To understand what is experiential marketing, we need to look at the idea of an experience. While the definition may be vague, most of us have a pretty clear view of experiences we've had in the past. These are special moments that shine brighter than the others — times that stay long in the memory.
While not all experiences are positive, experiential marketing is all about fostering those positive connections. It is about achieving positive promotions that speak to the emotional and psychological aspects of the consumer identity. When this objective is accomplished, you will have taken significant steps toward fostering long-term customer loyalty and retention.
But what types of experiential marketing exist? What experiential marketing ideas and examples can you draw inspiration from as you craft your campaigns? With the right approach and the right technology, you will be well on your way to achieving great things from your promotional endeavors.
It goes without saying that the experience you create during your experiential brand marketing should be relevant to your products and services. But there is more to it than this. It also needs to be relevant to the expectations — and the needs — of your customer base.
Consider what these customers want from you. Remember that you are creating experiences and events for them, not for you. Let's say you are crafting a promotional event that shows off your products in an interactive environment — think about what your customers will gain from this. It needs to be more than just an opportunity to experience your products; it needs to demonstrate how your products and services solve key user problems.
We exist in a data age, and so there is plenty of opportunity to get to know your customers and understand what they are all about. To make this happen, you need to deploy the right kind of digital solutions. This is where the engage™ platform can make a big difference.
engage™ is designed to help business owners get more from their customer data. The platform makes it easy for businesses to gather critical data on their customers, providing in-depth insight into the motivations, the browsing habits, the key pain points, and the core objectives of customers out there in the market. Additionally, management teams will be able to store this data in a secure but easily accessible manner before wielding it to great effect.
This is crucial in all aspects of modern marketing and commerce, but it is particularly useful in the field of experiential marketing. Why is this? Because experiential marketing is all about creating an absorbing and fascinating time for users to enjoy. You can't do this unless you know your customers inside out, honing your buyer profiles and targeting your marketing at specific user segments.
Experiential marketing, by definition, is about crafting and hosting events that are truly special and which live long in the memory. To be successful, you need to have a significant uptake of attendees, which is why you need to be aware of FOMO.
FOMO, or fear of missing out, is a powerful asset to today's experiential marketer. We live in such a broadly connected world that news travels quickly, and it doesn't take long for large numbers of people to become aware of an upcoming event or promotion. What makes a great event stand out from the crowd, however, is creating the sense that this is a must-have experience.
Social media is your friend when it comes to FOMO. By creating a buzz on social media — teasing previews of the event on Instagram and other platforms, for example — you are laying the groundwork for something people simply won't want to miss out on. Trailing competitions and giveaways to tie into the event is also a great way of generating an air of exclusivity, offering ways to gain access to the event in exchange for engagement with your brand.
You will also want to demonstrate the time-sensitive nature of this event and instill in your audience the need to act quickly. Urgency is something you want to foster as you make sure that your audience gets appropriately excited about your upcoming event.
You are likely to be working hard promoting your event on social media, but you can ease some of the strain on your marketing teams by deploying a few key techniques. User-generated content is a crucial weapon in your arsenal, letting your followers and customers post their own pieces of content on social media and promoting your brand in the process.
In the United States, around 45% of internet users said they had posted pictures or videos on social media as of 2020. However, the phenomenon of creating and sharing content is not limited to the U.S. Around 1 billion users log into Instagram on a monthly basis right across the globe, and over 347,000 stories are posted on the platform on average each minute.
When you narrow this down to event attendees, the numbers become even more impressive. Around 98% of people who attended well-organized live events generate some kind of content and share this on social media.
Make your event shareable over social media by including lots of great visual elements for your users to enjoy. Deploy hashtags and other viral techniques to help other users access this content and consider holding competitions and other promotions that encourage social media sharing.
You can also measure this content via solutions such as engage™. Gather data on the social media discourse surrounding your brand — where is it being discussed, how many shares and retweets is the content receiving, and what kind of traffic is this generating? While user-generated content can be viewed as bonus publicity, it's still important to know how successful your promotional event proved to be.
Social distancing regulations during the pandemic made life hard for experiential marketers. Live events were simply not possible, and many event organizers were left out of pocket due to enforced cancellations. Even though it appears that the situation is improving, and we will be able to enjoy live events once again, the idea of a digital event may remain relevant in the post-COVID landscape.
Digital events may be more cost-effective to produce and host. While this may not have the same experiential impact as a live, in-person event, there is still much to be gained from taking this approach. Live webinars that provide exclusive, time-sensitive content or digital discussions bringing together industry figures from right across the globe can energize your audience. Consider deploying these events alongside your more traditional live promotions.