If you have not yet noticed, leads are becoming harder to obtain with the ever-growing amount of competition in each industry and the amount of marketing avenues companies now have at their fingertips to try and reach their prospects. Traditional marketing tactics such as promoting your trade show to your email lists, using a great staff to welcome prospects, using an efficient lead collecting system, and creating a unique experience in your booth are all helpful in obtaining leads. But there is more we can be doing.
And if you’re not, you may be falling behind.
If you are not focused on utilizing the internet to your benefit in reaching your consumers, there are others in your industry who are. And they are grabbing the attention of your potential trade show leads. While more people than ever have access to the internet, the same goes for businesses who are marketing to those potential customers as well. This makes it quite a competitive ball game.
The difference in making your business stand out is stepping outside of the box in terms of lead generation tactics. For trade show marketers, this means finding new ways to get shoppers excited to come into your booth far before the show has even started.
But before you can get them excited, you must get in front of them first. This is the tricky part, but there are ways that many businesses – including yours – can do this and find success.
Your lead generation success is going to take more than throwing money into paid marketing.
There was a time when things like paid email lists, banner ads, and really any pop-up advertising could make some sort of impact. However, customers have become smarter, and they know exactly what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to finding what they need.
Rather than trying to interrupt them and steal their attention, try to earn their attention.
How do you earn the attention of a potential trade show lead?
Well, when you think about it this way, those who are attending a trade show will probably not do so before searching (most likely via Google) the event beforehand. They will probably interact with it online at some point.
This is where SEO comes in.
Search engine optimization (SEO), which is based on creating high-quality content that internet users can find value in, is a driving factor in lead generation. Creating useful information and experiences for those who are interested in the trade show where you exhibit each year could bring in valuable leads.
If someone is searching for information about a trade show and you can provide that information and then some, you’ll become high up on that searcher’s radar. If you can offer information that trade show attendees are constantly searching for, you will be rewarded for this content by being shown higher up in search engines. Showing up first means more clicks, which means more site traffic, more engagement, greater brand recognition, built trust, and more potential leads when it comes time for your trade show.
Some tips include creating long-form, keyword-focused content, ensuring a great user experience to minimize bounce rates, and utilize meta tags, descriptions, and SEO plugins.
It’s still a long-term game.
Since SEO is more of a marathon than a sprint, it may take some time and patience. Plenty of content creation will be required to see results. However, this continued effort is worth it as organic marketing is much more effective than outbound. While outbound (paid) marketing is shooting your messaging to anyone and everyone, inbound marketing reaches an audience who is truly interested in what you have to offer. This makes a world of difference in your conversion rates.
While quality content is a huge aspect of SEO, there’s even more that you can do.
When promoting your upcoming event, another useful way to boost your business in search engines is through link building and backlinking. Building links back to your website is a huge traffic driver, driving visitors to your website and ultimately your trade show booth if you do it well.
So, what’s the best way to do this? Incorporate your social media into your marketing plans! By generating buzz and highly engaging posts linked to your website, visitors will be updated on your trade show when they get to your site. This is where it’s important to convince them of why they should attend. Make sure to utilize the show’s hashtag when posting on social media so that you show up when users are searching for that event.
Depending on your target audience and budget, another potential way for people to find and follow your links is by connecting with influencers. Just make sure their values and interests align with your industry and own company’s goals. You will also want to create an agreement for the influencer to link to your website and get their audience excited about your product, service, or upcoming event. This could open up a whole new pool of prospects for you!
Creating social media content that is useful and especially sharable will get the word out about your upcoming event as more and more people share the posts. You can even utilize online press releases that will generate links back to your website.
These days, writing a post on social media to announce that you will be exhibiting at an upcoming trade show is only the tip of the iceberg to what you should be doing to promote your events online. Constant blogging, backlinking, using the event hashtag, and creating any useful content that you can about your involvement in the events that you attend will begin to catch wind and bring new customers to your website. And again, this is where you will want to convince them to come to check you out at the show. Happy SEO-ing! Let us know if we can be of assistance in your trade show marketing goals.