As discussed in last week’s blogpost, it has been established that an event is an activity that helps a brand connect on a cognitive level with their consumers. However, according to Brett Hyman, president of NVE Experience Agency, when an event is further amplified using technology and social media, it then has the potential to engage with people further than it’s attendees. An event that engages with 500 attendees, can eventually reach 500,000 people or even more, with the help of social media.
Even though experiential marketing is known to be a highly consumer-engaging activity, it is highly limited to effect only those who are to attend and take part in the activation. Applying a singular approach to a campaign where the brand deploys only an event (activation) or only social media can be less effective in comparison to a hybrid approach wherein the brand uses a multichannel approach in their marketing campaign.
The use of social media for an activation begins much prior to the event itself. It provides a platform for the brand to share information about the event and create a buzz and excitement amongst the consumers (attendees). This is a great opportunity for the brand to execute word-of-mouth marketing, wherein the consumers are incentivized to share and discuss the upcoming event.
In today’s day and age where the internet & social media are the first touch points of any consumer looking for information on a brand. Other than basic brand presence on social media via brand pages on all channels, it is also crucial to get consumers to start advocating and conversing about their brand-experience. Social media is a platform that can be organically used to deliver a consumer brand experience prior to and during the activation.
This shouldn’t be too difficult considering the fact that “people spend over 4 hours a day on the phones”. Social media is a platform where people share their experiences. Creating a unique and fun experience would encourage consumers to generate content at the event itself and hence showcase the brand in a positive light. Boosting interaction on social media is popularly done using tactics such as an event hashtag, teasers, social walls at the event, etc.
According to Shea Carter of MMGY Global, “74% of experiential event participants have a more positive opinion about the brand, product, or service being promoted after the event.” Therefore, it is equally important to keep engaged with the customers once the event is over as well by distributing content that has been created at the event. These could be testimonials, statistics, event images & videos, etc.
A great example of a hybrid social media & experiential campaign successfully executed is one done by Oreo. Their “Daily Twist” Campaign celebrated their 100th anniversary which lasted for 100 days where Oreo would share an image of the cookie as a representation of modern events & issues. The final event took place in Times Square where the final cookie was created based on votes from consumers on social media in a pop-up glass office. The final twist was a cookie that celebrated the first high-five displayed on a digital billboard