As the coronavirus outbreak continues to sweep across the globe and the number of infected persons climbs in Europe and, as of time of writing, particularly the United States, trade show cancellations climb with it. Food and beverage trade shows and exhibitions are no exception.
As the trade show marketing channel has been abruptly cut off, marketers are scrambling to find alternatives on which to spend their event budgets. Given the restraints on travel and the requirements for social distancing imposed by the coronavirus response, the obvious place to turn is online. As a result, particular attention is being paid to content marketing and digital conferencing.
What is content marketing?
It’s probably easier to explain by making clear at the outset what it is not.
Content marketing is not advertising.
Content marketing is not promoting directly a product or service.
The content we’re talking about is, broadly speaking, content that entertains, inspires, educates, and informs. It is useful information, presented in an easily accessible way to a company’s customers. (It may also be directed at staff and suppliers, but that's another discussion.)
The purpose of content marketing is to create, build and encourage deep-rooted, on-going relationships with customers by providing them with information they may find useful or even entertaining. For instance, if a company sells plumbing supplies, it could create a series of useful short videos on, say, How To Solve Common Plumbing Problems. In return for that investment the company gets increased brand loyalty because most people appreciate useful help given freely. So content can be anything that provides value, free of charge, to the target market.
How do you get the content out into the marketplace?
Ideally via a broad range of digital marketing tactics such as email, social media, SEO, and paid distribution (such as Google Ads). Obviously, the specific channels used should be tailored to a company’s target market.
TradeScope can help
Our expertise in the food and beverage industry is not limited to building relationships through trade shows and word of mouth. TradeScope also uses online marketing on behalf of its clients to generate demand and build brand loyalty. The coronavirus pandemic’s enforced closures of the trade show marketing channel has merely increased our focus on digital lead generation channels.
If you’d like to know more about TradeScope’s online marketing service, please contact Ted Horton here.