“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” and whether you’re physically out and about or digitally browsing / viewing, there is no getting away from the fact the festive season is approaching.
While the kids are writing their Santa letters, we are busy writing company social media content, and at this time of year we are often asked:
“Should we post a holiday message on LinkedIn?”
“Do people like Christmas card style posts?”
“Is it culturally acceptable to post Christmas content?”
What’s the answer?
Honestly, there is no correct or definitive answer to this. How you communicate as a business depends on several factors, so here are a few things that are worth considering and reflecting on when deciding the best holiday messaging strategy for your business:
Does it align with your brand values:
Never produce content for the sake of it. Consider how holiday messaging aligns with your brand values. If the festive season resonates with your company culture, go ahead, spread the joy. However, if it feels forced or inconsistent with your brand, it might be worth exploring alternative ways to engage your audience. Perhaps an end of year summary or 2024 outlook piece would work better. Giving calendar appropriate content, but from a different perspective.
Many of our clients have an international focus and a customer base in regions which don’t share the same seasonal traditions. If you have a global audience, be mindful of cultural differences, but don’t automatically omit holiday post content, particularly if you’re from a country which does celebrate the holiday. Instead, consider creating content that focuses on universal themes like gratitude and reflection, rather than being overly focused on the big guy in a red suit. This inclusivity demonstrates an understanding and respect for your diverse audience, while enabling you to acknowledge your own traditions too.
Consider your terminology
Be mindful of the language you use in your holiday messages. Consider the diversity of your audience and opt for inclusive terms like «Happy Holidays» or «Season’s Greetings» to encompass various celebrations, rather than “Merry Christmas”. This can help your message speak to a broader audience. Also consider this from a visual, as well as verbal perspective and if relevant, select, or create images that are less aligned with a particular cultural reference… we are thinking of the big guy again!
Know your audience:
Consider who your audience is and what resonates with them. If your B2B clientele appreciates a more formal tone, ensure your holiday messages reflect that professionalism. On the other hand, if your audience engages well with a more relaxed approach, feel free to inject humour and warmth into your seasonal content. Also consider whether you are communicating for your clients, or if this content is more about employee engagement. Tailoring your messages to suit the preferences and expectations of your specific audience ensures that your holiday communication hits the right note.
Show your personality:
If you do want to embrace the festive spirit, then it’s a great time to infuse personality into your posts. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team decorating the office tree or remotely celebrating. People connect with people, and the festive season is all about connecting and celebrating. So don’t shy away from letting your human side shine through and demonstrating your company culture by showing off your personality.
Balance is key:
Maintain a balance between festive content and your regular industry-related posts. If you do want to join in the holiday cheer, then maintaining a mix of content keeps your audience engaged without overwhelming them. Of course, Christmas countdown style campaigns can be fantastic ongoing content in December, but ensure the message is one that can last the duration and keep resonating, rather than boring your audience and turning them into the Grinch.
Whether you align it with a wider holiday message or not, the end of the year marks is an annual milestone and opportunity to express gratitude for the last 12 months. So, thank your clients, partners, team, and followers for their support throughout the year. Authentic appreciation goes a long way and sets a positive tone for the upcoming year. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your holiday communication should be an extension of your brand identity. So, take a moment to reflect on what feels right for your business, and have fun spreading the festive cheer… if you choose to do so!
In recent years, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors have gained significant importance across all industries. As the world grapples with the challenges posed by climate change, there is increasing demand from consumers, investors, and wider stakeholders for sustainable practices and transparency. The Energy Industry in particular faces scrutiny and often backlash in this area, which only makes the need to communicate positive change stronger.
In this blog post, we will explore the significance of ESG messaging in the energy sector and discuss strategies for crafting impactful messages that drive positive change and foster sustainable transformation.
What is ESG in simple terms?
ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. It is a framework to evaluate a company’s or investment’s sustainability and ethical impact.
