Is anyone else still coming down from the rush of Expo West 2019? Every year it seems like the show hits its peak. We ask ourselves, “Can there really be ANY more natural products that we haven’t discovered yet?” And every following year, Expo explodes with even more talented brands creating cutting edge, trend setting, and change making food, beverage, and skincare products.
I’m sure your LinkedIn feed is being overwhelmed by Expo West 2019 recap articles featuring lists of the most exciting products on the show floor, which is exactly why this blog is going to be a little different. In this recap, I’ve included some of the most important digital marketing trends that stuck out to me because of their application to Expo West, and utilizing them to make your next Expo even more of a success!
1. Were there consistent questions about your products that surprised you?
Sometimes, brands become experts in their own trade and story, but they forget or lack the resources to share this information with the community around them. For example, meat companies are constantly being asked, “what makes your grass-fed beef so special?” and consumers are asking egg companies, “Is there a difference between cage free and free range chickens?” When you were asked these types of questions about your brand at Expo West 2019, were you surprised? If your products have differentiating qualities that are somewhat misunderstood by consumers, it is up to you to help educate.
Cue, content marketing!
To position your brand as a caring subject matter expert, you need to be incorporating content marketing into your digital strategy by creating valuable blogs, videos and other media your audience would appreciate (podcasts, articles, infographics, etc). Harnessing the power of content is becoming increasing important and for good reason. Consumers are wanting more and more, to really understand the differences between the products they are considering purchasing and why one brand has more relevance to their needs than another. It’s up to you to provide the content they need. As you adjust your 2019 strategy, keep in mind that 70% of consumers want to learn more about products through content, as opposed to traditional ad methods. If your team is having trouble understanding the return of this type of marketing, be sure to share that content marketing costs roughly 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Those are numbers that would help any CEO sleep easy!
2. How did you promote your Expo West 2019 presence? Could your booth have been busier?
Aside from reaching out to past contacts and priority prospects, how did your brand create awareness (and sales!) at Expo West 2019? Did you have a digital promotion plan?
Our goal is always to foster an emotional connection between the end consumer and the brand, and you can’t overlook that your retail buyers desire this same emotional appeal that drives consumer behavior.
By utilizing social media posts, email, and quality content, your brand could have set itself apart even before buyers walked onto the expo floor. And the next step? Engage on those posts! Comment on other Expo West related posts. Follow key accounts you are targeting and truly engage with their content. This is how you develop a deeper connection between your brand and whomever you are targeting.
LinkedIn definitely should have played a role in your Expo West 2019 promotion strategy too. While all of the social media platforms have their own role to play in Expo promotion, utilizing LinkedIn effectively has tangible potential to bring more of the right people directly to your booth. Leading up to Expo West, your brand’s LinkedIn page should have been consistently updated with blogs about new products, your ingredients and exciting news.
3. When asked where consumers can purchase your products, did you mention your brand’s own ecommerce site?
Ecommerce sales represent more than half of all retail sales growth. In the US alone, consumers spent $517.36 in 2018, up 15% from $449.88 billion spent the year prior. If your brand is not harnessing the power of ecommerce through your own site, you are missing a huge opportunity. Sure, Amazon has the potential to help you sell a high volume of products, but never forget that Amazon will own your customer relationship.
The topic of ecommerce is extremely relevant to recapping Expo West 2019, as I was amazed by the amount of brands (well known brands!) that have yet to develop ecommerce capabilities. If you don’t have ecommerce capabilities on your brand’s site yet, why?
To put a bow on this blog, remember that true trade show success boils down to maximizing your exposure prior to and during the event. If you aren’t utilizing content marketing, social media, and ecommerce effectively to do just that than it’s time to reevaluate your strategy before heading to Expo East.
If this information helped you evaluate your own brand’s Expo West performance, but you don’t know where to go from here, reach out to us. We’d love to help.