B2B FastTracks: Social Marketing Redefined Blog Series

Social marketing “can freshen up the idea and enhance the effect of trade shows” Michael Korch, Director of Demand Generation at Socrata, told us. Leveraging social to provide buzz before and after an event, such as trade shows, will enhance the effort and achieve greater success.

After an informative and interesting interview with Michael, it became very clear that social should not be limited to digital campaigns – in fact social can increase results for trade shows and events as well.

Michael brings his 15 years of experience in product marketing, demand generation, and strategic go-to-market plans to all his marketing initiatives. At Socrata, Michael focuses on integrating new channels into their already successful trade show and event marketing programs to drive better results and increase efficiency.

Michael outlines his five simple steps along with best practices to enhance your traditional trade show event with social:

  1. Leverage other company’s assets and opportunities:  First understand what your presence at the show is going to be. Do you have a booth? Will you be giving presentations at staged events? Do you have the ability to give smaller presentations at your booth or a partner’s booth? Who in your network will be there, and how can you both use each other to extend your reach? Try to link your efforts with partners to extend the value and leverage other people’s assets to get in front of more people.
  2. Find subject matter experts: Find a few subject matter experts relevant to the tradeshow (two or three is enough). Ideally, they should not be on your payroll, or in your publicized network. Partners or customers are great places to look to gather subject matter experts. The experts do not need to speak directly about your solution; just describing the problem is enough. Ask these subject matter experts to help you create content.  Best practices include:
    1. Schedule conversations with thought leaders and subject matter experts. Record the conversation and ask to build assets and share their knowledge
    2. Record or take notes during presentations given by thought leaders and subject matter experts
    3. Don’t limit your assets to whitepapers- expand to blog series, webcasts, Tweet chats. Google + hangouts etc.
  3. Build an integrated program campaign: Stretch the program to last an entire quarter. Define when to post the assets and what channels to post on. Determine several ways to use those assets to promote the event. Think of all the ways and channels you can use to spread the content. Using social to build awareness and buzz will ultimately show the value of the event and increase traffic to your booth.  Best practices include:
    1. Try to find ways to add value to those who cannot attend the event such as streaming live events
    2. Keep track of who stopped by the booth and reach out to them on social, taking this opportunity to start conversations
    3. Ideas for post event:
      • Recap the events in a blog post summing up the key takeaways
      • Reach out through social to those who attended and interacted with
    4. Michael has seen a lot success in encore webinars recapping the show’s key takeaways. They have even seen attendees of the tradeshow attend the webinar.
  4. Execute: Once the schedule is laid out, work back and see when the campaign needs to launch
  5. Measure: Determine what metrics and KPI’s (key performance indicators) to track and how to determine success. The metrics need to align with the goals of the tradeshow. Goals can include having a presence and increasing reach, creating more valuable content, lead generation and sales, and using the campaign to increase the speed at which leads move from MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) to SAL (Sales Accepted Lead). Determine the goals of the tradeshow and what metrics will provide visibility into the social efforts.

Understanding how social marketing fits into your current campaigns and strategies is key to having greater success at trade shows and events. Michael will be sharing his point of view, expertise and real life social marketing examples at the Heinz Marketing B2B FastTracks event on October 10, 2013 at the Columbia Tower Club. To hear more of his tried and true advice be sure to request an invite!

Michael will be joined by several other industry leaders and innovators, such as LinkedIn, PayScale, Simply Measured, DreamBox, and Socedo! The event will consist of 20 minute tracks packed with educational content focusing on social lead gen, optimizing ROI, and real life examples – you can pick and choose which tracks will be of most value to you! Request an invitation today.