E: The «Environmental» aspect focuses on how a company’s activities impact the planet, such as carbon emissions, waste management, and resource usage.
S: The «Social» aspect assesses the company’s impact on society, including its treatment of employees, community relations, and diversity policies.
G: The «Governance» aspect evaluates the company’s leadership, transparency, and adherence to ethical practices.
ESG factors help investors and stakeholders understand a company’s overall impact beyond financial performance to promote sustainable and responsible business practices.
Understanding the power of ESG Messaging:
By effectively conveying their ESG initiatives, organizations can build trust, enhance their reputation, attract investors, and gain a competitive edge. But before you can begin to craft compelling messages, you must ensure that the organisation is doing ESG activity or has a strategy to address it. With ESG initiatives in place you can then communicate it in the best way. Here are some key aspects to consider:
Aligning with Stakeholder expectations:
Successful ESG messaging begins with understanding the expectations of various stakeholders. Conduct research to identify the specific ESG issues that matter most to your target audience. Engage with customers, investors, employees, and communities to understand their concerns and aspirations. You can create a stronger connection and foster a shared purpose by aligning your messaging with their values and ultimately use their insight to ensure the overall initiatives are inline.
Authenticity and transparency:
Authenticity is paramount when it comes to ESG messaging. Stakeholders are increasingly adept at spotting greenwashing or insincere efforts. Organizations must demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability and transparency to build trust. Communicate your goals, progress, and challenges. Embrace transparency by disclosing relevant data, performance metrics, and third-party verifications. Engage in open dialogue with stakeholders to address concerns and showcase a willingness to improve. Everyone is on an improvement journey in relation to ESG and it’s best to communicate the journey, even if you haven’t reached the end goal.
Highlighting impactful initiatives:
Showcase your efforts in renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and resource conservation. Highlight social impact initiatives like community engagement, diversity and inclusion programs, and employee well-being. Illustrate how good governance practices, ethical behaviour, and responsible leadership are embedded in your organization’s DNA.
Tailoring the message:
Like all aspects of eeffective communication, ESG messaging needs to be adapted to suit different communication channels and target audiences. Utilize a multi-channel approach, leveraging social media, corporate websites, sustainability reports, and press releases. Tailor your messaging to resonate with diverse stakeholders, using language and narratives that align with their interests and values. Use compelling stories, visuals, and case studies to illustrate the tangible impact of your sustainability initiatives.
Collaborating for greater impact:
ESG challenges are complex and require collaboration between energy companies, and other industry stakeholders. Emphasize your partnerships and collaborations to showcase your commitment to driving collective action.
Crafting effective ESG messaging in the energy sector is not just about public relations; it is a vital pathway to drive sustainable transformation. By aligning with stakeholder expectations, embracing authenticity and transparency and tailoring messages, energy sector organisations can convey their commitment to sustainability and build a better future.
At Project Neon, we understand the importance of crafting effective ESG messaging that aligns with a company’s mission, values, and ESG goals. We specialize in helping companies develop and refine their sustainability narratives, ensuring they resonate with stakeholders and drive positive change.
In a nutshell, social proof is based around the idea that people make decisions based on what other people do or say.
There’s a reason why Tripadvisor has half a billion monthly users. People are inclined to seek out the opinions and approvals of their peers.
If you’ve ever booked an AirBNB, chances are you read the reviews of previous guests prior to booking. Ratings and reviews feature prominently on AirBNB pages; ‘don’t just take our word for it – here’s what our customers have to say!’.
It’s a commonly used tactic so businesses across all sectors will always strive for your feedback. Just taken an Uber? Within minutes of being dropped off you’ll have received a prompt from the Uber app asking you to rate your driver.
It’s all about building trust and establishing authority.
Social proof has always been a key component of marketing – no more so than in the digital media age, where potential customers can instantly access reviews and ratings to influence their purchasing habits.
