Marketing comes in many different shapes and sizes. Since the dawn of the online world, we’ve seen people interact with business marketing initiatives through everything from YouTube videos, to social media campaigns. However, digital marketing isn’t the only way to connect with your audience. In fact, one of the best ways to boost brand loyalty for an organization, is to take the marketing conversation offline with experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing campaigns are live events designed to educate, entertain, and inform customers. They create experiences where users are able to interact with the brand in person and discover what they’re all about. Used correctly, an experiential campaign gives companies a tangible way to connect with people and convince them to share their experiences with their friends and family.
As the digital world continues to evolve, experiential marketing transforms with it, introducing new concepts all the way from AI, to virtual reality. Of course, before any company jumps head-first into their new experiential campaign, it’s important to think about the benefits that these tactics can bring to a brand.
It Generates Unique Content
Content is an important component of any marketing strategy. Unfortunately, as the online world becomes more saturated, it’s growing increasingly difficult for today’s organizations to create brand experiences that resonate with their customers online. Fortunately, an experiential campaign gives firms countless ways to generate interesting and unique content to share on all their channels.
For instance, companies can launch live videos of their events on social media channels like Facebook live, or post podcasts on Apple’s iTunes. Attendees and PR teams can even write up interesting press releases about what happens during the campaign, leading the way for additional marketing materials. The more content a company can create as a result of their experiential marketing events, the easier it will be for that brand to supplement their existing SEO and digital advertising campaigns.
It Creates Authentic Interactions with Customers
Another great thing about experiential marketing, is that it leads to a stronger consumer experience for a brand’s target audience. Putting a product into a customer’s hands is always going to be one of the best ways to demonstrate the credibility and performance of an item. Experiential campaigns often include opportunities for clients to try products before they buy them – reducing the risk involved with investing in a new company.
When used correctly, an experiential campaign can also help to build an emotional connection between a brand and their target audience before the company launches a new product – improving the chances that the business will get customers the moment they go to market.
It Gets People Talking
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of experiential marketing, is that it helps to get people talking about a company. For instance, if a company was to create a unique experiential marketing event, then tie that campaign to a branded hashtag or social media sharing strategy, they could even create viral content that takes their brand reach to the next level. While social media can be a powerful tool on its own, it becomes particularly valuable when combined with experiential marketing.
Consumers love to be part of the next big thing – whether it’s taking part in a competition or taking a picture of themselves with a celebrity or trending product. For instance, a great example of event marketing with an experiential twist can be seen in the Stratos campaign by red bull. This social-media aired event followed Felix Baumgartner jumping through the stratosphere. Red Bull made it particularly easy for press companies to get involved with its branded experience, by hyping up the event before it happened.
It Develops a Stronger Relationship with an Audience
These days, consumers often interact with companies through digital media like social channels, websites, or email. While digital connections are often more convenient, they take something away from the customer experience, leaving customers craving a more personal connection.
With experiential marketing, brands have the opportunity to tap into face-to-face experiences with their target audience, giving them experiences that they’re not likely to forget. These experiential events ensure that customers have the chance to interact with their favorite brands directly and get to know what those businesses are all about.
In fact, if companies use their experiential campaigns to convey their mission and values to their customers, they can even transform standard customers into brand ambassadors. Research frequently shows that customers are more likely to feel loyal to a brand that shares their value. A company that shows they also care about the planet, or value equality through their experiential campaigns, can connect with their clients on a deeper level.
It Attracts Earned Media
When you look at an example of experiential marketing like the Red Bull campaign above, it’s easy clear to see that the right marketing effort can easily earn the attention of press companies, influencers, and more. When an experiential marketing campaign is interesting enough, it automatically grabs the attention of people who want to be a part of the buzz.
The more creative a company is with their experiential strategies – like Red Bull was when they sent a man hurtling through space, the more likely they are to get the attention of earned media groups. In fact, companies might even attract the attention of organisations that would have ignored them had they tried to launch a press conference or simple product demonstration.
It Can Lead to Useful Analytics
Because experiential marketing allows companies to interact with their consumers during live events – it’s fairly easy for them to track a number of important analytics. For instance, a business could look at things like attendance and participation to find out how engaged their customers are. On the other hand, they could look at the results of their campaigns in the form of new social media followers, sales leads, or conversions.
Data not only keeps company leaders happy – it also provides brands with the raw information they need to make their future marketing campaigns and experiential events more compelling. Over time, the information companies get from their experiential marketing campaigns can improve everything from their digital marketing strategy, to their social media efforts.
Is Your Company Ready for Experiential Marketing?
Though experiential marketing requires more focus and planning than some simpler digital campaigns, it can be a powerful way to grow brand presence and reputation.
With experiential marketing, businesses can tap into a captive audience waiting to absorb a brand message and share it through their own word of mouth experiences. In a world searching for experiences, experiential marketing is the key to making any business stand out among the crowd.
The key is to create a campaign that speaks to your audience, by learning which experiences are most likely to appeal to your brand ambassadors. Competitive analysis can help with this, as can conversations with previous clients.
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