If exhibiting at trade shows is a key part of your marketing strategy, there are additional tactics you can use to achieve even better returns on your investment. For example, you might create show-specific digital ads or snap up some out-of-home advertising spots around (and in) the conference center. Of all the tools at your disposal, though, one remains highly accessible and equally impactful: quality content marketing. Here are some tips to plan your trade show content, including your trade show social media posts, for maximum success.
The month or so leading up to an event is just as important as the time during and after. Think of this pre-show time frame as the time to drum up excitement and tease the experience you’ll be offering at your booth. You want to use your content here to let your audience know that you’ll be exhibiting at the show, why they should take time to stop by and anything else that might entice them to do so.
- Drop some hints in your posts on social media about why your booth will be the place to be at the event (e.g. “Come by to get a first taste of our mystery cocktail” or “We’ll have a surprise VIP guest hanging out at our booth with us; any guesses who it might be?”).
- Email your own database, offering your booth number, approximate location and a few fun reasons why they’ll want to visit you.
- Email the show attendee list (you can usually buy this, if it’s not provided by the event organizer), taking the same approach as above but also adding in a quick snippet about what your company does since these folks may not be aware of you yet.
- Explore sponsorship options through the show. Many times, you can pay to have your company name and booth number promoted in the event’s pre-show marketing materials, which can give you excellent exposure.
- Remember to put an exhibitor badge (with the trade show name and your booth number) on your website and in your email signature.
- Create a blog post and landing page specifically for the trade show, teasing what’s to come and inviting visitors to sign up for your giveaway (if you’ll be having one). Make sure to use keywords related to your industry and the show itself, too.
During The Show
Once you’re at the event, it’s showtime. You’ll be busy and so will everyone else, so make sure you’ve scheduled some social posts in advance to keep your channels active in the moment. Also encourage your team to engage in frequent, spontaneous posting while they meet customers, walk the floor and attend sessions. Remember, too, that pictures and videos are very compelling, so don’t limit your content to text alone. Give other companies (except your competitors) some love on your social channels, and interact with show hashtags and show sponsors. In all of your trade show content, aim to deliver value – and a good time.
In our experience, the post-show content is often where the proverbial ball gets dropped, which can really thwart the results of all your hard work. This is because your team gets home from an event, and immediately they go into catch-up mode. They try to tackle all the work they missed while they were at the event, and prioritize it based on urgency. Unfortunately, show follow-up often doesn’t seem like a hot item, so it gets pushed to the back burner… only for a week, then two, then a month to go by before it gets addressed (if it isn’t forgotten altogether).
Avoid this by planning a multi-prong follow-up approach prior to the event. Use calls, emails and LinkedIn connections to reach all the leads you spoke with, and have a plan of attack for the folks who seemed ready to buy. Assign each part of the follow-up to specific people, along with due dates, and devise a way to hold them accountable. If possible, have other team members step in to handle all other work so the follow-up team can focus solely on that.
Quality content marketing can be a game changer for your trade shows. Try out these tips, and give us a call if you’d like help from an experienced partner.