This is by no means restricted to B2C marketing, however, so if you’re operating in the B2B sphere and wondering whether social proof should form part of your content marketing – the answer is 100% yes. Ultimately, whether it’s B2C or B2B, you’re still targeting fellow humans.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at the most effective ways to boost your marketing efforts by letting your customers do the talking for you.
Gather customer feedback
A good starting point is to get into the habit of asking your clients or customers for feedback to be used as a testimonial. This can be as simple as dropping them an email or arranging a call to ask for specific feedback on a particular product, service or how they find working with you/your company in general. By building it into your customer relations process you’ll hopefully develop a steady stream of input. You might not use them all but it’s always useful to have a few options on file. Don’t forget to get permission to use their comment for marketing purposes.
Visualize your social proof
Once you’ve selected your relevant customer testimonial, the next step is to create some engaging visuals for social media. A branded graphic featuring the quote and a photo of the customer can go a long way. You can also add the quote and image to the relevant product page on your website.
Pro tip: Did you know videos on LinkedIn can get up to five times more engagement than still images? Elevate the testimonial with a video featuring the client/customer talking about your service. This can establish an even more authentic connection with the audience as it’s the customer speaking directly to them in their own words.
Before you post, it’s best to share what you intend to post with your client to make sure they’re happy with how they’re being presented. Make sure you @ tag them so they know it’s gone out and they’ll be more inclined to share your LinkedIn post – thus increasing its reach. Remember, the LinkedIn algorithm favors authentic interactions. So ask the customer to share and comment on the post as this will signal to LinkedIn that your post is generating meaningful discussion – and it will ultimately perform better! Pro tip: Did you know that the success of your post is partly based on the number of interactions it attracts within the first 60 minutes of posting? Monitor your post for that first hour and, where possible, reply to any comments to help increase interactions and send all the right signals to the algorithm.
Don’t forget the website
Once you’ve built up a bank of solid testimonials, consider collating them on a designated ‘customer testimonials’ page on your website. Link to it internally from relevant pages and ensure it’s easy to navigate to from the main home page.
Gold for your sales team
if your sales team are out there meeting prospects and discussing your offering then arm them with this feedback. Whether it’s a testimonial slide on a PowerPoint presentation or content in a digital brochure, quotes can often be great talking points and help your sales team do what they need to do – sell!
Strong social proof showcases your expertise. Media exposure helps validate your business. A mix of both is a formula for success.
Pro-actively seeking PR and feature opportunities with reputable publications has multiple benefits:
Increases your audience reach – you’ll appear on the publication website and possibly their social media channels
Boosts your SEO through link building: your website will benefit from a link from a reputable online publication – thus strengthening its authority score and visibility within search engines.
Social media content on a plate: Posting about your feature in a media publication makes for great LinkedIn content and strengthens the narrative of your brand and service offerings.
So, there you have it – the social proof is in the pudding. Get into the habit of showcasing your expertise – through the voice of your customers and clients.
As a local female business owner, our Founder and Managing Director, Laura Lewis, was asked to speak at a PWN Norway event. We thought it might be interesting for others to get insight into what she said. So here is a summary of her talk. Hope you enjoy it…
In preparation for this evening’s talk, I reached out to a few friends and asked them a simple yet thought-provoking question: What does a tipping point mean to you? The responses I received were as diverse as they were intriguing. One friend jokingly referred to her husband, another spoke of her kids, and someone even quipped about the perfect moment when a wine bottle tips just right into a glass – a delightful analogy, although not exactly what I was aiming for.
So, I turned to Google and discovered a plethora of definitions, some veering toward discussions about climate change, others diving into societal tipping points where a significant portion of society alters its behaviour. Then, there’s Malcolm Gladwell’s well-known book, «The Tipping Point,» which delves into how minor changes can lead to major impacts.
