Email marketing, content marketing, target marketing, gated marketing, meme marketing… Whatever happened to just marketing?
These days getting your brand in front of the right eyes (and lots of them) has become a minefield of choices. Marketing strategies now include far more than using hashtags on social media and sending out the odd e-shot.
Experiential marketing is now building up momentum, and it’s something your small business could be taking advantage of.
What is experiential marketing?
Experiential marketing is, in short, marketing by offering experience of the brand.
It is a tactic used by businesses to encourage their customers to engage with the brand through events and experiences.
Also referred to as ‘brand activation’ by those in the industry it includes things like product sampling and immersive experiences. Events and PR stunts can also be classified as experiential marketing.
An (epic) example of experiential marketing was the installation of a giant Marshmallow Man in Waterloo Station to promote the launch of the Ghostbusters movie.
It caused quite a stir on social media, and allowed people to physically connect with the launch campaign while spreading user-generated content online.
Why does experiential marketing work?
In a sea of promotional emails, sponsored Instagram posts, Facebook ads and even those still posting leaflets through your door, it’s becoming a real challenge for brands to stand out from the crowd.
It’s increasingly difficult for consumers to find and engage with the brands they truly want to invest their custom in. Experiential marketing allows audiences to learn about a brand without it preaching at them.
It’s not just for the big dogs either.
How small businesses can use experiential marketing strategies
You might not have the budget of a Hollywood blockbuster but that doesn’t mean experiential marketing is out of the question. The following are tried-and-tested methods which can be managed easily within a small business operation.
Pop up shop
Expand your bricks and mortar presence temporarily by creating a miniature version elsewhere, otherwise known as a ‘pop up’.
This is particularly effective for those brands in the cosmetic, fashion, food or drink sectors – or those with a tangible product which can be sampled in situ.
Host a webinar
This is a way to share knowledge and insights, boost brand exposure and connect with an audience without having to pay venue fees.
Whether it’s a new product, a new service, or even a rebrand of your business identity, use it as an excuse to hold a launch event and invite clients, target customers and partners along.
Hold a networking event
Get as many relevant people in one room as possible to mingle and use it as a vehicle to market your brand, product or services in a unique way at the same time.