Are you making the best use of LinkedIn to promote your exhibition booth?
Do you know why professionals are now inclining towards LinkedIn to promote their exhibition booths and secure meetings before the exhibitions?
Simply because LinkedIn is not rocket science; in fact, its simple and straightforward approach helps businesses focus on niche brands and business individuals.
If you haven’t crafted a strong LinkedIn strategy to boost your exhibition booth ROI yet, you may need to revisit your marketing plan.
In this article, I will briefly discuss best practices to follow on LinkedIn which will help you land more meetings before the show, gain footfall during the show and quality leads to follow up after the show.
1. Announce your participation royally
First things first, an announcement about your participation is important. But when and how you announce can make a massive difference to your pre-exhibition networking and promotions.
Ideally, you should announce your participation at least three months before the event. You can do that even before depending on your schedule and marketing plan.
How to announce? I would recommend using your LinkedIn headline as your participation announcement. It’s your LinkedIn page, so why not make it the flag-bearer of your big day. Keep it simple and sweet though. Something like “Pay a visit to us at International Green Week Berlin 2019” will work.
Below is the example of brand sharing its event participation announcement
2. Scour for companies and prospects
Event-based LinkedIn groups are on fire for all good reasons. Often, many exhibition organisers initiate official even-based LinkedIn groups, so that exhibitors can do pre-exhibition networking and marketing.
Firstly, you need to check if your event is listed on LinkedIn groups. If yes, you have struck gold, as finding the latest updates is now quite easy. Firstly, you need to RSVP for the event and figure out who else has RSVP’d to send a connect request and start networking.
When you find an event group, it will show the number of members, like it is shown in the example below
These are your targeted group of people whom you can promote your exhibition participation updates such as show dates, time and booth location.
Don’t know how to find these groups? It’s a cake walk. Type the event’s name with or without a date in the search bar. With date, you will be able to see the latest posts, and without date, you will be able to pull up the most popular ones. So try both ways.
You can even search through the official event hashtag, for example, #CEBIT2019 will get you the latest posts and updates about the event, profiles of people who are posting about the exhibition, and through that, you can get your hands on relevant brand profiles.
An example of how you can find a profile relevant to the event
Now, it’s time to make the most of your attendees list. Figure out which event attendees you can target through LinkedIn. Through their name and profile, once you dig out if your prospect or their company is posting anything relevant to the event, jump on the bandwagon and start engaging with their posts. But make sure that you are adding value! Your prospect’s most recent post is the ideal place to start with.
Another example of post relevant to the event
3. Master the art of group discussions
Now you must be wondering when exactly you need to start searching for exhibition-related groups. The answer is as soon as possible; but if you have a tight marketing schedule, you need to start at least 3 to 4 months before the event.
If you do it at the eleventh hour, you might end up waiting forever for someone to add you as a member in those groups.
Now the million dollar question. What exactly you need to do in these groups?
Firstly, you need to activate notifications to get notified about the group activities. Once you are a member, offer something insightful about the industry trends, highlight something significant about last year’s exhibition or give a valuable opinion to the ongoing discussions.
Make the best use of this platform by leaving genuine comments on other member’s content. Don’t just aim at big groups. You can also be a part of small groups as long as these groups are active.
You can also start sharing content that you are producing for your exhibition booth promotion once a week on each group.
Read this to know how to create and share events on LinkedIn
4. “Inmails” why not?
Sending cold direct messages is the last thing you would want to settle for. Send a highly personalised direct message to all your key connections, highlighting why you expect them to be at your booth.
Nevertheless, the most practical way is to host a fun event before the show and send your key prospects a personalised invitation through “InMail”.
This way you will be able to create your own group for pre-exhibition discussions and networking. Either way, it’s a win win!
Make sure you don’t do these three things in “Inmails”
No vague ideas; instead be specific
Templatizing the mail
5. Create valuable content and thrive on it
Just like other exhibitors, you also need to create relevant content to share it on your LinkedIn page. You can create blog posts highlighting the USPs of the event along with the USPs of your exhibition booth.
Create blog posts about the industry trends or a simple blog post on what made the previous year’s event a success. Exhibition news during the event and a write-up on your significant achievement can be shared on LinkedIn. Make sure you take your readers or prospects to the most relevant page of your event. Yes, you guessed it! Your event’s landing page. Give them the option to request a meeting on your landing page.
A perfect example of sharing relevant content on LinkedIn
Video content is equally important before, during and after the exhibition. Share your teaser video, an interview of your CEO and previous year’s video testimonials of your key customers. Use Linked Native videos to show live demos at your booth, product launch and people indulging with your booth technology.
Whatever content you create, ask your internal team to like, comment and share. The initial velocity of your post can make it viral as per LinkedIn algorithms. This surely can make a huge difference.
Below is the classic example of sharing the ongoing event images
I can’t emphasise enough how important is LinkedIn for your pre-exhibition marketing, networking, and meetings. If you religiously follow these tips, you will be able to achieve a significant return on investment in your next exhibition.
Let me know in the comments below if you have found this article useful.
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