Regardless of where you look for a definition, one thing is clear: Tipping points are abstract, and each of us likely has our unique interpretation of what they entail. However, as an English graduate, the classic Oxford English Dictionary definition resonates most with me: «Tipping points are a series of small changes that result in a bigger change.»
Fundamentally, tipping points are all about change, and I’d like to illustrate this with an analogy, which as I skier I particularly cherish: the avalanche. Picture a mountain blanketed in snow, slowly accumulating layer upon layer. Over time, this snowpack reaches a critical depth, and it takes just the smallest addition—a single snowflake, a gust of wind, or the sun’s glare—to trigger an avalanche, dramatically reshaping the landscape. The buildup of snow represents the accumulation of factors or conditions that eventually reach a point of no return—a decision—the tipping point.
Now, let’s bring this concept closer to home. How many of you are not originally from Norway but now find yourselves living here? I, too, share this experience. Each of us likely has a unique story, but I doubt any of us simply woke up one morning and boarded a flight to Stavanger. The tipping point that led us here was the culmination of a series of smaller incidents.
For me, it began when my husband started traveling to Norway more frequently for work. Eventually, he was asked to work Monday to Friday in Stavanger, a challenging proposition for a pregnant wife with a new puppy. After the birth of our son, when the request came again, we decided it wasn’t feasible: either we all move, or none of us do. So, in 2016, we relocated to Norway, a significant and life-altering change.
As we’ve established, tipping points signify change, and they can be viewed from both negative and positive perspectives. Negative tipping points often evoke the feeling of being «tipped over the edge,» but they can also serve as catalysts for transformation and substantial growth. These points in our lives can:
Be transformational: leading to significant change.
Result in growth: if recognized, they can be leveraged.
Enable informed decisions: they offer foresight for planning.
Facilitate adaptation: in a state of change, agility is crucial.
Fuel personal growth: opening new opportunities.
Create societal impact: encouraging innovation.
Empower us: enabling positive change.
The last point is especially significant. Tipping points often culminate after incremental changes, and recognizing them allows us to identify, control, and harness their power for personal empowerment. Although it might be an uphill battle, we can lay the foundation for change by putting in the necessary building blocks.
Change can be accompanied by feelings of uncertainty, resilience, and excitement. Remember, no change means no growth.
Now, let’s delve into the process of identifying tipping points in our lives. Do any of you recall the character Rachel from the TV show Friends when she ran through her life plan at her 30th birthday party? Well, I was a bit like that, working diligently toward my plan in my early twenties. My focus was firmly on climbing the career ladder, and by the age of 28, I had achieved the title of Vice President of Marketing, Branding & Communications for Archer VP—a significant milestone, or so I thought.
However, life has a way of revealing new perspectives. I had a serious boyfriend at that point, who is now my husband, and I soon realized that the corporate world, with its demands and the feeling of being pulled in all directions, was not quite as glamorous as it seemed. I knew that to achieve the next items on my plan, I needed a change.
Opportunity knocked when I stumbled upon a job opening with a small company that used sports to engage employees. They organized corporate sports tournaments, and they were in need of a marketing manager to shake things up. With my passion for sports and organization, I saw a thrilling opportunity. I accepted the job offer, even though it meant a 50% pay cut and a shift from a large corporation to a small team of eight. I was well aware of the dramatic change that awaited me, but I embraced it.
Intuition and gut instinct play vital roles in identifying tipping points. Knowing yourself and your skill set is crucial. Patterns in our lives can provide clues to impending shifts, and self-reflection on past tipping points can help us identify future ones. Whether these tipping points are substantial or subtle, recognizing them is valuable because they pave the way for empowerment.
Tipping points also mark the end of a buildup or accumulation, and once identified, we gain the ability to control and harness their power. They may require effort, but the incremental nature of change allows us to set the stage for the transformation we seek.
