Exhibiting at Trade Shows, Why and Why Not?

All About Trade Shows: Exhibiting

Attending trade shows is a proven method to increase your brand awareness and to generate leads. Like all methods however, if done incorrectly it can also bring harm. In this article we will discuss the benefits of trade shows and also address potential problems that could encourage you to not exhibit at a trade show.

 Importance of Exhibiting at Trade Shows

The benefits of attending trade shows are countless. The straightforward benefits are lead generation and exposure. It’s important to note that most trade shows are not revenue generating opportunities, even if it does happen from time to time. Certain trade shows are more likely to generate revenue, especially if you are well prepared for that purpose, however, trade shows are primarily marketing and networking opportunities. To start off, we’ll identify some common reasons to exhibit at trade shows.

  • Exposure
  • Fresh, Original Content for Your Company
  • Direct Lead Generation
  • Indirect Lead Generation
  • Brand Image
  • New Product Introduction

When talking about Indirect Lead generation, we are led back to exposure. Just being out in the open will get you noticed. Passerbys might not directly convert into leads at the trade show, but because they saw you there, they might turn to you in the future. In addition, if asked by a colleague “do you know a company that does ****” they could recall your name. There are many other examples similar to these that are simply impossible to track. On the other hand, you can also directly gain leads from people who interact with you or participate in some of the lead generation activities you have prepared for the event. For ideas about lead generating activities, you can check out our article on Driving Traffic at Trade Shows, and the section about social media cards in our article about Handouts in Trade Shows.

Customers and potential customers value seeing their company be active. Participating in trade shows is one way to do that. Make sure to take pictures and videos when participating events and exhibiting at trade shows. These original media become a priceless marketing collateral that can be used in countless ways. Having your own original pictures to put on social media, e-mails, reports, brochures etc. is extremely effective. Similarly, these pictures and trade shows can help refine your brand image. For example, if your company wants to be viewed in a green-friendly light, participating in events that are hosted by green companies or have a green-initiative is a great way to spread awareness to your company’s green-initiative.

Many companies have used trade shows to feature new products. This is particular effective as it can be hard to attract customers towards new products. Having your new product out in the open for people to test and see in person is very good exposure for it and can propel the product towards success.

 Criteria for Opting Out of Trade Shows

In a different light, we wanted to address 3 circumstances that are important to consider before exhibiting at a trade show.

  • lack of funding
  • different target audience
  • lack of preparation

Lack of funding and preparation are two separate reasons, however the case they make is a similar one. Both of these can actually hurt your company. If your company is not willing to put in the minimum amount of funding for a decent quality exhibit, you might seriously consider whether or not you would like to go. I have personally seen companies exhibiting with a just wooden table with their name printed on a white piece of paper that was taped to the table. Two booths away was a company with a table cover, 2 standing banners, 5 staff members, promotional products and some other informative handouts. Needless to say the former company did not receive many visitors. In fact I knew two people who attended with the one of their goals being to talk to company A but did not end up doing so. One person said they could not find them at all. This was probably because of how underwhelming their exhibit was. The other person said they were disheartened by their display and looked at other companies instead. This might have been due to a lack of funding, or just that they did not allocate the required time to prepare for the event.

Exhibiting at trade shows can be pricey depending on the size of trade show. Many of those costs however are fixed costs and will cost you less the more trade shows you go to. For example our Trade Show Starter Pack costs $750, which for a small company new to trade shows can seem expensive. However you can reuse the products for multiple trade shows. If you go to 10 trade shows the cost will be just $75 per trade show!

The final point we wanted cover is the target audience. Usually there is some way of knowing some statistics about the expected audience. If the age, or general interest of the audience is much different than what your company usually attracts then you might want to consider if it is worth to exhibit. This is a relatively weak argument as you can still exhibit in these trade shows to increase your brand awareness and chances are you will at least be able to find a handful of people who are interested in your company that will make it worth your time. Ultimately, this arguement is only valid if you are understaffed and really can not afford to spare your resources for an exhibit that is potentially much less valuable in comparison to the other things they could be doing.

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

Have a Question? Contact Us!

