Commentary

5 Mistakes Marketers Make With Influencers At Trade Shows

Trade show season is ramping up once again. It’s time for thousands of brands to gather and show off their products to buyers, media and influencers.  

Somewhere in the midst of all the booths, product demonstrations, and overpriced wraps, there will be a disconnect between marketers and mom influencers — and possibly other kinds of influencers as well.

Here’s a list of five mistakes brands commit at industry trade shows and how to avoid making them yourself.  

Brands don’t know the name of invited influencers or the opportunities they present. This happens way too often. The influencer arrives at the brand’s booth for her pre-scheduled appointment and is met by a young public relationship professional who has no idea who she is or who she represents. The relationship dies before it even began.   

Avoid this mistake by taking the time to know who is coming to your booth and give them the attention they deserve for promoting your product for free.  

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There’s no way for the influencer to share from the brand’s booth.  The brand has no hashtag for the mom Influencer to use when she’s sharing product images on social media. Even worse is when the influencer asks about the brand’s social media channels so she can tag the brand or product — and the brand representative doesn’t know them.

Make it easy for the influencer to share.   Post your social handles around the booth and encourage influencers to use the event’s official hashtag to gain industry visibility.  Display your products so that they are Insta-worthy.  

No one from the brand who can speak about their products is present at the booth.   Nothing can be worse than having an influencer scheduled to be at your booth at a time when there’s no one  there to speak to her about your products.  Influencers are busy professionals who chose to accept your invitation because they believe their followers will find your products interesting.  

Be respectful and appreciative of the Influencer’s time and show up as they have.  

Talk over, around, and above the influencer.  You are mid-sentence with a group of mom influencers in your booth, and suddenly you see a retailer you’ve wanted to meet.  There are many graceful ways to manage the situation.  Continuing your product tour without eye contact is not one of them.  

Use professionalism to explain the situation, engage the help with a co-worker, and respectfully excuse yourself for a moment.  

The brand isn’t ready to answer the most frequently asked question: “How can we work together?”  You’ve opened the door of engagement with influencesrs because they bring value to your brand, but the most successful partnerships offer reciprocal benefits.  The mom influencer would like to know what’s in it for her as well.

Be prepared to answer how you intend to maintain the relationship or describe future opportunities to work together.

The winds of change are blowing in the world of marketing to moms with the emergence of the Gen Z mom. It’s a great time to reevaluate your approach to engaging mom influencers while there’s still time to make adjustments that will maximize your ROI on this year’s trade show season

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