As you review your marketing strategy for the new year, you may be making a push toward experiential marketing as it can provide more ROI than traditional advertising sources. According to an AdWeek article, experiential marketing can help forge lasting relationships with your customers, increasing the sales cycle over the long haul.
Using experiential marketing to promote your business can offer customers a more pleasurable experience with your product or service, creating a more loyal fanbase in the process. These loyal customers lead to lifelong sales and can increase your company’s revenue into the future.
Below, 15 members of the Forbes Agency Council provide their best tips for brands wanting to invest in experiential marketing. Here is what they recommend:
2. Do Your Own Research Experiential marketing is not a new concept, but the applications and uses of it are. If you are going to sink good marketing money into experiential, then make sure you understand how people want to experience marketing. The idea is to give the consumer enough content so they can picture themselves a part of your brand. Facebook Live, Snapchat ads, 360 and dynamic content are just a few examples. – Omar Jenblat, BusySeed
3. Make It Worth Sharing If you are thinking about investing in experiential marketing, make sure to create strong impressions, interactive experiences and emotional connections between your brand and your consumers. Improving your credibility and influence can give you a great opportunity to showcase why your brand is unique and recognizable. Doing this will lead to people wanting to share your brand. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
4. Put Your Customers First The effects of experiential marketing reach well beyond the experience — the goal is to build brand advocates. For that reason, we need to put the audience first but also keep it on the brand. Having a simple brand message highlighting your competitive advantage could help you stay on target. The experience should be relevant to your audience, memorable, newsworthy and worth sharing. – Ahmad Kareh, Twistlab Marketing
6. Share Precious Moments If you do invest in experiential marketing, be sure to share user-generated posts and videos you take at a brand-sponsored event to share over social media and on your blog. If your event is truly memorable, people will be much more likely to show up to the next event. It also gives you a chance to humanize your brand and convert brand advocates into loyal brand ambassadors. – Kristopher Jones, LSEO.com
7. Don’t Wait To Make Meaningful Connections Experiential marketing has been rapidly growing, and more and more companies are investing. Don’t wait to get started, but do wait to launch until you have a clear objective with results you want to achieve. Experiential marketing is extremely successful when brands make meaningful connections and have a clear objective. – Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged
8. Make It Playful As a digital agency that builds custom games to drive digital marketing for our clients, we focus on making the experience as engaging and fun as possible for the end user. Make it clear what the incentives are, add surprise bells and whistles that are slowly uncovered, and allow them to connect with other users. Ultimately, the experience should be built in such a way that it sells itself. – Khuram Zaman, Fifth Tribe
9. Be Bold When it comes to experiential marketing, the only goal is to be remembered. For brands, this means that the concept of the campaign is more important than anything else. To be successful, experiential marketing campaigns need to be built in such a way that it delights, shocks or surprises the end audience first — and then, provide them the tools to share it with the world. Be bold, have fun. – Chi Zhao, Hokku PR
10. Extend The Life And Expand The Audience Experiential marketing can be creative and amazing but limited in utility with a comparatively small audience. No activation should be greenlit without an extensive digital lead in, far-reaching strategy for owned content generation and user-generated content, and a distribution plan to ensure that millions of people have the opportunity to experience the magic. – Craig Greiwe, Rogers & Cowan
11. Design With Instagram In Mind You can design an amazing experience, but if there is not a spot for someone to take an Instagram photo, then it won’t be shared online. Look at the Museum of Ice Cream. The full experience is made for Instagram, and that is why it has become so popular. Every person takes Instagram Stories and photos inside and shares with their followers. Now you have to wait months before you can get a ticket. – Nichole Brandt, XOMAD, LLC
12. Use Your Event As A Content Factory There’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to experiential marketing. Some of the best campaigns we’ve seen are the ones that get every drop of juice from the squeeze by creating promotional content before the event and using the event itself as a content factory for post-event distribution. Photos, video and user content are key. The event may only be once, but the content can live on forever. – Chris Carter, Rep Interactive
14. Make It Count Experiential is getting a lot of hype these days. Brands wanting to invest in experiential should consider all aspects of the campaign, including social activations and leveraging influencers. The investment should be largely in the experience itself, rather than in paid media. If the experience and plan are well-executed, then earned media will give the brand a bigger payoff. – Gina Michnowicz, Union+Webster
15. Understand The Universe You Are Creating When creating a brand experience for your fans, the first thing you need to do is understand your story and how it can come to life. Build a brand universe that fans can enter, stay as long as they want and leave anytime they want, without feeling like they’ve missed something. Make experiential marketing a part of that story. That way, fans can pick up the story from somewhere else later. – Pete Canalichio, Licensing Brands, Inc.