and comments on social media as possible.
Create blog content that is useful to your audience and promote it online.
Striking the Right Balance
For a successful marketing plan, it’s important that you strike the perfect balance between gently reminding people about you and constantly nagging or badgering them.
Here are some important things that you should keep in mind while formulating your plan:
Don’t hijack the social conversation:
While it’s important to use the event hashtag in your conversations online, it’s important that you don’t constantly promote yourself while using the tag. Post quality content at regular intervals for the best results.
Get their consent:
It’s important that you send out e-mail alerts only to those individuals who have specifically shown interest in your brand or said that they’re okay with being on your mailing list. Nobody likes opening spam emails that they didn’t sign up for.
Put your clients first:
We get that your marketing plan is about you and your brand, but it’s vital that you put your customers first once in a while. For greater engagement, offer your clients something instead of simply talking about why they should partner with you. Let them know what’s in it for them.
By combining your existing digital marketing plan with your trade show marketing ideas, you’re sure to have engaging and productive conversations with your clients. Remember, the right combination of tactics will help you successfully accomplish all your marketing goals.