The past years have brought rise to experiential marketing strategies by brands. President of NVE Experience Agency, Brett Hyman, emphasizes that “brand experiences—product launches, brand activations, pop-up shops—trigger people who have heard of a brand but haven’t engaged with it to get a second look. It can revitalize a brand to appear hip and Instagram-friendly rather than stodgy.” He adds, “live events, such as concerts and festivals, are also great venues for artists new and old to gain traction outside their traditional following.” The statistics seem to suggest that brands that incorporate experiential benefit here, too. As one study showed, 95 percent of consumers reported that their participation in a recent event made them more inclined to purchase the products promoted; 54 percent said they purchased the product, and 88 percent of those who purchased the product became loyal consumers.
To some extent, brands have utilized social strategies alongside these events. Millennial and Gen Z Facebook feeds are now filled with event recommendations that they can share with friends, and Instagram offers various features to share posts and stories on the latest pop-ups and product launch events. But only a handful of brands are truly employing social platforms to their fullest capacity when promoting, hosting, and sharing live events. Social media can take experiential to the next level in a few key ways. Here’s what brands should consider:
1) Create buzz Brands use social media platforms to promote their event through content. The more creative and interesting the content, the more likely the promotion will go viral, thus generating “buzz.” Stories, posts, and Facebook events can all be shared to spread the word, and provide “reminder features” for events that consumers have expressed interest in.
2) Collect consumer data Looking at both the attendees and the mobile users engaging with content posted about the brand event provides important information about consumer demographics and data. By looking at who RSVPs and attends events, in addition to who follows an event closely on mobile, marketers can gain insight into what type of person is most likely to engage with a brand in the future.
3) Share moments Not all events are easily accessible to all consumers, with some brands limiting their invitees to a select pool of influencers. By posting engaging content via social media platforms, brands are ensuring that their experiential campaigns and events live on and leave an impact even on those who could not attend.
4) The future: create a live digital experience With the proliferation of content accessed through IGTV and Facebook live videos, brands have begun to stream their experiential events to enable mobile users to “experience experiential events digitally.” This will allow consumers to gain access to the experiential component of more exclusive events where only micro and macro influencers might be invited. Moreover, they can interact with the content posted by influencers through feedback as the event is happening live, creating the potential for exponentially more viral content.
Pulse seeks to be ahead of the curve on utilizing social and experiential strategies simultaneously, and believes that in doing so, can truly empower brands.
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