Furthermore, the outcome of one tipping point can serve as the starting point for another journey. For me, moving to Norway was a pivotal tipping point in my life. At that time, the oil and gas industry was in a downturn, I didn’t speak Norwegian, and I couldn’t start working until my son started barnehangen. I felt like I had lost my identity and craved something more. Despite the challenges, I leveraged my background and network to start my own business.
I began as a freelancer, offering flexibility to support different companies while accommodating my family. I joined the SR bank Grunderhus and embarked on the journey of building my business. Along the way, I became inspired and co-founded Requestify, a music app designed for collaborative playlists. This journey was like a rollercoaster, typical of startup life, and I tried to manage both businesses. Eventually, I committed to Project Neon and dedicated myself fully to my own company.
The point I’m making here is that the path to a tipping point isn’t always linear. We learn, adapt, and grow, embracing the changes along the way.
When making decisions and implementing small changes to reach a tipping point, it’s essential to consider what success means to you. Society often imposes expectations of what success should look like, but it’s a deeply personal concept. For instance, my definition of success at 28 was drastically different from what I aspire to today. Even during my seven years with Project Neon, my perception of success has evolved.
Initially, I wanted the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss, with control over my work hours to accommodate my family. However, as the business grew, so did my responsibilities. Success transformed from personal work-life balance to ensuring my team’s quality of life, a shift that continues to guide my decisions.
Change inevitably involves aspects of risk and vulnerability, but sometimes tipping points are entirely out of our control. Take, for example, the inevitability of certain life changes for us as females, such as menopause. While we can’t stop these changes, we can empower ourselves to navigate them effectively.
To do so, we must:
Acknowledge inevitability: understand that change will happen.
Maintain a positive mindset: embrace change as an opportunity for transformation.
Empower with knowledge: seek information and demystify the process.
Make healthy choices: prioritize nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and mental health.
Cultivate adaptability: embrace the ups and downs of the journey.
Build a supportive network: find your tribe, share experiences, and seek advice.
Practice self-kindness: understand that it’s okay to struggle and take care of yourself during challenging times.
Tipping points offer the opportunity to redefine what you want in life, and one tipping point can lead to another.
To conclude, I’d like to leave you with a beautiful quote from Viktor E. Frankl:
«Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space we choose how to respond. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.»
This quote underscores the idea that we are in control, and we have the power to choose how we respond to tipping points. Yes, the journey to a tipping point can be daunting, and it may bring stress, pain, and anxiety. However, it also presents opportunities for transformation, growth, and freedom. In that space between stimulus and response, we have the ability to take the small steps needed to create a tipping point.
Change is not always easy, but it is always a chance for growth. Embrace it and remember that every tipping point is an opportunity in disguise.
Do you ever question whether your marketing material is delivering the right message? Are you developing the right type of content? Are you activating on the right channels? We all strive to stand out from the crowd and effectively communicate our distinctiveness, but how can we ensure we’re achieving this goal?
At Project Neon, when we start working with a new client, we kick-off with a «discovery» phase. This involves holding a workshop to explore the client’s business, goals, understand their offerings, the value they deliver, their target market, and more. Armed with this knowledge we then conduct a marketing audit, as a crucial part of this process. But what exactly is a marketing audit?
Defining the marketing audit
A marketing audit comprehensively evaluates a company’s marketing messages, activities, strategies, and assets. It involves a systematic and objective analysis of the different marketing materials and channels, and their alignment with the organization’s goals. Consider it a thorough check-up of your marketing endeavours, aiming to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The purpose of a marketing audit
The primary purpose of a marketing audit is to gain a holistic understanding of the current marketing landscape (establishing a benchmark) and identify areas that can be improved or optimized (how you can grow). Our goal is to see whether your marketing activity reflects and delivers, based on the information shared in the workshop. It explores your marketing approach, allowing us to give you our expert opinion and advice. Then you can make informed decisions and course corrections.
