Blogs give you the power to organically engage your audience and demonstrate your expertise — making them particularly useful tools for trade show managers. Developing a consistently updated and SEO-friendly blog will engage your current audience and help boost future attendance.
1. Know your audience. You already intuitively know your attendees, but if you haven’t researched their online behavior — what sites they visit, when they’re most active online, what social media platforms they use and other important behaviors — you may not realize the full benefits of your blogging efforts. A thorough analysis of your audience behavior also gives you a snapshot of which topics interest them, what questions they have about your industry or product, and what trends will attract their attention. All of this data will drive your overall content strategy, making this first step crucial to getting the most value out of your blogging efforts. A good content strategy firm will have the tools to help you do this.
2. Know your keywords. Although you should never cater your writing solely to keywords (both Google and your audience will rightfully penalize you for it!), knowing which words attract viewers will help you organically build your audience while reaping the benefits of strong SEO. Many blogging platforms offer free plug-ins to track the optimal use of keywords.
3. Plan ahead. Before you start publishing blog posts, make a list of your areas of expertise, industry-related topics, questions you’ve had from past attendees, and key messages you would like to convey to future attendees. This list will be the basis of your content calendar. Although assigning dates to your posts helps you stay organized and more likely to post consistently, it’s also important to keep some flexibility so you can take advantage of current events and other issues that allow you to show off your expertise and boost traffic. We recommend using a spreadsheet (Excel works just fine) to plan the next six to eight weeks of posts.
4. Stay consistent. Call this the golden rule of blogging. Although publishing new content twice per week often yields the greatest SEO benefits, we recommend posting a minimum of once per week. Maintaining a consistent schedule lets your audience know when to expect new content, and you can build a bank of searchable articles that continue to work for you long after they’re written — like earning royalties from a well-written book. In this light, it always pays to ensure that your posts are well-researched, thoughtful and engaging.
5. Retarget your new found website traffic with registration or “apply to exhibit” ads on Facebook. These are most likely to convert for you.