The SpringFair16 proved to be the ideal setting to do some digital marketing research into the gift industry, as you would expect!

We went stall to stall and interviewed some of the great exhibitors on their digital marketing strategies. It was the perfect opportunity to meet some interesting entrepreneurs and also drill into what matters to them when it comes to digital marketing. Given that their main focus is to sell products to interested retailers visiting #SpringFair16 we kept our interrogation brief and asked them two simple questions:

1. What is your number 1 digital marketing medium out of the following?

  • Social media
  • PPC
  • Email Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • SEO

2. What is your most used social media platform?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter Vine
  • Periscope
  • Google+
  • Tumblr

Let’s take a look at the results and then we can see where businesses may well be missing out on a less competitive angle to their digital marketing.

So in answer to question 1 these are the results exhibitors gave us at this years Spring Fair 2016:

Digital Marketing strands used by exhibitors

And in answer to the second question on what social media platform most exhibitors use?

most used social media platforms in pie chart format

First of all it was great to see that so many businesses are using Instagram. It is a very visual platform to promote your products and linking them to relevant hashtags mean that you are putting them in front of an interested audience. It is also free so all it costs you is your time and some clever product placement and hashtag usage.

In terms of digital marketing mediums it is no surprise that email marketing and social media top the pack in a huge way. Of course, there is a big argument that essentially what both of those are is a means to promote content and the strength of your email campaign and social media campaigns comes down to how strong your content is. Of course I would say that because I am a content marketing manager but without content what would any digital marketing channel be promoting/ syndicating/ offering their audience?

Many of the companies were clear on the fact that they use other channels as well as the ones selected and very few only use one strand. A multi-channel approach is of course the best one – but only 20% that we asked actually use analytics to measure their campaigns.

20% is a very low percentage given that measuring what you post and email is ultimately how you secure a reasonable Return On Investment (ROI). The other powerful message here is that if you competitors are all championing Facebook and Instagram then maybe you will be more traction with your campaigns over YouTube, Pinterest and even Google+. There are millions of users across all of these platforms, billions in YouTube’s case so finding your target audience on those may give you an edge in a saturated landscape.

Ask yourselves these questions to measure you own strategy:

Are you getting traction and interaction on your social media posts?

Do you get a decent open and click through rate on your emails?

Have you tried every social media platform or settled for the ones you know best?

Do you broadcast (just put content up for content sake) or do you step back and ask yourself if you would be interested in your memes, your emails, and your blogs? (A little self-critique goes a long way)

Do you have an optimised website – are search engines directing people to your key category pages?

Are you creative, interesting, fun, dramatic or interactive?

The answers to these questions all have a bearing on how effective your marketing campaign really is and there is simply no point creating content and pushing it on people if they are never going to engage with it. Sometimes, we are in such a rush to get something on Facebook that we forget to stop and look at how well it performs. Those key performance indicators are black and white for social media:

  • likes
  • comments
  • shares
  • impressions

If they do not interact with it then you wasted time creating it!

Just a short post from us today written in the heart if the SpringFair16 on how effective exhibitors digital marketing strategies are and hopefully making you step back from your own and ask a few questions in terms of KPIs and ROI. They are annoying buzz words I know but ignore them and effectively you may as well be writing and posting your marketing campaigns to yourself!

We met some great people here and would like to showcase a few of our favourites on Twitter who also participated in our research above, massive thank you to them!

If you dropped by the stand to see the team and would like some help with your digital marketing campaign then book your free consultation with Neil or Richard: 01427 619508.