A cutting-edge method of marketing, experiential marketing focuses on helping customers connect with brands and products in unique ways. Also known as engagement marketing, this type of marketing helps brands gain loyal customers by providing them with memorable experiences and connections. In other words, by providing customers with experiences that are both fun and memorable, brands are able to establish long-term connections with customers of all kinds. Although these experiences often seem like random occurrences, they are actually carefully planned events designed to draw in large amounts of customers and create a moment that will hopefully go viral, ultimately attracting even more customers. That said, the following is a guide to experiential marketing.
Thinking like a Customer
As mentioned, the purpose of experiential marketing is to provide customers with unique experiences in order to forge long-term bonds with the brand. In order to do so, you must begin by putting yourself in the mind of the customer. In other words, in order to build relationships with your customers, you must put yourself in their shoes and figure out what types of things they value and connect with. In this age, most people become excited about events and experiences that they feel are so memorable, they want to boast and brag to others. Therefore, not only will your new customers become excited about your brand, but they will also post them online so others can become excited (and hopefully even jealous) as well.
Since studies have shown us that up to 68% of customers are more likely to purchase something once they have seen something positive about it online, it makes perfect sense why experiential marketing is such an effective tool. Furthermore, by making the experiences memorable and interactive, this gives your brand leverage and favor over similar brands. This is because, unless your competitors also provide the customers with a memorable, emotional experience, your brand will remain one of the most memorable in the mind of the customers.
Using the Art of Story Telling
On another note, another important aspect of experiential marketing is the use of storytelling to captivate customers. According to experts, experiential marketing and storytelling are highly complementary to one another. This is because most humans are highly affected by storytelling on an emotional level. Rather than simply listening to stories, we experience them. Especially when the story is told well, there is a very human tendency to not only listen to stories but to feel them; they become a part of us.
This means that a brand that is able to tell their story well, may immediately connect with their customers for the long-term. Moreover, when the story is both relatable and compelling, customers are much more likely to repeat and share the story with others, which will serve to provide your brand with further organic exposure. And unlike typical marketing methods, organic word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful marketing methods because people are more likely to follow recommendations given to them by people they already know and trust. Either way, a great story has an array of characters, a likable protagonist, as well as a beginning, middle, and end.
Solving a Problem
Another reason experiential marketing is so useful is that it often shows customers how to solve a problem of some kind. This does not have to necessarily be a major issue. The problem simply needs to be something that can be solved by your product. For instance, if you tell a story about a busy single mother who is struggling with timeline management, then introduce an app that helps with organization, single mothers and everyone who can relate to having issues with timeline management will be more likely to gravitate towards your product as well as your brand as a whole.
Tips for Experiential Marketing
Now that we have learned what experiential marketing is and why it is so effective, let’s take a look at some tips to make your campaigns more effective.
- Study Your Demographic– In order to think like your customer, you must first make sure you know who your ideal customer is. For instance, if you are marketing sports equipment, your ideal customer would be athletic men and women of a certain age.
- Do Your Research– Once you have uncovered your ideal customer type, you must conduct research on what your demographics’ interests are. Younger people are more likely to interact online whereas older demographics are more likely to be attracted to face-to-face interactions.
- Test Your Ideas– Rather than simply launching the first good idea you have to the masses, try your ideas out on smaller groups before rolling them out to the general public.
- Make it Playful– No matter what the age of your demographic, people like to have fun. Make sure the campaign is as playful as possible in order to attract larger groups of customers.
- Create Content About Your Event– Even your events can make great content. If you make sure you take some photos and videos to post online, you can use one event as a marketing tool again and again.
[Read: The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing]
Types of Experiential Marketing
Now that we have looked at the tips for proper experiential marketing, let’s looks at some of the types:
- Product Showcase– This is simply a fun demonstration of your product or service caught on video.
- Immersive Experiences– These are orchestrated experiences that immerse your customers into the product or service first-hand. For instance, if you are making CBD cupcakes, an immersive experience would be showing up with an assortment of the cupcakes and giving them to those who suffer from anxiety or other things that can be relieved with the help of CBD.
- Generating Stunts– Similar to experiences, stunts are over the top experiences in which the customers are involuntarily immersed into the experience of the product or service. To use the example above, the CBD cupcakes would be handed out by a favorite celebrity and may also include massage chairs and relaxing music.
- Business Innovation and Services – Lastly, this type of experiential marketing involves making an impact on the lives of customers using the product. To use the CBD example, they may opt to give the customers long-term discounts and free delivery.
Overall, experiential marketing is an innovative method of marketing that can help boost your brand in a variety of ways. These tips and tricks will help you build your own unique brand experiences that are sure to attract loyal customers for the long-term.