In today’s digital marketplace there have never been more ways to promote your business. Despite these new promotional avenues, tradeshows continue to be one of the most important marketing investments a company can make, particularly in the B2B industry.

The average B2B company will investment almost 40 percent of its annual marketing budget on tradeshows. This is not surprising considering tradeshows’ excellent return on investment.

So the question is not if a B2B company should attend tradeshows but rather which tradeshows should they attend. And this is an important question since tradeshows are a tremendous opportunity to show off new products, make new contacts and, most importantly, secure new sales leads.

In light of these facts, it is essential that you attend the tradeshows that are right for your particular company. Before you attend any tradeshow, however, you need to consider the following:

Cost: While it would be great to have a presence at all of the hottest tradeshows, a lot will depend on your budget. Once you decide how much you have to spend, you can determine which tradeshows to attend. It is important to do your research as different tradeshows charge different rates for many of the same offerings, including booth rental. Display design, shipping and traveling costs are all important considerations, as well.

Prepare: Once you have an idea of how much you have to spend on a particular trade show you need to make sure your booth is scaled for your rental space. You also need to make sure you have filled out all the necessary paperwork and are aware of any deadlines so that there are no surprises once you arrive at the tradeshow.

Promotion: Attending a tradeshow is a great way to promote your business but just showing up isn’t enough. Launching a new product? Make sure you have demos and product data sheets ready to go. Further, make sure your collateral is printed, checked and re-checked as far ahead of the tradeshow as possible.

Staffing: Who you will send to a tradeshow is almost as important as the tradeshow itself. The first thing you need to decide on is a point-person who will be responsible for making sure that everything runs smoothly. Next, make sure the individuals who will staff your booth are not only the most knowledge but also the most energetic. Tradeshows mean long and sometimes grueling days and nights of promoting your brand and the products and services you offer.

Finally, the most important aspect of any tradeshow is the follow-up. Make sure all of the leads you obtain at a tradeshow are immediately and correctly classified so they enter your sales funnel in the just the right place.

The most successful marketers have one thing in common—a laser-like focus on what they want to accomplish. This has never been truer than it is today.

While in the past marketers had only a few ways to market their products or services or promote their brand that is no longer the case.

Modern day marketers find themselves in a much different situation. The options available to market their products and services are virtually endless–social media, podcasts, blogs, content creation, radio and TV ads, print ads, white papers, cold calling, SEO. So what’s a marketer to do?

It all comes down to focus. Today’s marketers must focus on what they want to achieve with their marketing efforts. They either want to draw people to their business through inbound marketing or they want to get their message out to as many people as possible through outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing uses things like social media marketing, content creation and SEO. This type of marketing allows a business to be seen as a thought leader in their industry. And when a prospect is ready to make a purchase, he or she naturally is drawn to that business.

Outbound marketing is a more traditional form of marketing. Businesses who use outbound marketing want to get their name in front of the largest amount of people possible. They want to build brand awareness and so employ tactics such as cold calling, direct mail, and print and broadcast ads to do just that.

There are pros and cons to both of these methods. Inbound marketing requires patience as it takes time before results are achieved. Outbound marketers usually see faster results but those results are often short-lived.

As a marketer, it is important that you decide which technique fits best with your business model remember that if you choose to concentrate on inbound marketing that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a print ad every once in a while. In general, however, it is important to concentrate on either inbound or outbound since the best results are achieved this way.

Finally, in order to decide between inbound or outbound marketing you need to look at your target audience. Decide which method aligns with that audience. Inbound marketing is usually best for businesses who really know their target audience. While more budget friendly, inbound marketing does require more time to see results. Consumers usually find this type of marketing less intrusive.

Outbound marketing is more costly but reaches a much larger audience. It is often preferred by businesses that are trying to get on the map. Outbound is often preferred by older consumers, B2B customers and when larger purchases such as cars are involved.

The GoLeads Growth Equation

Maximizing Results Webinar

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Bill Mattern presents on the topic: “Maximizing Results: How To Find More Customers Today.” Listeners will get the following outcomes:
• Spending more time with your best prospects
• Use tools and approaches that drive the prospect toward more
valuable engagements
• Get the most from any marketing channel or tactic
• Create powerful synergies between sales and marketing
• Avoid lengthy sales cycles
• Bring down your overall cost of sales and selling
• Create better customers and longer term relationships

When many people think of social media, they think of funny cat videos, connecting with long-lost high school friends and sharing family photos. In light of this fact, it is easy to understand why many in the B2B world wonder how they can use social media to communicate with their customers and prospects.

The truth is, social media is an incredible tool for B2B marketers. The key is to know how to communicate your specific message via social media. What follows are some handy tips to help you do that:

Tip #1: Remember that content really is king. No matter what you are posting on social media make sure it is of value. Specifically, it needs to connect, educate and inspire your B2B customers and prospects.

Tip #2: Let your brand’s personality shine through. B2B posts aren’t usually littered with viral videos or funny memes but they still need to convey the personality of your brand so that people are able to get to know you better.

Tip #3: Ditch the sales pitch. Avoid overtly selling your products or services and instead educate visitors on issues that are relevant to your industry. Doing this allows you to be seen as a thought leader and builds trust in your brand.

Tip #4: Spread the good news. While you don’t want to blatantly promote your business, neither do you want to neglect significant company milestones. Therefore, don’t shy away from announcing industry awards your company has received or significant product launches.

Tip #5: Communicate your message in a variety of ways.
Use tactics like videos, blogs and infographics to maintain interest.

Tip #6: Take surveys and hold contests. These types of posts are historically very popular with social media followers and are more likely to be liked and shared. This leads to more attention for your brand.

Tip #7: Get Interactive. Always encourage customer feedback and respond to feedback in a timely manner.

Tip #8: Keep your ear to the ground. Don’t forget to monitor the social media sites of your competitors. This is a great way to find out what others in your industry are talking about and helps you keep tabs on the competition.

Social media is—and will continue to be—a driving force in the marketing world. Therefore, whether you are marketing to businesses or consumers, you must use it to your advantage.

Is your business as successful as you would like it to be? If you are like most business owners, chances are the answer to that question is no. That’s because even if your business is doing exceptionally well, it could always be doing better.

So how can you ensure that your business will be better off in 2017 than it was in 2016? The best way is to sit down and ask yourself some important questions. What do I want my business to look like in a year? What are the important areas I need to focus on? Are there areas that I am neglecting?

Next, you need to make a concrete plan. For example, if you want to connect with more prospects, you can make a commitment to connect with a potential new customer every day. You can achieve this by attending more networking events or becoming more active on social media.

Perhaps you want to decrease the amount of time you spend cold calling. To accomplish this you will have to increase the number of customers who call you by stepping up your email marketing efforts or driving more customers to your website. Speaking of your website, is it working as hard as it should be for your business? If it isn’t, make this the year that you commit to investing the time and resources necessary to make sure it is doing the most it can to grow your business.

Whatever goals you set for your business, it is essential that you begin work on those goals today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next quarter.

Finally, keep this in mind: the most successful people, whether CEOs, athletes or small business owners, have one thing in common. They show up every single day and do what needs to be done. They do this no matter how they are feeling. They do it on days when they are feeling unmotivated and they do it on days when they would rather focus on something else. However, no matter how they are feeling, they push forward and get the job done.

No matter what 2017 brings, the good news is that you have the power to make it your best year ever!