How to identify and organize your IFTD trade show attendees before the show starts

It doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows it exists. IFTD/ICAST are massive trade shows with lots of shiny doodads begging for attention and lots of qualified trade show attendees. Your success is heavily dependent on pre-event marketing. The more planning and work you do ahead of the show the more attention your product is going to get at the show.

Before we do any major marketing efforts we need to know who is going to be there. Here are some tips for identifying who will be at the show this year:

1) Use a CRM to organize your leads into personas

Prior to any touch points, we need a way to organize our contacts into a CRM. Hopefully, you’ve got a good CRM in place already. If not, we use and love the HubSpot sales CRM. Whichever CRM you use it should do the following:

1. Segment your audience into personas or segments.

The segments you’d probably want to target for IFTD are:

  • Flyshops
  • Manufacturers
  • Buyers
  • Blog/Media
  • Ambassadors

The big reason we need to segment our audience is so that we can send different content to different audiences. Stat after stat shows the power of personalization on email opens and click-throughs . For example, the tone and content of an email to an Instagram ambassador are going to be different than an email to a buyer from a fly shop.

2. Track your interactions automatically.

When sending emails or making calls during your pre-marketing phase, you need to keep a record of who you’ve talked to and when. Any good CRM should do this for you automatically.

2) Utilize your existing network

The simplest list to put together is your existing list of clients and contacts. You’re looking for present clients, prospects, and ambassadors. If your sales team has it’s own list of contact consolidate them into one central location.

Don’t start spraying emails to the attendee list. You need to cut it down and plug it into your persona list

3) Trade show attendee registration list

Your second audience is the trade show pre-show registration list. If you’ve never received this information from the show organizers, contact them about receiving or purchasing it. The registration list is an essential source of information for your pre-show marketing efforts.

It’s important not to blast out an email to all these registrations. You need to cut it down and plug it into your persona list above. This way you can deliver specific content to those that match your personas.

The hard way to find trade show attendees.

So far we’ve relied on existing resources to gather emails. The following two options require a little more legwork to identify attendees.

4) Use Social Media

Another creative way to identify trade show attendees is to monitor social media.

  • Search for hashtags on social networks. Popular tags in the past are #IFTD2016, #ICAST2016 etc.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn ( Angling Trade posts a lot of good info on the show)

5) Web Tracking tools

Use tools to monitor mentions on the web like the Moz Fresh Web Explorer. This tool will search the web over the last 4 weeks and look for mentions of the search terms like IFTD.

Once you’ve found a potential contact you will need to try and gather their email. If you can avoid sending an email to info@company.com or something similar. Also, contact forms are often black holes. If you need to find a real person, tools like Hunter.io are perfect for reaching out to small sites and one-person blogs.

Simply enter a site into the tool…

And you’ll get some of the emails associated with the domain. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a good starting point.
Putting the time and effort into your pre-marketing is essential in any trade show marketing plan. Hopefully, these tools and ideas can help you find success at this year’s IFTD show.


What’s so smart about a SMART Goal?

When we are in the Discover phase of a website build or a Growth Driven Design project one of the first things we do is try to discover a few S.M.A.R.T. Goals. S.M.A.R.T. Goals are critical for long-term marketing success.

A SMART goal stands for:

  • Specific – Your goal should be unambiguous and communicate what is expected, why it is important, who’s involved, where it is going to happen and which constraints are in place
  • Measurable – Your goal should have concrete criteria for measuring progress and reaching the goal
  • Attainable – Your goal should be realistic and possible for your team to reach
  • Relevant – Your goal should matter to your business and address a core initiative
  • Timely – You should have an expected date that you will reach the goal

not smart goal

A good set of SMART Goals helps us stay focused on specific tasks we need to complete to reach project milestones.

We looked at a bad SMART Goal above, here are a few good examples from recent projects we worked on:

  • Increase total number of online donors by 15 percent in six months 1,652 in 18 months
  • Double our user session duration from 1:07 (average of combined domains) to 2:14 in three months
  • Increase new and returning web visitors to site by 45 percent in five months- Target by end of May- 26,000 per month

Typically, marketers might have goals for Visits, Contacts, and Customers for the year, quarter, or month and the numbers are closely related to each other. We’ve found that focusing on one of these specific segments gives the clearest vision of success.

