January is an important month for the automotive marketers. Between the North American International Auto Show and the National Automobile Dealers Association Conference & Expo (NADA), the entire world of automotive and auto finance comes together for showcasing cars and exhibiting best practices. But are most B2B marketers and communicators taking advantage of the show itself? More importantly, now that the shows have come and gone, are B2B marketers conducting the appropriate follow up and measurement? These are important questions to ask since the Center for Exhibition Industry Research believes as many as 80% of trade show leads receive no follow up. Merit Mile has a healthy history of working with automotive brands, particularly with the marketing strategies prior to, during and post-show. Below is a 23-point checklist to help automotive marketers ensure they get the most from their NADA post-show marketing/PR/social activities.
23 Ways To Expand B2B Trade Show Marketing Activities
- Send personal emails. Don’t forget the personal touch when following up via email and make your message uniquely relevant to your customer’s needs and interest.
- Send a follow up email campaign. If you built an email campaign to coincide with your show’s theme, be sure to carry that theme through your post-show activities as well. Also, remember to ensure these emails are optimized for mobile devices.
- Set up a special post-show landing page. Where do you want to direct your contacts to go? Set up a special landing page for more post-show information on your company, products and services.
- Create a microsite of all your NADA thought leadership. Build out a special mini-site where you can house all of your important data, product specs, press marketing materials, all in once place.
- Send your customers a snippet of any press interviews at NADA. Were you interviewed by CBT News at the show, or any other members of the press? Send your customers, prospects and booth visitors links to these videos and stories.
- Include NADA insights and experiences in a quarterly newsletter out to customers. Be sure to include your NADA thoughts and experiences in any monthly or quarterly newsletters that you produce.
- Did some of the events or presentations spark a big thought? Write a white paper and offer it to new customers in exchange of their contact information. Speaking of thought leadership…
- Blog about your experiences and insights. Do you have a blog associated with your brand? Capture your experiences from NADA and put it in the right context for your blog’s readers.
- Post videos if you captured them with booth visitors. Customers and prospects love to see how you interact with your key constituents.
- Reach out to trade press with additional thoughts on the show. Good PR doesn’t end when the show ends. Industry media are looking for reaction and additional thoughts even in the weeks following the show.
- Pitch stories that include customer feedback with your products. Develop industry press stories that offer compelling perspective for your products and services, and include customer contacts for additional color.
- Author expert articles that demonstrate knowledge of your space. Become an author and generate informational articles that inspire your peers and intrigue potential customers.
- Generate content for your social channels. Content marketing has become a significant strategy for all B2B marketers. Learn what content moves your audience.
- Connect with booth attendees on LinkedIn and Twitter. Utilize today’s most popular social networks to connect and socialize with those who visited your booth.
- Post pictures and videos of your booth and customer interaction on Pinterest, Instagram and Vine. Social networking has enabled all companies to become their own media producers.
Use these channels to share all kinds of content with your audiences. And at the end of the day, measure everything. NADA marketers must measure all critical strategies and tactics in order to determine the appropriate level of success for any campaign. Measurement can also quantify all ROI efforts, and set the foundation for improvements in the following year.
- What was the performance of your pre-show marketing emails and landing page traffic?
- Did you reach your booth visitor goals?
- Did you sign up enough new contracts?
- Did you reach your lead-generation goals?
- How was your website or blog traffic?
- Did you generate new followers on your social channels?
- Did you set up and execute enough media interviews?
- Did those interviews result in the desired press coverage?
Trade shows remain one of today’s most effective opportunities to cultivate business, build relationships with customers, and drive awareness for your brand. The key is to develop a strategic plan and follow through. This plan doesn’t end when the final lights go off at the convention center, and there is a lot of work to do even in the weeks that follow. Consult with a Merit Mile marketing strategist if you have questions on how to leverage marketing, PR or social activities at your trade event.