The Right Way to Combine Experiential Marketing with Social Media (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways:

  • Using social media in conjunction with experiential is par for the course. Unfortunately, many brands are getting it wrong.
  • For brands that exist entirely online, experiential principles can translate to an improved digital UX as well.
  • All companies want to nurture customers toward brand loyalty. However they should not confuse buying frequency with this type of brand relationship.


How to Get the Most Out of Social Media and Experiential Marketing

Using social media as an amplification element during  an experiential activation is commonplace. In doing so, brands take advantage of the impact of in-person interactions and the exponential ways that information travels online. But, unfortunately, this approach isn’t easy. Everyone wants their events or posts to “go viral,” but producing content with this type of reach is not as easy as coming up with a hashtag and calling it a day.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t create a viral event, it just has to be consumer-led. But, as this AdWeek article points out, if brands focus on the event itself, the social media “wildfire” will organically spread. By putting emphasis on the event experience, the brand presents itself as authentic, which is what many consumers are looking to share. The article also suggests that equally important is the engagement before, during and after the event. This will not only elongate the experience for customers, it also provides insights for the brand.

How Tech Brands Can Use Experiential Principles in the UX

Despite some people’s continued fear of an eventual Terminator-style world takeover, technology remains king. Many of us panic if we leave the house without our smart phones. New vehicles come fully-equipped with technology to keep us connected, even on the road – and soon they will drive themselves. The continued integration of the Internet of Things has ushered in an era where innovation is advancing further every day.

But it also means that technology companies are in a competitive environment. And many of these brands exist exclusively online, with no physical product or storefront. For these companies, connecting with their audiences on a human level proves difficult. A Little Bird suggests these brands incorporate experiential into the user experience. As they put it, “by infusing interactive elements and brand personality into your consumer engagement approach, experiential can help tech companies nurture a meaningful, personal connection with their audience.”

This is How Augmented Reality is Changing the Way We Use Tech

There is no denying that technology has changed experiential marketing, both in how we engage consumers and prove ROI. Brands can use tablets and other devices to collect attendee information in real time. Many use tactics like crowd-shaping, which helps brands boost the consumer experience. And when it comes to engagement, two technologies that seem to be getting the most buzz are virtual and augmented reality.

These have gotten traction in large part due to their ability to immerse consumers, as well as the fact that they have become increasingly accessible. Yet, VR has challenges, as it requires special tech that most consumers don’t walk around with in their pockets. AR can be easier to incorporate. Many AR variations allow consumers to engage using their own device. With the many advancements in AR, we are seeing opportunities to elevate tech integration in our lives to a new level, as outlined in this great video.


The In’s and Out’s of Experiential Marketing

We may be biased, but the fact remains: we are living in the age of experience. In 2016, brand activations were expected to top $595 billion. And as the years passed, these numbers have increased and are expected to rise. As marketers continue to see the benefit of consumer-facing experiences, we have to pay attention to trends and best practices to determine what should be replicated and what should be retired.

According to this AdWeek article, this can be done by segmenting trends into two categories: the ins and the outs. An “in” that stands out is the fact that media/digital is now becoming secondary to the experience. Included in the “outs” is the purchase funnel, as companies see that the modern consumer acquisition process is not linear, but cyclical.

These are Some of the Best AR/VR Brand Experiences

By now, if you haven’t yet executed a campaign using   AR or VR, you probably want to. Even as they become more mainstream, the technologies are still engaging and enough to entice passersby into participating in the activation. Incorporating these technologies into experiential can be a big benefit, but you have to know what you’re doing. Using tech for tech’s sake rarely results in a great experience. Brands need to design an experience that not only resonates with consumers, but can be executed well.

And what better way to evaluate your option than to look to brands that have used VR or AR with resounding success. Among our favorites includes Chrysler’s use of VR to give consumers an inside look at their Sterling Heights Plant – without leaving the interior of the car. Or Samsung’s AR experience that lets users experience the world of popular TV show, Family Guy. You can also check out Pop2Life agency’s list of their favorite AR/VR activations to get more ideas.

What Marketers Can Learn From Fantasy Football

Whether you are a college or professional team fan, the football season is upon us. The season also brings tailgates, watching parties, and, if you are feeling particularly lucky, fantasy football. The virtual game has gotten so popular that over 33 million people are  playing each year. The concept is simple: form the ultimate team and get points for every player that scores in a real game.

In addition to being another fun activity for football fans, fantasy football also lends itself as a lesson in marketing. That is the argument that Forbes writer, Brian Havig, makes in a guest article. The author draws comparisons between fantasy football and the ways in which marketing campaigns should be designed and engage with consumers. The game, which was created by fans and has been embraced by the NFL, has been able to successfully add to the NFL experience in an organic and mutually-beneficial way.

Why Brands Shouldn’t Confuse Buying Frequency with Brand Loyalty

For many marketers, a primary goal is to establish “brand loyalty” with consumers. While new customer acquisition is critical for growth, retaining those you  have is required to stay in business. And when you consider it is 5 times more expensive to market to a new customer than keep a returning customer, brand loyalty is critical for both generating revenue and controlling spending.

It is important to note that there is a clear difference between brand loyalty and buying frequency, according to Passionbrand founder Helen Edwards. While frequency has translated to brand loyalty in the past, there are other variables to consider. She recommends a brand-to-consumer approach to build loyalty in the truest form. By going directly to those who are buying from you, companies can better control the brand experience and build a relationship that lasts.

Author: Elissa LiongElissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).


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