Growing Business Through Clear SEO Strategy


The below article was written by Click Consult’s Head of Organic Search, Mark McGonigle about the challenges that brands face, the changes they can make and the success that they can see. The piece originally appeared on their website.


For businesses, getting their strategy right can be the difference between success and failure. 

What are the challenges that brands and businesses face today from a search marketing perspective?

All brands and business are continually striving for online growth and they are up against frequently evolving search engines with machine learning looking to return the right websites/content in order to achieve more ‘satisfied users’.

This is the biggest challenge facing search marketing, with the need to understand the metrics which the machines are classifying as ‘satisfied’.

There is a continual need to keep reviewing and evaluating the current search marketing strategies in order to ensure that they are correct and that they are returning the expected performance, through keyword positions and subsequent organic sessions.

This will either then be an acknowledgement that the strategy is correct or whether or not it needs altering based on the findings.

Being in strong keyword positions however is just the start, further metrics such as click through rate (CTR) and conversions which are ‘satisfied’ signals to the search engines also need to be continually reviewed.

Are there any new areas that businesses can expand on in terms of digital marketing and how does the future of the industry look?

I wouldn’t necessarily state ‘new areas’ to be expanded upon but I would say that there are areas which some sites feel that are unnecessary in relation to their site, even e-commerce sites need unique and knowledgeable content.

Google is smart enough to understand what the site and page is about, but creating content particularly at category level gives Google a better understanding of the pages it is serving.

Guides can sometimes be overlooked on e-commerce sites but can provide a valuable source of information which search engines will like.

We have seen better converting traffic for sites where informational terms have ranked – such as ‘the difference between’ & ‘what does X mean’

The feeling is that the idea of ‘intent’ appears to be much more critical in terms of the content you produce, and is something that has been overlooked by many businesses. Here at Click Consult, we have, especially over the past few strategy phases, looked at angles that represent a ‘new way of thinking’ or ‘approaching’ search marketing.

How can brands differentiate themselves from their competitors, particularly in congested and highly competitive industries?

As previously mentioned, good informative content will give a brand an edge over their competition – well as long at the content is better quality than their competitors.

But in addition to content there is still a lack of basic technical set up on sites which is the foundation that needs to be built upon, to include elements such as speed, mobile, markup, keywords and taxonomy of the site.

Ensuring the base set up of a site is correct and logical will allow the search engine bots to better understand and serve the content in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Another area which I have felt has fallen to the wayside over the past couple of years is online customer service. The better the customer service then the better reviews which can be requested and returned through structured markups – this then leads to better CTRs, which although not officially confirmed  as a possible ranking factor, the machines are likely to be looking at this metric.

If you could pick one aspect of search marketing for a business to focus on if their goal is to grow quickly, what would it be?

Google has made it clear that the two main updates have been around mobile (March 2018) & speed (July 2018). Whereas these have been on most SEOs radar for a long time now there are still some sites which are catching up and would benefit from making changes to meet these two key updates.

Sites still insist on uploading large scale imagery causing load times to slow and mobile rendering more difficult which will ultimately make users leave or look elsewhere.

This all goes back to the ‘satisfied user’ theory.

As Head of Organic Search, what are the day-to-day challenges that you face in your role and what are the benefits you see?

Each morning I check daily rankings for key clients and if there is any significant change either positive or negative then it’s sleeves rolled up to gather an understanding on what has taken place.

Is it a greater roll out, is it a test, is it a blip, are we behind on delivery or has a piece of coding been added which has caused the issue? Any of these mean I have to piece together the puzzle.

I have to say however, it is ultimately satisfying once you understand what is happening and that stays with you, should this happen to other clients then you have the benefit of a check list to run through.

Undertaking checks on various clients and their industry, helps pull together a more comprehensive list, which would subsequently lead to a resolution.

7 creative ways to get people to your stand

Your stand is out, but you don’t stand out. It’s a common problem for businesses at large exhibition events, and with £2.7 billion spent on them in 2010; it’s one you can’t afford to ignore.

But just because consumers at Prolific North Live will be surrounded by hundreds of exciting exhibitors, like a kid in a sweet shop, it doesn’t mean you should just hand out free lollipops like everyone else.

