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99 Marketing Tactics You Can Deploy When Your Trade Show’s Been Canceled.

99 Marketing Tactics You Can Deploy When Your Trade Show’s Been Canceled.

So, here we are. Trade shows are being canceled across the United States and around the world.  

For many B2B brands, trade shows are the lifeblood of their businesses. These shows are where businesses of all shapes and sizes pick up most of their leads for the year. So now that we’re facing the possibility of zero trade shows or major industry events for months, it’s understandable if you’re feeling unsure of what to do next. 

But luckily, there are tons of ways you can still generate leads and get the word out about your brand—even without that expensive, high-profile booth in a conference center. 

Here’s our list of 99 marketing tactics you can deploy instead. 

1. Host a Webinar

Webinars can be put together relatively quickly from your existing content. Choose one of your most popular whitepapers or blog posts to base it off of, and repurpose as needed.

2. Host a Webcast

Webcasts are similar to webinars, except that they’re available to watch at any time (and therefore are usually not interactive). Webcasts are a bit more flexible with topics, as well—for instance, you could host a webcast to communicate your company’s response to coronavirus for your clients or customers. 

3. Hold Office Hours

Host online office hours to answer customer questions. 

4. Host a Twitter Chat

Invite customers to tweet @ your brand with a specific hashtag, and answer or comment in real time. 

5. Slack Channel Meetups

Create a Slack channel for meetups with clients and industry colleagues, and host live chats regularly.

6. PR Stunt

Large gatherings may not work these days, but you can still inject some joy and fun into clients’ lives by creating a silly or inspiring video, for example,  and posting to your channels. 

7. Influencer Marketing

Turboboost your influencer marketing outreach—spend the time you’d be spending on trade show prep doing that instead.

8. Sponsor a Web Event

Sponsor a live-from-home concert, online networking event, book reading, you name it. 

9. Write & Publish a Book to Establish Thought Leadership

While you’re stuck at home, why not take some of the quiet time (that is, if you have it!) to write an ebook? 

10. Publish a Whitepaper

Write and publish a whitepaper on a current topic or to highlight your brand’s specific expertise.

11. Create an Animated Infographic

Take your infographics up a notch and animate them using an online tool like Biteable.

12. Amp Up Your Content Marketing

Rework your buyer personas, create a solid content calendar for the next month, and start creating! 

13. Redesign Your Website

Website looking dated? Update it and email your client lists to let them know about the changes. 

14. Conduct a Content Audit

Content audits are a great way to take stock of what kind of content you need more of along the buyer journey.

15. Link Building

Write a guest blog post or two to increase the number of external links to your website. 

16. Online Polls

Conduct a poll on Facebook or another social platform to engage followers and gather valuable insight. 

17. Establish Yourself on ALL Social Platforms

If you’ve been focusing solely on one or two social platforms, use this time to expand to the ones you’ve been meaning to get to. 

18. Increase Your Social Activity 

This is no time to go silent on social! Make sure you’re still responding to comments, engaging with followers, and posting timely, relevant information. 

19. Personalized Emails

Make sure your email marketing is personalized to customers’ and clients’ interests and activity. 

20. Automated Behavioral Triggered Emails

Set up triggered emails that go out every time a prospect downloads a report, for example, or abandons a cart. 

21. Develop a Lead Scoring System 

Work on scoring your leads so you know which are the most important to follow up with and when. 

22. Affiliate Marketing

If it makes sense, do some outreach to popular bloggers and websites to sign them up as affiliates for your product. 

23. SEO

Do an audit of your website to improve your keywords and boost your SEO.

24. PPC

Pay-per-click advertising is a must these days—refine your ads, or set them up, if you’re new to PPC. 

25. Customer Testimonials

Request testimonials from happy long-term customers and add them to your website. 

26. Publish a Case Study 

Write up and publish a case study to showcase your expertise in a specific industry. 

27. Start a Business Blog

If you don’t have a blog already, start one! And if you do, write up three or four posts to schedule out into the next month. 

28. Map Out Your Blogging Strategy

Make sure your blog is helping you achieve specific results. If you don’t know whether it is or not, strategize! 

29. Social Listening

Use a social listening tool to see what people are saying about your brand and your industry online.

30. Update Your Marketing Plan 

Revamp your marketing plan for these new and uncertain times. 

31. Revisit Your Business Goals & Objectives

Are your goals and objectives accurate to your current situation? Are they outdated? Revisit and update them. 

32. Create a Digital Brochure

Develop a short, concise digital brochure for your brand. 

33. Customize Your Email Signature

Add your logo or headshot.

34. Start a Rewards Program For Your Business

Thank your clients for their business with a rewards program. 

35. Check in With Your Past Customers

Send out friendly emails to check in with past customers. 

36. Paid Facebook Ads

37. Paid LinkedIn Ads

38. Paid Twitter Ads

39. Paid Instagram Ads

40 . YouTube Marketing

Create video ads or beef up your YouTube channel. 

41. Record a Podcast 

Record your own podcast, or be a guest on someone else’s.

42. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Make sure your website is responsive for mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. 

43. Reputation Management

Google your brand and see what comes up, and whether you need to correct misinformation. 

44. Make an App For Your Business 

Hire a developer to create that app you’ve been considering making. 

45. Utilize Google Analytics

Take a deep dive into your Google Analytics data. 

46. Start a YouTube Account For Your Business

Make sure your brand is represented on YouTube. 

47. Create + Upload YouTube Videos

Create a few brief, casual YouTube videos to share with clients and staff. 

