Smartest way to reinvest COVID-impacted trade show budgets
COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn has caused trade shows to disappear from the marketing horizon. Yes – many shows have gone online, but a virtual booth just doesn’t require the same investment.What happens to trade show budgets and revenue expectations? In a recent survey of 200 industrial marketers who have had to cancel or adjust their trade show plans due to coronavirus, respondents said they will reallocate that budget to sales travel (13%), content creation (14%), and digital advertising (28%). Astonishingly, a majority of those surveyed - a full 46% - claimed that they will not reinvest those funds. Pity, because it just makes sense to quickly deploy unused trade show budgets across other marketing channels that hold great promise for concrete return on investment.
A PESO campaign can help fill the gaps. The PESO model fully integrates all four media channels – Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned.
- Paid media - Paying money to distribute content. Examples: sponsored content, social media ads, fan acquisition, paid publishing
- Earned media - Exchanging content for third-party validation. Examples: media/influencer/blogger relations, link building
- Shared media - Social networking, community- and partnership-building. Examples: social forums, user-generated content, reviews, content curation
- Owned media - Producing content for your website or blog to better control messaging. Examples: content marketing, videos, webinars, podcasts, employee/customer stories
The PESO model enables practitioners to maximize content; integrate, track, and adjust campaign activities; ensure that all media channels are working together toward building authority for your organization; look at efforts through these four lenses and see where one media type’s strengths can make up for another’s drawbacks. Moreover, PESO programs provide real and measurable outcomes in terms of increasing revenue and boosting customer lifetime value.
A profitable way to repurpose your tradeshow budget
Paid Media - Use excess trade show funds to invest in advertising or retargeting. Promote your creative, relevant, and engaging content via Facebook campaigns, sponsored Tweets, sponsored B2B ads on LinkedIn for acquisition and lead generation.
Lastly, take advantage of the fact that, in PESO, media channels can seamlessly overlap by paying to promote content in Earned channel activities such as affiliate programs, brand ambassador programs, sponsored content, or advertorials.
Earned Media - Successfully leveraging Earned media means more than sending out press releases and maintaining good media relationships. It means investing in generating thought leadership articles for later media placements, creating data-focused reports for general industry news, or building infographics to illustrate the latest trends in your industry.
Shared Media - How to earmark your content budget in social media? Be on the social media channels where your prospects and competitors already are and where topics relevant to your industry are already being discussed. Invest funds in social listening tools to learn which community sites are buzzing with conversations around topics and keywords relevant to your brand. Think about allocating funds to conduct audience surveys to know which social channels your prospects use and where they get their information online.
Shared media is all about engaging with your followers, so, it may be smart to invest in influencers - business, industry, and community leaders, and even employees who can perform some of the sharing duties. Products like Oktopost smooth the way for employee social sharing.
Owned Media - It takes a significant investment to create high-quality branded content that addresses each stage of the buyer’s journey, including pre- and post-sales. Owned media is where most customers will initially connect with your brand and is, therefore, the most important component of PESO.
The importance of working with an integrated communications agency
If all of this is beginning to sound very labor intensive – it is. This is why many choose to outsource PESO requirements. Just as the PESO model succeeds by integrating various media channels to deliver a cohesive message, working with an integrated communications agency - one that specializes in a holistic approach to multi-channel strategies - can ease the task of knowing how much of the budget to invest in which channel.