“Our products cost so much more than our competitors. How in the world do we convince attendees to check us out, when everyone’s so focused on the bottom line?”
The question could come from any industry, and it’s becoming increasingly common as a tightening economy makes buyers more price-conscious. However, the company that lives by price also dies by price. Savvy exhibitors know that to appeal in this type of market, it’s critical to highlight aspects of their products and services that are more important than money.
The three most pivotal factors are: Continue reading…
What’s ahead for trade shows and other marketing efforts in 2010?
Last week, I referred you to the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey which polled more than 1,000 business leaders across a wide range of industries about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. This week I’ll continue reviewing the trends.
Trend: Everybody is jumping on the social media bandwagon. A whopping 59% of surveyed companies will be increasing their social-media budgets. How many will be spending less? A mere 3%.
3 things this means to you:
1. Choose the right social networks. Twitter covers almost every audience. Facebook and Myspace pages work best for products with consumer appeal. LinkedIn groups are most appropriate for BtoB marketing.
2. Stay on message. The speed and flexibility of social media can be a huge advantage, but it can also be a pitfall. Set clear guidelines for all communications, and review the messages and results regularly.
3. Use social media to support trade show exhibits. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can allow you to increase the effectiveness of your trade show appearances. You’ll reap great benefits when you integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy.
If you’ve felt like tweeting for quite some time now, but didn’t know where to start, this guide is for you.
In November the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey polled more than 1,000 business leaders across a wide range of industries about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. For the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing those trends and giving you tips to make them work for you and your company.
Trend: For almost everyone, marketing budgets (particularly tradeshow budgets) should hold steady or increase. At 48%, more companies will be boosting their budgets than just keeping them the same (41%). A mere 11% of executives said they were allocating less money for marketing. With the economy on the upswing, marketing efforts can make a huge difference now.
What this means to you:
• Spend smarter, not harder. Make the most of the budget you have by careful targeting. Invest in the trade shows that are likely to give you the best return.
• Make new friends, but keep the old. In terms of profit, an established customer is worth from five to seven times what a new customer is worth. Send your current customers special invitations to come to your booth. Show them how much you appreciate their loyalty.
• Out of sight doesn’t have to be out of mind. Maintain the connections you make at trade shows with targeted emails, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media.
Twitter is a fast way to reach thousands of people, but it has some issues. One is that a single tweet can easily get lost in the flood of new information. (Following Twitter has been likened to trying to get a drink of water from a firehose.) Now you can subdivide and organize your Twitter reading with a powerful new feature that will allow you to create and share smaller reading lists.
The new feature, Twitter Lists, is still in beta testing, but now is a good time to learn its secrets. You’ll find it helpful during the peak of trade-show season. Follow these three guidelines:
1. Organize your trade show contacts with a Twitter List. Name it after the trade show, and encourage your customers to follow the list. In the frenetic trade-show atmosphere, the list makes it easier for you to follow customers’ responses and concerns.
2. Make a list of your booth staff. Your customers can follow that list and get instant updates. It’s also a useful tool for ensuring that your staff members maintain a professional attitude even in the informal world of tweeting.
3. Have someone back at the office track the lists where your company tweets appear. Check to see who is subscribing to your lists and your individual Twitter accounts. Track responses and complaints by list members, and deal with them immediately. That’s powerful customer service.
Streaming a video on your company web site is just the beginning. Long after the trade show is over, you can use that footage in creative ways to market your business.
Use these four tips to help plan an effective video campaign.
1. Optimize for search engines and the people who use them.
The standard SEO tips apply here: tag the video, make sure you use keywords in the filename, create a sitemap specifically for videos, and make sure your metadata is accurate and complete.
2. Tell the world about your video.
Embed a clip in an email to your customers. Announce its URL on social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook allows you to post video directly. You may wish to allow people to embed the video in their blogs or websites, too.
3. Cross-link to your site.
If you decide to post the video file on YouTube or Facebook, provide a link back to your site. These public sites can reach a broad audience, and you want to get the most from their buying power.
4. Keep track of video viewers and their purchasing decisions. Whether you choose promotional codes or separate URLs, you need to track the ways viewers find your videos—and how they react to it.