  • Visits – You should focus on visits if you are just getting started with your website, or if you already have good conversion rates for visits to leads and leads to customer, but need additional traffic to add some fuel to the fire
  • Contacts – You’ll want to focus on Contacts if you are satisfied with the amount of traffic to your content, but you are not getting enough leads for sales. This is the segment that most HubSpot users focus on
  • Customers – Focus on this If you are getting a healthy amount of traffic to your content, visitors are converting on forms, but the leads just aren’t ready to close into customers

Goals are an essential part of a marketer’s success. Marketing goals are like personal goals you set for yourself: Meeting them makes you feel on top of the world. Effective. Inspired. However, missing your goal by a few customers, contacts or visits can incite just the opposite.


3 Benefits of Growth Driven Design

Has this ever happened to you? You design and build a beautiful website, launch and watch the success roll in, for a month or two.  When month three and four roll around, you notice site performance is starting to collapse. Soon your site analytics are back to the same levels as before you started. What in the world is happening here? Your new site is failing and failing hard. Don’t feel bad, we see it happen all the time.

The traditional web design process has been broken for awhile now. We realized there was a problem years ago. As we watched cent sites suffer. While the process was good for Sage Lion Media we wanted to provide more value for our customers. Slowly we began shifting to more of a partner with our clients and our Growth Driven Design (GDD) process was defined. Over the years we started to notice 3 benefits of Growth Driven Design.

3 benefits of growth driven design

 

1) Minimize the risk of launching a new website.

A typical small business can expect to spend $15,000 to $50,000 on a new website. In traditional web design, this money is often paid before any measurements are taken on the effectiveness of the site. That’s just bad business.

A common misconception of traditional web design is that your site needs to have it all—and have it all perfect—as soon as you launch. But that kind of thinking is far from the truth.

The big boys (Facebook, Google, etc) know this. When they launch a new product, it’s hardly perfect, but they need you to use the new app or widget to understand what needs fine tuning. They don’t launch in a vacuum, and neither should you. We’ve pioneered a systematic approach that allows us to shorten the timeline for launching your site, so we can start to see the real-time impacts of our design at work. This means that our time to live is shorter. Why does this matter? Because once we’re live we can start collecting data on your users. What are they clicking on? Where are they leaving? Why aren’t they converting?

Once we know what’s working and what’s not working we can start the process of making it better.

2) Continuously improving is better than spending all your budget in one redesign.

Time is money, too, especially in a small business environment. Launching a new website often requires a substantial time commitment from staff and management over the course of up to six months. With everything on your plate right now, can you imagine taking all that on?

3 benefits of growth driven design

Getting to launch quickly so we can begin tracking also spreads the cost of a design over a few months. This allows you to see results while still under contract.

Web designers really don’t know for certain what is going to be effective for your product or service needs. Design decisions are typically based on hypothesis and experience, not data. And, traditionally, web designers are not around to follow up on the effectiveness of what they just built for you.

The truth is that without dedicated monthly effort, your site will suffer, or even fail completely, and the design process will eventually need to begin all over again.

3) Makes your business stronger

Growth-Driven Design is tightly integrated with marketing and sales. What you already know about your customers helps inform the improvements we make to your site, and as we learn about your site visitors, we share this information to help you improve upon your marketing and sales tactics.

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Selling Products on Facebook Live for your Outdoor Business

With the introduction of Facebook Live streams, all sorts of marketing opportunities have become available to businesses to get in front of our audiences. With that said, there are several ways we can utilize this feature to begin selling products on Facebook live. Whether you’re a local Fly shop selling products to anglers or a travel destination selling experiences, Facebook Live can be a great way to create personal connections with your clients and potential clients. Moving into 2017, let’s review some of the current trends for 2016.

