Using a Trade Show to Boost Your Blog
Blogs were once cutting edge, but not anymore. Owning a business website today without a blog is a little like having a telephone but no email address. You can do business that way, but it’s not very efficient. Of course, setting up a blog is only half the battle. Once it’s running you have to generate traffic and readership.
There are a lot of ways to do this, but one of the best ways is in person. If you’re going to attend a trade show you should be marketing your blog. In fact, you should consider marketing your blog at a trade show as your main objective and with awesome trade show materials. This approach will do two things:
- Build a loyal fan base, eventually converting readers into customers
- Cause people to trust you because you’re not just trying to sell them something, but genuinely want to offer them resources (through your blog)
Here’s how you can market your blog at a trade show in a way that works.
Market Your Resource, Not Your Product
People are often turned off when you market your product right out of the gate. That’s why it’s better to offer them something (a free resource, like your blog) before you try to sell your product. But how do you do that? You can hold up a product, but your website is virtual. You can’t hold it up and display it.
Or can you?
Consider buying or renting a large flat screen television. Put this up at your booth and use it to show off your blog. This way you can navigate multiple people through the resources you offer at the same time. This shows people that you take your blog seriously; it’s not just an add-on you did because you had to. It will build a sense of excitement around your blog, and people will be more likely to remember and visit it later.
Sign Them up Yourself
Most people at a trade show have a badge with a barcode of some kind. Companies can then use lead retrieval equipment to scan that barcode and put the person’s information in their database. Most the time, companies use this to email promotions to the customer. I suggest you use it as a way to email people about your blog.
Think about it. You’re walking through a trade show and come across a company showing off its awesome blog. You can either type your information into the computer so that you can receive regular blog updates, or you can let the person scan your barcode and they’ll take care of the rest. Which will you choose? The easier option, of course.
Business Card with QR Code
People will be more likely to remember your blog if you give them something tangible to hold on to. Sometime after the trade show ends people will go through their bag of pamphlets, cards and fliers, and hopefully run across your card. What do they see? The name of your blog and a QR code generator.
“Oh yea,” they think, “I remember that blog.” They’ll take out their phone, scan the code and visit your website. How convenient.
We often want the advertising and sales process to progress a lot quicker than what I’ve described here. Sometimes it does, but when everyone else is trying to sale their product outright (like at a trade show) it can really play to your advantage to take a softer approach. You may not see automatic returns, but overtime you’ll cultivate a much stronger fan base and capture more sales.
Dan Palma is a blogger who writes about business technology for events and conferences.
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