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2019 Guide to Social Media Marketing for Your Event

December 10th, 2018 Comments off

Anyone running a business, whether that be a new start up or a successful long-established company, knows the importance of marketing their services and products at trade shows, conferences and corporate events. Events like these are ideal ways to get your brand name out into the wider sector, and while making the right impression while your company is actually at the event through the use of LED lighting and outstanding displays is important, getting people to attend the event in the first place is vital.

But what is the best way to go about it?

A huge amount of effort goes into event promotion, and effective marketing via the correct social channels has a vital role to play in generating a buzz online, reaching target audiences and creating a great hype around the services and products which you’re promoting.

There can be a number of pitfalls when it comes to hitting the perfect audience at the perfect time. Utilizing social media to its best effect is something which needs to be learned, and this guide is designed to help you negotiate this potential minefield so you can enjoy optimal success in your venture.

 

Choosing The Correct Social Media Channel

Before finding out more about how to utilize social media to promote an event, you need to know how to select the right social media for your target audience.

There are numerous social media platforms available these days, so how do you know which one is right for your specific event? There are several steps you’ll need to take to ensure that you get the choice right:

  1. Define and locate your attendees
  2. Make your company and event visually appealing by optimising your social media profiles
  3. Determine the kind of relationship with followers which works best on every platform
  4. Consider the kind of content that is suited to every network

Different demographics are attracted to each social network. For example, Facebook has a larger proportion of younger users aged between 23 and 37, while LinkedIn is most popular with higher earners and Pinterest drives more traffic towards eCommerce stores than any other channel. Knowing the demographic you’re targeting with your strategy will inform your choice of social media channels.

 

Defining Your Objectives

To select the right strategy for your business, you need to first decide what exactly you’re trying to accomplish with your social media marketing. You may have several goals, such as:

  • Encouraging recurring loyalty for your organization’s events
  • Selling more tickets
  • Building up a long-term relationship with other professionals in your industry

 

An Overview Of Social Media Platform Techniques

There are different techniques which can be used with different social media platforms.

Facebook – it’s possible to create an events page, share updates about events, engage with followers and use paid promotion to target a specific audience.

Instagram – This is an image-based platform which works well for engagement with brands.

Twitter – you can utilize a unique hashtag for your event so a buzz can be created both before the event itself and during the proceedings. Remember to make your hashtag original, brief, engaging and understandable to achieve the optimal benefits.

LinkedIn – Ideal for B2B and industry networking, this is a professional channel which is perfect for company events and news announcements.

Snapchat – Ideal if you have a young target audience. Around 186 million people use Snapchat every day, making this a rapid engagement tool.

Pinterest – this powerful channel allows you to create strategy and pins around the promotion of your event.

 

Tips For Optimizing Your Social Media Profiles

Although it may sound easy to update your social media profile, staying on top of your descriptions and bios can be difficult. When you’re promoting events, you need to make sure that all of the information and links are up to date while also ensuring that SEO is in full use. Here are thirteen top tips for optimizing your profiles:

  1. Ensure you’re utilizing the right image sizes
  2. Use the same profile images consistently across all the platforms you use
  3. Untag yourself from any inappropriate posts or irrelevant photos
  4. Keep your handles the same across all networks you use
  5. Add any relevant keywords to each profile for SEO purposes
  6. Complete all of your bio’s fields using engaging copy
  7. Link to the other social media profiles you have created
  8. Ensure all your links work
  9. Showcase some reviews and endorsements
  10. Rotate your link if you have an Instagram bio
  11. Like your related Facebook pages
  12. Showcase all of your best content by pinning it
  13. Ensure you’ve added media onto your LinkedIn jobs

Take a systematic approach to updating your social media profiles. Choose the one which is the most relevant or popular for your content and rewrite the descriptions and update all the information before moving on to the next one.

 

Plan Your Content

The importance of content in social media engagement cannot be underestimated. Videos, images, quotes, live-streams, infographics and hashtags all have a vital role to play in promoting events on social media. Decide what you’re able to offer then choose which platform will respond best to your offerings. For example, if you have stunning ideas and images, Instagram and Pinterest are a good bet. If you’ve got videos to share, a YouTube channel will work well.

