Written by Megan Miller | Megan Miller Marketing | KNOW Charlotte
There’s no doubt that the 2020 global pandemic changed the way we experience the world around us. As society moves forward and works to put the emergency behind us, one way brands are hoping to remain relevant among all of their target consumers is through hybrid in-person and virtual experiences.
While experiential marketing is nothing new, the way in which they are implemented has changed dramatically in recent years. In order to keep consumers interested, engaged, and inspired, brands need to strengthen their experiential marketing strategies now more than ever — especially as hybrid living becomes the norm.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Before we dive into all the different strategies brands should be using in 2022, it’s important to first understand exactly what experiential marketing is. This powerful marketing technique leverages the power of experiences to help people form a deeply personal, long-lasting connection with your brand. Prior to the 2020 pandemic, most experiential marketing campaigns used live events to create opportunities for brands to authentically engage face-to-face with their audiences.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, a lot has changed in the experiential marketing landscape, with many brands now offering virtual experiences to their target consumers either in lieu of or in addition to physical ones. And, with new developments being made in the metaverse every day, the opportunities for brands to merge the physical and virtual worlds will only become more robust. Some may even find greater success by offering 100% virtual experiences to their audiences.
Take Travis Scott’s record-breaking virtual Fortnite concert, for instance: Compared to his full-length in-person performances, Scott earned 20 times the amount in his nine-minute virtual concert at $20 million. Not only that, but Fortnite saw a record-breaking 12.3 million concurrent players participate in the event. Between the staggering profits and impressive attendance, it’s easy to see how experiential marketing in the virtual realm can be a smart move for brands — particularly those in the entertainment industry.
Types of Experiential Marketing Strategies for 2022
While the virtual Astroworld concert is one of the more extreme examples of experiential marketing, brands can implement effective strategies in a number of ways that do not necessarily involve a nine-month-long project timeline. It’s important that you tailor your strategy based on your specific buyer persona, brand personality, and business goals. As brands prepare to reach their target audiences in the post-pandemic hybrid event environment, the following experiential marketing strategies can help them reach their objectives in 2022:
One of the most impactful methods for convincing leads at the bottom of your sales funnel is through a product demo. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase of a good or service if they’re able to experience it first-hand before making a final decision. Brands can find ways to implement this experiential marketing tactic in the hybrid world by offering a free trial period. Take the experience one step further by offering a one-on-one follow-up consultation to answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Classes & Webinars
Attending virtual events via Zoom or Skype has become commonplace in the post-pandemic world. From local yoga studios to international corporate conferences, brands from all industries and of all shapes and sizes have discovered the value in livestreaming or pre-recording in-person events. This also offers your brand the opportunity to increase its email marketing list: Create a landing page to include in your invitation requesting invitees to provide their email address in return for an enrollment in your online class or webinar.
With such an oversaturated marketplace, it’s important to think outside the box when it comes to experiential marketing. For instance, to commemorate JetBlue’s new direct flight from New York to Palm Springs, the brand froze beach-themed gifts in giant blocks of ice in the middle of New York City. Participants were invited to use whatever they wanted to break open the ice blocks and reveal the item they could bring along for their Palm Springs vacation. Even those who couldn’t take a crack at it in-person were able to participate on social media to win prizes. It’s unexpected experiences like this that make a lasting impact on target consumers and keep brand fresh in their audience’s mind.
Whether it’s a keynote speech, livestreamed performance, or networking event, branded events are one of the most effective experiential marketing methods. Maximize your reach by considering the needs of all event attendees and including virtual options for participation. These virtual event accommodations could be as complex as a Fortnite performance or as simple as offering to livestream the event on social media. Consider invitation-only events as a way to make guests feel special while putting your lead segmentation efforts to good use as well!
“Free” is an idea everyone can get behind. Whether you have surplus inventory or are releasing a new product, offering consumers a free sample of what you have to offer is a great way to keep them engaged and strengthen brand loyalty. You may even consider including a birthday freebie for consumers who choose to join your email marketing list as a way to foster a stronger relationship
Improve Consumer Loyalty Through Experiential Marketing
Whatever experiential marketing strategy you choose to employ, it’s important that you have a professional help you with execution. At Megan Miller Marketing, our experiential marketing experts have helped brands create impactful campaigns and memorable events that resonate with their target audiences. From end-to-end design execution and social planning to logistics management, no one does event marketing quite like Marketing Mezzo. Allow our team to help create the most effective experiential marketing campaign for your brand by contacting us online today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Megan Miller Marketing
Recently listed as Disruptor Magazine’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs to look out for in 2022, Megan Miller is the owner of Megan Miller Marketing, LLC, and co-host of the popular podcast XM Divas. Megan is recognized in the non-profit and for-profit worlds for her creativity, drive, and leadership; she brings enthusiasm for new challenges and creative strategies.Miller is also the founder of Opera Recycles, an environmental sustainability program that transforms unused marketing collateral into Couture Fashions. Her showcase has been featured during NYFW and Paris Fashion Week. Additionally, Miller created the first virtual Opera house during the pandemic for opera companies to utilize which brings the magic of opera into people’s homes while the theaters were closed.Miller has served as a member of the Opera America Strategic Committee and is a member of the Board for the UNC-Charlotte Enactus business team, providing insight and mentorship for students. Volunteer activities include American Heart Association, Pediatric Cancer Association, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In addition to her professional credentials, Megan Miller is still an active professional opera singer.
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