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Using Content Marketing to boost your trade show event effectiveness

By 03 Sep, 2015
Essential
Event marketing

7 ideas for exhibitors showing how you can integrate content marketing into your next event

how-to-create-amazing-online-contentEvery B2B marketer is familiar with the lead generation and branding benefits of trade shows made possible by the highly focused audience of potential customers to the brand recognition you get from having hundreds, or with the right location, thousands of people view your display. Likewise consumer events can give similar benefits.

With the increasing interest in content marketing over the last few years, I'm surprised that fewer marketers seem to be familiar with is the potential to create amazing online content from your trade show experience. From answers to questions to interviews with industry insiders, trade shows are great opportunities to create stellar content or integrate existing content assets.

In this guide, we’ll share seven creative content ideas that you can put into action at the next trade show you attend. From time-lapse videos to summaries of the event’s top presentations, read on to learn how to turn your next trade show into content.

Idea 1. Answer people’s biggest questions and pain points

What are the biggest problems people in your industry face? What are the biggest questions they want answered? Trade shows are great opportunities to interview your customers face to face and learn about what they’re interested in.

Instead of just thinking of a trade show as an opportunity to sell to your audience, think of it as an opportunity to learn from them. When someone from your target audience visits your booth, ask how you can inform them of your company.

Based on our own experience of working with exhibitors, Display Wizard found that too many businesses weren't managing the trade show process properly and ROI was suffering as a result. To help us connect with our audience, we produced our guide to exhibiting at a trade show to help them with this specific pain point.

Successful trade shows can generate hundreds of leads, but they can also generate hundreds of great content ideas in the form of questions to answer and problems to solve in your next set of company blog posts.

Idea 2. Interview top customers and industry insiders

Are you exhibiting at an ultra-popular trade show? If your event attracts an A-list audience – or, alternatively, if it attracts people who are very popular within your industry – it’s a great opportunity to reach out and connect with them.

Interviews with experts are great traffic magnets, and speaking to the right person – even if it’s just for a few minutes – can result in tens of thousands of highly targeted visits to your company website once the video goes online.

Reach out to industry insiders and thought leaders prior to the event – to arrange a meeting - influencer marketing could be far easier than you think . While you’ll never have a 100% success rate, a single interview with the right person is often all it takes to create killer content for your website.

Idea 3. Tell the event’s story by embedding tweets in a post

It’s no secret that attendees tweet during trade shows. In fact, during certain events, people tweet like crazy. Apple’s iconic keynotes are infamous for their side effects: a temporary overload of mobile service caused by so much concentrated tweeting.

Capitalise on the huge amount of social updates that step from trade shows by using them to build a timeline of the event on your website. Once the show is over, you can publish a play-by-play summary of the day, complete with real tweets from visitors.

It’s easy to embed tweets in your blog post - see this Twitter guide. You can even embed Instagram photos to give your event summary a more visually appealing look. Curating other people’s content lets you provide total coverage of the event that’s sure to attract attention.

Idea 4. Publish summaries of the event’s best presentations

There’s more to most trade shows than just the sales floor. From masterminds to presentations, popular trade shows typically feature several guest speakers, group discussions and industry-related shows.

Once the show is over, people are still going to want to learn about what’s going on in your industry. By publishing summaries of the best presentations, you can turn your website into an authoritative, informational resource on industry trends.

Before you exhibit at any trade show, take a look at the presentations and speakers list. If there’s someone (or a group of people) who matches your brand’s values and field of interest, summarise the key points of their presentation in your content.

Idea 5. Post live updates of the trade show to your website

Does your company use Twitter? If so, you have a fantastic opportunity to keep both attendees and non-attendees up to date with what’s going on at your trade show via live tweets.

Whether you’re watching a presentation or interacting with a cool digital display, let people know about the coolest and most helpful presentations, displays and brands at your trade show via Twitter.

Live tweeting not only gives you the chance to build web content in the form of an event timeline after the event – it also gives you the chance to gain followers in the form of people attending the trade show or interested in your industry.

Idea 6. Create a video of the event for attendees to share

Online content doesn’t have to be in text form. Trade shows are great places to film videos for your company. From event summaries to interviews with experts in your industry, the right video can become powerful authority content after the event.

Instead of interviewing customers and industry experts and writing their comments down for a future blog post, do a quick and simple video interview with a variety of attendees. This way, you can make a “Best of Event” video for your website.

Summary videos for popular events receive a huge amount of traffic, often directly from YouTube searches. As well as funnelling traffic to your company website, they can be fantastic tools for building your YouTube subscriber base.

Idea 7. ‘Recruit’ guest bloggers for your company website

Who says you need to create all of your own content? Trade shows are hotspots for experts in your industry, and if you’re an established brand, there’s a great chance that these experts would love to contribute to your company blog.

As well as generating sales leads, focus on generating blogging leads at your next trade show. When someone visits your booth, ask if they blog. If they say they do, ask if they would be interested in contributing to your company’s website.

Everyone wants to spread their message, and the people you meet at trade shows often have a very engaging, helpful message to spread. If your blog is already fairly established, you could find your next standout guest contributor at a trade show.

Have you ever used a trade show to create or integrate content?

From blog posts to videos, trade shows are wonderful opportunities to showcase the latest trends and developments in your industry. Have you ever used a trade show to create content? If so, please share the strategies you used.

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