Experiential Marketing 101: 5 Easy Ways to Get Started
If you’ve been dismissing experiential marketing as a passing trend or as too expensive, think again. Better yet, feel again. Because experiential marketing is all about emotions—in fact, most purchases occur for reasons that are rarely rational. And while playing your prospects’ heartstrings might sound a little touchy-feely, it really works. In fact, experiential marketing can produce returns of investment of up to $20 for every dollar spent! And it’s a marketing gift that keeps on giving over time, turning customers into loyal brand advocates.
Here are five easy ways to get started:
1. Have some fun. Online, or at your next trade show, engage in a little product trivia. The questions and answers can be fun while revealing little-known facts about your products or your company. You’ll establish yourself as a thought leader and even players who don’t win will walk away with some new knowledge—and being in-the-know can generate positive feels.
2. Offer sneak peeks. Speaking of feeling in-the-know, select customers and prospects will get a sense of inclusion when you offer them access to a beta version of your newest app, samples of your upcoming product line, or other insider tidbits. They’ll feel proud you chose them and are likely to pass their enthusiasm on as newly anointed brand ambassadors.
3. Champion a cause. Mattress companyLeesa Sleep donates a mattress to a homeless shelter for every ten sold—like a TOMS Shoes for bedding. If you’re looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the competition, turning a purchase into a feel-good opportunity can put you over the top. And, of course, it’s just nice. Your customers will feel warm and fuzzy, and so will you.
4. Engage with your community. Every place—including some that live online—has a unique backstory and culture. Create an event around a special place or season that shows your commitment to the community you serve. If you make and sell pet supplies, for instance, show up to the Independence Day fireworks show with branded thundershirts for nervous pooches in attendance. Get creative and get involved!
5. Share a customer success story.
Nothing brings a tear to the eye and swells the heart like a success story. Prospects are looking for real-world ways your offerings can impact the world. Make them imagine themselves as the hero in the story—and you as the superpower that lifts them up. Even seemingly small anecdotes can have a big or cumulative effect Don’t underestimate the impact you have—these stories exist everywhere.
Ready to get experiential? Just one final word of advice—be real. Make sure your efforts are in-line with your mission, vision, and values. Customers—especially online—can smell a fake from miles away. Find the approach and experience that’s right for your business and you’re sure to engage, impress, and reap the rewards.
Want to learn more about experiential marketing? Download our whitepaper, “Selling the Experience and Building the Brand: A Quick Guide to Experiential Marketing.”