How Manufacturers Can Convert Trade Show Leads to Online Prospects

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 12, 2013 7:30:00 AM / by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda

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Moving Leads Online: A Key to Improved Customer Relationships

As a business in the manufacturing industry, you secure a large amount of prospects or leads from trade shows or other in-person events. The question is, how do you stay connected with them after the dust settles? Here is a perfect opportunity to get more from those leads by moving them somewhere you can track their interests: online.

Taking your offline leads online gives you a whole new set of opportunities, from measuring your marketing ROI to nailing down leads’ product interest with analytics.

Not to mention, with Wi-Fi access on every corner and social media usage as a standard, it’s never been easier to go where the rest of your customers are: online. 

Moving Offline Leads Online

One of the biggest advantages to moving offline leads online is a greater understanding of them gathered from analytics.  For example, you have a slew of new contacts and their email addresses from a recent trade show.  With appropriate marketing software, such as HubSpot’s, you can enter all of these contacts into your system and send them targeted communication based on their interests at your show.  Had several people interested in your new product?  You can create a list of those leads and send them content they will find helpful. You can see what emails were opened, whether the receiver clicked on that link to a product page, etc. 

You can also use your website analytics to see what pages on your site your prospects visit, allowing you to send them future emails with content they’ll find helpful and relevant. You can see from their activity what products they might be interested, and adjust your sales and marketing activity accordingly. 

For more frequent communication, you can connect with these folks via social media channels they frequent, which brings us to our next point…

Social Media

You don’t have the time to call every lead every day (and they wouldn’t want you to!), so how can you stay on their radar after a trade show or networking event? One of the easiest ways is to connect with them via your branded social media channels.  Connecting with prospects or leads on your company profile pages means they see your updates about new product launches or special promotions.  Social media channels, whether they be Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn provide an effective, non-invasive, way to stay in touch with your audience through regular posts.  You can also include a link back to your website to give your website traffic a boost, and potentially garner new traffic from your followers’ networks via shares or retweets.

As a manufacturer, you have two important audiences:

  • Dealers, distributors and/or retailers
  • The end user (that end consumer, tradesman, or DIY enthusiast)

Connecting with both of these segments of your audience is important.  Your dealers and distributors buy from you, but your end users are the ones that write online reviews of your product, share it with their friends, and drive more dealers or distributors to carry or supply your product.  Connecting with these demand generators on social media helps you gauge what products garner the most interest and potential areas you might want to develop. 

Social media isn’t just a place to connect; it’s a data mine.  Your end consumers’ positive response to your brand, via comments, shares, positive reviews, etc. are great tools for your salespeople to reference when someone wants to know why they should carry your product.

The Wonderful World of Marketing Automation

One of the greatest advantages of online marketing is the ability to automate processes, such as sending a series of emails or posting to social media sites.  This opens up a world of possibilities in terms of walking your leads down the sales funnel, allowing you to highly target messaging to get the most from your marketing efforts. It bears repeating that you can then track the efficacy of these efforts with your analytics tools and target future content based on those observations. 

It seems counterintuitive, but taking your offline leads online can help you develop a better relationship (and secure more business) with them via more frequent contact and targeted messaging.  Take advantage of analytics and marketing automation to get the most from your marketing dollars. Your competition likely is.

Inbound Marketing Agency Houston

About Digital Impact Agency

Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.

Topics: social media, marketing automation, manufacturer marketing

Katrice Svanda

Written by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda is a Founder and CEO for Digital Impact Agency, a Houston-based digital media and inbound marketing agency. Her background includes over 15 years of experience in the technology industry from marketing emerging technologies to participating in several technology spin-offs. Katrice has created successful marketing campaigns for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-government.