A trade show exhibit can be a tactical addition to any holistic marketing campaign. Chances are you’ve already planned out your social media lead gen strategies, written your newsletters and bought paid advertising in relevant markets. So where does the exhibit fit in?
Here’s how you can use your booth to bolster your other marketing efforts:
Define your goals early
As you sit down with your designers to plan your booth, you should define your social media goals. But it’s not enough to simply want “more followers” or “more engagement.” Take it a step further.
Speaking with ExhibitorOnline, industry expert Traci Browne reported that setting a one-off social media goal such as “gain 100 Twitter followers” is a short-sighted move. Instead, Browne recommended using your overarching social media strategy as a baseline. For instance, if you want to be considered a thought leader in your space, focus on promoting valuable content – the followers will come.
If your goal is to gain more followers – a common objective for eCommerce brands – focus on who those followers are. Rather than aiming to gain 100 followers, try to entice 20 industry-specific bloggers to follow your brand.
Promote your exhibit before the show
In the days and weeks leading up to each show, use your social media pages to promote your booth. Use this as an opportunity to talk about why show attendees should check out your exhibit before any others. You may want to consider giving away free gifts like branded pens, water bottles or stickers.
Ask yourself why you’re excited for the show, then share your thoughts with your readers! Remember, exhibits are one of the best ways to speak to your potential clients and customers face-to-face. Start the conversation online, then continue it in person at the show.
Encourage engagement at the show
Almost everyone is constantly connected to the web via a smart device. At the show, you’ll see people taking pictures, writing tweets and crafting blog posts. If you want to be a part of this ongoing conversation, you have to ask.
For instance, you can encourage attendees to use a branded hashtag by running a raffle during the show. The SEO experts at Moz reported that social media contests are a fantastic way to generate leads. By combining the digital with the real world, you’ll create more opportunities to connect to your followers.
Follow up with attendees after the show
After the show, don’t let the conversation end! Use your social media pages to thank everyone who stopped by your exhibit. Follow up with important contacts you made at the show and keep the content coming.
If you demonstrated a product at the show and collected emails, consider sending a promotional email that offers a discount to show attendees.
When your booth is a functioning part of your social media strategy, you have a holistic marketing campaign that will get results.
As an extra bonus, download our Ultimate Social Media Checklist! Its a complete plan with links to valuable resources that will get your started promoting your event online. Simply click on the button below!