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7+ Meaningful Places to Spend Your Trade Show Budget if It’s Canceled

By Cole Anderson
Updated August 31, 2020
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Small Business Web Design
Cole Anderson
Cole Anderson

is an SEO writer and content strategist at Hook. He enjoys working closely with clients to develop successful content strategies that move their brand forward. You can find him at almost any local coffee shop on the weekends or playing guitar in his apartment. He's married to local entrepreneur Jessica Anderson and has an Australian Eskimo puppy.

Have this post read to you in a natural voice, so you can do other things:

COVID-19 changed marketing for 2020 by canceling the majority of all events. For many industries, every single event has been canceled. Companies now have to decide what they’re going to do with their leftover budget. Have you decided how you’ll spend that marketing budget? How are you going to come up with deliverables for the growth of your business?

As a digital marketing agency, we know a thing or two about marketing outside of events. That’s why we decided to put together this list of 7 meaningful places to spend your trade show budget.

Search Engine Optimization📈

As you might have guessed, search engine optimization or SEO is first on our list. And not just because we’re passionate about great SEO and what it can do for your business, but because the effects of SEO are exponentially greater than anything else you could do with your marketing dollars.

SEO, in many ways, is about providing more value to your industry and your customers. It’s also about creating a better customer experience. One of the biggest things that go into SEO is a well designed and optimized website. Without a website that’s at it’s best, your content will go unseen, and the customer might leave your site if they don’t understand what you’re offering or how to buy it.

Persuasive Web Design for Marketing 🖥

What makes a great WordPress developer

At Hook, we talk about two different types of websites. One is a marketing website, and the other a credibility website. Credibility websites are designed to prove that your company is real. They might contain an about section, pictures of employees, and other basic information. A marketing website is designed to draw in customers, contact forms, and sell products. It does this through the power of SEO and getting found more often on Google.

Here’s a quick definition from Tracy:

Ultimately if you want a website that is going to help you sell more of your products/services, then you need a marketing website. Building a good website can take time and money. That’s why, right now, when you’re not spending money on trade shows, you could be building out a new website that will get you more leads now and for years to come. You can learn more about our web design process here.

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Pay Per Click Ads

Pay per click or PPC ads offer a great way for you to get more traffic to your website from consumers that have the intention to buy. When done right, these ads offer a lot of benefits because they can be extremely targeted. You can target individuals who have visited your website, individuals who are within a target location, or those who have searched specific things in Google. The best way to develop the strategy is A/B testing to find what type of targeting works best for your business.

Billboard and Physical Advertisement

Empty billboard for marketing.

Physical advertisements are another great option to drive brand awareness and help to get your company more exposure during times when you’re not getting that exposure from tradeshows. Billboards along major highways are popular places to advertise because thousands upon thousands of people could be seeing your advertisement. There are also other types of physical advertisements that are more targeted and can be better for that reason.

One to One Mailers 📩

One to one mailers are a great example of using physical advertisements that can be much more targeted. If you’re a roofing or similar home service provider, you can look into different neighborhoods that haven’t had their roofs replaced since being built. Just driving by different homes can tell you a lot about the homeowners, what work they might need done on the home, and whether or not they would be a good customer for you.

After you’ve found a few homes that you see as a good fit, write down their address and send them a mailer with an introduction, coupon, or recommendation on how you would handle any upcoming home projects.

Social Media 📱

During the pandemic and the many hours that most of the US spent at home because of it, social media has seen a record number of users. Maybe it was because all of the events and things to do had been and are still being canceled, or perhaps it’s because everyone wants to stay up to date on the different things happening throughout the US and abroad.

Nevertheless, the increased presence on social media offers an even more distinct benefit to businesses. The math is really simple, the more people on social media, the more people that will see what you’re posting and sharing. If you take the opportunity that’s in front of you, you could see an increasing number of leads coming from social media.

Social Media Posting Strategies

There are plenty of different strategies that you could use to get better engagement on social media and, in turn, more leads. Here are a few of my favorite posting strategies:

  • Create a series – a series that takes place on different days, weeks, or months is a great way to get your followers invested and excited to see the different things that you’re going to be posting within that series.
  • Run a contest or giveaway – people love giveaways, especially on social media! There are quite a few different giveaways or contests that you can host. Try partnering up with other accounts for a greater reach!
  • Host a social media takeover – your followers will love seeing different people and having a “day in the life” with some of the people that they only know from a work perspective.
  • Use video in your posts – whether it’s a professionally created video or just a simple video you take on your phone, you need to be posting more video. Your followers will love connecting with video!

Video Marketing 📹

Video Planning

Video marketing, in social media and otherwise, is a very underrated type of content. Video can be used in several applications. But what makes video one of the most underrated types of content is the quality of engagement that it facilitates. Including a video on your landing page can boost your conversion rate by up to 80%. Here’s our full video marketing guide!

Another great thing about video is that it can be used for SEO both on your website and on YouTube. It doesn’t only have to be viewed just one time. Here’s a post I wrote recently about using video for SEO. If you’re not sure how to start creating videos for your business, we’d be happy to help! Learn more about our video marketing services here.

So, what are you going to with your trade show dollars? The economy around events has changed, and while there might be events in the future, there’s no knowing how long it will be before events begin to take place.

Have ideas of what you could do with trade dollars that I haven’t shared in this post? Leave a comment below!


 

Watch this quick video to see how savvy businesses save time and hook better leads:
 

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Cole Anderson
Cole Anderson

is an SEO writer and content strategist at Hook. He enjoys working closely with clients to develop successful content strategies that move their brand forward. You can find him at almost any local coffee shop on the weekends or playing guitar in his apartment. He's married to local entrepreneur Jessica Anderson and has an Australian Eskimo puppy.

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