Facebook-live-exampleFacebook users spend 3x more time watching a video if it is currently live versus a video that is no longer live.

Since users are spending more time watching these live videos, live videos have gotten a boost in Facebook’s algorithm. Ultimately that means if you want to reach more users with a quick important or personalized message, then utilizing Facebook Live might be the way to go. Using this feature, informing your audience of which products are on sale and giving them a quick video demonstration will reach more of your audience than a simple unboosted post. This increases your audience outreach without incurring any additional cost to you. Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach than other posts.

In 2015, Facebook video posts have increased by 94%

Although 2016 isn’t over yet, we can expect similar stats, if not greater, with the launch of Facebook Live Video. With an average of 8 billion video views a day, video is a great opportunity to reach new audiences outside of your local reach. If you run an online E-commerce store, then consider giving product demonstrations over Facebook Live to help convert potential customers into happy customers.

85% of Facebook Videos are being viewed without sound.

When creating a meaningful marketing campaign, understanding how your audience will interact with your assets is an integral part of creating an effective strategy. Facebook has found that by simply adding captions to your video, increases consumer retention time by 12%. So before you sit down and hit the live button, think about what happens to your video when you’re done with your live broadcast. When completing your live video, Facebook uploads the feed to your wall and videos section so consumers can still watch them later.

What if you’re not selling products on Facebook Live?

Thats ok! Let’s say you own a local Fly Shop and this weekend you have a celebrity fly tyer coming in. On the day of the event, you could provide value to your clients by possible recording a snippet of the presentation on Facebook Live. While it might not have any immediate benefits. Another possible use of Facebook Live is to share Guide Trip experiences with your audience. This would be a great way to really illustrate what kind of experience people will be getting when they chose to book a guided trip through your shop.


Growth Driven Design- What’s wrong with traditional web design?

We’ve been doing traditional web design for almost 8 years now. In that time a common theme has continuously repeated itself. A potential client usually has one of these four problems with their website:

  • Our website is broken, features that used to work no longer function.
  • We haven’t updated our website in years, we’re too busy.
  • We need (insert hot new feature here), because everyone else has it.
  • Nobody can find us on Search engines.

These problems are endemic to the current web-design cycle that is prevalent in the industry.

Traditional Web Design Process is built around a redesigned website every 1.5 to 2 years. The site sees modest growth after relaunch then stagnate while waiting for the next cycle to begin.

The other problem with traditional web design is search engines reward sites that provide consistent content updates. If you haven’t made a blog post in six months, that’s going to hurt your rankings. Or if you’re creating content that is not being shared maybe you’re talking to the wrong people.

In addition to creating a website that it woefully out of date and ineffective in building an engaged client base, traditional web design is incredibly risky.

Traditional web design suffers from the following risks:

Significant up-front costs
A typical small business can expect to spend $15,000 to $50,000 on a new website. In traditional web design, this money is often paid before any measurements are taken on the effectiveness of the site. That’s just bad business.

Significant time commitment
Time is money, too, especially in a small business environment. Launching a new website often requires a substantial time commitment from staff and management over the course of up to six months. With everything on your plate right now, can you imagine taking all that on?

No follow-through
It’s six months after the launch of your site. You’ve spent thousands of dollars in design fees. You’ve spent dozens of hours away from running your business. The website looks great. But, does it meet your goals? Some parts of the site, probably. EVERYTHING? No way.

Web designers really don’t know for certain what is going to be effective for your unique product or service needs. Design decisions are typically based on hypothesis and experience, not data. And, traditionally, web designers are not around to follow up on the effectiveness of what they just built for you.

Growth Driven Design can help you take back your site.

I hesitate to say traditional web design is broken, but it’s seriously flawed. Luckily there is a better way. Using Growth Driven Design principles we create a launchpad site that allows us to collect data on users. We use that data to refine the site over time. So instead of a huge upfront cost for a site that provides temporary success, we become a partner with you and grow a successful site based on data, not guesswork.

If you want to learn more be sure to download our Growth Driven Design ebook. It goes into extensive detail on the process and benefits of the system.

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