Certain forms of content result in better engagement. These include:

  • Memes
  • GIFs
  • Emojis
  • Humorous stories
  • Infographics

Ensuring your content is error-free as well as engaging will ensuring that it is high quality. The higher the quality of content and the more engaging it is, the more successful your event promotion will be. Here are thirteen top tips for creating the most successful content for your social media promotion strategy:

  1. Diversify the content
  2. Keep your content brief
  3. Use subheadings
  4. Develop a unique voice
  5. Add keywords
  6. Devise engaging titles
  7. Tell stories
  8. Make your content shareable
  9. Remember calls to action
  10. Provide links and facts
  11. Incorporate images within posts
  12. Ensure your content is conversational instead of too “salesy”
  13. Tailor your content to suit each individual social network channel

 

Regular Posting

Posting on a regular basis is important regardless of the social media channel you’re using. When a channel is only irregularly active, this sends out a discouraging message. Building a strong community is vital to your success so ensure you post regularly through the year and not only just before your event is due to take place. Knowing when best to post on each channel will depend on a number of factors, but ensuring consistency and ongoing engagement is your key to success.

 

A Rundown Of Some Useful Strategies

Here are some great tips for using social media channels to engage with your target audience while promoting an event.

  • Share pictures from your previous event or turn those images into memes
  • Shoot promotional videos and post them on YouTube
  • Create a Snapchat Geofilter
  • Make a few visual testimonials to help build up trust 
  • Organise a free event ticket contest
  • Build up anticipation with countdowns and teasers
  • Use behind the scenes images to show preparations and build anticipation more
  • On the day of the event live stream part of the proceedings 
  • Live Tweet or Snap from the event

 

A Few Case Examples

If you’re wondering how well these tips can help your company to promote its event effectively through social media channels, here are some examples to show just how good social media promotion can be.

Sherlocked

The Official Sherlocked Sherlock Convention is organised by Massive Events, a company which does an amazing job of engaging with their audience. By teasing the fans through the gradual release of information, Massive Events begins to promote the convention even before a venue or date has been arranged so that hype can really begin to build. Once the venue and date is released, the impact is huge, with over 1000 shares on Facebook and almost as many on Twitter. The company then went on to record a teaser video which only boosts anticipation even further. The result was a sell-out event.

Play Blackpool

Every year, the Play Blackpool video gaming expo is arranged by Replay Events. This company has worked hard to engage potential attendees via social media, first by using its blog to announce its annual gamer awards and asking its readers to place their votes across several categories with the chance of winning free expo tickets and other prizes. The results were announced over several consecutive days, each result being accompanied with shareable graphics to increase interest in the event.

 

As you can see, social media event promotion and market is all about engagement with potential attendees. When they get better value from your content, the more chance you have of them sharing your content with other people who may be interested too. Find out more about maximizing your event success with Indy Displays today.

How to Increase Your Exhibit Booth Attendance

January 14th, 2018 Comments off

Increase Exhibit Booth Attendance

The marketing value of exhibiting at trade shows relies heavily exhibit booth attendance. Event marketing teams can still rely on design trends like brand illumination using backlit displays, effective promotional items, and proper pre-show email marketing campaigns to increase exhibition hall traffic. However, implementing these 4 new strategies before your next show could pay off by dramatically increasing foot traffic to your company’s exhibitor booth!

Provide Free Transportation With UberEvents

 

UberEvents for Trade Shows

UberEvents allows event organizers and exhibitors to purchase prepaid rides for show attendees. Incentivize your clients and interested prospects that are making an effort to visit your trade show booth space by helping them save on transportation. UberEvents makes it easy to create reserved rides for event guests by generating a free ride code. Exhibitors can set-up one code for all selected guests, or individual ride codes that are specific to individual exhibition attendees. The codes can be programmed to only allow free transportation to and from the event or trade show. Providing your visiting clients and attendee prospects with free scheduled transportation, is a unique and modern event marketing strategy available to exhibiting companies. Prepaid scheduled transportation will help increase exhibit booth attendance, as well as improve your client’s overall show experience and brand loyalty.

