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Quarantined Marketing: How To Generate Leads If Your Trade Show Was Cancelled

Trade shows are a critical part of your B2B lead generation. Last minute cancellations or unattended shows can undermine what is normally your primary source for leads. What should your business do?

It’s time for your small business to focus on impactful content, email lists, social media, and digital marketing strategies. We’ve gathered some easy to implement ideas to get your quarantined marketing efforts rolling.

Get Serious About Regularly Posting Website Content

From improved SEO benefits to demonstrating your industry expertise, sharing insights on your website through blog posts or website articles is the crucial first step. Imagine the top questions you’re asked at a trade show. How often are prospects plugging that same question into a search engine?

Creating blog content has some distinct and long-term advantages:

  • The web content stays working for you on the website and showing up in Google searches
  • You connect with prospects during the early stages of their buying journey
  • You position your business as a trusted authority or subject matter expert
  • Once online, you can link to the article in emails, on social media, and through newsletters

The number one response is: “I’m not a writer!” That’s okay! Providers like Signalfire can help create and optimize blogs or articles. We can also help create a schedule to keep the content flowing during your busiest times.

Personalize and Prioritize Your Email Messages

Email continues to reign as the best way to stay connected with your current and future customers. How often have your existing customers commented, “I didn’t know you do that?” Emails showcasing your different services or products will show existing customers more of the value you bring. Increasing awareness will increase the wallet-share from current buyers.

Many efforts fail to produce because the content isn’t useful/relevant or arrives infrequently and is overlooked. Here are some ideas on how to keep your email efforts successful:

  • Make sure you’re using the most up to date email lists from your sales software or CRM
  • Use a mobile-responsive email design because over 60% of emails are opened on mobile devices
  • Create a calendar of when you send email newsletters and their topics — make sure you look at when your major events happen each year and plan to capitalize on it
  • Don’t put your entire message in the email! Link users to your website so they can learn and connect further.

If you haven’t set up an email newsletter before, don’t panic. Signalfire can help design the template, import your lists, and show you the reporting tools that will demonstrate how effective email marketing can be.

Use Social Media Channels to Target Prospects

Social media has evolved into a critical marketing channel, but the tools to reach new prospects are frequently overlooked by many businesses. For example, if you’re attempting to reach manufacturing HR planners for a corporate event venue that is perfect for distributor training, you can now use the targeting tools to put very specific content in front of very specific people.

Some ideas to use social channels to target the prospects you’d normally find at your trade shows:

  • Make sure company profiles are up to date and lists product or service descriptions
  • Create content that addresses a specific challenge faced by your target prospect (not simply promoting a product or service)
  • Link and direct your prospects to a dedicated landing page on your website that allows them to take immediate action (online form, phone number, or email)
  • Use previous contacts as references for targeting specific job titles, interests, or amount of experience

If you don’t have a LinkedIn or other social presence set up for your company, Signalfire has you covered. We’ve been working intensely with business social media since 2008. From writing optimized profiles to creating brand-compliant visuals, our team can help you hit the ground running.

Overcome Travel Restrictions With Geo-Fencing and Display Advertising

Whether you’re facing slashed budgets or restrictions from health concerns, missing out on trade shows or other events can be a valuable opportunity lost. Being able to pinpoint the attendees of an event and reach them with targeted advertising may be a shockingly effective alternative.

We’ve all seen them—wandering floor attendees lost in their phone and not even looking up. From emails to nailing the next level on Word Stacks, show attendees are tethered to their phones. Imagine if you could reach them with an ad while they search for a restaurant or check the weather.

Targeted advertising can be pinpointed to a specific convention center, hotel, or office building. Called geo-fencing, your ads will display for show attendees and even “stick” with the user after they leave. Your strategy should include:

  • Geographic locations (addresses) of the show and the top hotels for the show
  • Ads designed calling out show attendees with a clear call to action
  • Don’t dump them on your website’s homepage—create a show specific landing page with a reason to connect with you (discount, special information, or exclusive access)
  • Follow up with those who do connect with the same dedication you would a prospect who had their badge scanned

From targeted digital outreach to direct engagement, the opportunities to connect with prospects outside of a trade show are more effective than ever. How will you use this situation to make the most of these readily available tools? Our current situation is an opportunity to put marketing tools in place that will deliver prospects. Once in place, these tools will make your next trade show appearance even more effective!

If you want help with implementing any of these ideas, Signalfire’s team of creative marketing Guides & Outfitters are ready. Our services include brand strategy, graphic design, web design, social media marketing, email, content development, and digital marketing. Just contact us and we’ll be there.


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