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Creating Brand Buzz Before a Trade Event

Trade shows and conferences are great opportunities to spread the word about your brand and network with industry colleagues and potential customers. But how do you stand out from potentially hundreds of similar companies without blowing your budget on a premium exhibitor booth or sponsorship?

Here are three sure fire ways to get noticed and build a great buzz around your brand well before an event; and they won’t cost you a fortune.

SEM

Specificity is vital these days. Associate your brand with each show using search engine marketing (SEM).

Long-tail keywords specifically related to trade shows and events allow you to put your message in front of a relevant audience quite cheaply. Include qualifying terms like cities and dates to capture the most relevant traffic and win a positioning boost thanks to reduced competition for those particular keywords.

Go one step further and supplement your long-tail keywords with event-specific ad copy. This makes it more likely that your ads will catch the attention of anyone researching the event and it will also lower your CPC due to the alignment between your ad copy and the targeted keywords.

If you want to target specific brands or individuals at a trade show, get personal by using dynamic keyword insertion. Your ad copy will be automatically modified depending upon which keywords people search for, effectively taking customization of your advertising to the next level.

Social Media

Every trade show worth its salt has a Twitter hashtag and very often these discussions are just as useful as the events themselves. Utilise Twitter’s Promoted Tweets to get your tweets to specific hashtags. Avoid a strictly sales-orientated message and write something useful and informative instead that others will want to quote and share.

You could also consider using LinkedIin Ads which gives you the option of targeting specific companies, industries and even people with your ads. This could be a good strategy for bring attention to your company before an event and making a few useful contacts to follow up on the day.

Display Ads

Display ads certainly have their place in your pre-trade show marketing campaign but target them for maximum effect.

Buy ad space on high-traffic sites within your industry sector. Key blogs and information portals are good places to reach the most relevant audience. If you can, purchase ad space directly on the trade show’s website; it’s just as good as having a booth at the event but at a fraction of the cost.

Retargeting is a suitable strategy to employ in the run up to an event too. By presenting previous visitors and customers with custom ad creatives just for the event, you will be reminding people of your participation at the forthcoming trade show which all helps to create the anticipatory buzz you are looking for.

In conclusion

There is often no single channel or platform guaranteed to earn you significant exposure before an event. Create a diverse media plan well in advance and target your ads to the audience that is most likely to be interested in your message. By adopting a customisation and diversification strategy, you can boost brand awareness within your business sector and generate the buzz that will help you to get the most out of your trade show participation.

 

Image: ©Getty images

Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk

Alison Page

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