Utilize Virtual Reality Technology

 

Virtual Reality for Trade Shows

Virtual reality is constantly improving, and the technology is new enough to draw a crowd of curious trade show guests. However, it offers more than just entertainment value. VR can save a company thousands of dollars on prototype production, instead programming their VR headsets to allow consumers to experience new products virtually. Virtual reality gives event marketers an opportunity never before available; the ability to take booth attendees out of the convention hall and transport them into another location. The possibilities are, quite literally, endless. Trade show guests can examine the handiwork of homebuilders, see a medical device at work inside a human body, or travel to exotic vacation destinations, all within a company’s trade show space.

Create a Unique Experience

 

Unique Experiences at Trade Shows

With so many innovative trade show products on the market, 2018 is the year to think outside the box for exhibit booth design. Trade show furniture of the past was either heavy and expensive, or cheaply built and uncomfortable. But now, exhibitors have the option of foam furniture with printable zip covers that are easy to transport and set-up! Design a comfortable lounge area that show visitors will want to hang out in, with couches and phone-charging coffee tables. A set-up like that is more inviting than the standard display backdrop and counter combo. Add unexpected small details, like plants or table lamps, to make your trade show booth memorable. Give your show guests a good reason to stay, and your exhibit booth attendance will naturally increase. In addition, exhibitors that take the time to create an inviting trade show display that features and “escape” layout, will motivate their guests to learn and retain more information about that exhibitor’s products and services.

Social Media Engagement Campaigns

 

Social Media for Trade Shows

Leading up to your trade show, begin interacting with your company’s social media followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Many marketing teams make the mistake of only posting self-serving content. They should also be responding to and communicating with real consumers. Introduce a unique hashtag specific to your event for attendees. They can easily follow updates and conversations about what to expect from your exhibition booth from the hashtag. If used the right way, social media can be an inexpensive way to stir up interest for your next event. The more approachable a company’s brand online, the more approachable their booth staff! You can also encourage attendees to post about the event before, during, and after the trade show by introducing a social media contest or giveaway.

It’s important for trade show marketing teams to continually revamp their tactics, keeping existing and potential clients both interested, and invested, in their brand. What new concepts will you be integrating into your exhibit booth layout plans this year?

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Exhibition Stand Design Guide

December 6th, 2017 Comments off

Exhibitions are an excellent way to promote a company’s brand and services. A display’s graphic design will be the first branded item trade show guests see while walking the convention hall floor. When planning for a trade show, marketing teams must place a priority on instantly drawing attention on the show floor and building interest around their brands. A well-designed booth should be simplistic and clean, but also unique and creative. Talented graphic designers understand that less is good. Trade show signage walls resemble free-standing billboard stands. Like traditional billboard marketing campaigns, brand marketers should create booth design layouts that tell a story without words.


Fundamentals of Effective Trade Show Booth Design

 

Show off your brand

Your booth must boldly display your company name and brand. Customers cannot walk away from your booth not knowing who you are and what goods and services you provide.

Grab a hold of your audience

Know your audience and develop a campaign to grab their attention with eye-catching pictures and video to engage them.

Lead visitors to your exhibit

Don’t rely solely on face-to-face interaction for educating visitors, since not all visitors will have an opportunity to speak with sales staff. The products need to be prominently featured and visitors should be able to find answers to their questions easily.

Define your goals

Firthermore, the design of a trade show booth should make it clear why a company has chosen to advertise to a specific audience. Whether it is to launch a new product or cultivate new clients, visitors appreciate a transparent and pleasant experience with show staff.

Branded Trade Show Giveaways

Most of all, promotional products that are popular with the expo audience can help increase repeat orders from your customers up to 16%. While most people think of promotional trade show giveaway items as pens, water bottles, and key chains, they can be a wide variety of unique items. A few suggestions from the Indy Displays team are virtual reality glasses, sunglasses, luggage totes, antibacterial travel packs, LED keychain lights, bottle openers, smartphone cases and well-fitting quality shirts. Customers that receive creative useful giveaway products as personal gifts are much more likely to refer others to your company, compared to those who don’t have a tangible reminder.