 

Guest Blogging-Is it right for your Marketing Approach?

blog word cloud on blackboard

Guest blogging can certainly come in very handy for a number of reasons. Running a blog as a part of a marketing campaign is practically a requirement in today’s modern world – particularly as Google changes the very foundation of what SEO stands for on a regular basis. One of the many things that Google looks for when ranking sites is how frequently they’re updated. A steady stream of fresh, trustworthy and high quality content will always rank higher than a page updated once a year. This describes a blog pretty efficiently. However, you may not always have time to pen every single entry on a blog yourself.

What is Guest Blogging in Marketing?

As its name suggests, guest blogging is about finding someone who has similar interests who can provide interesting content to your followers.   Not only do you get the benefit of being able to take a day (or week) off to catch up on your backlog, but you also get a huge amount of new attention to your blog thanks to the presence of your guest.

How Does Guest Blogging Help You in Marketing?

For starters, perhaps the biggest benefit of guest blogging is that it can help generate a whole new level of traffic for a site. This is especially true if this guest blogger already has his or her own following, so they’ll be bringing their own audience to your site for the first time. While most of those new visitors will likely leave again to follow the guest blogger across the Internet, many will stay.

Another one of the major benefits of guest blogging is that it helps you build your authority in more ways than one. If the person that you’re having guest blog for your site is well-respected, the very fact that they’re contributing a piece to you at all only serves to lend some much-needed credibility to your enterprise. This is particularly true if you’re just starting out.

Another one of the reasons why guest blogging is so beneficial, particularly in terms of marketing, is because it helps build authority where it matters most – search engines. Gone are the days where you can just stuff a site with keywords and instantly fly to the top of Google results. Google emphasizes pages that are trustworthy over all others now and guest blogging is one of the single most efficient ways to get in on some of that action for yourself. By showing that your site is not only regularly updated with high quality content but also pieces from different authentic, trustworthy voices, the general rank of your entire enterprise will only rise as a result. This means that there will naturally be more eyes on your marketing blogs, which only means increased revenue as a result.

These are just a few of the reasons why guest blogging is, and will remain, a marketing best practice moving forward. Leveraging the power of search engines is all about authority and high quality content – guest blogging is able to deliver this to you in spades. If you’re the type of person who could use a little extra time to keep that steady stream of content flowing, guest blogging also makes perfect sense from the standpoint of your own productivity and efficiency at the same time. There really is no reason why you shouldn’t be exploring this with your marketing materials.

Have you tried a guest blogger on your site?  What did you think – would you do it again?  We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Marketing Tips for Building Anticipation

Marketing with Anticipation

Marketing materials that you create aren’t just a great way to introduce a new product or service to your target audience. If done properly, they can also be an invaluable way to create a huge amount of buzz and anticipation surrounding an upcoming product or service launch. That can then translate into increased sales when it is eventually ready for release. By keeping just a few, key things in mind, you can use hype to your advantage and build the type of momentum that most businesses can only dream of.

Master the Art of the Tease

One of the major lessons to be learned about building anticipation for a new product or service through marketing is to master the concept of teasing.   If you were still a year out from the launch of a new product, for example, you wouldn’t necessarily want to send out a mailer detailing all of that product’s functions right away. Not only do you not want to “give the game away” just yet, so to speak, but a year is an incredibly long time in the world of business. Things can change, so you don’t want to lock yourself into something that you may end up changing along the way.

Instead, you can send out a mailer talking about the exciting new product that is on the horizon and detail all of the hard work that you’re putting into it. People are interested in learning what it is going to do for them.  Instead of talking about the specific specifications, talk about the problem in your customers’ lives that it is designed to solve. Talk about the overarching goal of the product in a way that both gets people excited and makes them want to learn more.

Make sure your Marketing Strategy plans for  Steady Updates to keep interest high.

