Tips for Combining Content Marketing with Your Trade Show Exhibits

You’ve no doubt heard of content marketing and may even be using it in your digital marketing campaigns. But your content marketing should extend to your trade show exhibits as well. In fact, you should start thinking of your trade shows as a part of your larger content marketing plan.

Have you noticed that trade show attendees expect more from their overall trade show experience these days? They are no longer dazzled by the ubiquitous sales pitch or free stress ball giveaway; they want to be engaged, like really, truly engaged. So how do you do that? Ding-ding-ding… content.

Modified VK-5095 Hybrid Island with Tension Fabric Graphics, MOD-1290 and MOD-1289 Counters, MOD-1316 iPad Clamshell, and (2) MOD-1408 Charging Stations

Modified VK-5095 Hybrid Island with Tension Fabric Graphics, MOD-1290 and MOD-1289 Counters, MOD-1316 iPad Clamshell, and (2) MOD-1408 Charging Stations

If the idea of developing content around your exhibit marketing leaves you perplexed, here are some tips for creating engaging content your audience will love.

Start Using Content Before the Show

Before you’re even at your next trade show, use the content on your website and blog to provide information about the upcoming event.

Don’t sell so much as offer your audience ideas on what you will be showcasing. In other words, tease them a little and get them interested in stopping by your booth.

Also be sure to use your social media pages to get prospects interested and give them content that’s valuable and that they can use before the show.

For example, you may want to offer free downloadable materials that will educate your audience about your company. This way they know the people behind the products or services.

Forget SEO

For your digital marketing campaigns you most likely spend a fair amount of time creating content around specific keywords and phrases. Well, put all thoughts of search engine optimization (SEO) out of your mind because you’ll want to focus on what your prospects want to learn about instead.

To do this simply put yourself in the tradeshow attendees’ shoes. If you were at the show and walked up to your own booth, what questions would you have? What would you want to learn about?

Once you have these questions, create an ebook with the answers and give this away to clients. Click To Tweet

Don’t worry about giving away all of your ideas and concepts.

People will always need further explanation and have further questions for you, and so the conversation can then continue in person.

Make Your Content Visually Compelling

Get creative when it comes to how you share your content at these events. If you’re thinking you’ll just hand out brochures and pamphlets, be prepared to see numerous yawns from attendees.

Think about what makes someone come over to your booth in the first place at one of these events.

It’s because they see something visual that interests them.

With this in mind, consider using screens that can rotate your content.

For example, you might rotate customer testimonials or statistics. This a much more visual and engaging way to provide this information.

Make Your Content Interactive

Demonstrations have always worked well in the past, but today’s attendees expect – or at the very least hope for – some digital interaction.

Why not have iPads set up that allow attendees to really get their hands on your company – literally.

Custom Workstations with MOD-1329 iPad Stand, Graphics, and Monitor Mount

Custom Workstations with MOD-1329 iPad Stand, Graphics, and Monitor Mount

Humans are a tactile bunch. Your prospects want to be able to walk up to your booth, pick up a gadget and start playing with it and interacting with your content in a memorable way.

Should you choose to go this way, do remember to have your iPads connected to a security tether so no one considers them a free giveaway!

Make an Emotional Connection

Too many marketers make the mistake of leading with features and benefits when developing their content, and although discussing benefits can be effective for a piece of sales copy, it’s not the way to go when crafting content around your exhibit.

Instead, you want to make an emotional connection by having your content create either a fear in your prospect or allow them to see an opportunity. At the end of the day you want your prospects to see your offer as a solution to their problem, and your solution should be a no-brainer. The easiest way to create this feeling in attendees is to tap into their emotions, stir them up a bit, and then calmly place your product or service in front of them.

Know Who Your Target Market Is

You have most likely experienced what no exhibitor wants to experience: The show is happening and people come near your booth, slow down, squint at your signage and screens, and then eventually move on unmoved.

If you’re nodding your head right now, we feel your pain.

If you don’t engage your audience through a targeted exchange, on all levels of messaging, you have failed to complete your mission.

Content marketing is powerful, no matter if it’s done online or on a trade show floor, but in order for it to get you results, you’ve got to give your prospect content that reflects exactly who they are and what they need.

Relevant content will get a conversation started (and potentially lead to sales) every time.

If you haven’t given content marketing a try, or you’ve dabbled with it a little online, I urge you to consider getting a strategy together for your next trade show.

Thoughtful, relevant content combined with a great trade show exhibit can really set you apart from the crowd and help you make real connections with attendees, who hopefully then turn into customers for life.

Something to always keep in mind when creating content is that it always, always, always has to be valuable, and creating valuable content takes time.