Brand Experiences: A New Way to Engage Your Audience

With the rise of social media and people’s increased desire for more likes and followers, it is no longer enough for a brand to promote its event in a stagnant way. People crave experience and want to share that via virtual real-time.

Social media gives consumers the power to amplify a brand or event and essentially become a brand storyteller. Through social, people are able to highlight their own personal experiences and create a more unique personalized narrative, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Events like Coachella and Austin City Limits amplify this paradigm even further by including things such as large art installations to encourage social media sharing.

Famous life-sized photo frame at ACL
Courtesy of: Collective Vision

According to an article from Adweek, there are five strategies that a brand can use to extract value from social media and brand experience:

  1. Develop a year-long social strategy: Once your event has ended, make sure to keep the conversation going. If your event is an annual thing, consider doing a countdown campaign by including teasers, perhaps a Q&A with talent, and revealing event details little by little (ie. event dates, lineup, ticket prices, etc.) You can even consider partnering with relevant influencers and have them hype up the event on their channels.
  2. Always keep content in mind: Because the social media realm is now more crowded than ever, it has become increasingly more difficult for brands to get their content seen. In order to see what kind of content engages your audience most, conduct different branded content campaigns. Through using A/B testing, you’ll be able to observe what worked best for your brand and then move from there. This can be something as simple as an image gallery from a previous year’s event, or maybe even a highlight reel.
  3. Mine data: In order to create more personalized experiences in the future, both offline and online, observe patterns through analytical tactics like data mining and machine learning. Learn from past events and see what worked and what didn’t.
  4. Take advantage of your internal assets: Make sure to prioritize internal communications to keep employees in the loop. Encourage them to share event content on their own channels pre-, during, and post-event, since chances are their networks may include members of your target audience. In order to simplify things, draft social content for them and suggest the best times to post that way they can just copy and paste.
  5. Design for sharing: When it comes to events, people want to share as much of their own experience as possible. This can be further defined by social currency, which now acts more as a social status symbol. Without deterring from your brand’s story, you need to find some awe-inspiring creative elements and move away from the norm. Whether it’s an art installation or some kind of immersive tech, just make sure that it serves a purpose for your brand.
Giant installations like this one at Coachella are what encourage attendees to share via social media
Courtesy of: San Diego Union Tribune

When it comes to planning your brand’s next big event, start campaigning and engaging your audience EARLY on in the game. Ask yourself, “What creative elements can I add to make this a social media user’s heaven?” Test out different ideas and see what engages your audience the most so that you can incorporate those elements in future events.

Always remember, do it for the ‘Gram.

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