Here are seven creative ways to get people to approach, and then stay, at your exhibition stand.

Let people know you’re there!

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Before the event, get people excited that you’ll be attending with effective pre-show build up. Engaging social posts, blogs and newsletters are all great ways to interest and remind people about your presence at the exhibition. You could even create an original hashtag that incorporates the event name and your location in it, for example #PNLiveStand93, and use your existing channels and social media influencers for its promotion.

Host a competition

Host a competition that’s beneficial to both parties; include a fun activity and a data capture opportunity. Be sure to make it relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a TV production company that wants to promote the fact you’ve been involved in a successful TV show, the question could revolve around guessing the ratings it received. It would also be great if the prize was branded, or relevant to your organisation – said TV production company could offer free tickets to a live show recording. People will then be drawn back to your stand to find out whether they’ve won, offering you another opportunity to reinforce your work. This article by XLDisplays offers some great advice and ideas for exhibition competitions.

Offer interesting, long term gifts

Fun and relevant freebies that consumers want to hang on to will create a long-term positive impression of your brand, and ones that keep people at your stand for a while so you can interact with them are even better. A creative agency may want to employ a caricaturist to be stationed at their stall, as this provides consumers with an interesting gift and also keeps them long enough for the agency to explain their work and gather their details.

Teach people a skill

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By teaching consumers a quick and easy skill that they can use in their personal life; you will be positively reinforcing your business, whilst also giving you a chance to chat to them and collect their details in the process. For example, a video production company could offer tips on filming on mobiles, and create a quick piece of content for a visitor whilst they’re at the stand.

Offer high-tech toys

People are always interested in new technology, and any way you can demonstrate it to customers will help to promote your business. If you are a video game production company, it might be a good idea to let customers try out a VR headset – customers will be desperate to experience this new and exciting form of technology, creating a priceless buzz around your stand.

Offer refreshments

An inexpensive drink may be few and far between at busy exhibitions, so by offering tea and coffee you will be attracting a lot of thirsty consumers. Also, hot drinks may take a while to brew and cool down, which offers you a perfect opportunity to engage the visitor in conversation about the services and products you provide.

Follow up!

However you’ve attracted visitors to your stand and captured their data, it’s imperative you contact them in the following few days to solidify your relationship. However, research shows just one email isn’t enough – it takes around 6-8 contacts between business and consumer to generate a viable lead. Be sure to remind them about your services and if possible, address them by name – a personal message is extremely memorable and effective.

Do you have any suggestions? Let us know on Twitter.

About the author

Simon Landi is one of the founding members of Manchester-based marketing communications and web development agency Access, and has been running the business since 1999. With extensive experience across many sectors including travel & tourism, B2B and not for profit, Simon’s background has seen him work for a variety of household names. His focus on engaging with customers at every stage of their journey, inspired him to develop Access’ very own live event social media tool EventStreamLive

The Future of Programmatic Advertising: 6 Predictions for 2017

Programmatic advertising. The crunching of numerous sources of data to present the right ad, at the right time, to the right person. But with technology evolving so quickly, what does the future hold? We’ve looked at the numbers, asked the experts and analysed all the trends to bring you our 6 programmatic predictions for 2017.

1. Data collaboration is the next stage

In eCommerce, it’s common practice for businesses to internalise data in-house. But we predict that 2017 will see companies move towards data collaboration, with audience sharing going beyond intent data to include cross-device and UX behavioural insights, for example. As Ve Interactive’s Chief Data Officer, Cyrille Vincey, asserts,

“Many businesses, especially smaller ones, just don’t have enough data points to build an in-depth user profile. There’s too much internalisation of data that’s stopping us as an industry from truly knowing and reaching users. It goes against the current industry trend, but there needs to be more data collaboration. Businesses, advertisers and ultimately, users, have more to gain than to lose from sharing data.”

2. Programmatic TV will come of age

The manual nature of traditional TV advertising is one of its primary flaws. From requesting ad time and purchasing, to displaying the ad and measuring its success – the manual processes can be slow and tedious. Programmatic TV effectively alleviates these problems, with many brands vocally expressing their “appetite for programmatic”.
We predict that programmatic TV will finally take off in 2017, as the ad inventory available increases and big brands (such as Sky) continue to set the TV ad standard with successful campaigns.

