Internet marketing is the biggest fad in business today. Brands on every continent are investing more money in the mind than ever before. U.S. companies will spend over $120 billion by 2021.
However, too many brands invest all of their marketing budgets online. While the Internet is a great place to promote your business, it shouldn’t be your sole focus. It should be merged with other marketing strategies.
One of the most valuable and overlooked strategies is to combine digital inbound marketing with trade shows. Here is how you can create a smart inbound trade show marketing strategy:
- Use social media and PPC campaigns to build a base of followers.
- Notify your followers about upcoming trade shows that you will be participating in.
- Create a web-friendly trade show.
- Make sure to follow up with followers on social media afterward.
This can be a remarkably successful way to engage with your target audience. Here are some tips to do it right.
Establish your goals well in advance
Many brands that combine inbound marketing with trade shows don’t start thinking about their goals until they are already organizing the trade event. Don’t make this mistake. You need to use your inbound strategy to attract patrons that will align with your objectives. You also need to engage with them in advance to make sure they get the most from the event.
Are you planning to use the trade show to give customers a sample of your products? Are you simply trying to expand your brand image? Or do you actually intend to sell your products there?
The type of goal that you focus on will affect the audience that you need to attract. If you are trying to use your tradeshow platform to sell products, you need to focus on reaching customers that will be the easiest to convert and have the money to pay for it. Fortunately, Facebook, Google, and other advertising platforms allow you to target your audience by demographic in income profile.
Make sure your advertising strategies are locally targeted
I can’t tell you how many local businesses don’t understand the location targeting options of most advertising platforms. Some don’t realize that ads can be restricted to certain regions, so they pay for expensive clicks from people all over the country. Other local businesses go in the other direction. They restrict their ads only to the one city that their business is technically based out of. They end up missing multiple surrounding cities, which may account for 90% of their potential client base.
You want to reach everyone that is within a reasonable driving distance of the trade show that you will be organizing. For most businesses, this will be 20 to 30 miles.
Make sure that your trade show will make use of technology
Despite what the naysayers think, technology has not made tradeshows obsolete. However, it has certainly changed them.
People expect to use technology while attending a trade show. According to the CEO of Indy Displays, you are going to want to make sure that people can use their mobile devices to engage with them. You may even want to stream some of your presentations over Facebook Live, so people that are not able to attend can participate virtually.
Use mobile-friendly calls to action in your inbound ad copy
Mobile technology is playing a more important role in digital marketing than ever before. This is especially true with inbound marketing strategies. You are going to need to make sure that your entire campaign is optimized for people with mobile devices.
You should try using mobile ads that talk about your tradeshow from the very beginning. They should include QR codes if possible.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for people using mobile devices to engage with you on social media and register for your trade show. There are a lot of different apps that can help people register for events ahead of time. Try looking into them.