Adopting new marketing strategies like experiential marketing can help to increase brand awareness, engagement, and sales. This guide explains what experiential marketing is, what types there are, and how it can act as an emotional trigger to touch your audience.
What Is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing, or engagement marketing, is a process that brands use to create unique, interactive, and memorable consumer experiences that aim to increase engagement, trigger emotions, and ensure a lasting impression on participants.
Experiential marketing typically involves direct interactions with the (potential) customer online or in person and may include innovative new technology, such as AR and VR, to create an exceptional, personalized experience. User-generated content covering the experience often accompanies the experiential marketing event or campaign.
Types of Experiential Marketing Campaigns
An experiential marketing campaign is an organized experience by a brand to bring interactive events and activities to engage with customers. Such efforts can take different forms.
Let’s look at some of the most popular examples.
- Guerilla marketing campaigns – Guerilla marketing campaigns entail sudden events that are unconventional and more noticeable than other marketing events. It leverages public spaces where potential consumers least expect. Additionally, it may utilize humor or fun activities to capture people’s attention.
- Pop-up shops – Pop-up shops or stores are temporary stores designed to achieve specific marketing goals before they close up. Retail installations make these spaces more interactive for customers, making exploration a fun experience. One notable pop-up shop was the Bowie 75, paying tribute to the famous Rock ‘n’ Roll vocalist David Bowie.
- Activations – You can increase end-user engagement through immersive events while showcasing your product. This campaign works for new and established brands alike, looking to acquire new customers in a short period of time.
- Event marketing – Brands can leverage shows, festivals, webinars, conferences, and events to engage with their target audience as hosts or participants. Event marketing entails partnerships that can widen a brand’s network and user base.
How to Create an Experiential Marketing Strategy
Let’s look at the overall steps you can take to achieve your desired goals with experiential marketing.
1. Identify Your Goals
Like any marketing strategy, defining your goals at the beginning will help you build a lasting armor around your ideas. Additionally, these goals will act as a driving force, ensuring optimal results for you and your target audience.
2. Identify Your Audience
If you want to capture the attention of valuable consumers, you have to identify them and what they may need from your brand. The crucial points include noting trends, interests, issues commonly faced, and future aspirations.
3. Create a Resonating Backstory
Your brand should resonate with your target audience. You need to go deeper into describing why your brand took this path, what you are achieving so far (for your customers), and what you hope to change. Also, ensure your brand identity and story align and that your audience can relate to both. Remember, in your brand story, the customer is the hero, not your company!
4. Come Up With an Immersive Experience
Choose the best options to relay an experience to your audience. This decision entails the story you tell, the location for your campaign, and what your brand will offer during the campaign or event. During the planning, ensure users can get multiple sensory stimulations while interacting with your products. The goal is to create a memorable impact that persists beyond the campaign’s duration.
5. Integrating Technology
Creating an experience that resonates with your audience will require more than the base tech. That may include seamless mobile and web apps, augmented reality, virtual reality, and other additions that could make your audience’s UI/UX more interactive.
6. Execute the Campaign Using Everything (Suitable) in Your Marketing Arsenal
Assuming the campaign is already in motion, having strategic marketing strategies in place to generate excitement for your campaign ensures maximum attendance and attention. This could be through social media, email marketing, ads, celebrity endorsements, and collaborations with influencers and other brands.
After the campaign, analyze the outcome of your campaign. You can review user-generated content concerning the campaign on social media, social media engagement with your brand’s posts, conversion rates, audience feedback, website traffic, and customer reviews. These indicators show you where to improve in future campaigns.
Benefits of Experiential Marketing to Brands
As an innovative marketing campaign, brands can benefit from experiential marketing in the following ways:
- Brand Awareness: Experiential marketing helps brands tell their story and connect emotionally and authentically with their consumers. This factor helps push brands beyond recognition to instill awareness of their mission and vision. It also creates more positivity around the brand image.
- Creating a More Hands-on Approach to Marketing: Unlike most traditional marketing strategies, experiential marketing reaches consumers on the ground. Through immersive experiences online or physically, brands build more interactive events, creating more consumer input during the campaigns. Likewise, consumers access products firsthand, influencing their decisions and giving brands necessary feedback immediately.
- Puts Brands Ahead of Their Competitors: Experiential marketing can set your brand apart. Offering something new, innovative, and memorable will leave an impression on potential consumers if other brands are not using it. If they are, the more visionary your design, the higher your chances of creating a unique consumer experience.
- Increased ROI: A well-executed experiential marketing campaign can significantly improve a brand’s ROI by enhancing customer engagement and loyalty. Furthermore, using your customers as brand ambassadors or advocates places your products in a better position for word-of-mouth marketing.
Experiential Marketing Examples
Several global brands have dedicated time to creating unique campaigns for consumers and fans, including Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and Fortnite. Here are some notable cases where brands leveraged the strategy:
Red Bull: Stratos
Red Bull endorsed the highest skydiving experience ever recorded through its Stratos campaign, featuring the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner. The brand used a communication capsule to send Felix 128,000 feet into the stratosphere. This event recorded over 8 million live viewers, the highest traffic for any live broadcast globally.
Coca-Cola AR Experience
In 2018, Coca-Cola created an Augmented Reality experience for the FIFA World Cup fans in Zurich, allowing them to play alongside Xherdan Shaqiri. Not only did fans witness the footballer’s skills, but they also took shots against him and pictures to commemorate the moment.
Fortnite and Travis Scott
Fortnite, an innovative video game loved by many gamers globally, hosted a virtual concert for fans in collaboration with renowned rapper Travis Scott. The concert, dubbed Astronomical, happened in 2020 during the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic, luring millions of players to enjoy despite the trying times.
Need Great Content That Converts to Supplement Your Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing offers firsthand interactions with different products, creates better opportunities for user-generated content, and leaves a lasting impression on consumers. However, you will need the right content to complement your experiential marketing campaign to get your brand message across and the reach to right audience.
Contact us today for content to complement your experiential marketing campaigns.