With marketers competing to provide a more worthwhile customer experience, content marketing is increasingly shifting from content consumption to content experiencing.
Blog articles, email newsletters, social media and downloadables like eBooks and white papers may still be the backbone for most brands’ content strategies but there’s no escaping the fact that consumers want more.
Not more ‘stuff.’ They want more depth. They want to be able to step into the worlds created by their favorite brands and become a part of the magic. This is the principal behind the rise of experiential marketing.
Brands who offer in-person events for consumers to engage with, from educational and inspiring industry conferences for B2B marketers, to launch parties, tasting events and live demos for B2C, are able to forge stronger, longer-lasting bonds with their customers.
Want to know where event marketing is headed in 2018? Take a look at the top discussions, examples and ideas in event marketing in 2017 with this round-up of the year’s best event and experiential marketing articles.
The quickest way to get a feel for the impact of live events is to study the work of the best in-person experience creators. With event marketing enjoying a sort of renaissance over the past couple years – as well as a transformation with event marketers having a plethora of new tools and resources to use, from social media walls, VR and 3D video, to digital tools that make measuring the success of each event easier than ever before – a few forward-thinking marketing professionals have really been able to demonstrate their brilliance, as well as their tenacity.
This article features the mid to senior-level marketers in both B2B and B2C industries who are paving the way for the rest of us. These individuals aren’t just creative. They’ve got vision. They are creating global empires with their B2B user conferences and unforgettable B2C experiences.
Tabitha Rand, the events managers for Low Res Studio, sums up the force behind the experiential movement elegantly, “We have become so over-exposed to brands through the internet and social media that it has the overwhelming ability to be perceived as disingenuous. Creating positive experiences through event marketing builds honest and lasting relationships almost immediately.”
So, how can you ensure your event is a big hit? This must-read post offers expert tips on achieving event marketing success:
- Approach event marketing as a customer relationship building tool, which means you can’t always expect directly measurable results to gauge value.
- Collaborate with other brands to make events bigger – and to share the cost burden.
- Be strategic in who you invite and how you budget. If you can’t afford hundreds of attendees, don’t let that be an obstacle to pulling off a memorable event.
- Plan ahead and do your homework. Simple things like making sure there are no competing events taking place at the same time and establishing and sticking with a core intention can make a world of difference.
Social media isn’t just a tool for promoting your upcoming in-person event. It should also be leveraged to extend the experience beyond the actual date. This is a way, not just to keep your brand in your attendees’ minds, but also to expand your reach to the hundreds or thousands of people who didn’t attend but still are interested in a piece of the experience.
And, a breath of fresh air for CMOs looking to measure value and gather useful data, social media usage related to your event can be used to learn more about your customers and how they interact with your brand.
Events can be one-off and life-changing, or stepping stones to your brand’s global domination. Seriously.
Want to see how it’s done? This list of the unforgettable marketing events will show you what event marketers are doing from brands like Facebook, Guinness, and Kia. What’s really fascinating about 2017 is how much tech innovations are driving this area of content marketing. Today consumers aren’t just tasting beers, they’re engaging in a beer’s virtual reality environment. Can’t wait to see what next year brings.
5. What Can a Nice Scotch Teach You About Experiential Marketing?
No industry understands the power of subtlety like the alcohol industry. A glass of Malbec’s lingering whispers of the terroir. The velvety texture and profound richness of premium scotches. These are the nuances that make the top brands stand out.
When you take a look at what an industry that thrives on event marketing, with everything from wine tastings to sponsored parties being used to communicate the soul of each brand, you can see what the experience of the in-person event is all about. Engaging the senses.
Let your customers jump in – and give them a world to jump into. This is how you build customer lifetime relationships.
The key takeaway with this article? As CEO of Influence & Co., John Hall notes, “The more immersive a brand can make a marketing experience, the more likely a customer is to remember it and buy it.”
6. How Experiential Marketing and Influencer Budgets Are Growing in 2017
Consumerism is definitely at a shifting point right now. On one hand, artificial intelligence and automation are making the way brands interact with people less human, let alone the Big Bang of the digital universe and all the online and mobile changes that have come with it.
The in-person events of experiential marketing are where humans can interact. It’s the authenticity. It’s about trust building. It’s taking a breather from the 5000 advertisements, most of them on a screen, which the average person will see in a day.
This article is an excellent discussion on the push to bring out the more human side of marketing with experiential, as well as influencer marketing. This is an important read for marketers because it also points in the direction we are heading in for tomorrow – more technology and more humanity.
Why do 93 percent of consumers say that live events have a bigger influence on them than television ads? Because the human element and potential for in-depth value, or at least a memorable experience, is just what today’s consumers need to catapult them out of the creeping apathy of brand oversaturation. Event marketing resonates today for a lot of reasons – it builds brand equity, increases ROI when done well, and ironically, offers a platform for engaging customers with the latest technologies. In a way, there’s a perfect storm making the ‘experience’ the most important factor in the future of content marketing. Take advantage of it.
The majority – as in 83 percent – of B2B marketers are heading in the in-person event direction. With event marketing picking up in bigger and more innovative ways in 2017, 2018 is likely to forge ahead even further as brands compete to win the attention of their customers and find new ways to integrate AI, augmented reality, VR, and other futuristic tech trends into their in-person marketing experiences. The best part is, just like content marketing, the event branch of content is limitless. When you break your event down to an experience, to a connection – it can be anything.