3. Header bidding will become more accessible

Header bidding is one of the most technically sophisticated types of programmatic advertising. It’s grown particularly popular with publishers, but the process still faces a lot of challenges concerning usability and accessibility. We think 2017 will be the year that header bidding overcomes these issues as advertisers and publishers alike fully realise the benefits of this technology.

4. Personalisation and targeting will grow more sophisticated

Personalisation is a word that’s been thrown around perhaps too liberally in industry circles over the past few years. But personalising your programmatic offering to individual users is, without doubt, hugely important. Whilst we’ve seen some excellent examples of personalised programmatic this year, we expect that the level of depth and targeting will only grow in 2017.

5. Ad viewability will improve

Ad viewability is central in programmatic discussions, with many advertisers rightly concerned as to whether their ad impressions have actually been viewed by human eyes. The viewability industry standard is loosely estimated at 50%, but we expect this to improve over time. In an ideal world, we would see programmatic ad impressions have 100% viewability across the industry, but this might take a bit longer to achieve.

6. Last touch attribution will be a thing of the past

Debates and concerns surrounding attribution have existed as long as programmatic itself. But we think that the much-maligned last touch attribution model will finally die out in 2017. As Ve Interactive’s Head of UK Commercial Operations, AJ Hill, explains

“The days of last touch attribution are numbered. As an advertiser it is vitally important to understand the full user journey, from first contact to purchase, and to award each channel their proportionate attribution based on their overall impact on the campaign. Sophisticated algorithmic attribution models are being brought in currently and will be widespread in the coming year.”

Ve will be at Prolific North Live, visit them at stand 100 to enter their competition for the chance of winning their conversion enhancing solutions free for 6 weeks!

The original version of this article appeared previously on the Ve Interactive blog, written by Ellie Hubble – click here to read 11 more intriguing programmatic predictions for 2017!”

The Automotive Industry is Driving Data Analytics

It’s nice to see that the amount of companies using data is increasing. It’s also pretty cool to see some of the new innovative ways that companies are doing so, especially with data analytics playing a big role in achieving new levels of success.

The automotive industry have been trying their hands using data and they’re doing it well. The amount of data that can be gathered from cars is quite ridiculous, especially when you take into account that a lot of data is simply stored in the key which is then plugged in at the garage to unlock it.

Cars have been kitted inside and out with data. Yes, I bet that’s not one you’ve heard about as it’s not quite cream leather interiors or mud resistant trip. Data is so much better. It’s behind vehicle safety and quality and contributes to the driving experience.

Did you know, the average hybrid vehicle generates up to 25 gigabytes of data in just one hour? Car manufacturers and garages have been capturing telematics for many years however it’s becoming much more sophisticated. Using analytics and data has enabled technology to alert drivers of any hazards on the road, or if the conditions are particularly dangerous. Anti-locking systems, traction control and so much more have been created with the help of data. IBM reported that Volvo, through using predictive analytics, repair instructions and identifying replacement parts before a vehicle arrives for a service has benefit from a reduction in diagnostic times by up to 70% and repair times of over 20%.

Furthermore, with recent years having cars being recalled, some companies like BMW are using data analytics to record errors reported by customers to identify any potential weakness in new models that could cause problems and then eliminating them before they even go into production. Now if this isn’t major cost savings, increased efficiency and keeping a good reputation then I don’t know what is.

Connected vehicles are becoming more popular. Services and experience can be constantly updated one the car has left the factory. They can have important updates and interactions without having to return and this has proven extremely useful through the connecting capability. Ford, for example have focused on more “consumer-based, more real-time interaction, real-time services, real-time experiences, contextualized experiences” rather than the storage capabilities of the cloud.

It’s not just information about faults that manufacturers use data for. Financial predictions means cars are priced according to the market and behind the prices are more realistic pricing plans and financial support. It goes without saying that car companies will use their contact data for marketing purposes and targeting their communications to ensure their messages stay relevant. They’ve proved that data can go far beyond the use of marketing and with the likes of BMW and Volvo showing that data is having a rather positive impact on business, it will be interesting to see where and how the market takes its usage of data.

