irectories present a moment that’s golden to marketers: You’re in front of the eyes of someone actively searching for solution providers. For PACK EXPO Connects, we’ve provided tips for standing out in the live demo listings and we’ve talked about how products can be a great vehicle for being found. But what about your virtual showroom itself? To stand out from competitors when attendees are browsing the exhibitor listings, the key is to write your “about the company” description in a way that entices people to click. In particular, the first thirty or so words of this section are what show up in the summary listings when attendees are searching and browsing exhibitor listings. They will make or break you as far as someone deciding to click.
Consider the following tips:
1. Put the user first.
It may be tempting to want to describe your company’s mission or discuss its history, but now is not the time. Instead, keep the reader’s immediate interests in mind. Most prospects will be skimming listings and determining which suppliers to visit based on three criteria:
• Type of product you manufacture
• Type of application
• Supplier’s experience with their particular industry or use case
• Supplier’s ability to meet most pressing pain point(s), such as speed or accuracy
With this in mind, you’ll want to use the precious space of your listing to highlight equipment or material you’ll be exhibiting, the most important industries you serve and any points of relevance to the category that would differentiate from others in the product category (i.e., sanitary, high-speed, horizontal [versus vertical] wrapping, etc.).
Tip! It may be tempting to list every type of industry you work with, but with such space constraints in a listing, keep it focused on those that are the most common for you to do business with or that are more general in nature, so “beverage” or “soft drinks” but perhaps not mentioning “energy drinks” if that’s a minimal percentage of those whom you actually serve. (And many energy drink producers will recognize themselves in a “beverage” reference without the need for narrowing anyway.)
2. Focus on what’s special.
Anyone can go to a website. What makes presence at virtual events far more appealing to prospects is the opportunity for real engagement and access to exclusive or new content. As such, be sure to reference anything “special” happening at the event: live demos, the ability for Q&A with any technical staff, any show-related discounts, any products making their debut, special case studies you may be sharing, etc.
3. Strategize keywords.
Event attendees sometimes may choose to search by relevant keyword as opposed to skimming by category type or supplier name. Therefore, it’s helpful to load your listing with all of the keywords most relevant to your business. So even though you make reference to “sanitary,” in your description, you may also find it beneficial to include terms like “wash-down or “hygienic.”
4. Get specific.
Stay clear of meaningless marketing speak, such as describing yourself as “a state-of-the-art solution-provider revolutionizing the industry.” Those searching listings won’t take the time to sort through what that means—they’re mostly concerned about the three bulleted areas referenced earlier. A company that describes itself being “an expert in high-speed bottling and capping for the beer and soft drink industry, demonstrating the XYZ capper that reduces product loss by 10 percent” will be far more compelling.
5. Lead with education whenever you can.
Sales pitches have their rightful place. But what really grabs attendees’ attention is the opportunity to learn something new from an exhibitor. Be sure to highlight any live demos or other opportunities you may have to offer tips, share latest trends or prevent users from missteps. Everyone wants to be better at their job, and exhibitors can stand out from their competitors by highlighting ways they have the expertise to help attendees the most.
6. Let format guide you.
Word counts are important. Take a generous stab at what you want to say and then tighten. It may take a few tries, but you’ll end up with something stronger that uses space more effectively than if you simply paste a standard company description or quickly go with the first thought that comes to mind.