5 Ways to Win Back Lost Trade Show Leads

COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of many in-person business activities. One casualty impacting many manufacturers? Trade shows. As with many things pandemic-related, these cancellations require businesses to adjust to fill the void. The good news? There are other places to direct your marketing dollars in order to continue making meaningful business connections, capturing new leads, and moving toward your business goals.

We’re talking about digital marketing for manufacturers  which has huge potential to help your business not only survive but thrive in these challenging times. Read on for a roundup of five digital strategies representing new and exciting opportunities for manufacturers dealing with trade show cancellations in 2020-2021.

1. Website Redesign

With trade shows canceled and sales reps grounded, websites are more valuable points of contact than ever before. If your website isn’t adequately showcasing your brand, products and services, you’re falling short when it comes to making the best possible impression with customers.

Here are two must-haves for every manufacturing website design:

But that’s just the start. It’s no longer enough to optimize your website for lead generation; you must also be vigilant about tracking SEO rankings and site activity in order to understand where your website is performing well as well as to identify potential areas of improvement.

One last thing to keep in mind? Mobile-friendly websites are no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity. The majority of web traffic now takes place on mobile devices. Giving your mobile visitors a positive experience is essential to capturing their attention, building trust, and staying competitive.

2. Social Media Presence Expansion

Social media isn’t just a place to share news. It’s an opportunity to create and deliver a cohesive brand message. If you haven’t yet invested in a comprehensive social media strategy, now is the perfect time to do so. After all, when you can’t speak directly with your usual trade show contacts, you can do so through targeted social media.

With so much competition out there, establishing and reinforcing your brand identity via social media can help separate you from the competition. Targeted ads can further expand your reach ensuring that you cast the most effective net.

This begs the question: What does a cohesive social media strategy entail? Elements include visual consistency across all channels, unique and consistent messaging, a reliable posting schedule and shareable content all add up to a powerful social media strategy.

3. Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Think organic marketing is enough on its own to get searchers to your website? Think again. In using search engine ads to generate clicks to your website, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is an effective, affordable and scalable way to make sure your potential customers find exactly what they’re looking for: YOUR products and services.

While paying for clicks may not sound like the most budget-friendly approach, it’s actually a wise use of your marketing dollars when you factor in the targeted nature of PPC campaigns. Potential customers only see ads when they’re already searching for the exact products and services you offer. This means that they’re pre-qualified — and more than ready to buy than casual browsers. You only pay when the prospect lands on your website.

Of course, effective PPC marketing does rely on a few things, including keyword research and eye-catching ads, so expertise in these areas can help you make the most of the revenue-generating potential of PPC marketing.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

An excellent website is vital, but what good is it if it’s not generating any traffic — or if the traffic it does see is made up of visitors who aren’t interested in the products and services your manufacturing business offers? Good SEO, or search engine optimization, doesn’t just improve the quantity of traffic to your website, but also the quality of that traffic.

The goal of SEO is to make sure your business appears at the top of search results for the right people. Rankings are determined by an always-changing Google algorithm, which measures a number of factors pertaining to the value and relevance of your site. Investing in these factors with a smart SEO strategy can make all the difference.

5. Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least that — ten times over. If you can’t personally demonstrate your products and services at a trade show, industrial video production and marketing is the next best thing. In fact, according to data shared by HubSpot, 88 percent of businesses report that video marketing gives them a positive ROI. This may explain why 95 percent of them also plan to increase or maintain their spend moving forward.

In addition to videos featuring your products and services, how-to videos are also booming. The takeaway? There are many opportunities to reach a variety of potential customers via video — not just by showing your products, but also by showing customers how to use them.

It’s important to keep in mind that all videos aren’t created equal. Stand out in a saturated content market with high-quality professional videos that quickly catch the viewer’s attention, focus on stories over sales, are optimized for search, and include CTAs.

While the cancellation of trade shows may not be ideal, your marketing efforts don’t have to come to a grinding halt — quite the opposite, in fact. Not only can digital marketing help bridge the gap, but it can propel your manufacturing business forward — even in today’s uncertain landscape.

To learn how Gotham’s industrial marketing services can help you leverage your trade show budget into new leads and sales through digital marketing, contact us today.


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Industrial Marketing Company - Gotham | NC, SC, GA, TN, VA

905 Hwy 321 NW Ste. 218 | Hickory, NC 28601

Located in Hickory, North Carolina, Gotham is an industrial marketing firm providing advertising and marketing for manufacturers nationwide, as well as locally the Hickory, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Greenville and Spartanburg, NC, SC, VA, TN and GA regions.

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