Data 8

Fake News

Fake news is a topic on the tongues of many people at the moment. MP’s are investigating the threat to democracy and seeing whether websites and social media platforms such as Google and Twitter need to take more of a responsibility in the control of fake news.

What do we class as fake news?
Is it the deliberate making up of a story purely for entertainment value? Or is it when a real news story has details added in to make it part real/ part not real?
Social media has become a place where real and fake stories are shared in such a similar way; users are having a tough time knowing the truth from the lies.

If we think about the number of users of social media across the globe, and then how many of these users use social media to obtain all their news; this equates to a huge proportion of people who may never see genuine news stories.

Lucy Mangan, Columnist for Stylist Magazine, made a valid point in last week’s issue when she said we are all journalists now. We have become our own experts’ evaluating a story’s source before we truly believe everything we read and having to ‘sift facts, opinion and outright fiction.’

For PR’s the ‘post-truth’ era is definitely among us but what can we do to avoid falling into the fake news trap and ensure clients are ready should they fall victim to fake news:

  • Be ready to respond straight away to anything untruthful- reputations that took years to build up can be ruined in less than 5 words
  • Anything being talked about on social media, if it has enough shares, can become a story in itself so make sure you monitor social media as closely as you monitor the press so that fake stories do not gain traction
  • If crisis hits, embrace the story and use it as a way to promote your client and flood the media with positive and truthful messages. Be sure to acknowledge the fake story and put it right
  • If you want to share a story on behalf of a client, make sure you check its source and what else is being said on the topic
  • Continue speaking up- continue telling your client story and spread their key messages as far as you can. You never know, but by doing this may result in people never believing fake news in the first place!

In the meantime we’ll keep our eyes out on the findings of the MP’s investigations.

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter @shoppertainmgmt to keep up to date with us!

The Advantages of a Full Service Provider

We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. Searched endlessly on various sites to see which deal works out cheaper. It can be the same for companies when you’re trying to find someone to work with across a variety of services such as marketing, PR, creative and events.

If it’s the first time you are looking to outsource a marketing/ creative/ PR or events company as part of your overall business strategy, or if you are considering trying something new, it can be daunting. Luckily help is at hand in the form of full service providers.

Using a full service provider has many pros including:

  1. A dedicated account manager to work alongside you at all times, allowing them to understand your company’s objectives inside and out.
  2. Having a one stop shop for all your needs equals less of your time being spent trailing through numerous sites.
  3. Teams have more experience in dealing with all different environments and can solve problems in a timely manner.
  4. Using separate providers for different services is risky and may result in work being inconsistent.
  5. After working in the industry for many years and building up trusting relationships, full service providers have endless resources.
  6. Any strategies will be linked and work together to benefit all aspects of a your company’s needs.

For more information about Shoppertainment please visit our website www.shoppertainmentmanagement.co.uk or keep up to date with us on social media…

Twitter: @Shoppertainmgmt
Facebook: @Shoppertainmentmgmt
Instagram: Shoppertainmentmgmt
Linkedin: Shoppertainment Management

How to have a fun social presence as a B2B company

It’s a common misconception that B2B companies can’t speak to people like people.

It’s thought that if you’re talking to other companies, suddenly people stop being people. This simply isn’t true. Whatever you’ve created is still talking to someone, one on one. You are addressing a person.

Another misconception is that B2B companies can’t have a sense of humour, or fun, about their work. This, again, couldn’t be further from the truth.

We’re going to look at a few examples from some of the big players and see how they do it. These companies, at all times, remembered that their audience is made of people, not faceless companies. Here is how to have a fun social presence as a B2B company.

General Electric Instagram

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General Electric Company (GE) is a global digital industrial company. The Company’s products and services range from aircraft engines, power generation and oil and gas production equipment to medical imaging, financing and industrial products. Sounds pretty solidly B2B, doesn’t it?

GE uses their social channels to express their awe and fascination – not with their products, but with science and innovation as a whole. They have an Instagram following of 185,000, many of whom are highly engaged. What’s the secret to their success? They treat their audience how they would want to be treated; with intelligence and respect. Some of the work GE produces is highly technical – but it doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining.