The value of a marketing audit
This audit is more than just a paperwork exercise. We ensure that marketing audits deliver valuable insights and create clear actionable outcomes. Here are some of the key benefits of conducting a marketing audit:
Evaluating your message: Your marketing messages serve as your brand’s voice, shaping how your target audience perceives you. Does your message resonate with your intended audience? Is it effectively conveying your unique value proposition, and differentiating you from competitors? Is it easy to understand? Are you delivering the same message across your different marketing channels, or do they differ? By looking at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it, it’s possible to evaluate your messages’ clarity and consistency, you can refine your communication strategy for maximum impact.
Assessing target market alignment: Understanding your target market is crucial for successful marketing. A marketing audit examines whether your current marketing efforts align with your target audience’s preferences, needs, and aspirations. By assessing what you are doing now we can help you refine your strategies to better connect with your ideal customers, driving higher engagement and conversion rates.
Optimizing marketing channels: In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses utilise numerous marketing channels, from your website, social media, to email campaigns and content marketing. A marketing audit assesses the effectiveness of your current channels and how they connect you to your target market. There’s no point in spending hours on Facebook content if your customers aren’t there. Equally if you’re investing in attending an event, then are your other channels strategically aligned to maximise exposure? By reviewing and allocating resources strategically it’s possible to leverage the proper channels, maximize your reach and improve your return on investment (ROI).
Reviewing marketing assets: Your marketing collateral, such as websites, brochures, ads, and videos, represent your brand visually and verbally. A marketing audit evaluates these assets’ quality, consistency, and relevance, ensuring they align with your brand identity and effectively convey your message. This review helps identify outdated or ineffective materials which need to be refreshed or replaced to maintain a strong brand presence. Equally it can identify gaps in your toolkit.
Identifying growth opportunities: by taking a step back and taking a clear look at what you’re doing, it’s also possible to see where there are gaps in your marketing strategy. It helps you see where you can expand your reach, penetrate new markets, or capitalize on emerging trends.
Fundamentally a marketing audit benchmarks your current efforts and gives everyone the insight needed to evolve and improve going forward.
They say knowledge is power and to us, at Project Neon, having this information about a client’s existing marketing efforts from the start, helps us add value and do our role more effectively. Since every company is different a rounded understanding lets us ensure the work, we do for a client is specific to their needs, not just based on generalisation.
What do you think a marketing audit on your company would tell you? We’ll leave you think on that…
If you want to grow your online audience, start by creating great content.
Straight forward enough? Not necessarily…
Creating great content can be both time and cost consuming – and that’s before you’ve even figured out what constitutes great content for your brand. A quick google will soon tell you there’s no shortage of answers.
Ultimately, ‘great’ content engages, entertains and/or educates your target audience (If you can do all three, you’re on to a winner).
For the purpose of this article, let’s fast forward a few steps: You’ve created your shiny new piece of content and it’s approved for publication. Let’s say you’ve produced a case study to highlight a particular product or area of expertise within your business. You post it on your website and share a link to it on your social media channels.
Job…done? Not so fast.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into creating your case study. Now it’s time to make the content work for you. Here’s how to turn one case study into multiple shareable content pieces.
Go through your case study and extract the most valuable insights. It can be key stats, numbers, facts – even half a dozen can make for an impactful infographic design. Use it to grab people’s attention on your social channels and direct them through to the full case study.
If your case study contains a quote or input from a happy customer/client; shout about it! It could be as simple as a graphic featuring the quote and their name/title or, time permitting, arrange to film 30 second video clip of them talking about your product/service.
Pro tip: If using a static graphic; include a headshot of the person attributed to the quote. Tag the person and their company in your LinkedIn post and encourage them to both share, like and comment on the post (the algorithm favours these interactions).
Create a video
A case study that is technical in nature, or perhaps describes a specific process/service, can benefit from a video or animation asset. It doesn’t need to capture everything; focusing on one aspect can be an effective way of introducing the product/service to your audience.
