Do you feel like your business is just shouting into the wind? Does it seem like the time you spend on social media is extensive but yields few results? Are you sick and tired of Zoom calls that take too long and accomplish too little? If so, it might be time to think about experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing is the act of creating a memorable experience that will be associated with your brand. Many smaller businesses think of experiential marketing as the type of thing that businesses with Super Bowl-esque budgets do.
And they're right.
But that doesn't mean that you can't create an experience for your customers on a much smaller budget. This article contains ideas of how you can make a large impression on your ideal customer.
Why Experiential Marketing and Why Now?
Quite simply experiential marketing makes an impression. While posting the same old kinds of posts to social media can get lost in the algorithms, experiential marketing gives you a much larger reach. When done correctly, experiential marketing yields strong word of mouth and social media shares from people outside of your staff. It causes a stir and gets people talking about you.
Experiential marketing also associates the good feeling behind what you're doing with your brand thus improving your reputation among your target audience. And let’s be honest, we could all use some good feelings and pleasant surprises for a change.
Easy Experiential Marketing Ideas
The following are easy experiential marketing ideas. In order to make them their most effective make sure you communicate hashtags and play up your brand in the experience.
This is the simplest and most inexpensive form of experiential marketing. If you have a brick and mortar location, create a photo op outside of your business. This can be something as simple as an oversized chair, an inflatable item, or an enticing backdrop. Make sure you have a sign nearby or some effective branding so that when people are taking pictures of themselves at your photo op, and posting them to social media, your branding is seen.
Games are incredibly effective because they're fun and people love to record themselves while they're doing them. Common popular games are scavenger hunts, “Find the ____,” and image Bingo (where you take pictures of suggested places on the Bingo card). But you can use anything that invites participation and has a low cost of entry such as anyone with a phone can participate.
Creating moments that people remember is also a part of experiential marketing. Several years ago flash mobs were all the rage. Now, with social distancing, you may need to find something that involves people saying farther away from one another.
But your aim here is simple. You are looking to be the subject of someone’s dinner conversation or social media post. This could involve giving random strangers a sample of your product offerings in a memorable way or handing out Golden Tickets for a special tour of your facility. Whatever you decide to do you want it to surprise and delight your target audience.
Remember, experiential marketing doesn't have to involve a Super Bowl halftime show nor does it take that kind of budget. Experiential marketing is not so much about what you do but the outcome of what you do. You want it to be something the person doesn't see every day and it should bring about a positive experience that they'll share with their loved ones and far beyond.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.
Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips.