Digital Marketing vs. Trade Shows: Which Marketing Format is Right for Your Brand?
Trade shows, whether in the form of expos, fairs, or conventions are a traditional method for meeting hundreds, possibly thousands, of potential new customers and clients in one convenient location. Typically, these events are held in the ballroom of a large hotel or a convention center, and can last several days, featuring participants from every area of the showcased industry.
Having so many possible new clients gathered in one area means trade shows can offer great marketing opportunities for businesses. Companies are given the chance to connect with those who have a strong interest in what the business has to offer. Trade show setup typically involves promotional materials, audio and/or video displays, printed signs and knowledgeable sales reps who showcase what the company has to offer and what makes it stand out from the competition.
Participating in a trade show does require intensive planning to yield the best results. A company will spend months planning, and possibly a large amount of money, to prepare for a trade show that can sometimes only last for a few days. The one major disadvantage to marketing at a trade show is the time and money that is required to participate. One miscalculation can ruin the results, and there is no way to make corrections once the trade show has started. You have one shot to get it right.
- Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing is often referred to as being static – a “one way” method of communicating with potential new customers and clients. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is an ever changing and dynamic process for marketing your business.
Put simply, digital marketing refers to any marketing methods communicated through an electronic device over the internet including smart phones, tablets and computers. Through digital marketing efforts, a company might utilize and leverage the power of search engines, blogs, websites, and video, email, social media marketing in charlotte nc and other such platforms to reach existing and potential clients. Unlike traditional marketing methods, digital marketing offers an avenue for two way communication between a business and its potential customers.
- Digital marketing offers some key benefits over traditional trade show marketing:
– Better Targeting of Your Audience
Not every trade show attendee is a potential buyer. While the same can be said for website visitors, an online digital marketing strategy makes it much easier for your target audience to find your business. A good digital marketing strategy also provides you with better tools to garner leads than you would at a convention. There is no longer the need for sales reps who have been on the road for days to spend a great amount of time following up on trade show leads that often go nowhere. Digital marketing allows you to add forms and fields to target and qualify leads without ever having to hit a sales floor.
– Cost Effective
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, a whopping $25.3 billion is spent every year on trade show displays. The fact is, attending a trade show is expensive. On average, companies who attend trade shows allocate about one-third of their annual budget for trade show events and exhibitions.
Trade shows do offer great opportunities for networking, but following up after can be time consuming and costly, often without much result. Utilizing digital marketing tools allows you to communicate with potential clients without the added travel expenses to get results that provide consistent returns on your investment. Combining automation tools with a robust marketing strategy allows you to choose when, where, and how you reach your audience to get the most out of every marketing dollar.
– Measurable Results and Attribution
You may know the total number of attendees at a trade show, but how can you track every person that walks by your booth? It can be hard to know exactly how many people you have reached. Digital marketing, on the other hand, gives you the ability of knowing how many potential customers visit your website, blogs, or social media platforms, what they click on, and where they go once they leave.
By continually analyzing your content performance and setting key performance indicators (KPIs), you learn more about who your audience is and how they interact with your brand. You are more able to focus your marketing strategies on high impact actions that deliver the most leads when you have access to historical and real time data.
Which is Better for Your Business – Trade Show Marketing or Digital Marketing?
It all boils down to what you are trying to achieve with your marketing strategy. Trade shows allow you the opportunity to talk face to face with potential clients and customers. These events offer a unique marketing platform that can’t be replicated any other way. Trade shows are, however, more time consuming and costly than digital marketing strategies. It’s also important to keep in mind that trade show attendance has been on the decline in recent years. This decline has only been amplified by the Covid pandemic. You can still participate in events virtually, but you still need a way to reach leads directly.
Fortunately, this can easily be achieved with digital marketing tactics. You have the ability to connect with potential clients across a multitude of platforms. Search engine marketing in charlotte is much more cost effective, budget friendly, and requires much less time. You get the most out of your marketing dollars when you transition from traditional to digital marketing. And, unlike trade shows, the rewards of your marketing efforts do not end when the event is over. The effort you put in today will continue to pay off, giving you a cost-effective way to generate high-quality leads for years to come.
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