Another major technique to make use of when building anticipation is to check in periodically with your customers prior to launch. You wouldn’t want to send out a mailer teasing your product and then not check in again until it’s ready to launch. You would want to send out materials two, three, or even four times during the year, revealing larger bits of information each time. Not only does this give you a chance to build the hype surrounding your product or service a little more each time, but it also helps to keep it in the forefront of a customer’s mind – even though it isn’t released yet. Not only will your customers have a higher level of anticipation, but they also won’t have a chance to forget about what you’re up to.  It will help drive traffic to your website as people keep checking for updates.   If someone is excited about something, they will spread the word through social media.   A great example of a successful marketing strategy is the release of the all new Apple iPhone 6s today.  Apple, as always, had fans all over the world standing in line for their new product.  They already have people wondering what the next Apple product will be to be released.  With a good marketing strategy and solid planning, you can do that too for your products too!

Learn From Hollywood

If you want to take a master class in building anticipation through marketing, look no farther than movie trailers. Every Hollywood blockbuster usually follows the same format when it comes to their previews. First, roughly a year from release, a teaser trailer makes its appearance. This preview is usually around a minute in length, gives away virtually none of the plot and really just broadcasts the look or spirit of the movie. Six or so months later a longer, full trailer is released, which is usually about two minutes. This expands on the promise of the teaser, gives a way a bit more of the plot, but still leaves a lot to the imagination. A final trailer is released in the weeks before the movie itself, which is usually around three minutes and not only lets you know exactly what the plot will be, but also showcases amazing images that you immediately need to see more of. Building anticipation is all about escalation and Hollywood seems to have created a formula that works wonders, regardless of the type of business that you’re in.

Follow Through with your Marketing Plan

Once you have a plan and put it in motion, the most important thing that you can do is follow through with it.  Before you announce a release date, make sure that you have the capability to implement it.  Missing a date could be detrimental to the success of your product.

Marketing is one of the best tools that you have to not only announce a new product or service to the world, but to build the type of anticipation that always translates to increased sales.  If you would like help with your marketing plan, give us a call, we would love to help.

Marketing with Instagram

Collage of nine photos of vintage object

Collage of nine photos of vintage object

Showcase your business with Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms right now. As such, it’s the perfect showcase for your business. With so many people using Instagram in their marketing campaigns, you need to stand out to make an impact with your audience and gain new, devoted followers. This means thinking outside the box. Here are four extraordinary ways to use Instagram to boost your company’s success.

1. Show New and Innovative Uses for Your Products
Most of your customers and followers already know what your products can do, or at least what they were initially made to do. However, you can increase user engagement tremendously by showcasing lesser-known things your products can do. Come up with some novel and innovative uses for your products, then post photos of your products being used in those new and interesting ways. Take it a step further by inviting your followers to come up with their own new and interesting uses for your products. Have them send you photos for possible inclusion on your Instagram page. Make it a contest, and award a prize for the most unique and/or useful suggestion submitted via photo. You’ll get a lot more participants and new followers, which is exactly what you’re after.

2. Show Your Production Process
Give your followers a behind-the-scenes tour of your production space, office, store, and other places where the magic of creating your product happens. Show them what a day in the life of one of your employees looks like. Don’t limit your images to just production. Show employee-only areas like cubicles, on-site gyms and daycare facilities, lunch areas, meeting spaces, common areas, and more. Include images of employees interacting with each other in both a businesslike and playful manner. Showcase each individual employee with a mini-bio (your employees will love this recognition). Give your followers an idea of what goes on at your company, and strengthen their loyalty to you by making your relationship with them more intimate and personal.

3. Include Celebrities
Our culture loves celebrities. If you can get an image of a celebrity sighting in your area, put it on your Instagram page. Whether it has anything to do with your product or not, it’s sure to get a lot of views. People who come by to view the celebrity image will probably take the time to look at the rest of your Instagram page, leading to more followers and fans for your product.

4. Use the Power of Animals
Just like celebrities can’t help but bring views to your Instagram page, animals have a similar power. Share images of cute animals you find that you like. Post photos of your employees’ pets (bonus points if the pets are at your office). If you can get an image of someone’s pet using your product in some way (even playing with it), your followers will love it, and it will attract new views. As with celebrity images, these new views may very well turn into new followers.

These are just a few ways you can creatively use Instagram to your advantage. Make sure your business has an Instagram presence, then make the most of it. Use these suggestions, and watch your views and follower numbers soar.