Want a digital marketing campaign with a difference? The solution could be experiential marketing campaigns. Experiential marketing is a form of advertising that focuses on generating unique experiences for customers - the type that people flood their Instagram feed with and talk to their friends and family about.
Experiential campaigns offer brands an authentic way to interact with their customers in today's marketplace, where consumers are increasingly focused on an emotional connection with their favorite companies. Instead of simply sharing information about their brand or product on social media, experiential marketing asks companies to create a live opportunity for customers to interact with their brands. This experience prompts word-of-mouth marketing, and it's a great way to create brand affinity and brand loyalty.
Since about 49% of attendees at branded events create videos of what they see, it makes sense that experiential business marketing would be a great way to boost your marketing strategy and create some loyal brand ambassadors. The question is, how can companies invest in a better strategy for 2018?
1. Know Your Audience
If a company wants to see their products or brand plastered all over their customer's Instagram stories, then they need to start by figuring out what their audience is looking for. One of the most important aspects of any experiential campaign is making sure that the customer has the right experience. While this might seem obvious, a lot of businesses miss the mark because they focus on developing an event that they think is "cool", rather than looking at their buyer personas for a good indication of what their audience might like.
For an experiential campaign to be truly successful, companies need to start their planning phase by talking to their sales and marketing staff and building an effective user persona. For instance, if you were an extreme sports company, you might look at social media campaigns like the ones created by Red Bull for inspiration. Red bull has a great example of experiential marketing to learn from in their Stratos stunt with Felix Baumgartner.
2. Choose the Right Platforms for Promotion
There's a great deal of importance in choosing the right venue for an experiential marketing campaign. Not only do businesses need to choose the right place for their event to take place, but they also need to think carefully about where they're going to share details about the upcoming experience. Choosing the right marketing platform can mean the difference between a high quality experiential campaign, and a waste of marketing budget.
While a brand's existing event marketing campaigns or social media account might seem like some of the most obvious places to promote an upcoming campaign, and share details about a previous event, there may be other avenues to consider too. Don't forget to look into ezines, press companies, brands and influencers who might be willing to cover the event too. The more ways customers have to interact with the brand they're following, the better.
3. Make it Worth Sharing
For an experiential marketing campaign to be effective, it needs to drive word of mouth marketing. In other words, it needs to get people talking. This means that experiential campaigns need to be bold, exciting, and interesting. People like talking about things that are influential - from life-changing experiences, to trending topics in the news.
Companies that want to stand out will need to take calculated risks with their campaigns if they want to avoid getting lost in the see of Instagram post updates, blogs, and social shares that appear every day. This means making a brand-new marketing effort designed to ensure an unforgettable consumer experience.
As well as choosing an event that's worth sharing, it's also important for modern brands to make sure that it's easy for the largest number of followers to share their content as possible. A brand hashtag can be a great way to ensure that attendees at an event, and people viewing the experience after it happens have a great way to contribute to the buzz. Check out some of your competitors on social media for a great example of how to brand your messages.
4. Define KPIs and Methods of Measurement
As powerful as an experiential campaign can be, these strategies can require a great deal of focus, time, and effort. Planning and running an effective experiential marketing campaign takes a lot of focus, and organisations will need to think carefully about how they're going to measure the success of your branded experience.
For instance, a business might decide to track how many people come to your event and try on your virtual reality headset, before sharing your hashtag online. Or companies might decide to keep track of the results of their experiential campaigns, by checking how many new subscriptions they have to their newsletter, or how many conversions they get as a direct result of a tracked link from the event. The success of experiential marketing campaigns can show itself in a range of different ways, from an improved social following, to a better bottom line.
5. Remember to Connect the Online and Offline
Experiential campaigns naturally lend themselves very well to online promotion. When people have a great branded experience, they love telling other people about the things they've done and seen. If a company's experiential marketing effort makes the right impact, then it can help to expand awareness for their brand and improve profits too. Of course, organisations don't have to leave it to chance when they're hoping customers will share their branded hashtags and get involved with their campaigns.
There are countless ways that businesses can upgrade their experiential experiences by:
· Identifying and connecting with key influencers
· Creating a live videos or YouTube videos for their content strategy
· Creating competitions for those using branded hashtags
· Using social PPC as a type of content discovery
· Working with press companies to improve awareness of the event.
· Asking ambassadors to get involved in exchange for free gifts and prizes.
With social monitoring services, companies could even monitor the performance of their offline strategies on online platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Getting Involved with Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is a unique strategy for building brand awareness that comes in many different shapes and sizes. For companies to make the most of these solutions - they need to come up with unique ways to connect with their audience in a live format, by evaluating their user personas and designing interesting customer experiences.
In a world that's becoming increasing impersonal and digital, experiential marketing could be a company's opportunity to break the mold with their marketing and develop a stronger relationship with their target audience. However - like many things in the marketing world - it all starts with choosing the right strategy for success.