Trade Show Booth First Impressions

 

  • Brand imagery affects consumer opinion. Therefore, it is one thing that should never be left to chance in planning. Most of all, make your display booth graphic murals stand out.
  • The display booth layout and visual branding will reflect upon your business and exhibitor staff. Therefore, an exhibit staff with a sloppy appearance and dated exhibition stand design will make your company look less desirable to prospective leads.
  • According to the famous 3-second rule, your booth design needs to engage and attract passers-by traffic in under 3 seconds. Otherwise, they’ll quickly turn their attention to another company highlighting their brand properly and staffing the booth space with knowledgeable marketers.
  • Make sure the design theme and booth structure properly represents industry, brand, and company mission.
  • Know your target consumer demographics and develop a promotional campaign that caters to them and creates organic interaction.

 


Importance of Booth Space

 

The convention floor location of a trade show display is important, no matter what size the event venue. In addition, your company must refrain from employing an incompetent event team. It’s important to book early and secure an available premium space. Because spaces with high foot traffic go quickly, timing is of the essence, regardless of  common excuses made for last minute decision making.

Consider LED modular edge-lit light box display solutions to turn your booth design into an eco-friendly backlit trade show wall that requires far less electrical power. Custom modular displays are also reusable / resizable hardware systems, as a result offering companies versatility and unique ways to save on high shipping and drayage fees. Exhibitors looking to purchase a completely eco-friendly “green” exhibit solution, have the option to select recycled fabric and trade show LED lights that produce optimal HD quality printed images and colors illuminated by next generation light technology with up to 50,000 hours of shelf life!

 

Exhibition Stand Design Guide Blog

 

The advantages of occupying an island booth open space are worth the additional investment. Island exhibit floor spaces are located in the middle of the convention hall floor, making island booth rental locations the busiest areas on the exhibit floor for guest attendee foot traffic. As a result, island exhibit structures provide visibility and booth access from all 4 isle facing sides. Unlike standard inline exhibit spaces, open island center floor rental spaces typically do not have height trade show display stand height restrictions. Therefore, this allows exhibitors the opportunity to utilize additional graphic branding space  unavailable to their inline exhibiting competitors.

 


Booth Etiquette Tips

 

Dynamic exhibition stand design is essential for attracting visitors and trade show staff members are the ultimate company representatives. As a result, exhibitor staffs should always demonstrate the following professional characteristics:

  1. Respect for the company and its mission
  2. Genuine product interest
  3. Extensive knowledge of company, services and products
  4. Effective marketing campaign execution
  5. Professional appearance (very important)
  6. Hospitality and customer service
  7. Gracious attitude and empathy

 


Exhibition Booth Interactive Technology Strategies

 

Incorporating interactive trade show booth technology into exhibition design has become a growing trend in recent years. The past ten years have given way to such rapid advancements, hence trade show marketing teams must adapt to a technology-obsessed consumer market. Consequently, here are 5 excellent ways to engage potential clients using modern tech strategies:

  • Gamification: The excitement of games and contests create memorable group experiences. The entertainment can be competitive, like industry related trivia or video games. However, they can also be passive, such as a traditional prize wheel.
  • Interactive Storytellers: 3-D storytelling applications on free-standing monitor kiosks or handheld tablets allow companies to create customized buyer journeys and branding assets.
  • Virtual Reality: Augmented reality delivers endless education possibilities, as companies can deliver experiences to visitors that they would otherwise never have the chance to experience in a trade show setting.
  • Apps: Smartphone applications take advantage of the fact that every single trade show attendee has the technology in their pocket. In addition, apps can be used to track visitor behavior, gather contact information, or compile social media attention.
  • 3-D Printing: Custom concepts can become a reality quickly and inexpensively with 3-D printing machinery.

 

Resources;

  • http://www.trade-show-advisor.com/trade-show-booth-design-fundamentals.html
  • http://www.trade-show-advisor.com/trade-show-exhibit-design.html
  • https://www.thebalance.com/the-basic-trade-show-booth-etiquette-rules-for-staff-1223791
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/promotional-productsgetting-best-roi-heather-rykowski/

 

 

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Help Protect Your E-commerce Business From Chargeback Fraud

November 14th, 2017 Comments off

Fraudulent chargeback claims have unfortunately become an occasional cost of doing business online in recent years. Large e-commerce corporations have started to factor these unethical claims into yearly costs similar to the way brick-and-mortar stores account for the possibility of theft (also known as “shrink”) while budget forecasting. However, business owners with smaller operations can be devastated by chargeback fraud. Dishonest customers can essentially capitalize on the support of their credit card provider in order to steal thousands.

