Experiential marketing is a fairly new field that creates authentic, branded engagements between a brand and a customer. It’s essentially a way for brands and customers to have a two way channel of communication within specific parameters or settings. This differs from traditional marketing approaches because it gives your audience a way to engage and communicate with your organization or brand directly, making your outreach feel more personal and interactive.
When done right, experiential marketing can make a huge impact on your event success because it helps your audience make an emotional connection with your brand. Traditional marketing techniques tell or show a customer a message your organization wants to relay, whereas experiential marketing allows your customers to “do” something and have an authentic experience in relation to your brand.
With an overwhelming number of digital marketing tools available online, there are options out there for every type of company, brand, or organization. If you’re wondering how you can incorporate experiential marketing into the marketing plan for your next event, check out some of the options below.
The overwhelming majority of your event attendees will have smartphones, so why not leverage this by using a mobile app to help promote your event? Branded event apps create a targeted, personalized experience while providing in-app information about your event. They can also be used to access your event’s social media feed, allowing your customers to provide and share content relevant to your event.
If you’re looking for a way to push app downloads before the event begins, you can include special in-app promotions within a set amount of time prior to your event. For example, you could offer one free drink ticket or a special 20% coupon for one of your most popular vendors just for downloading the app at least 1 week before your event. This can help kick-start your attendees’ engagement before your event begins.
Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing may seem like an overused, outdated, one-directional tool, but it can help you connect with your target audience and shape their expectations before your real experiential marketing efforts begin. Creating email lists of ideal attendees can help you learn what each of your target demographics responds to the most. In turn, this can help you decide what type of experiences and content you should use to make the greatest impact on your audience.
Surveys and Polls
Some mobile event apps include polling features to help capture your attendee’s thoughts and feedback before, during, and after your event. Gaining real time feedback from attendees is one of the easiest ways to tell if your marketing experience was a hit or a flop. Asking for your attendees’ feedback also makes your organization appear approachable, which is never a bad thing when you’re trying to forge an emotional connection!
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat all have free live streaming options available, so why not take advantage of a platform you’re already using? Live streaming can be used to build brand awareness, attract more attendees, or build buzz around your upcoming event.
Sharing live footage helps verify a brand’s authenticity. Essentially, you’re showing them that you’re “real” and interested in reaching out to your audience directly and sharing your experience with the world. If you’re not sure what to live stream before or during your event, refer to the email marketing and polling you did before your event to get a sense of what your audience really likes.
If you have one speaker or performer that’s more popular among your target audience, consider partnering with them to create “premium” live stream content before your event. Alternatively, you can promote a live stream of that artist’s or speaker’s set to help boost the number of audience members tuning into your live stream during the event.
Turing an event experience into a game is a great way to boost engagement. Everyone loves games and having a simple, fun activity to do can help build a connection and fun memory of your brand- even if the game is short. For example, our Social Vending machine can take your branded swag and giveaway items and turn them into a fun experience. Simply choose how much each item is worth, load your machine, and you’re ready to start having fun! For example, attendees can enter their email address or share that they’re at the event on Twitter in exchange for a branded gift item.
These are just a few digital tools you can use for your experiential marketing campaign. Other high-tech options such as wearables, virtual reality, facial recognition, and analytic tools can also be useful depending on the type of experience you’re looking to provide.