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Mixing Content Marketing and Trade Shows

By: SmallBizClub

 

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Today’s customers are smart. They research products before making purchases, overlook advertisements, and rely on companies that they trust. As a result of these intelligent modern consumers, organizations must look for new ways to impact potential clients.

Enter content marketing.

Implementing a content marketing strategy into all aspects of your business model is a must in today’s economy, regardless of the environment. For instance, there are several ways to combine content marketing and trade shows. The latter gives customers a face-to-face buying experience, and by including content marketing as part of your trade show strategy, your business can get a leg up on the competition. Here’s how to incorporate content marketing into your trade show experience.

Get Online

For many companies, content marketing involves consistently creating and posting useful information online. As such, before the trade show begins, generate an influential online personality. Attendees can find any information that they desire online. In order to attract the attention of these individuals, start a blog and promote it on your social media profiles.

Write smart, insightful articles related to your industry. Regularly posting practical pieces on your blog will establish your company as a leader in your field. Plus, those who read your blog will trust your business before ever meeting you. These individuals will certainly be interested in visiting your trade show booth and will likely promote your company on their own social media profiles. Attendees who are familiar with your organization will be more likely to make purchases at your booth as well, meaning your in-show sales will skyrocket. Luckily, the loyalty, advertising, and purchases created by your blog will continue all year, making your company a force in the industry.

Print It Out

Between infographics and product guides, printed materials reach consumers at several levels once the trade show begins. Whether online or in print, infographics are a great way to organize information in a manner that’s easy for customers to understand.

When crafting your own infographic, make sure to scale them onto one or two pages of regular sized paper. If you’re using ones that you have previously published online, modify them to fit the printed format. As with any infographic, make them visually appealing and filled with information that consumers will find useful and relevant.

Similarly, company literature, like product guides and industry whitepapers, will help customers understand your business better. These types of handouts allow consumers to make informed purchases. Place these papers on tables, hand them to visitors during conversations, and be sure to include your company’s website and contact information on every piece of literature you create. Make any company literature visually appealing in order to attract the attention of attendees.

In the end, any printed material you bring to a trade show should tell visitors that your business places a premium on customer service. You want consumers to make an informed decision, and you know that the products your organization provides will satisfy.

Tell a Story

Regardless of how you choose to use content marketing, your ultimate goal should be to tell the customer a story. Include case studies as part of your sales pitch, blog, and trade show handouts. Crafting these case studies in a narrative manner will let consumers know that your company values people over sales. Avoid confusing marketing speak, empty promises, and industry jargon.

Also, use real figures when appropriate to demonstrate exactly how you improved your clients’ lives and experiences. Be wary of comparing your company to competitors, though. If your business:

  • Is a startup that is causing disorder in the industry
  • Has a definitive pricing advantage
  • Has a far superior product
  • Is so different that it demands comparison
then you should mention your competitors. However, if the opposite is true, then you should not make any comparisons. Overall, be sincere with your clients, and you’ll make an impression on others in the industry and on any consumer.

Content marketing is the best way to ensure loyalty amongst your customers. Providing relevant information to your clients guarantees that they will return to you for more content time and time again. Even in the trade show environment, which can often signal a sensory overload for attendees, information makes the difference. The businesses that give the most useful content make the biggest impact on visitors and leave a lasting impression on those who stop by their trade show booths.

Laura McConneyAuthor: Laura McConney is a content crafter and a research guru with the Marketing Zen Group. She writes about trade shows, marketing, and small business. When she’s not blogging, Laura loves all kinds of physical activity, ranging from yoga to ice hockey. She also tinkers with technology and follows pop culture closely. Connect with her on Twitter @l_mcconney.

Published: August 29, 2014
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