Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to show potential customers what you are talking about and turn prospects into genuine leads. Online, inbound marketing comes in creating valuable content for readers, who enter at the top of your “funnel.” Of course, the long-term goal is to convert these to customers, but you can also start that relationship in person, and a bit of technology goes a long way when it comes to inbound marketing at a trade show.
When preparing for a successful trade show, you should think about inbound marketing, too. While it isn’t as easy as providing information on a blog or web portal, there are plenty of ways to convert in-person visitors into digital quality leads and give them inbound materials to show your expertise and what your company can offer them.
Define Your Goals First
You might think that every company attending a trade show is out to make sales. Not necessarily. There are a lot of benefits to trade shows for companies large and small, and all will go into the show with a slightly different set of goals. So your inbound marketing needs to reflect your goals.
So, before you attend the show, think about certain aspects of your marketing, such as what you want people to do when they engage with you. For example, are you trying to get them to sign up for a mailing list? Are you trying to drive sales directly? Have you thought about how you might encourage them to hit these goals while engaging with you at the show? Then, you might not have long to grab their attention.
Create a Trade Show-Specific Landing Page
It isn’t too difficult to create a trade show-specific landing page with a little bit of tech knowledge. This means that if you drive people to your site while at the show, they will land on this page, with a more personal experience for them.
On top of this, it allows you to tailor the experience. For example, you can include things on the page that may not be on your website’s home page. As well as specific calls to action, you can provide other information about your stall at the show and an introduction to the company. Maybe you can even let people book an appointment to chat with one of your staff.
There are all sorts of ways in which you can make the landing page more personal and try to hook people in. However, the last thing you want is a forgettable experience that doesn’t incentivize people to stay with you and continue to read your marketing materials.
Identify Your Call-to-Action and Optimize it for Mobile.
What is your call to action? How will you present your offer and give people a gentle nudge towards meeting your goal, even if you want them to leave their email addresses?
Your call to action should be powerful, of course, and attractive to potential customers, but remember that you are using inbound marketing, so it also needs to be mobile-friendly.
People might be visiting your stall and seeing what you are offering. They may then scan a QR code to take them specifically to your website. If this doesn’t look good or isn’t optimized for their mobile device, then it is quite simply not going to look professional, and it is not going to drive sales.
Before attending the show, be sure to test this and all of the other tech you are using. Make sure everything works as it should and looks good on peoples’ mobiles.
Use Tech to Encourage People to Attend your Trade Show
Why not embrace technology to encourage people to attend the trade show or head to your stall? For instance, you could provide unique codes for people to show when they see you at the show for free promotion.
As with many different forms of marketing, it is a chance to get creative. Technology can allow you to do exactly that, and if you have an existing basis of fans of the brand or even potential customers, you can encourage them to engage with you in person at the event.
It works both ways, and as well as embracing new customers at the event, you may wish to further your relationship with existing customers or drive more people to visit you.
Schedule Your Follow-up Emails
Inbound marketing is about capturing people’s details and providing them with a more long-term relationship with your business. Maybe they aren’t ready to buy from you yet, but after you provide them with a few months’ worth of free, helpful, valuable content and information, they will be.
With that in mind, you should schedule a sequence of follow-up emails for people who sign up to your mailing list while you are at the event. But, again, make it as personal as possible, just like the unique landing page for people attending the event.
There is an art to email marketing and if this is one of your primary drivers of new customers, take some time to learn what things work and how you can continue to bring in new business.
Frank Derby is a Las Vegas-based PR and Communications expert working with GoldenMFG. Frank covers everything you need to know about offline promotions, PR, trade shows, and more with a background in traditional marketing. His passion now translates into articles where he shares his expertise, experience, and random thoughts :).