Quality signage is still one of the best ways for brands to advertise who they are, what they do, and where they are. But you’ve been watching the growth of online businesses. And you might be struggling to find new customers for your signage company.
Perhaps you’ve tried to set up an integrated marketing strategy to capitalize on the boom in content marketing.
But remember that physical companies still need your solutions. So a brilliant way to demonstrate what you do is in person. And that means trade shows. In fact, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found B2B exhibitions are identified as the primary marketing and sales channel by 77% of exhibitors.
Many companies still spend 18% of their marketing budget on events – the largest share on a single type of marketing.
So it’s clear that trade shows are a crucial part of any integrated marketing strategy.
Read on to discover how to get the best marketing ROI on your trade show appearances.
It’s easy to get swept up in the possibilities of digital marketing. But adding trade show booth marketing to your strategy gives you a major advantage.
Remember, the trade show attendees are making the effort to come to you.
Where else are you likely to find your target audience in such a concentrated space?
According to Content Marketing Institute, 75% of respondents to their 2016 survey said in-person events were effective integrated marketing tools. But remember, it doesn’t just start with the trade show itself. You should get started on your integrated marketing before the show even begins. Your outreach efforts can help you meet the right people at the show. And it means you can use that precious face-time for useful conversations.
Check the list of registered attendees for the trade show.
Which visitors are the most high-potential customers?
Invite them to visit your booth, or make an appointment. When they arrive, you can greet them with more specialist information.
Because you sought them out, you know they’re a high-quality lead. And you can keep your best giveaway items just for them. Remember, 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. It’s worth treating your prospects well. “Building relationships” is the true trade show marketing definition. But don’t restrict yourself to attendees of the show. If you want real marketing ROI, then invite your existing customers too. It’ll give them the chance to meet you – and make them feel valued.
Pre Event Rundown
In fact, invite any prospects, or even those who have made inquiries. Your invitation gives them an opportunity to find out more about your product. It also gives them the chance to meet you and your staff.
It’s also a good idea to see if your chosen trade show runs a speaking program. Giving a talk helps direct attendees to your booth. It also gives your booth staff something to talk about.
You already know that the location of your booth is as important as your design. And being in the signage industry, your signage should already be second-to-none.
You want passersby to know who you are and what you do at a glance.
But, think about your integrated marketing approach for a second.
Have you considered bringing social media into your booth?
It’s an easy way to connect with attendees at the event. Social media also lets you connect with those who didn’t attend. You can keep things simple, using event-specific hashtags and direct interactions. Or you can invest in beacon technology to make it easy for customers to opt-in to your communications. Beacon technology can also help you to direct attendees to your booth. You can also advertise any competitions you might be running.
The During Event Rundown
Giveaway items are also a must. But remember that 77% of people keep a promotional item that was useful. That’s a lot of people keeping an item handy with your logo on it. And don’t just resort to the safe choice of a pen.
But as well as giveaway items, you do need to pay attention to the staff that you’ll use at the booth. After all, they’re on the frontline, carrying out those crucial conversations.
To put it bluntly – they’re responsible for your marketing ROI. Don’t have them sitting behind a table. Get your staff out among the attendees. It’ll make them more approachable. Maybe you could turn your booth into a welcoming place to hang out. If attendees want to spend time there, then you’ve got a captive audience. So consider investing in extra training for your booth staff. Consider what technology you’ll have on hand so they can capture leads.
You can’t follow-up with prospects if you haven’t captured their needs at the booth. Get your staff to keep a list of the questions they’re asked. That can provide you with months of blog content to answer questions you know that your target audience has.
The trade show gives you an important opportunity to build relationships with prospects. And that means following up.
It can be easy to focus on the hot leads from the trade show. But you’re wasting marketing ROI by ignoring the warm, or even cold, leads.
The Post Event Rundown
It’s vital that you design a follow-up process. You need to cope with the influx of new leads. But you also need to build the personalized data into your communications.
This is where your trade show appearance feeds into your sales funnel. It’s the whole reason for the success of integrated marketing. Separate your hot leads. You’ll know from the notes your staff made which attendees were the keenest. Perhaps they made an appointment with you before the event. Maybe they set one up for after the event. You can follow up with these leads separately because they’re the most obvious prospects.
But what do you do with the other contact information you collected?
Send an email to the list. Don’t try to immediately sell anything. Thank attendees for visiting your booth. Maybe send them any presentations you gave. Think of this as a filtering exercise. The unsubscribes remove the cold leads from your follow-up process. That’s not a bad thing – they weren’t going to buy from you anyway.
Segment your remaining list according to interaction.
Did they reply to setup a meeting?
Did they click on a link to find out more?
Here’s a short video to watch as an overview on what we just covered!
Your content marketing team can take over at this point. Let them nurture those leads and convert them into sales. But you can see that none of these leads would have been possible without a strong trade show presence. And as you want to see astonishing marketing ROI, then you’ll need to partner with a successful trade show marketing company.
So if you’re ready to get started on your trade show marketing, then talk to us.
Entrepreneur | Business & Marketing Strategist | Co-Founder @goldminddigital. I am a business & marketing strategist. I bring more than 6 years of experience to projects I take on with a track record of success. I help entrepreneurs win at business.
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