There’s no doubt that timing matters when you’re deploying content geared for specific audiences. For example, more than three-quarters (76%) of brands say they receive increased audience engagement when deploying social posts timed with an event or promotion.
So, as the NAHB International Builders Show approaches in late February, our advice to building materials organizations planning a presence at the show: use this time-sensitive opportunity to come up with a content marketing strategy that leverages attendees’ headspace on a topic that’s top of mind for them, before, during and after the show.
Deploying real-time content marketing tactics connected to what is arguably the industry’s biggest trade show is much more likely to garner attention and engagement from prospects interested in or attending the show than content deployed without this timely connection.
Done correctly, the strategy also helps B2B organizations establish themselves as thought leaders in prospects’ minds when it comes to IBS and the experiences attendees have there. Which should be the goal for any B2B organization hoping to drive awareness and preference for their solutions.
What content marketing tactics should you use? The truth is, they can be anything from an email or e-newsletter to a blog post, social post, paid media or even a show-themed landing page. The tactic itself doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the content. It has to be compelling, clearly related to the show, and fresh and innovative at the same time. This is what will differentiate you as a thought leader, rather than just another content creator striving for attention.
Deploying Content Just Before the Show
In the weeks and days before the show, you can build up engagement with prospects who you know or believe will be in attendance, by deploying content helping to set expectations around the event.
Whether it’s through an email, a blog and/or a social post linked to a blog, your goal should be to generate more engagement from the prospects who will be at the show or at least interested in what happens at the event. For example, you might come up with three smart questions you plan to have answered at the show and then deploy content referring to your plans.
Say your plan is to talk with builders and find out what strategies they plan to use, should there be a recession in the coming year. Then you could post a blog letting prospects know what you’re planning to uncover at the show, or send an email survey asking about their own business strategies for 2019 as it relates to IBS.
Answers to these sorts of burning questions can serve as the perfect content base for building materials companies. The key is adapting the information to target audiences with references to the show along with your own point of view.
During-the-Show Content Marketing
Content deployed during the show also should offer your organization’s unique and real-time response to an event or experience received at the show. Whether you use the opportunity to agree with, support, or challenge what you’re hearing, the most important thing is that you offer an original perspective based on some aspect from the show.
It’s also important to get the content out there fast: ideally publishing a blog with your thoughts on sessions from the same day is a great way to build rapport and engagement from target prospects, while also being relevant and timely.
Another idea is deploying paid social ads during the show directed at specific individuals or groups. You can tailor your communications and leverage the show for interest. Use what you’ve learned or seen at the show to develop a unique perspective, and then share it through content, to become a true thought leader for prospects.
After-the-Show Content Marketing
As with pre- and post-IBS content marketing, there’s a short window of time right after the show closes where relevant content marketing can take advantage of attendees’ lingering enthusiasm about the event.
The days and even hours after the show are a great time to recap what you’ve learned and how you believe the industry might change near term as a result. It’s also a great opportunity to continue building on some of those relationships you gained at the show. The goal here: keep the conversations going. So whether it’s thanking new contacts for their time, relating your own takeaways or sending out a quick survey to find out what prospects learned, the time after the show can be another golden hour for engagement.
One thing to keep in mind for content used at any of these three stages: you’ll want to keep expectations modest in terms of traditional performance indicators like time on page, click-throughs, or bounce rates. Being at the show, prospects are likely to have a very short attention span. That doesn’t mean they won’t notice your email’s subject line or catch a glimpse of your LinkedIn post. Remember that your goal is driving awareness and becoming a thought leader on a topic that’s just as important to you as your prospects. Even if they don’t have time to read the entire piece of content, you’re still building engagement points.
Developing these content strategies can be simple or it can be complex. Point To Point is equipped to help, with the research, creative vision, and implementation teams to create and deploy real-time content marketing campaigns. If you’d like to chat further about real-time content marketing plans, please get in touch with us.