Their social platforms are the ultimate lesson in ‘don’t sell the product, sell its context.’ There’s no call to action to buy, it’s just showing the incredible projects they work on. And as a follower, nothing could be more interesting.

Maersk Shipping’s Facebook

image02Image taken from Maersk’s Facebook page

Just to be clear, yes we’re talking about the Danish shipping company Maersk. With an incredible 1.1 million people following them, it’s hard not to be in awe of Maersk’s social efforts. If you think about it, Maersk have got a major advantage; they work on a huge scale.

Big stuff is impressive to anyone, regardless if you’re a customer or a passing social user. One video shows a 2million volume shipping container being filled. As a sentence, that’s pretty boring – the video is anything but. The scale of it is incredible. And that is what engages Maersk’s users. What is everyday to their company is exceptional to anyone else. Their channels embrace that philosophy and put it centre stage. The result? Over seven thousand video views of a shipping container being filled.

Screwfix’s Facebook

As Screwfix serve both home DIYers and the trade, their social feeds tread a fine line between B2C and B2B. Their Facebook page is a solid example of how to use humour to engage customers. Most posts are a giant pun-off, sharing haphazard building techniques, dodgy installations and ridiculous everyday occurrences. It’s genuinely entertaining, and with the occasional smattering of product posts, Screwfix are successfully pushing their brand and speaking in the tone of voice their audience will relate to. Who says screws don’t have a sense of humour?

Hubspot’s Twitter

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Hubspot market to marketers, which is meta, but they’re considered to be the best at it. Why? Well, they started in 2006, and then two years later recorded a profit of $2.2 million and then four years later recorded a profit of $54 million, so it looks like they’re doing something right.

One of Hubspot’s highlights is their Twitter feed. Aside from the fact they offer endlessly useful content, always seem to know a trend before it’s happening and are almost telepathic in the content it’s users crave, it’s also a good case study to model your own social efforts on. Problem solving is pushed over product. User’s need is placed before the company’s gain. They’re there as an encyclopedic reference point to return to again and again.

And most importantly, it’s fun. It’s fun to learn something that’s presented in a visually interesting way. It’s fun to see the trends that are coming up for your market. Hubspot’s human approach has earned them 737 thousand followers. They must be onto something.

Key takeaways for your own social efforts

A sense of humour is no bad thing, as long as it’s executed in the right tone of voice for your audience.
Your social content must have value, as well entertain.
What is everyday to you is out of the ordinary to others. Celebrate that.

About the author
Simon Landi is one of the founding members of Manchester-based marketing communications agency Access, and has been running the business since 1999. With extensive experience across many sectors including travel & tourism, B2B and not for profit, Simon’s background has seen him work for a variety of household names. His focus on engaging with customers at every stage of their journey, inspired him to develop Access’ very own live event social media tool EventStreamLive

5 ways to get incredible buzz at your live event

To create something as organic as ‘buzz’ at an event you need to put a little work into the mechanics behind the scenes. Whilst the atmosphere of an event is created by the people attending, there are some ways you can facilitate conversation, mood and energy as an event organiser. It’s your job to get people engaged from the moment they walk in. So, how do you create an event that people remember for all the right reasons?

1. Enable conversation at every part of an attendees’ journey

There are three stages to conversation for your live event; pre, during and after.

When you’re planning your event, ask yourself; how do we get people talking when they’re on their way to the event and whilst they’re there? Buzz is built, so make sure that conversation is encouraged at every point. Give people something to be excited about and you’ll create stand out.

This can be achieved in simple ways; such as sending a save the date message in the build to the event, or you can try some of our other suggestions below –

– Enlist the use of a live Twitter wall. This will expand the conversation at your event from the room to online. That way, delegates are shouting about you on your behalf and amplifying the event on Twitter.
– Give people the option to leave messages on chalkboard walls, or interactive whiteboards so they can take a selfie and post it on their feeds
– Encourage in-person data capture by offering a reward for someone sharing their contact details with you. This could be a content download, sweets, vouchers – just a little something that makes your attendee feel loved.

