It’s a well-known fact that customers want more from a brand. It’s not enough to just see an advert or video, they now need to interact with it and truly understand the face behind the mask.
The continued digitisation of the world may seem like the key route to interacting on a personal level with your customers, however, experiential means are still a firm favourite with customers. The capability to put their hands on something and have a personal and real experience with a brand is seemingly something that is still to be rivalled by the online sphere.
What is experiential marketing?
If your brand has yet to venture into the experiential marketing arena, you could be missing out on creating meaningful interactions between your brand and your customers. Often called engagement marketing is a marketing strategy which aims to create a closer bond between consumer and brand. This is often done so through an event or experience which is fun and memorable.
The primary aim of this is to build positive feelings and memories in association with that brand, which in turn is recognised as encouraging brand loyalty and ultimately leads to an increase in sales further in the future.
Experiential marketing is heralded as being efficient and highly effective, even when compared to social media content, however, it is inherently harder to measure. This approach doesn’t guarantee a conversion straight away which is one of the key ways that social media succeeds, through generating urgency and offering the ability to purchase straight away.
However, experiential marketing which has been carefully considered can help to determine one of the most valuable metrics, customer lifetime value. This relates to the overall customer experience with the brand and is the very crux of why your customers continue to return time after time.
Team experimental with social media
People, on average, check their smartphones around 85 times per day, with each session lasting less than one minute. Although this implies seemingly short attention spans and lack of the elusive customer engagement, social media can be used effectively in tangent with experiential marketing tactics.
Social media and experiential marketing have a number of similarities, with visual appeal, multimedia capabilities and interactivity all key attributes to a successful campaign utilising either of these channels.
Social media is a great way to build a buzz around an event or experience. It allows a brand to build anticipation, which is proven to be a powerful emotion, even compared to recalling meaningful experiences. When a brand puts the time and effort into developing social media content that gets an audience hyped up for the main event, they will often see a much deeper engagement.
When teaming up multiple and harmonious marketing channels, brands will often be able to better command the trust of their audience. Activities such as teaming up with relevant social influencers can also be a step in the right direction. Niche influencers often have a much more highly engaged audience, so, therefore, it is absolutely crucial that a brand picks the right person or group of people to ensure that the partnership is right, not just big.
Brands who are able to offer unique and bespoke social media content and marketing experiences are much more likely to see higher engagement from the Gen-X, Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Brands need to keep tabs on becoming compliant and lazy with their experiences and marketing and they must ensure that the activities they intend to host and the full theme of the event is carefully considered in line with the brands USP. Planning for this needs to consider the before, during and after effect of the event, and look at how this experience will stick with the consumer long after it is over. These are all crucial decisions to be made ahead of taking on any experiential marketing, but by taking the time out to do so, a brand is much more likely to be successful and leave a lasting impression.