Using Trade Shows to Boost Your SEO

Trade shows might seem like they exist only in a land far from the cutting edge of digital marketing, but new strategies and tools make this integration not only easy, but essential. According to a study by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, about 40 percent of B2B companies surveyed allocated at least 10 percent of their trade show budget to digital marketing efforts. This allocation illustrates just how valuable digital integration has become at trade shows. When employed the right way, your presence and presentation at various industry trade shows can help improve your company's SEO rankings as well as your reach on social networks. If you're looking for ways to squeeze more value out of your trade show budget, digital strategies are the way to go. Here are four simple integrations to build a better SEO presence through trade shows.

Image by Jason Lander via Flickr.

Building a Trade Show Landing Page

When you go to the trade show, one of your primary digital goals will be to drive traffic to your website. Whether your ultimate aim is sales, lead generation or another type of consumer action, a landing page can help you increase the efficacy of this process. Before you go to a trade show, Hubspot recommends building a landing page specific to the consumer base you will be engaging with at various stops. You can then direct them to a landing page that perfectly caters to their wants and needs, thus increasing your own conversion rates and reaping more value from your digital properties.

Make Your Trade Show Presence a Social Experience

Social integration is maybe the single-most important aspect of digital integration at a trade show. Social media is one of the best ways you can establish a connection with consumers that will survive beyond the trade show itself. Consider each connection forged through social media as a new bridge built to a prospective customer.

Social media can be utilized in a variety of ways. For example, your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other major profiles should be prominently featured on all of your materials—brochures, booklets, even your retractable branding stands and display posters. Let consumers know you're available online, and encourage them to connect. If you have a mobile-optimized property, you can even print QR codes onto these materials and give prospective clients an easy-to-scan access point to your digital home.

Drive social engagement by running trade show contests, giveaways and other promotions through your social profiles. For example, set up a giveaway that selects its prize winners from among your Facebook followers, or users who have retweeted one of your messages on Twitter. This drives short-term engagement and builds many connections you can nurture well into the future.

Produce Web-friendly Handouts and Promotional Materials

One of the benefits of attending or presenting at a trade show is that the interaction is expected. Trade show attendees are there to pick up free giveaways, gather informational materials and walk out with a nice swag bag of information. This traditional method of marketing still has a place in the digital world, and trade show materials can easily integrate digital properties to increase their value and strengthen your connection with customers.