All the events are hit or miss. Quite often, people attend events that turn out to be boring so they just have to leave or spend this time scrolling their social media. Obviously, they won’t come back next time. In this case, you get a solid reason to reconsider your event marketing strategy and to evaluate its effectiveness.
Although it may seem like there are many reasons why people don’t attend or don’t enjoy events, the general reason is quite simple. It’s not the event itself that makes people regret attending it, it’s their bad experience. Events must be interesting and engaging. While most marketers understand the importance of building engagement in the social media marketing or email marketing, it’s easy to forget that the same rules apply to event marketing, as well.
Experiential marketing is all about building engagement. To do this, marketers not only plan an event but also the whole experience, as well. Immersive experiences are more than just an opportunity to sell something, they help customers identify with the brand.
As we all know, people choose a brand not because of a product or service itself, but because of the brand’s aesthetic, message, and values. This is why we recommend that you create not just an event, but a comprehensive experience
What Experiential Marketing Is and Why It’s so Effective
Experiential marketing is a type of event marketing that focuses on engaging an audience with a brand. Experiential marketing is aimed to create excitement and unforgettable memories. Such events are often held in areas with high traffic so that people who walk by can participate.
The most important element of such events is an active component because you need people to actively participate in your event to drive engagement. Another important aspect of experiential marketing is branding. People should clearly understand what your event is about and know who has created this experience.
Without it, the very purpose of the event as a marketing effort will remain unfulfilled. Experiential marketing events also rely heavily on social media and user-generated content, in particular. You want participants to share videos and photos of your event with their friends and followers, creating more buzz. Word-of-mouth recommendations are also important: According to statistics, they account for up to 80% of purchasing decisions.
The effectiveness of experiential marketing is hard to overestimate. Its main advantage is that it provides marketers with an extended range of available tools. Experiential marketing allows you to design brand perception in detail, adding interactivity. Interactivity makes events truly engaging and memorable because your consumers see your brand face-to-face and interact with it personally.
Such events allow you to show your consumers that you value them, making them a part of your brand. Real experiences are also more likely to be shared on social media than pre-made content. In addition, experiential marketing not only boosts brand awareness but also loyalty among the existing consumers.
Key Principles of Experiential Marketing
1. Define your brand experience
To create a successful experiential marketing campaign, you must understand your brand on a deep level. You should also perfectly understand what is your target audience, and how it can benefit from your event. Therefore, companies need to analyze data on their consumer base, answering such basic questions as what their brand stands for and what it has to offer that competitors can’t.
The next step is to transform brand values into an interactive experience. The ultimate goal is to create an event that will allow the participants to answer the same questions.
2. Design the experience
Designing a brand experience may seem to be an overwhelming task because you should effectively engage participants in an innovative way, while also conveying your brand message. However, this goal will be easier to achieve if you put extra effort into analyzing customer feedback.
It will help you understand how people feel when using a product or service and what emotions they associate with this brand already. For example, they might feel inspired or energized. It’s also important to understand how your product or service helps people in their everyday lives.
“You’ll be able to deliver the right solution in the right way if you design your experiential marketing campaign based on the pain points that your customers face in a particular environment,” explains Christina Shaw, a marketing expert at College Writers.
3. Make sure that your campaign is share-worthy
We’ve already mentioned the importance of social media, but this aspect is worth repeating. Although the main purpose of your event might be selling a product or service, the main advantage of event marketing is promoting a brand’s message and values.
Social media can make a significant contribution to the success of your campaign because people share all their experiences on social media. Even if there are just a few people who attended an event, they can share their experience with dozens of friends.
4. Mind personal connection
Experiential event marketing allows you to stand out, and the main need for such an approach is that other methods of marketing lack a personal touch. Advertisements are impersonal, while experiential marketing is an opportunity to get closer to your consumers.
A good way to make your events more personal is to involve brand ambassadors who will engage with participants face-to-face, giving your brand a tangible identity. People are more likely to communicate with other people than brands, so you should connect with them in an authentic way, building relationships and focusing on engagement and awareness instead of using pushy tactics.
Here are some examples of successful experiential marketing campaigns.
● Perrier successfully combined experiential marketing and influencer marketing, driving attention to 29 Rooms, the 29th annual event. The event had several branded rooms, allowing influencers to share unique experiences with their followers.
● Promoting the premiere of “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” Netflix opened 200 Luke’s Diners to sell coffee. This campaign was extremely successful, with fans forming long lines to get their cup of coffee and generating high social engagement.
● Everyone knows Coca-Cola’s Christmas truck, which, however, used to exist only in ads. To raise awareness, the company decided to take its truck on tour, visiting 39 cities in the UK. The success of this event was due to its interactivity. Participants could get into the truck and take photos, sharing them with friends and followers using the #holidaysarecoming hashtag.
● Red Bull partnered with Felix Baumgartner, an Australian skydiver, to film a freefall from a world-record height. This project was called Red Bull Stratos. This event perfectly illustrated Red Bull’s brand values, while the whole process, including preparation and launch to the stratosphere, was streamed live on YouTube, setting a record of 8 million views.
Successful events are engaging and unforgettable. Given the importance of engagement in marketing, it makes sense to design not just events but experiences. Experiential marketing is extremely effective for building engagement and boosting awareness. Real-life experiences help people get closer to a brand and identify with it.
Experiential marketing also perfectly combines with social media and influencer marketing strategies, allowing brands to use an extended range of marketing tools. Experiential campaigns don’t just sell products or services. Instead, they enable people to experience a brand on a personal level.
To create good experiential event marketing campaigns, you should clearly understand your brand values and focus on a personal connection, generating share-worthy experiences.