Pro tip: Boost your LinkedIn marketing – keep your video/animation to 30-60 seconds and where possible, add subtitles for optimal performance. Oh, and a square video format works best!
Create a deck
Distill your case study into a few slides and use it for your next client pitch, in-house presentation or annual review. That way you’ll always have a concise and presentable summary to hand should you need it.
Pro tip: Save your PowerPoint file as a PDF and feature it on a LinkedIn post. Why, we hear you ask? Because the LinkedIn algorithm loves PDFs and will give your post a boost as a thank you.
Your infographic, customer testimonial, video or animation can all be used to support audience growth through paid social media advertising. Take LinkedIn for example; there are options to suit all budgets. Select your target audience/region input the length of the campaign. You’ll be presented with a list of prices and the results they’ll deliver – then simply adjust your spend upwards and downwards until you find a budget vs reach that suits you.
Could your case study lend itself to a feature in a trade publication? Utilize any media contacts you have in order to reach a wider audience. You’ll also boost your own SEO by having your content feature on the website of a reputable publication.
Send an email
Email marketing is an excellent content distribution tool – so don’t forget to hit send! Share your case study with your database in the first instance. You can also maintain a steady stream of clicks by updating your email signature to feature a well-designed banner that links to the case study. Every little helps!
Create once, distribute forever
By re-purposing and distributing your content across a variety of channels, you can maximize its reach, engage a wider audience and ultimately improve your content marketing output. By turning it into multiple assets you’ll also extend the lifespan of the content, enabling you to spread it out across monthly and annual content plans.
Events serve as a powerful opportunity to raise brand awareness and increase visibility. By attending relevant industry events, B2B businesses can position themselves as thought leaders and industry experts, boosting their credibility. Whether it is a trade show, conference, or product launch, events enable your businesses to highlight your service offerings in an immersive environment, allowing attendees to experience the brand firsthand.
Furthermore, events attract a diverse range of attendees, providing businesses with the opportunity to tap into new markets, reach potential customers, and generate leads. When executed effectively, event marketing can create a buzz around a brand, spreading awareness through word-of-mouth and social media.
But preparing for a B2B event involves more than the stand logistics and event day itself. To maximise your attendance, it’s critical to take proactive steps to help ensure that your business achieves a higher return on investment (ROI).
When planning your event, here’re some actions to consider, to maximise brand awareness.
Harness social media
Use your company social media channels to promote your event attendance. Inform your network about the event and provide booth location details. Actively engage and comment on social media posts. Leave genuine and thoughtful remarks to increase visibility by asking questions, sharing insights, and tagging others.
Pro tip: Look for the official event hashtag and use it. Usually, you can find them on the organizer’s website or social media. By using the event hashtag, you will ensure that your post will be at the heart of the conversation around the event, allowing you to interact with like-minded attendees. Boost your reach!
Multi-channel event communication
Add a page to your website, share an event email signature banner for staff to use in the weeks preceding the event, issue an email update to key clients. There are multiple communication channels which you can plan to activate in the weeks before the event to share details of your stand.
Sharing relevant case studies adds credibility and generates interest in the services. Have some case studies ready to share in the weeks before the event so that you have up to date discussion points with attendees. These success stories can also be displayed on screens at your booth.
Press and media
It’s not unusual for members of the industry or local press to attend key events. Do you have a news item you could share, or could you arrange an interview with a journalist and senior member of your team? Events are a good time to enhance your media relations and make announcements.
Demonstrations and Presentations
Providing attendees with a firsthand experience allows them to understand better what you have to offer, making your brand more memorable. Whether it’s showing your product on screen on physically, people love to witness the real thing.
We are all visual beings who learn from watching. Have high impact visuals or video content on your stand. But don’t forget to order the infrastructure to support the demonstrations. Nothing is worse than trying to do a live demo with a bad exhibition Wi-Fi connection!
Pro Tip: If your product is too large for a stand, then consider a 3D model. If a dedicated screen is unavailable, then grab an iPad which your booth staff can use in their interactions.
