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Sarmistha Tarafder's Articles

Integrate Instagram and Boost Brand Buzz For Your
Trade Show Marketing 



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Given that an average American attention span in 2013 was around 8 seconds long; it is no wonder that Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with over 200 million users. (source: Techcruch) Of course, beautiful filters contribute to much of its' success, but, you can also create stunning images and videos and share it across other social channels with the click of your finger (well not really, they just market it that way).Nonetheless, Instagram has been hugely successful in encouraging brand interaction and spreading brand awareness. Use it as a power tool for your brand marketing. For example, fans were encouraged to post photos to instagram or Twitter using the hashtag Indy500orBust for a chance to win the ultimate Indy500 experience. More than 11,000 photos were shared starting from the campaign launch in January with the grand culmination of 52,700,00 photos on the week-end of the race in May. Talk about a massive build-up of brand awareness and brand engagement prior to the launch of the event. And, if you care to know, because the buzz that this event generated, Indy 500 gained 4,100 new Instagram and Twitter fans. Let's see how we can incorporate the same philosophy for your trade show marketing.

Evangelize with the Event Hashtag

Find out the event hashtag before attending or establish one if you are hosting. Tag your photos and your updates accordingly. Do a search on your prospects using the hastag stream. Dangle an offer. Ask them to visit your booth. Interact with them and engage them in your space when they do visit you. Take photos and videos, upload them using the hashtag stream and start building a lead nurturing process. As always, get beyond "did this company make a slightly better product" to the more resonant, meaningful question: Did this brand actually impact your life in a tangible, lasting, and positive way?" Always remember,  technology is only a means to attain your goal. And your goal is to extend the reach of your brand and impact the lives of your audience in meaningful way.

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Celebrate your event with geo-tags

Geo-tags link photos back to a specific place -- if you click on a geo-tag, you can see both a map and all other photos taken in that place. Unlike a hashtag, these geo-tags are easier for Instagram users to remember and activate -- so they're a great place for you to monitor and post. Create custom locations using geo-tags and link your "Booth Number" or “Main Lobby” so attendees will know exactly where to find you.

Tag your photos with the venue name and click to like, comment and share other exhibitors' photos. (The other exhibitors might be your competitors, but you are in a social setting so why not extend your social graces.) Remember, sharing is the new currency. It is a great way to spread the buzz of your brand and interact with other exhibitors and attendees.
 

Passively Power Your Database as you Incite Interaction

Create a landing page on your website. This landing page is specific to the event that you are attending or hosting. Before the event, use the social channels to highlight this link and mention why the attendees should visit your booth space. This page is the hub for all the interactions. During the event, "paste that landing page URL into the website area of your Instagram profile -- not in individual photos." People directed towards this link gets taken to your website, and then fill out a form on your landing page to add themselves to your database. Learn more on how to create a landing page.

Oppurtunity Favors the Most Prepared
 

"Because half of the human brain is devoted directly or indirectly to vision," visuals are the best performing darlings of social media. Instagram aids you in posting your pictures on other social channels. However, it is not as simple as selecting the social networks and then you you push your photos. Hubspot offers some valuable tricks in publishing photos painlessly across the different platforms.
 

Photos sent from Instagram to Twitter attach as a link rather than showing the photo preview automatically and have a lower engagement rate. However, you can hack your Instagram by setting up a Zap on Zapier or IFTTT recipe to push your Instagram photos automatically to post as Twitter photo previews.

Sharing to a Facebook Page rather than an individual profile takes one extra step, too. Here's how to do it.

Prepare yourself with these know hows to maximize your opportunity at the event.
 

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Engage to Encourage Interaction
 

Be clear on the goals. Why are you exhibiting at a particluar trade show? Based on this 'why' your level of engagement will vary with your clients, prospects and partners. Depending on the depth of participation you might explore some of these ideas to run a contest. Why? Because, contest gets people engaged unless it has too many entry barriers. 
 

Before the show:
Take a well composed photograph of the item that you are giving away and be sure to include your logo. Your hashtag should look somthing like this. #itemgiveaway.
Ask followers to like, retweet, and follow your account for a chance to win.

For a more participatory brand engagement you might ask followers to create images of their own, which shows deeper brand engagement. For example, "Madewell...asked users to show how they use their Madewell tote bags with the accompanying hashtag #totewell. The best photos got a $1,000 shopping spree!"

At the show:
Encourage attendees to take photos at your booth with your staff, mascot or graphics and award the person with the most likes a grand prize. "You can monitor entries by refreshing the contest hashtag."

Whatever kind of contest you run, make sure that the prize can be picked up only at your booth within a set time and date.

Now, with all the buzz with Hyperlapse, a novelty that you should definitely make use of, engaging your followers might just be more fun and a bit easier. According to Simply Measured, a couple of examples worth exploring:

  • Create a campaign hashtag and come up with a cross-channel challenge publicized on Facebook and Instagram. Ask followers to upload their own Hyperlapse videos using your chosen hashtag to one of those two channels. Then, measure that hashtag and the activity around your accounts to see if you’re on the right track.

Have the grit to mix and match content if you are using this strategy. Moreover, search Instagram with #Hyperlapse to see how other brands are leveraging this app.

"If you do test out Hyperlapse videos for your company, make sure to include #hyperlapse, as there is a lot of curiosity around the app now, making the content highly discoverable."

Reurpose, Reuse and Promote

After the event, find a way to repurpose the Instagram posts on your website. You may want to add the Instagram feed as a slide show on your website or you might want to round-up some of the images taken at the event formulate a great great blog post. Use Instagram posts to keep in touch with your hot prospects and integrate them as a part of your lead nurturing campaign.

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Added Bonus: Here are some iOS video and photo apps for use with Instagram that might give your image that bit of an added finesse to gain that many more likes. Enjoy!

InstaQuote: Create beautiful text pictures for Instagram.
Over: Add text and art work to photos
Camera+: "Adds pro-camera crispness to almost any shot.”
Cropic: Move, rotate, scale, or flip the photo. You may also change the background of the photo with tons of color and beautiful pattern.
PicPlayPost: Video and Photo editing tool that offers a full suite of customization options to inspire story telling through captivating video collages.
Diptic: "A simple, elegant way to use pictures to tell your story."
LetterGlow: Create beautiful designs with text and art work
Fragment: Unleash your inner artist and choose from a collage of inspired frames, shapes and patterns.

Here is a great guide to Instagram Measurement from Simply Measured that is quite handy for a brand that wants to develop a solid Instagram Strategy. Good Luck!
 
 

© 2014 by Sarmistha Tarafder