Experiential marketing has risen to become a key aspect of a comprehensive marketing strategy. More and more companies are creating curated brand events and experiences, with 79% of marketers employing these techniques in their 2018 plans.

And it’s no wonder that experiential marketing is so popular. It is proven to create positive brand impressions, increase brand awareness, and directly drive sales, with 98% of attendees more likely to purchase a product, and 70% of users becoming regular customers after an experiential marketing event.

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If you want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by experiential marketing, here are 5 things you need to do:

Know your objectives

Well-planned, successful brand experiences all give marketers the opportunity to gather a rich stream of data, and in that sense they are worth the investment. But events intended to increase brand awareness are very different from those intended to deepen customer engagement.

Nike’s Breaking2 was a spectacular sporting event, media spectacle, and scientific experiment in a single campaign. It worked because, at every phase, it reinforced Nike’s associations with elite athletes and positioned Nike as the brand for performance.

A single brand experience can’t be all things to all people, and a successful brand experience is curated to a specific customer persona. Know your audience, and know your objectives, in order to design the right experience.

Choose your venue

The choice of venue is probably the most important consideration for successful experiential marketing, and it is directly driven by your objectives. Whether you want to create a big, public spectacle, or strategically target your persona, the venue makes all the difference.

For 2017’s SXSW, HBO built 3 escape rooms themed around their most popular shows. Escape rooms are excellent experiences, because they are fun and immersive, and SXSW was an excellent choice for a brand with existing awareness. SXSW attendees are highly social and deeply connected: this brand experience attracted social influencers and delighted existing fans, creating traffic and buzz around their properties.

Choosing a venue where your audience will be, and will be receptive to your message, is integral to good experiential marketing.

Make it newsworthy

Even if your event is specific and targeted, you can still leverage traditional media to help spread the word. Creating a newsworthy event increases the reach of your brand experience.

When Sonos held a Speaker Amnesty event, giving away 300 Sonos systems, they built a huge kiosk just outside King’s Cross station in the heart of London. Placing their event in the center of thousands of daily commuters, with enough incentive that people started lining up at 4:30 am, made traditional media outlets pay attention and send reporters to the scene. Traditional media coverage gave Sonos’ representatives a further chance to talk about the brand and the event, increasing awareness and participation.

In today’s 24-hour news cycle, traditional media is just as hungry for content as everyone else. Find a way to make your event newsworthy and broaden your reach without increasing your costs.

Create a comprehensive experience

Good experiential marketing pays attention to the details from beginning to end. Creating curated brand experiences starts from the first public mention to the last hashtag posting. Shoot footage during your event, to create video content afterward. Reward social posts and shares. Find a way for people who aren’t there to still participate and amplify the event.

M&Ms ARcade event transformed Times Square into an augmented-reality interactive game experience to promote their new caramel candy. But they invited global participation, by allowing anyone to scan the bar code from a pack of caramel candy and access the games from their own device. This event garnered social media attention, traditional media attention, created an unforgettable experience, drove product purchases around the world, and also gave M&Ms a footprint on thousands of devices.

A single brand event can have long-lasting rewards, generating data insights, branded content, social traffic, and more.

Be responsive

Remember that every mention of your hashtag, every Instagram photo, and every post shared on Facebook is an opportunity for a positive brand interaction for that person and their followers. If you are successfully getting influencers to amplify your reach, make sure you do the same for them by liking and sharing.

Seamless lives up to their name by being constantly attentive their Twitter feed, both responding rapidly to customer’s problems and complaints, but also to liking, sharing, and following positive brand mentions. This responsiveness deepens customer engagement and builds brand loyalty.

Don’t just use social media to collect and analyze metrics. Act on them, to create micro-experiences with a positive impact.

Experiential marketing is an important aspect of a comprehensive marketing strategy, and most brands can’t afford not engage customers in immediate, immersive experiences. Following these 5 steps will help you create an unforgettable brand event with lasting impact.

Contact Mindshape today and begin an experiential journey for your brand.