Branding strategies and promotions can range from print advertising to video collateral to billboard to giveaways and more. The options are endless, but they need to be done thoughtfully for a brand to become the go-to for a particular product or service.
Brand promotions help target audiences to engage with a company. Some of the most effective brand promotions evoke an emotional connection from potential customers. That’s where experiential marketing comes into focus.
Experiential campaigns are fun and memorable experiences that help brands connect with their audience in real and human ways. They’re often used for brand promotions, and for good reason: 84% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about a company, brand, product or service being promoted after an event.
Looking to use experiential marketing for your brand? Here are some things to consider before jumping in.
It Doesn’t Always Need to Be About the Product
While 74% of consumers say a branded experience makes them more likely to buy a product, experiential marketing doesn’t always need to focus on a physical good. Experiential campaigns can also be used to inform audiences of relevant issues that encompass a brand’s overall mission. Removing a product from the spotlight and putting customers front and center can create powerful and positive brand associations that keep them coming back for more.
Take Lean Cuisine’s #WeighThis campaign. Known for its controlled-calorie meals and weight-loss marketing, Lean Cuisine took a different approach to promote their new philosophy around diet-free women’s health and wellness.
The brand approached people in Grand Central Station in New York City and asked how they wanted to weigh themselves, separate from their physical weight. Their answers, which ranged from “the amount of love I give my children” to “turning my hobby into a job” were then hand-painted and displayed on scales.
The feel-good campaign quickly went viral, gaining over 204 million impressions and making Lean Cuisine’s name palatable again.
Bring the Experience to Your Audience
Company brand promotions do not need to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to finding the right audience to engage with a campaign. Remember the “you’re already there” approach. Having a strong idea of where prospective customers are spending their time will influence where an experiential campaign should take place.
Top automakers have mastered this strategy with ride-and-drive events, which invite potential buyers to experience vehicles up-close-and-personal. Often, they will present a car in its natural environment to help people understand its value.
When MC² partnered with Toyota at the Daytona Race Track for the Toyota Riding Experience, they knew car-enthusiasts would already be there. They promoted Denny Hamlin’s DAYTONA 500-winning No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, creating a positive association between the car and off-road racing.
Create Shareable Moments on Social Media
Meeting an audience where they are doesn’t just involve in-person interactions. It also requires connecting with them online. Sixty-nine percent of U.S. adults use at least one social media site. Running cross-channel brand promotions can help to engage these customers.
Multiple forms of engagement can create consistent and recognizable brand associations. Experiential campaigns for brand promotions should always be easily shareable to magnify brand visibility. Sixty-six percent of people attending a live event engage in online activities while there, and 34% say they would make a post about an experience on their social media pages.
Remember Lean Cuisine’s campaign from earlier? The company incorporated their Twitter handle and a branded #WeighThis hashtag on the displays, which led to people sharing their experience on social media and those 204 million impressions.
Creating an experience that provides photo opportunities and snap-worthy moments will increase the chances of your visibility and strengthen brand promotion.
Need help getting started promoting your brand on social? Download our social media event promotion checklist.