Trade shows offer an unmatched opportunity to connect with your target audience. They allow you to deliver strong and compelling messages to your customers and generate new business. Although the value of trade shows is indisputable, marketers may find them challenging for delivering ROI. In fact, Regalix's "B2B Event Marketing Survey" found that 40 percent of marketers identify a lack of conversion-optimized event marketing strategies as their biggest hurdle.
To maximize your trade show presence and investment, use cross-channel event marketing efforts long before the event itself. We've identified three important tactics you should implement when exhibiting at your next industry event, to help you reap bountiful trade show benefits.
Use Creative Calls to Action
Calls to action (CTA) are integral to the success of any type of campaign. Your messaging should present phrases that compel people to take the next step. Action-driving CTAs should be included in all content and communications, including microsites, white papers, and post-event thank-you emails, to help convert page crawlers to event attendees, and cold leads to customers.
To craft effective CTAs that drive engagement and booth traffic, consider the wants and needs of your audience. How can your product or service help them overcome these challenges? How will their company benefit from meeting you in person? Your CTA must clearly communicate the value your audience will receive by taking your proposed action.
Create an Event Microsite
Creating a website page for an event you are exhibiting at is a great pre-show technique for bolstering brand awareness and promoting your attendance. Your microsite should feature event-specific content and address potential attendees that fit your targeting criteria -- encouraging event participants to interact with your brand.
When designing your microsite, consider who you're targeting, what type of content your personas need, and how you can ensure your audience will visit your booth. These insights are essential for the success of your microsite, giving you a strong foundation to create relevant pages for your audience. Next, accordingly design, execute, and promote the microsite.
Promote Event-Related Social Posts
Employing social media ads is critical to your event strategy, as it can increase traffic to your microsite or booth. Utilize multiple social platforms, based on your audience's preferences, to create a powerful brand presence and increase noticeability.
You can use LinkedIn to promote your posts as sponsored content, which will appear in people's feeds, or run text ads, which appear either on the top of the homepage or in the "ads you may be interested in" section. Sponsored InMail ads act as an email-like service, directly reaching your prospects using targeted email messages and driving engagement in a personalized and direct manner.
With these three steps, you'll have an arsenal of tools ready to generate an active and receptive audience before the show even starts -- guaranteeing increased high-quality meetings for your sales team.
Alexander Kesler is founder and president of inSegment, a leading digital marketing firm, where he leads a team that specializes in B2B lead generation, SEO, paid search, content marketing, and more.