Want to hold onto contacts from trade shows? Make sure you have a content marketing strategy in place to supplement your real-world efforts.

You can accumulate business leads through content marketing without any face-to-face meetings. That being said, actually speaking with contacts, prospects and commercial partners can be a huge boon to B2B relationships. Recent research indicates custom content published in tandem with regular trade show attendance can really help brand break away from the pack.

Software Advice studied the value of leads from different sources for B2B organizations. It turns out trade shows and other industry events produced the most “excellent” leads (41 percent). That topped other sources, such as in-house email marketing (37 percent) and paid search (24 percent).

Translating digital meetings into real-world sales

There’s no question trade shows are going to net a lot of important contacts, but it doesn’t mean a handshake at an industry confab is going to seal any deal. You can be sure the first thing a new business colleague is going to do once they leave the convention center floor is take a look at your website and social profile.

Want to learn how to prepare for a trade show?
this guide to get the most out of web marketing and industry event attendance.

That’s why content marketing is so essential for nurturing and maintaining real-life relationships. Trade show wins are only as good as the existing marketing plans they supplement, particularly when it comes to thought leadership.

One of our clients, which operates in the legal industry, wanted to demonstrate that it was an industry leader and knowledgeable on a range of subjects important to leads and prospects. To accomplish this goal we implemented a strategy that included:

 In-depth blogs bylined by actual lawyers at the firm
 Timely news articles about related industry developments
 Site content that wasn’t filled with jargon, in order to make it accessible to non-experts

The results included a 550 percent higher conversion influence, meaning content was responsible for many more form fills, emails and phone calls.

With detailed and relevant content, written by real people a trade show attendees might meet and basic language that explains complex subjects to both insiders and outsiders to a niche industry, it’s possible to nurture real-life contacts to become a major part of the conversions and sales deals B2Bs want to close.

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.