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March 24, 2020

5 Ways to Engage When You Cannot Meet Clients Face-to-Face

What do you do when the tradeshow or conference you spent months — or even years — planning for is canceled? Turn the face-to-face experience digital.

While large gatherings and events are called off to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, there are still opportunities to utilize event materials and repurpose your messaging to engage with current and prospective customers.

If an event your company or organization attends gets canceled, you may be missing out on the following valuable marketing opportunities:

  • Hosting a Tradeshow Booth
  • Product Launches & Demonstrations
  • Educational Training Seminars
  • Networking Events
  • Lead Generation and Customer Engagement

Use these tips from True Digital Communications to stay connected and meet business goals when face-to-face is not possible:

Optimize or Create New Web Pages on Your Site

This seems like a simple fix, but it’s effective. Strategically creating a new page or a simple-but-clear alert about the current situation are great ways to stay connected with your audiences.

By providing a ‘hub’ or landing page on your website, your audiences know you are committed to staying connected regardless of the inability to meet in-person, while allowing your key messages to still be expressed.

Research shows 81% of consumers conduct online research before buying a product, so creating this page to promote the product and messages intended from canceled events can be vital.

Now is the time to revisit your current website content to make sure information is up-to-date and complete. An event-specific landing page to house all the information you would've covered at the show will help make sure you don't miss a beat.

Leverage Email to Stay Connected

Connecting via email provides a way to share information with your target audiences. Creating valuable content to compensate for information you would have shared face-to-face.

For valued customers who would have been at in-person events, emails can serve as a personal touchpoint to continue conversations. You know their needs, so speak to them. If they were looking to see your latest product, for example, share product details, images, benefits and features so they don’t feel like they missed out.

For B2B lead generation, 78% of businesses are using email marketing, making emails a staple tool in the industry.

Include a clear call-to-action, such as encouraging visits to your new trade show landing page or other digital assets. To continue conversations, prompt your contacts to participate in promotions or ask to connect.

To support product launches, promote sample requests or provide a digital locator for product distributors.  This can funnel consumers closer to purchasing.

Two-Way Communication with Social Media

Social media continues to create a great space for two-way communication. Subsequently, strategic social media content can serve as another digital asset to make up for canceled events.

In fact, 79% of marketers said an increase in traffic occurred when they spent as little as six hours on social media.

It is important to recognize the opportunity to reformat the current strategy on your social channels and make adjustments where necessary to fit the current situation.

Reworking what you are already doing on social media can also be extended to employees' personal channels. Encouraging employees to grow their personal networks and keep their channels up-to-date can be a great way to connect with new consumers in ways you may not have thought possible.

Some potential content on social media are:

  • Short Videos
  • Live Streams
  • Posts
  • Stories & Highlights

Formatted content on socials can push key messages out to your audience in the digital landscape. Benefit from the connections that social media facilitates and the ability to do so in a natural and conversational tone.

The two-way experience can promote engagement which continues to close the gap with the missing face-to-face experiences.

Another great way to integrate your digital strategy is to promote the new landing page or website additions on social media. Encourage your audiences to check out the information they are missing digitally.  

Engage Your Audience with Videos

83% of video marketers say videos help generate leads so they can be an effective replacement of tradeshow or other face-to-face lead generation efforts.

Video can provide a deeper connection to consumers.  Easy to consume and more personal, videos can serve as educational media. The capabilities of engaging viewers make videos a critical media format.

When it comes to creating videos, there is a wide range of budgets and production levels to work within; from the more simplistic smartphone or built-in social media features to more elaborate videos with scripts, film crews and tech, which you may have in your digital library.

Deciding the time and budget for videos will determine what kind of production you are looking to do.  If you’ve previously invested in video, see if your existing video content will work or if minor edits can be made to make it fit with your needs. Keep in mind that videos can be an integrated media, meaning it can be used in multiple places (website, social media channel, email newsletter and more)!

If you have a new product you want to showcase, an application or education piece you want to demonstrate or an industry expert ready to share their experience and knowledge, videos are a great way to do so!

Support the New Content with Digital Ad Spend

After creating new content such as social media posts, a landing page and videos, consider the support and lead generation that digital ads could provide.

An important aspect of face-to-face events is generating leads. To continue to grow your client base, optimizing or increasing your current digital ad spend may help.

Any capital saved on canceled travel, hotels, or meals can be used to increase ad spend. By adding more funds or exploring new channels, ads have the potential for higher reach which can result in more leads.

Follow the True Way!

Converting face-to-face communication and marketing efforts into strategic and meaningful digital content can be challenging. Beyond the tactics, there are factors, including customer fears and anxiety, to keep in mind so that you're tactful and helpful. That’s where True can help!

Our team of experts and industry gurus are skilled and ready to create the digital campaigns you need to reach your audiences during this time. We're staying on top of the changing situation and are prepared to make adjustments as needed.

For more information on True Digital Communications and what we can do, contact us at 888.456.0369 or email cbaldwin@truedigitalcom.com.

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