This the fourth and final part of our Trends for 2010 tips. Today, I’m focusing on five rules to help you leverage technology to add to your trade show success.
1. Online is not an add-on.
The virtual component must be integral to every step of your trade-show planning. Select the best online communities to reach your customers. And maintain your brand voice and image in every message.
2. Accessibility is key.
Make sure your trade-show web page is optimized for all the browsers, including those on smart phones. The design that looked great on Internet Explorer may be unreadable on a Droid.
3. Make your message move and speak.
Use web video, still images, and podcasting as well as text. Multimedia approaches engage more of the user’s attention. Live feeds from your booth can extend your trade show message to customers around the world, and YouTube videos can make it accessible months or years after the event is over.
4. Update often.
Keep your customers coming back to check for more. Good content may be news and links, helpful tips, community-building, or just the sense of a warm, engaging person as the face of the company.
5. Listen as well as talk.
Twitter, Facebook, and blogs offer almost instantaneous feedback on what’s working and what’s not. If a member of your booth staff was rude to a customer, you can be sure the news will be all over Twitter in five minutes. Monitor the Internet and the Twitterverse with automatic searches, and respond instantly to any problems.
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.
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.
For years, keynote speeches and major product announcements have been shown live to audiences who cannot attend a trade show. Now you can use cutting-edge technology to create streaming video from your trade show booth—and you don’t need a news van complete with photojournalists to get great results.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing how you can create professional streaming video and use it to maximize the return on your trade-show investment.
Why use streaming video? Here are five reasons: