What happens when you gather hundreds of the top leaders, innovators, marketers, and lead generators in the industry under one roof? You get a really successful trade show. When that roof is in New York City? Well, there’s no doubt the show will be fun, too. LeadsCon New York took place August 22-24 at the New York Hilton and our social advertising company was super excited to be one of the 120 exhibitors. Six members of our team took a quick trip to the east coast and came home with some pretty important takeaways. Here’s our top ten:
1. Social is the next great lead generation channel.
As an advertiser, if you’re not already marketing on social, you know you should be. Several potential partners made their way to our booth simply because they read the LeadsCon exhibitor list and saw that we were the ones that specialized in social advertising. “I know I need to talk to you,” said one advertiser in the insurance space. And talk we did – not only about his current marketing efforts, but how we could help amplify them with social. Social channels have all the capabilities you need to drive direct response outcomes: targeted reach at scale, the ability to tune offers and experiences by segmented/ad group, and robust conversion optimization levers.
2. Many advertisers struggle to make social advertising profitable.
With all of these features, it’s no surprise that social media advertising budgets are on the rise. According to a recent article in Advertising Age, however, “marketers are having a hard time proving the return on investment on this channel.” This same issue often came up during our interactions with LeadsCon attendees. In an effort to “get in the social game,” they allocated money to social campaigns, but found they did not end up having the intel or resources to make those campaigns profitable. Social is a form of advertising that is constantly evolving and requires a dedicated team that is knowledgeable of its intricacies and potential.
3. Social Media Marketing is more than just having a Facebook Page.
What we often learn from social “newbies” is that they are still learning the full scope of what it means to advertise on social media. Yes, a Facebook Page is a great step to get started, but then it’s time to take it up a few notches. Within Facebook, creating a strategic paid campaign coupled with consistent management of your page and community is one of the best ways to spread your message, reach the right people, and promote word of mouth sharing. And let’s not forget about the benefits of marketing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest…
4. Your Grandma’s on Facebook!
That’s right. We know this, but did you know this? We spoke to so many advertisers at LeadsCon who are looking to target a very specific audience: The Baby Boomer/Senior audience. They represented lead gen verticals from Insurance to Reverse Mortgage to Walk-in Tubs…and they left our booth pretty excited. Social advertising is a top solution to help these advertisers reach their customer base. As of January 2015, over 19 million Baby Boomers were on Facebook alone – and that number continues to climb.
5. It’s all about quality over quantity.
If there was one thing we heard again and again at LeadsCon, it was: “We are having issues obtaining quality leads.” We hear you, and that’s why we love social! How do we reach your very specific audience? Targeting, targeting, targeting. With Facebook specifically, the potential for creating hyper-targeted audiences is endless due to the platform’s robust targeting capabilities.
6. There are many perks to exhibiting at a trade show.
Investing in a booth at LeadsCon was definitely a good choice for our company. Exhibiting is more than just having a home base to hang out – it gives you a set place within a chaotic environment to meet and interact with potential clients. We were able to schedule appointments with attendees well in advance of the show, as well as create impromptu yet comfortable meetings right on the spot. What’s more, exhibiting gets your name out there. Our company information was included in all of the LeadsCon collateral, so, like I described in #1, attendees were able to seek us out based on their needs. From there, the ball was in our court to see if a partnership could be formed.
7. Not everyone is a fit, and that’s okay.
Another benefit of instant one-on-one meetings is that you’re able to qualify a potential client (and vice versa) pretty quickly. If it’s a go, then you keep talking and make plans for follow-up. If it’s not a go, then everyone moves on their way to hopefully find something that is. Preparing for LeadsCon really helped us identify our ideal client, which, in turn, helped us during the show to identify those that were not a good fit. Making that determination quickly is not only okay, it’s also beneficial so that both parties can get the most out of the show.
8. We’re in a really awesome industry.
Bottom line, marketers and advertisers are FUN. And, not surprisingly, we’re social. The show provided so many opportunities for everyone to just mingle and network…and sip a cocktail or two. There was a Pub Crawl at the Opening Event, Cocktails around LeadsCon at the Closing Event, and a Kick-Off Networking Party in between. It was awesome to get to know potential partners and industry experts in such a fun and casual environment.
9. Team time outside of the office is a necessity.
In addition to learning more about how to achieve our business objectives, we also learned a little more about our team members. For example, right off the bat, we learned that LeadsCon was Walter’s first trip to New York. So we “teamed up” and made sure he saw the sights. We directed him to Times Square, led him through the subway tunnels, and hopped with him on the Staten Island Ferry to take a trip past Lady Liberty herself! It’s experiences like these that help bond a team further and make you feel even more grateful on the plane ride home.
10. Street meat is still a thing.
Everyone has at least one thing they need to do whenever they visit NYC. As a native New Yorker now living in California, the top of my list is always to get a real slice of pizza. Others may opt for a stroll in the Park or window shopping on Fifth Avenue. Our O&O General Manager, Johnny, went straight for the gold: the Halal truck parked outside our hotel.
Getting involved and interacting with others in our industry is mandatory. There is so much we can learn from each other and so many ways we can work together to create success. One of our company’s core values is to “Always Be Learning,” a value that brought us to New York and will also be bringing us to Vegas! That’s right, we’re exhibiting once again – this time at LeadsCon Las Vegas 2016 from March 15 – 17. We highly recommend this show to anyone looking to help their company grow revenue, and we’d love to meet with you.
– Registration for LeadsCon Las Vegas hasn’t begun yet – sign up here to be notified when it does.
– To schedule a meeting with us at the show, or to simply discuss ways we can help your business generate leads and customers on social, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images 1&2 by LeadsCon
Written by Natalie Bergen