2. Entertain on a macro and micro level

To keep people engaged during your live event, reward them with entertainment. On a macro level you could have a headline entertainer, such as a comedian or live music. This gives your guests something to look forward to – it also gives them something to talk about. On a micro level, offer up some rewarding goodies –

– A caricaturist offering free portraits
– A pick and mix stand
– An instant photo booth
– A roaming magician
– A goodie bag filled with branded treats

3. Have a DIY drinks stand

Whilst most events will have a bar, why not have your guests make the drinks themselves? This encourages groups of people to interact and network with one another, as well giving your guests a brain break between talks. This works particularly well for evening do’s where bar queues may become unmanageable. It also gives your guests something to post about on social media – perfect for taking the conversation online.

4. Set up mini competitions throughout your event

Another form of micro entertainment for your guests is mini competitions or giveaways. These can be scaled with small giveaways happening throughout the day, to a larger giveaway at the end of the event. This not only encourages people to stay for the duration of the event (rather than slinking off to the bar), it also creates opportunity for conversation. Your competition could involve team problem-solving or it could encourage people to network with a certain number of people during the night.

Here are some suggestions to inspire you –

– A team treasure hunt
– Mini social competitions to encourage retweets and shares
– Data capture opportunities; share your email with us and we’ll enter you into a drawer to win an iPhone
– A sponsored ‘pub’ quiz that is hosted by your company – the prize could even come from you

5. Think about your room layout

If you’re in charge of creating the floor plan for your live event, then make sure conversation areas are created for delegates to mingle in. The refreshment area is ideal as it gives people something to do.

If you’ve created a DIY drinks area or pick and mix stand, you’re able to have plenty of chances to get people talking. As for the rest of the event space – think about your flow and how people will move. Will they feel penned in, or is it a natural layout that pushes seminar attendance, stall interaction and networking? Put yourself in their shoes; do I feel I am able to do what I want to do?

About the author
Simon Landi is one of the founding members of Manchester-based marketing communications agency Access, and has been running the business since 1999. With extensive experience across many sectors including travel & tourism, B2B and not for profit, Simon’s background has seen him work for a variety of household names. His focus on engaging with customers at every stage of their journey, inspired him to develop Access’ very own live event social media tool EventStreamLive

Why Choose Putting Edge?

Why choose us?
Putting Edge provides portable mini golf courses that are highly adaptable, versatile and bespoke for a variety of events. Our unique, attention-grabbing modular courses can be set up in both indoors and outdoors. This accessible activity promises a fantastic shared experience to bring your event together.

There are endless possibilities for customisation, from spelling out names and initials to creating company logos. Obstacles and flags can be branded with anything from hashtags and insignia to numbers or photos.

What we provide
We provide easy and safe-to-use equipment, including putters, balls and staff to set it all up. We can organise your competitions from team tournaments to hole-in-one putting challenges. Why provide expensive external excursions when we can bring the event to you!

They:

  • Prove popular as ice-breakers at business events and as an alternative to traditional networking.
  • Increase footfall at exhibitions by up to 400%
  • Are a great way to bring focus to consumers at promotions and launches for your products and services.
  • Provide a fun diversion for exhibitors and participants at expos.
  • Are a great source of entertainment at bashes, weddings, gatherings and festivities for all age groups.
  • Bring out the competitive spirit of your staff at morale boosting team-building and development events.
  • Keep your putting practice up to scratch with members only clubhouse tournaments at your golf club.
  • Are perfect for staff and students at school, college and university open days and inductions.
  • Attract consumers to retail outlets, towns and city centres.
  • Provide that one off experience for your wedding guests in the afternoon or evening.

At Prolific North Live, we will be running putting challenges over both days, with giveaways and prizes.

Contact us on info@puttingedge.events or 0773 060 8554 for our sponsorship offers including branded flags and obstacles.

6 Top Tips For Social Media Success At Prolific North Live 2017

Social media has transformed the way in which attendees interact with exhibitions and we’d go so far as to say we couldn’t imagine attending an event of any size nowadays without a very busy hashtag and a live feed wall!

As an attendee; being able to follow a hashtag to keep up with what’s going on across the whole event is an easy and straightforward way, using a smartphone, to make sure you don’t miss anything. As an exhibitor, however, making the most of the opportunities which exist aren’t always as simple.

