With all of the planning, work and effort that needs to go into preparing to exhibit at a trade show, it’s easy to forget about the importance of the marketing efforts that should be undertaken in connection with your trade show presence. Exhibiting at a major expo (or even a smaller trade show) brings many benefits, but in order to fully reap the rewards, you should make sure to engage in effective marketing and promotion, especially via online and digital strategies.
Digital and online marketing are extremely powerful when leveraged with a unique tradeshow booth display and an effective exhibiting strategy. That’s because they allow you to extend the reach of your exhibit and your trade show presence and they offer a more cost-effective means to do this when compared to traditional marketing methods. This makes taking advantage of social media, blogging and press releases (now with digital distribution) one of the most important trade show booth ideas.
The End Goal: Greater Awareness And Engagement
One of the reasons that digital marketing strategies have become so popular is that they offer a much better opportunity for you to connect with interested parties, customers and consumers. While traditional advertising methods like television and radio can give you a wide reach, they aren’t nearly as personal or engaging as digital methods like social media and blogging.
That’s why it a great idea to build these methods right into your tradeshow booth display. If you have the budget for it, some of the most successful applications have been the development of custom apps that can be run on tablet kiosks at your trade show display and allow attendees to co-create things with your branding.
For example, if you sell lawn mowers, you might have an app that allows attendees to create their own (stylized) lawn mower complete with an armchair and television. The app could then encourage attendees to share their creation on social media.
Digital Marketing Offers More (And Higher Quality) Impressions
Digital marketing allows you to reach more people for less and also provides those individuals with more engaging impressions each time they interact with your brand. It’s easy to see why the example above is more engaging than just watching a TV commercial, the attendee is creating his own personal interpretation of your brand and then sharing it to his/her friends.
Taking the time to think about a social media and digital marketing strategy for your trade show presence is not a bad idea. In fact, it can be very beneficial to assign an individual (or even a team) to monitoring your digital presence throughout the trade show and encouraging engagement.
This can be done by live tweeting the show and utilizing various devices like contests and trivia, to encourage engagement. You should also leverage other social media outlets like Instagram and Pinterest (great for showing off pictures of your tradeshow booth display), Facebook and Vine (allows you to post short video clips < 6 seconds).
Ensure Your Website Promotes The Event And Your Message
This may not be surprising in the area of social media dominance, but there used to be this thing that companies used to promote their brands online called a website. Sarcasm aside, it is a fact that many companies neglect their actual home on the web these days. You often see companies that may have great trade show booth ideas who are tweeting and posting pictures on social media, but their website homepage doesn’t reflect any of it.
It’s crucial to promote your website through social media (and in person at the trade show) and also to promote your social media presence on your website. Do this by adding a banner or widget which shows your recent social media posts, pictures and tweets on your homepage and by promoting blog posts on your site through social media.
Social media is great, but don’t forget that you still want to drive interested consumers and potential customers to your own place on the web. This gives you much more control over their online browsing experience and allows you to do so much more, not the least of which is demonstrate your entire line of products/services and in many cases sell directly on your website through integrated e-commerce systems.
Putting it all together, online media and marketing tactics can really help you get the most out of your trade show presence. As mentioned, this can also draw attention to your blog and the quality content on your website, increase engagement and grow your digital sphere in general.