How (and why) you should merge your digital and face-to-face marketing

So you’ve been invited to the next industry trade show. You might have been asked to give a presentation. Maybe you want to showcase a new product.

Events like these can offer crucial face-to-face marketing opportunities. But they can also do wonders for your digital presence.

Here’s how to connect the two.

Make the most of every opportunity

Your face-to-face activity can be translated into digital activity – and vice versa. Approach events with the mindset that any content you create and conversations you have can enhance your online strategy.

Let’s say you meet an expert in your industry. This can be the start of a strong social media connection and link-building relationship. And why not get a photo to share on social?

You’re going to be there anyway. So you might as well make the most of it!

Create a landing page

An event-specific landing page can offer key information and be used to invite people along. Plus, the URL is easy to share with colleagues and customers, and across email and social media campaigns.

If you’re not hosting the event, share your page with the organisers. Or with event listing sites and other local publications. It’s a great way to generate links back to your website! Connect with any influencers relevant to your business; they might reshare it across their own channels.

The most effective landing pages will offer valuable and engaging content – before, during, and after the event.

  • You could create an event guide telling people what not to miss out on. Or a city guide, if the event isn’t local. Think transport tips, hotel suggestions, and food recommendations! Go one step further: make sure the page can be downloaded as a PDF file, or create a video.
  • The page could be your information hub during the event, linking through to any blog posts or videos you create. Don’t forget to link to your social channels, too!
  • Let’s say you spoke at the event, won an award, or created any product-related content (a demo video, for example). Make sure users can find any presentation resources, recap blog posts, or videos. And again – bonus points for making sure it can be downloaded and shared.

Run a competition

Or a prize draw. Or a special offer. Something specific to the event and people who attend it. Host the competition across your site and social channels; you could even create an email campaign and link back to your event landing page.

The next part is crucial: ensure people need to attend the event for the chance to win. That way people need to engage with you both online and face-to-face, giving you the opportunity to build direct relationships. For example, the requirement could be to post a photo featuring your business from the event on social media, or to find a winning envelope hidden at the venue.

You could gain a lot of traction and engagement on your site and social channels. But you could also share the contest or offer on the event site. And you can share with other attendees and influencers – with links back to your site.

Keep on top of blogs and press releases

Write about the event before, during, and after. Up for an award? Show people why. Giving a talk? Introduce a teaser to what you’ll be discussing – make people want to attend.

If you’re going to showcase a new product or service, write up a press release to share with relevant industry publications. This can offer a crucial opportunity for generating backlinks, as well as interest and excitement around the launch itself.

Recap each day. Share any insights from notable speakers or companies you’ve connected with – and let them know you’ve mentioned them. They might share your piece with their own audience, with a link back to your website or social channels.

Network, network, network

For some, events and shows can be the only opportunity to come face-to-face with your customers, your contacts, or even your competitors. Use this to your advantage.

Showcase your company as a team of people with shared values. Build solid, personable relationships with a network of customers and industry professionals.

Encourage people to follow you on social media and engage in your conversations. You could get a few email sign-ups, too. These real-life relationships can lay the foundations for successful link-building strategies. Nurture partnerships with companies, bloggers, and influencers for mutual benefit.

Video - if you can

Video content can be crucial.

You might be demonstrating some of your products, or even launching new ones. Make sure you catch it on film.

Yes, it looks good and is more interesting than a load of text. But it can also help sales: 74% of consumers have bought a product after watching an explainer or demo video. For maximum impact, embed your event video onto the product page. So your customers can see it even if they didn’t actually go to the event.

Make sure you upload any video to YouTube too – whether it’s footage from a presentation, a product-focused video, or a diary of your day. YouTube is the second most popular search engine itself, but it also allows videos to be visible in Google search results. Your potential reach of new and existing audiences could be huge.

Filming – or even live-streaming – at key times of the day helps you reach anyone who couldn’t come to the event. And it’s great to reshare on social media later!

A few extra tactics

  1. Stay active on social media. Engage in event-specific conversations and network with other attendees to grow your channel. You could run follow-up discussions once the day is over. And don’t forget to use the event hashtag!
  2. Connect with influencers. There’s an influencer for almost every industry – including yours. Partner with them for events and encourage them to share your content with their network. You could even take them along as a plus one! It might mean more exposure, engagement, and links.
  3. Target new connections. You might have a new list of email sign-ups or a bunch of new social media followers. Create a campaign relevant to the event – and target these groups in particular. This could work particularly well if you launched a new product or service.

Make the most of these face-to-face experiences. Create and provide valuable content to engage users in real life and online.

Ready to merge your search, content, social, and offline strategies? Talk to one of our experts today on 0161 956 8963.