#EmpowerYourHustle | Experiential Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Ever heard this term before? That’s right, a huge wave in shifting towards experience has taken over the eventing and marketing industries. People seem to engage more with a brand when they can experience it. What does this mean now when the future of the eventing landscape as we know it will be changing?

Look to integrate your brand into day-to-day activities, as per some of the examples below. Promote music through gamification, or market your art/design using essential products. As a creative, you need to establish how you’ll get your talent to your clients.

HubSpot’s post on 15 examples of experiential marketing, goes into great detail of how you can effectively execute this. Below are some takeaways from this article, what to focus on and how to get the experiential marketing campaign right.

Go nuts, but keep it on-brand

  • Experience should be memorable, but relevant to the people attending.
  • Partner with creators like artists and musicians to create experiences, especially if they are recognizable within the region where you’re trying to build or augment an audience.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of suspense when hosting an event your audience can own a piece of themselves. Being able to witness something new, and maybe a little scary, is such a personal experience. And the better the result, the longer your audience will remember and reminisce over it.
  • Oh, and if you can put your brand in the record books while you’re at it, that’s pretty cool too.

Figure out the message you really want your brand to send

  • that may or may not be directly tied to an actual product, and it might be something that your brand hasn’t said before. Then, build an experience around it.
  • With every marketing campaign, you launch, find the “fun” factor. It’s easy to get caught up in how much your brand helps solve your customer’s problem. But what about them, as people, would also bring them enjoyment?
  • Once you find your campaign’s “fun” factor, find the “good” factor. Hosting an experience is your chance to make an impact on your community, not just the users of your product.
  • Create a branded hashtag that participants can use to share the experience on social media. Then, make sure you’ve integrated an online element that allows people to participate when they learn about it this way.
  • Keep it local! It’s always nice when a large corporation gives some love to its community — in fact, 72% of folks say they would tell friends and family about a business’s efforts like these.

Remember the “you’re already there” approach.

Find out where your audience is already hanging out and engage them there, instead of trying to get them to take action where they don’t usually spend their time.

  • Visually represent the impact of participating in the experience. People interacting with this display were shown exactly where their money was going — like slicing bread for a hungry family. (Infographics work nicely here, too — check out our templates.)
  • Partner with another brand to create an even better experience. In this instance, Misereor worked with Stripe.com for the payment technology, and with financial institutions to get a branded message on users’ bank statements. (And stay tuned — we’ll talk more about the value of co-branding here later.)
  • Don’t be afraid to nurture your leads. Even if you don’t use something like a branded hashtag to integrate the experience with an online element, find a way to remind someone that they participated.
  • Think about the things your target audience might aspire to, and that you’d like to associate with your brand. Then, build an experience around that.
  • If you do require a product purchase in order to participate in the experience, make it convenient. In this case, people had to buy a pint of Guinness to win a prize, but they were already in a bar that served it.

Experiential marketing does work for B2B brands.

  • Think about who you’re selling to, and create an engagement that would not only attract that audience but also present an opportunity for them to experience your product or service first-hand.
  • Get uncomfortable. If your business centers around something that’s difficult or “taboo” to talk about, creating an experience around it can prompt a conversation. But make sure you keep it respectful — don’t make people so uncomfortable that they have nothing good to say about your brand.
  • Build an experience for people who aren’t sure about how they would use your product or service. Find ways for them to interact with your brand in a way that creatively spells out how it can benefit them.
  • Bring your data to life. We love numbers, but creating a live installment that illustrates them can help people understand exactly what they mean. And since 65% of people think that live events help them understand a product, this setting is a great place to do it.

Use experiential marketing as a co-branding opportunity.

  • Pick a partner with an audience that would be interested in your brand, but might otherwise be difficult to reach.
  • Make sure your partner would benefit from your audience, too — you want the experience to be a win-win-win: for you, your co-brand, and the consumer.
  • When you do pick a marketing partner, build an experience that requires an “exchange” of each brand’s product or service. That way, the audience is more likely to interact with both of you.
  • Conference hosts thrive on attendees who network with one another. By creating opportunities for your attendees to collaborate and play together, you allow them to share their ideas — making for more educated customers as a result.
  • “Gamify” your brand. Give people the ability to play and compete for something, and you’ll instill in them a sense of accomplishment that makes them more passionate about your industry.
  • Identify your audience’s hobbies and embrace them. In the example above, Vans knew that they had a big skateboarding audience, so they crafted an event to reward them while intriguing other skateboarders.
  • Similarly, if you know you have audiences based in certain locations, go to where they are for your experiential campaign. This will provide less friction and make your audiences feel like you are literally meeting them where they are.
  • It’s okay to embrace social media to create anticipation and excitement around your pop-up or experience, just as Adult Swim and Cartoon Network did. 
  • Embracing weirdness, like that of a giant cartoon head driving around the country, can be a helpful way to make your event shareable or intriguing — even to people who might not follow the content or company that you’re promoting.

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