Experiential marketing is an approach that allows for endless creativity. It connects brands with people in exciting and immersive ways.
Experiential marketing is often referred to as engagement marketing, live marketing and event marketing. All are a form of marketing that can be touched or one that draws people into the experience.
The most successful campaigns of all time are the ones that create a unique experience. People can connect with them on an emotional level.
Some brands that have successfully mastered the balance of a unique experience and connecting with people emotionally include Heineken’s “Departure Roulette”, Red Bull Stratos that 8 million people watched live, and KLM Airline’s puppy-powered viral video.
Each year, brands are investing more money into experiential marketing. It provides greater opportunities to imaginatively include different digital aspects – including the use of social media.
Why integrate social media?
Social media is an effective tool that can be used to enhance an experiential campaign. It helps to increase consumer engagement both online and offline. In turn, a wider audience is reached.
People typically share posts online because they want other people to see what they’re doing. They want them to react accordingly. This is the perfect opportunity for brands to provide people with content that will highlight the experience online and showcase the brand.
How to integrate social media into your experiential campaign
There are several ways to integrate social media into an experiential campaign. Below we look at the three different stages to an experiential campaign – pre-event, during the event and post-event.
The key aim before any campaign is to generate awareness. You need to inform people about what you’re about to do. When we say what you’re about to do, we don’t mean in a week or two. We mean in the next two months or more.
You can generate a buzz and excitement online. Share and post details and updates relating to your campaign. Issuing rewards and running competitions when content is shared online will also incentivise posting.
Engaging photos can be used to provide your audience with hints based on the theme of your event. Remember, don’t give too much away – you want to create excitement out of intrigue, not to ruin the end result.
Make sure you create a catchy but relevant hashtag. One that’s unique to your event. Most importantly, don’t forget to use it throughout your campaign duration. Promote your hashtag on all materials aimed towards the campaign. This includes your website and print materials you may have on hand at the event.
It’s important to know that there are almost as many posts leading up to an event as there are during the event itself. It’s an interactive opportunity you certainly don’t want to miss!
The day of
When you get to the day of your experiential campaign, don’t drop your social media.
You will have gained a massive audience during the run up to your campaign and therefore you want to share the experience and atmosphere with those who can’t attend.
Ensure you cover a range of social platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. This will provide real-time updates, photos, polls and videos. It’s highly recommended that you go live online as and when you can. This allows those who can’t attend to see and feel what it’s like for themselves.
With the power of social media, you don’t have to let your campaign end instantly. Why not compile a roundup of top posts which include photos, videos and consumer stories? Remember to credit the contributor as a positive way to re-engage with them. This will build brand loyalty whilst exciting your audience. It will give you a head start for your next experiential campaign.
Social platforms aren’t only used as a way for you to push your event ‘out there’. They’re also used to provide insightful data and analytics to measure the success of the campaign.
There are numerous elements to monitoring your campaign online. See how many people used your hashtag, checked in at your event, shared a photo and tagged your brand.
Another important element you must monitor online is the feedback you have received, both positive and negative. This critical information will help you with future experiential and social campaigns. You will know exactly what the end users thought.
Experiential marketing creates a deeper, personal connection between the consumer and the brand. This creates authentic memories, whilst social media allows the consumer to share them.
The two go hand in hand, making the integration of social media into your next experiential campaign a no-brainer.