The sheer amount of money wrongfully stolen from business entities through “friendly fraud”, is shocking. The e-commerce sector is the easiest target, and therefore hit the hardest. In 2016, $4.2 billion in revenue was lost due to unethical chargebacks. In fact, 71% of all credit card chargebacks filed in 2016 were classified as fraudulent e-commerce claims.

Avoid Consumer Friendly Fraud

 

Consumer Advocacy from Credit Card Companies

A major contributing factor to this growing scam is the advocacy from credit card companies in favor of their card-carrying customers. Credit companies freeze funds associated with the disputed transactions once a claim is filed. After the funds have been frozen, the retailers are given the opportunity to plead their case online. This includes submitting invoices, shipment tracking records, product photos, email communication with the buyer, and any additional evidence. However, the credit card companies have final say. The priority is to protect their customer, the cardholder, and not the independent merchant.

Correspondingly, this has created a devastatingly large window of opportunity for consumers to take advantage of e-commerce companies with little to no consequence. In fact, after the credit card provider decides in the buyer’s favor, the funds are returned to the unethical customer without ever requiring the buyer to send back the product that’s now officially unpaid for. It seems unfathomable, but at the end of the day the merchant often loses on both ends, the funds and merchandise that’s now fallen victim to what has been coined “Friendly Fraud”.

Repetition of Fraudulent Behavior

Upon discovering this friendly fraud loophole, consumers are highly likely to continue the behavior. Half of all cardholders that successfully commit chargeback fraud will do so again within a mere 90 days. This reality is putting online business owners in a difficult position financially. This results in deterring the growth of small businesses due to the unpredictable risk.

Even outstanding customer service doesn’t provide effective protection. A dismal 14% of customers attempt to communicate with sellers prior to filing a chargeback claim. Online transactions provide a veil for criminal activity, as customers can win a fraudulent claim without ever communicating with the seller. Unsurprisingly, 58% of consumers file their chargeback claims without ever contacting the merchant in question.

Understanding Reason Codes

When filing a claim, cardholders select from a list of reason codes that describe the type of chargeback. Over half of all claims are filed with the most general reason code, “Fraud/No Authorization”. This specific code can be interpreted in a variety of ways, ambiguously placing illicit practices onto the merchant that even the most meticulous documentation submission cannot disprove. The second and third most used reason codes, “Products or Services” and “Cancel Recurring Billing” respectively, reflect more specific transaction aspects that are more easily verified by both parties.

Preventing Chargeback Fraud

Friendly fraud can happen to any merchant, but there are steps to take to protect profits against this corrupt activity. First, sellers should develop an understanding of all possible reason codes. Then, accordingly, design business processes that avoid practices susceptible to chargeback fraud. Obtaining clear, official authorizations when finalizing orders and handling payment defends against any miscommunications on customer expectations.

In addition, merchants must focus on providing high quality customer service to address and remedy any issues swiftly and fairly. This includes ensuring consumers are aware of return and refund policies. Many times, consumers will call their bank or card company when they see an unfamiliar charge on their statement. Therefore, retailers are responsible for ensuring their company’s charge is accurately depicted on transaction statements to avoid any confusion. Lastly, e-commerce companies must be diligent in keeping detailed records to provide in the event of a fraudulent claim.

In the case of many credit card chargeback claims, the customer is not always right. When businesses are unprepared to dispute dishonest claims, they are often blindsided by “friendly fraud”. This unawareness can possibly result in the loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue. As more consumers become aware of the opportunity to scam businesses through friendly fraud it is essential for e-commerce business owners to remain diligent on protecting themselves on every transaction. We hope this IndyDisplays.com article and infographic will help spread the word about Friendly Fraud and helps educate e-commerce retailers so they are more equipped to prevent credit card chargebacks before they happen!

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