We caught up with James Brockbank, MD of Digitaloft, one of the full-service digital marketing agencies signed up to exhibit at Prolific North Live 2017, who shares his six top tips for social media success as an exhibitor at this year’s event.

1. Choose Your Platform Carefully

When planning to exhibit at a trade show, the reality is that you’ll only ever have so much time to dedicate to things such as social media before, during and after the event. As such, it’s important to ensure that the time you do have available for ‘getting social’ is spent as efficiently as possible.

The most common mistake which businesses make when planning their social strategy alongside their wider event marketing plan is spreading their efforts too thinly. Whilst there’s certainly a benefit to having at least some presence across all channels where your audiences are hanging out, you need to be able to determine which is going to be the most beneficial for a particular event.

In most instances, B2B events (such as Prolific North Live) will most often see Twitter used as the main platform. B2C events, on the other hand, may find a much stronger weighting towards Facebook, if only equally with Twitter.

Take the time to understand which platforms are going to be most beneficial and, the busiest as the event draws closer. You can usually gauge the right platform by analysing the event’s official social pages, looking not only at how many ‘likes’ or ‘followers’ these have but also at the engagement.

By knowing where to spend the majority of your time, you’re setting yourself up for success right from the moment you start planning.

2. Generate Pre-Show Buzz

Almost as soon as you sign up to exhibit, your social campaign should begin and it’s important that you work hard to build up a pre-show buzz, not only about the event itself but also about your appearance.

Trade shows notoriously have decision makers in attendance and the hardest task is often getting to take the time to come and visit your stand over everyone else’s.

In order to get on the radar of attendees, take the time to use your social channels to generate a buzz ahead of the show and get involved as much as possible. Here’s a number of suggestions and ideas for doing just that:

– Utilise the event’s official hashtag on a regular basis in the run up, with your activity around this increasing as the date approaches. From simply letting people know you’re exhibiting through to offering a showcase of your products or services; being heavily involved in conversation centred around the hashtag can be a great way to generate awareness.

– Reach out individually to those who you know will be in attendance (by their engagement on the hashtag) and start a conversation. An attendee is far more likely to come and say hello at your stand if you’ve already had a few messages exchanged on social media.

3. Appoint A Dedicated Member Of Your Team To Run Social Channels From The Event

Exhibitions are non-stop for those exhibiting and you’ll be kidding yourself if you think that the same people who are manning the stand will be able to update your social channels and engage with others at the event. The reality is that they won’t. In those rare moments between speaking with attendees, those of you on the stand will likely want to grab a drink or a quick toilet break; not be having to update social media.

Ahead of the day, appoint a member of your team to run your social channels at the event and ensure that they have no other responsibilities. This will allow them to dedicate the time to post continual updates covering the event as a whole, engage and network with others and ensure you have a visible presence on live social feeds which are often displayed.

4. Offer Exclusive Content

Offering exclusive content throughout the event can be a great way to attract attention from those attending and engage with your channels.

Whilst the exact content you should offer will depend almost entirely upon the type and size of the event, what works well across most shows is tips shared by any speakers at the event (visualised if possible), general announcements and giveaways and competitions.

5. Host A Giveaway

Moving on to the topic of giveaways and competitions; these can be a brilliant way to not only drive engagement on social media on the day of the event but also draw people to your stand.

By promoting a competition or giveaway across your social channels in the run-up, you’re starting to build that buzz and give people a reason to want to visit your stand. Of course, you don’t want them simply turning up, entering your competition and leaving without a chat, so ensure you’re properly staffed to ensure there’s always someone available.

In terms of planning your giveaway, however, always try to offer a prize which attracts your target market as a little lead nurturing post-event could well turn them into a potential client!

6. Don’t Stop Once The Event Does

Perhaps the last way to ensure social success at a trade show is to make sure you don’t stop once the event does! Take the next few days to connect with those who you interacted with on a face-to-face level and really use your platforms to continue to develop relationships.

Meeting someone in person is still one of the best ways to strike up on-going discussions (and turn these people into leads and clients), however social media is, for many, the preferred platform of choice for keeping in touch!

At the end of the day, social media can work for any business to support their trade show marketing and it’s important that a strategy is planned out months in advance.

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You can catch Digitaloft at stand 195 at Prolific North Live 2017.