In order to reap the maximum benefit of experiential campaigns, it is important that brands pair them with an effective social strategy, keeping consumers engaged throughout the duration of the campaign. This article discusses, in detail, the various methods by which this can be achieved.
Social Synergies with Experiential Marketing
Prior to the event
It will seem obvious to many, but you can’t expect anyone to attend your event if they don’t know it’s happening. Driving an event’s engagement begins long before the sample is distributed. In order to ensure your campaign is well attended, it is essential to generate interest well in advance, exploiting social channels.
Social media reminders, blog posts and behind-the-scenes videos are all good starting points to create a buzz around an upcoming event. Try offering a reward for those loyal consumers who have been engaged throughout your campaign. Video games producers do this exceptionally well, offering early access to games and exclusive content to those who engage on social media and join mailing lists. By rewarding consumers, you incentivise them to stay abreast of your brand’s activities.
With today’s live-tweeting and streaming capabilities, brands are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to engage consumers who are unable to be present. Not only does this increase engagement, it also provides brands a forum of consumer feedback from which valuable data can be extracted. To advance this further, installing a live-tweet wall can be an excellent way to stimulate the discussion among those who have attended the event, as well as inspiring competition to try to feature on the wall, all of which will result in more activity for your event’s hashtag.
Social engagement reward
Again, all consumers like getting something for nothing; by offering a reward (free sample, t-shirt, ornamental dog figurine etc.), for what is essentially very little input on the consumers behalf, you once more extend the reach of your campaign dramatically. If 1000 people visit your event, and each has 300 contacts, that’s 300,000 more potential engagements than you had with just your event. This reach is worth even more, when you consider that this promotion is coming from a trusted source, rather than the brand’s own social media channels.
Social media competition
“Retweet a picture of yourself and our product with the hashtag…”
This is a brilliant way to drive engagement, it incentivises consumers to use your event’s hashtag, as well as distribute more engaging content; content accompanied by a relevant image receives on average 94% more views than content without one (kissmetrics).
All in all, a brand should always be looking to make use of its consumers’ social contacts as a content distribution network. The result of a successful synergy between social and experiential is a deep emotional connection built through engagement, solidifying the brand’s position within the consumer’s mind, increasing loyalty, therefore, increasing word of mouth advertising. Everyone knows that a testimonial from a brand evangelist is far more valuable than a call to action through the brands own channels.
A great example of this is X music festival who offered a free ticket for those who could sell 5 to their friends. This is a perfect incentive, as it not only encourages consumers to sell the brand, it encourages groups of friends (the primary attendees of festivals) to go, as a free ticket lowers the price will be cheaper for everyone.
After the event, use social media channels to distribute the content that was generated there; YouTube videos, backstage images, interviews with the staff and statistical infographics all make for engaging content. This is also the time to collate the data collected from the event and social media engagements.
By keeping consumers engaged from pre to post-event, a brand will have a wealth of new information available to them, regarding consumer preferences, pain points, aspects of the campaign which were popular and those which were not, allowing the brand to tailor future campaigns to better suit their ideal consumer’s needs.