Trade shows offer businesses a unique opportunity to connect with people looking specifically for their products or services. It gives professionals a chance to showcase their creative sides while providing relevant information to attendees.
But how do you bring a traditionally outbound marketing event into the digital age? Incorporating inbound marketing into your promotional strategy increases your digital presence at trade shows, which in turn boosts engagement. Here are some tips for using inbound marketing to support your trade show efforts.
Determine Your Main Objective
It’s important before going into any marketing event to know your “why.” What do you wish to accomplish by participating in each particular trade show? A boost in sales? An increase in new leads? More email subscribers?
Whichever goal you decide on should be reflected in all your marketing efforts, both digitally and traditionally. Once you’ve chosen your primary objective, use it to come up with a call to action (CTA) that you can include in every piece of digital marketing for the trade show: emails, landing pages, social media. When you’re creating this CTA, make sure to optimize it for mobile devices so that attendees can access it while at the show.
Establish a Designated Landing Page
Inbound marketers know that the best way to achieve success with their CTAs is by connecting them to one designated landing page that ties in strongly with the overall campaign. Whether your audience is finding this landing page before, during, or after the trade show event, you should meet them with relevant and interesting information about your products or services.
Design a Pre-Show Email Campaign
Increasing your digital presence at tradeshows starts long before booth set-up. You need to build anticipation for your audience, get them interested in the event, and excited about what they’ll get out of attending.
Just like with any other email campaign, it’s important to remember to avoid spamming. Evaluate your email list to determine which recipients would be genuinely interested in the trade show you’re promoting.
Post Updates Regularly
Getting people invested in your event before it happens is an effective way to increase your digital presence and engagement at the trade show. Consider devoting one blog post and one or two social media posts each week to update your social media community about the progress of your tradeshow. Give people a sneak peeks at your giveaways, for example.
Make Printed Materials Web-Friendly
What better way to take a trade show event into the digital era than by making your handouts digital? By placing a QR code on your materials that attendees can scan with their smartphones, you give people a tangible way to participate digitally in your inbound marketing efforts.
Take Advantage of the Hashtag Trend
Twitter isn’t useful for all inbound marketing campaigns. It's a constant stream of information that works best for real-time updating and engaging. This makes it an excellent resource for trade shows. Tweet pictures and updates during your show using a predetermined hashtag, and encourage attendees to do their tweeting with that same hashtag.
Even better, incorporate this hashtag into all your digital marketing efforts before and during the event, from social media to your landing page, to your web-friendly handouts.
Close it All Out with Email
Just because the trade show is over doesn’t mean your digital efforts need to stop. Close out a successful event with one final push. Send an email out to the same list of people you started with, thanking those who attended and including pictures and info for those who missed it. Add your CTA to the end of the email and invite people to join the fun at your next event.
Increasing your digital presence and engagement at trade shows doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s possible to combine inbound marketing with the most outbound method of trade show promoting. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all this info, reach out to our professionals at Direct Images Interactive. With our help, you can have a successful trade show experience polished with inbound marketing best practices.
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