At events you’re aiming to attract people onto the stand and encourage them to engage. As a result, consider ways in which you could do that – scheduled presentations, interactive quizzes, or even just coffee. It’s all about building a brand experience so where possible make it relevant to your brand.
The trend for having printed collateral on stands has shifted due to the environmental impact and lack of desire to carry them about / retain paper. However, marketing collateral can be a useful conversation or sales tool. So, consider having a limited number on stand for your teams to use and add QR codes so visitors can access a digital version if they want to retain the content.
Lead capturing and follow up
You are aiming to build a brand connection and follow up communications is a key part of that. Make sure that a pile of business cards doesn’t end up at the bottom of someone’s bag and nothing is done with them. Agree on how your team will capture stand visitor contact details and communicate with them after the event. A “thank you for visiting our booth” email after the show means that your brand will be brought back to front of mind once that person is back at their desk.
In a digital age characterized by virtual connections, physical events present unique opportunities for businesses to build connections, strengthen brands, and drive growth. By leveraging events, businesses can forge meaningful relationships, strengthen their brand, and pave the way for long-term success. However, to maximize the ROI of your event, it’s critical to start preparing in advance and consider all the ways to maximise brand awareness at the event.
In an increasingly digital world, where virtual interactions dominate our daily lives, the value of face-to-face connections cannot be underestimated. With its ability to bring people together in a shared space, events are powerful opportunities for us all to engage, create memorable experiences and drive personal and professional growth.
Building Authentic Connections
Unlike traditional marketing channels, events provide you with good old fashioned ‘work the room’ opportunities. Events also attract a diverse range of attendees, providing you with the opportunity to meet a range of different contacts, not only to generate sales leads but to create wider opportunities.
When it comes to building authentic connections at an event, here are some suggestions to help facilitate interactions and get the most from your attendance:
Yes, it seems obvious, but the classic schoolboy error is to show up with no cards. Show that you are prepared and interested in maintaining a connection beyond the event with professionally designed and branded cards.
Pro Tip:Embrace the shift from paper business cards to digital. With digital business cards, you instantly share your contact information. Tap your card against a smartphone and share your contact details. It can act as an ice breaker or as a memorable way to bring your conversation to a close. Check out TAPiTAG.
Research and Familiarize
Take the time to research and understand the companies who are attending and the services they offer. This knowledge allows you to identify potential partnerships or check in with better-known competitors. Create a plan for who you want to speak to and consider getting in touch before the event, to get some pre-agreed meetings in the diary.
Harness Social Media
Make sure people know you are going to be there. Share your attendance on your personal LinkedIn page and if you’re only there for a limited time then make that clear.
Pro Tip: Look for the official event hashtag and use it. Usually, you can find them on the organizer’s website or social media. By using the event hashtag, you will ensure that your post will be at the heart of the conversation around the event, allowing you to interact with like-minded attendees. Boost your reach!
Not everyone is confident to dive straight into conversations. Prepare some industry questions to help you initiate conversations. Engaging conversation starters can help break the ice and foster deeper discussions. Alternatively, kick-off by asking them to tap your new digital business card on their phone!
Show your expertise
Before the event, demonstrate your expertise by providing value. Share relevant content such as blogs, reviews, interviews, or industry podcasts highlighting your knowledge and making it clear what people can talk to you about. By positioning yourself as a thought leader and sharing valuable insights, you establish credibility and generate interest.
if your company are exhibiting then be familiar with what’s being presented. Speak to the stand organisers and ensure you’re familiar with what your company are doing, and focusing on, at the show. If you work for a larger organisation, then see who is attending from other offices or locations and build your internal network as well as your external one.
Event marketing still presents a unique opportunity to build authentic connections in an increasingly digital landscape. By activating some of these suggestions you can untap the potential of event marketing and forge lasting connections that go beyond the event itself.