48. Start an Email List 

Gather emails through your website.

49. Create a Fun Contest 

Develop a giveaway or contest to generate user-generated content and create excitement. 

50. Help Your Community 

Donate food or money to local organizations helping out during the coronavirus crisis. 

51. Client Appreciation Campaign

Show your clients how much you appreciate them by posting about them, writing short blog posts about them, or sending virtual “thank yous” like gift cards to them. 

52. Put Your Contact Info on Every Page of Your Site

53. Make + Send Out Customer Satisfaction Survey

Gather information from your customers with an easy online survey. 

54. Modernize Your Office Space

Toss old, dated decor or equipment and order more modern pieces to spruce up the office so you’re ready to welcome visitors once visitors are coming in again. 

55. Print Your Logo – Put It On Everything

Don’t be shy about putting your logo on that coffee cup. 

56. Establish a Business Hashtag

Create a hashtag just for your business and use it daily. 

57. Make Your Content More Visual 

Go back and add in images and/or videos wherever you can.

58. Create Templates For Your Business

Create email, video, webpage, and other content templates. 

59. Collect Fun & Unusual Statistics About Your Industry 

Search for interesting stats that could be useful or entertaining for clients and customers.

60. Post Presentations on Slideshare

Upload your presentations to Slideshare and share them online. 

61. Write an Ebook

You can give your ebook away in exchange for customers’ email addresses, or sell it if you’ve already established a dedicated following. 

62. Establish Your Business in Local Citation Sites

Don’t neglect your local online presence. 

63. Create Memes For Your Business

Humor should always be used with caution, but if you know your audience’s taste and that they appreciate certain types of humor, try creating a meme with a tool like Imgflip.

64. Broadcast an Online Training Course

Develop an online training course out of several of your existing webinars.

65. Google Ads

Develop a few highly targeted ads and deploy them on Google Ads. 

66. Create Data Graphs & Charts

Turn some of your data into user-friendly graphs or charts using a tool like Venngage

67. Handwritten Notes to Clients

Show clients that you’re grateful for their business with a sincere handwritten note.

68. Stay Relevant – Follow Trending Topics

Watch Twitter and Facebook to see what’s trending, and comment on topics that are relevant to your industry. 

69. Use Pop-Up Opt-Ins on Landing Pages

Create pop-ups to encourage site visitors to sign up for your email list, view your new product, or try a demo. 

70. Have a “Guest Take-Over” on Social Media

Engage an influencer to “take over” your Instagram account. 

71. Create Branded Tools

Develop a simple branded app or tool to solve a problem for your customers. 

72. Make Sure Your URLs are Clean 

Check your site URLs to make sure they contain full words, with no odd letters or typos. 

73. List Your Business on Google

Fill out your Google business profile. 

74. Ask for Reviews

Request reviews either by contacting some of your longtime customers, or asking for reviews on social. 

75. Create a Facebook Group for Loyal Customers

Create a closed Facebook group and invite customers to join. Share insider tips, sneak peeks of new products, and more exclusive content.

76. Set up an Online Referral Program 

Give customers who refer someone a discount or special gift. 

77. Test Your Site Speed

Make sure your site is running at a good speed with a tool like Pingdom.

78. Go Viral

Share your best content and see if it goes viral!

79. Organize Your Email Database

Clean up and organize your email database to improve your email marketing. 

80. Start a Monthly Newsletter

If you aren’t communicating with your customers in a monthly newsletter, start now. 

81. Reevaluate Your Target Market

Make sure you’re targeting the right group by taking another look at your target market. Adjust if needed. 

82. Print Your Logo on a Sticker

Get the word out about your brand by creating branded stickers for customers. 

83. Telemarketing

Improve your sales efforts by implementing telemarketing, so you can contact prospects before they’re ready to actually meet with a salesperson. 

84. Respond to Mentions Online – Both Positive & Negative

Don’t neglect any mention of your brand online, and make sure to address both the praise and the complaints.

85. Research Upcoming Technology 

Take some time to look for new martech or other technologies that could help you improve your marketing. 

86. Encourage User-Generated Content

Host a contest or giveaway to encourage your audience to create user-generated content. 

87. Find a New Way to Educate Your Customers

Branch out into a new type of content and give your customers a new way to learn from your expertise.

88. Broaden Your Knowledge – Take Online Training Courses

Brush up on your own marketing skills with an online training course.

89. Cold Calling

Try cold calling some new prospects.

90. Encourage Your Employees to Market Your Business

Remember your employees can be some of your best advocates—encourage them to share your content online with their own followers.

91. Cause Marketing

Dive into a cause that’s important for your brand, and do a fundraiser or awareness-raising campaign.  

92. Storytelling About Your Product/Service 

Embrace storytelling through video, text, audio, or another medium. 

93. Virtual Networking Events

Networking isn’t only for in person events!

94. Simplify Web Forms on Your Site

Make sure your web forms are gathering only the most basic information, so you’re not scaring away potential customers. 

95. Partner With Another Business – Gain Exposure

Join forces with another local business or one in your industry to run a joint campaign. 

96. Sponsor Something Unique/Different 

Try sponsoring a virtual event, forum, or networking opportunity. 

97. SMS Marketing

Use a tool to branch out into SMS marketing. 

98. Get Interviewed / Featured in a Major Publication 

Amp up your PR efforts to secure an interview or feature in a publication. 

99. Personalize Your Marketing Messages

Identify your target audiences, and the various points on their customer journey to create personalized messaging for every stage.

ABOUT SHAMA HYDER

She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row. Learn More

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