How to use trade shows for content marketing

(@ConnorJChan) |

This is a guest post. The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Mainstreethost.

Content that enjoys the spoils of viral popularity is content that not only resonates with a brand’s primary audience, but with secondary audiences as well.

So how is that accomplished? Oftentimes, it can be difficult to imagine that the gap between the digital and physical worlds can be easily bridged. If you’re a business who deals mostly with online content, is it possible to attend a trade show and sell a crowd on something, like digital content, that’s not tangible?

The fact is, trade show marketing can involve any number of different strategies depending on what a brand wishes to promote. As the lines between what’s virtual and physical continue to blur, the idea of what’s marketable at a trade show event becomes less definable. For businesses who want to use such an event as leverage for content marketing, there are a few key tips that can help to facilitate success.

Create a Landing Page

A landing page for your brand’s content is one of the most crucial items that should be produced when preparing to exhibit at a trade show. If your content is a written piece, a video, some photos, or just about anything else, it can find a home on the Internet if you provide it with one.

Don’t just make a landing page— make a landing page that looks good, make sure the URL is memorable and relevant to your brand, and make sure that this page is being heavily promoted by your trade show staff. There are countless different ways to get the word out about your landing page before, during, and after the event takes place.

You can utilize hashtags and social media, put the URL on any literature and promotional products that you plan on distributing, and make sure that word-of-mouth effectively spreads the word by properly training the people who will be representing your business on the show floor.

Give People Something to be Excited About

This goes beyond just making exciting, engaging work to showcase on your landing page.

In the fast-paced hustle of the trade show floor, there needs to be something tangible available to grab people’s attention. This can be as simple as hanging photos in your exhibit, playing your videos to draw a crowd, sampling your music, printing out hard copies of an infographic, or handing out literature that contains your writings.

Make your best work accessible and present it as excitingly as you can think to do. High-quality, engaging work is hard to turn away from. If you can draw a crowd, and you’re successful in spreading the URL of your landing page around, you’re well on your way to achieving success in content marketing.

Use the Trade Show to Make More Content

While it’s always a good plan to have content ready for showing off before arriving at the event, it’s not a bad idea to also generate content while on the show floor.

Utilize your team, your fellow exhibitors, and even utilize guests at your own exhibit to help in this process. You can tackle social media with live blogging and live tweeting, both of which can be done by your own hired team or as a collaborative effort. You can ask a visitor to write a guest blog post about his or her experience, share photos of the show floor on Instagram, document the entire day in a YouTube video, etc.

While this content won’t be likely to grow in popularity in the days and weeks following a trade show event, it can still serve the purpose of getting your online followers excited about your brand, your work, and any future events you may be attending.

Make Sure Your Content is Relevant Year-Round and Worldwide

Topical jokes and content can see fantastic, immediate success. But how will that content hold up in the long term?

Saturday Night Live did some fantastic sketches lampooning candidates during the 2008 presidential election, but little of that praise carried over as the show went on and the political battles stagnated. That infamous Kony 2012 video saw a significant, immediate reaction from viewers across the web, but all of that campaign’s good will couldn’t save it from falling to the wayside after weeks and months.

The content you want to market should be relevant to new consumers months after the trade show is over. Additionally, the content’s intended audience should not be such a niche, hard-to-reach market. The balancing act of creating content that’s both generally-appealing and relevant beyond just a specific moment is difficult, but when you strike gold, you’ll have something worth marketing at a trade show.

Content marketing and planning for a trade show both, of course, require hours and hours of work, as well as passion and excitement for your products. Working a content marketing strategy into your trade show plans is a tricky task, but it doesn’t have to be something that’s dauntingly difficult. Trade shows don’t have to just be about physical goods and services, and your marketing strategy should reflect that.

About The Author:Connor Chan
Connor is a student, aspiring writer and intern at the Marketing Zen Group. He loves to blog about a variety of topics like marketing, technology & social news roundups. When he isn’t honing his skills as a writer, he enjoys listening to music, cooking and learning web development skills.