Inbound and outbound marketing are two methods to enhance your trade show results. But which is most effective?
HubSpot defines outbound marketing as sending messages through traditional, mass means of communication like advertising, cold calling, and trade shows and events. Outbound marketers push their message out to a vast audience in hopes of it resonating with the select few they actually want to target.
In contrast, inbound marketing is marketing to people who have interest in the product you are marketing and are your target audience. Instead of hoping you reach the right audience like outbound marketing, inbound marketing wants to educate and serve a customer who is already searching for that kind of content. Sound familiar? We think that trade shows are actually a form of inbound marketing. When you set up a booth at a trade show, you are marketing to the trade show attendees who are truly interested in your product, which is why they attend the event. Your marketing efforts are going directly to an interested target audience, rather than a vast crowd of indifferent individuals.
With that understanding in mind, you can finally realize how to tailor your marketing strategies to get more visitors to your booth. Inbound marketing places the focus on SEO for trade shows, social media for trade shows, and general internet marketing for trade shows. An inbound marketing mindset can open the doors to innovative ways of promoting your trade show display, and in turn, get you the leads and attention you want.
Best Inbound Marketing Approaches:
- Before the show: Get attendees involved and excited about what you will be doing at the show. Raising awareness is one of the best ways to draw visitors to your booth.
- During the show: Use social media or other platforms to your advantage to make sure attendees know what is going on when.
- After the show: Don’t forget to post follow up information for your attendees. Did you hold a contest or campaign? Post about the results or the winners so that attendees are reminded of their interactions with you.
Social Media for Trade Shows
Social media is one of the most critical components of any inbound marketing strategy, especially for trade shows. Gain traction by posting about your show early on. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are perfect for sharing information about what you will be doing at the show.
Social media for trade shows may also be used during the show, to give followers live updates of what’s going on at the booth. After the show, use your social media accounts to generate feedback about how the show went, keep people thinking about your brand, and show off what a success the show was. This interaction following the show will make promoting your next show even easier.
SEO for Trade Shows
SEO for trade shows can be simple and effective if this inbound marketing strategy is used with the right key tactics. Make sure that you are using the proper keywords, adapted to the specific trade show. This means SEO for trade shows requires the specific title of the show or event. Also check for having the right title tag in the Meta description. For example, you could write a blog post announcing your attendance at a tradeshow. Or, you can create a landing page with your company at the trade show and dress it up with a live social media feed while you’re at the event. Include things like a live Facebook feed, Twitter Feed and Instagram Feed. By including keywords on the page copy, you’ll help your company rank when people search for that trade show.
Another great opportunity to ramp up SEO for trade shows is through the use of microsites. A microsite is a special website created specifically for an upcoming event. Microsites are a source of direct marketing, allowing you to rank in search engines for a specific show. This proves much more efficient than using general show names.
Another big plus is that you can design the website around that show. Before the trade show, push out the site through social media. After the event, you can edit the site with a nice follow up and leave ways for people to contact you. Not only will people continue to find you, but those that visited you can find your site afterwards to keep communication open.
Internet Marketing for Trade Shows
General internet marketing for trade shows is also critical. If you have a strong internet marketing strategy for your brand in general, you are off to a great start. Implement those same strategies for a specific event on a smaller scale. If your internet marketing strategy isn’t strong yet, do things to introduce your company before you’re at the show. For SEO, start writing blog posts about your attendance or record a short video introducing some of your team members that will be at the event.
Promoting your booth is also a great idea; take photos of your booth for visitors to recognize you and know what to look for at the event. Post these photos on your blog or on social media well. Write one or two blogs about the event or trade show as a way to get attendees excited to visit you at the show. Follow up with another blog after the show to give a summary or highlight successes you encountered. Like with social media posts, this will spread a positive image and you can share how your trade show turned out. Your post-show social media posts should also link to your blogs. It will also help keyword rankings, which remains important after the event as it will still be discovered after the fact.
Create optimized landing pages before the event to get rankings and include strong calls to action. Finally, send out newsletters and/or press releases, preferably one as the trade show is first announced and another to call attention as the show draws near.
Get More Leads at Your Trade Show Booth
You can get more leads at your trade show both and increase business by following these tips on internet marketing for trade shows, including SEO and social media for trade shows.
There is a strong need for social media and online promotions to have a successful trade show. Read the Using Promotions & Social Media to Get More Trade Show Visitors white paper to learn how to generate more brand awareness, get leads, and market yourself appropriately. Click here to request your free copy.