Experiential marketing is about creating a meaningful connection between a brand and its customers. It’s more than just promoting the product or service, it’s designed for customers to actively engage with the brand and the company’s core values. This can look different for every brand, but common tactics are events, pop up stores, and interactive experiences in specific areas. However, what’s typically done in experiential marketing is likely unsafe and unsanitary in the new normal. So how do we adjust?
We’re here to make a strong case for why experiential marketing is sticking around and how adapting to this trend will differentiate your brand and help you excel. Keep reading to understand the core ways experiential marketing is changing and ideas you can implement into your upcoming strategies.
Virtual experiences can be memorable and help your audience connect with your brand.
Until recently, experiential marketing didn’t prioritize virtual experiences or events. But in the new normal, this is the safest option and still offers space for human connection. With careful thought and attention, virtual experiences can provide brands with great results. A recent trend on Instagram and Facebook is to live stream an interview with another company, to broadcast and tell a story of your own, or to have an influencer take over your social media and provide a service to your consumer (live meditation, yoga class, etc). These live experiences are engaging because consumers can comment and interact in real-time. They also allow a place for your company to exemplify your values. While as a collective we may be tired of zoom calls, virtual experiences are not going anywhere. If you strategize and come up with what exactly you want to get out of a virtual experience, it is bound to go well and allow a safe connection with your audience.
Acknowledge the hard time we’re going through.
There’s an emotional reset happening and people are going to come out of the pandemic psychologically different than how they entered it. From a marketing perspective, acknowledge this when you are creating strategies. Can you offer an experience that assists in personal growth and transformation? Individuals will connect with brands that are transparent about what’s going on in the world and what they are doing about it, even if it’s small and simple. How can you involve your consumers and show them you care?
Champion local businesses.
According to a recent Nextdoor survey, 72% of members believe they will frequent local businesses more often after this crisis. We’ve witnessed this shift over the pandemic, but how can this affect experiential marketing? Get more involved in communities close to you. Instead of investing in sponsored trips across the country, team up with a local business and run a campaign with them. Geo-targeting will help you stay relevant and consumers and businesses in your area will receive this positively.
Add meaning to your digital strategy.
When working on digital marketing campaigns, take into account how social media has changed over the pandemic. It’s full of activists and change-makers and the content being shared tugs more at the heart than anything else. Video content has also increased and is a mode of sharing joy. Can you start a viral Tik-Tok challenge that spreads positivity? Can you start a #hashtag or Instagram challenge to get your community reflecting on what they learned in 2020? Whichever way your brand can spin it, there’s an opportunity online to get consumers and businesses sharing and creating on your behalf. Whether it’s to enter a competition or to give back, recognizing ‘meaningful’ is the new shareable is a strong tactic.
Clearly, experiential marketing had to shift during this time of isolation but it doesn’t have to end. These trends will be with us moving forward and it’s not all doom and gloom. There are some really bright opportunities involved. If you’re looking for specific ideas to improve your marketing strategy, reach out to StellaPop consulting. We’re always creating and bettering brands.