Savvy marketers will tell you that it just isn’t enough to have a great on-site experience. You need to have a diverse content strategy for your activation.
We all know that things move at a fiberoptic pace in the world of digital marketing. Innovative campaigns usher in fresh approaches to consumer outreach, pushing everyone and their dogs to switch up their strategy, before becoming obsolete and making way for something new.
But while “Content is King” was the loud-and-proud mantra of the digital marketer a couple of years ago, it still holds true today. Companies like Red Bull, The North Face and Under Armor are still investing heavily in diverse content, but many brands are seeing the benefits from merging their content strategies with their on-site activations.
Experiential marketing has been one of the most successful marketing avenues to emerge in the last few years. Forging this important face-to-face connection with consumers has led to 65% of brands saying that experiential correlates to increased sales, though the really smart marketers are recognizing that the meeting place between content and experiential is key to engaging a vast audience. This is supported by Event Marketer’s 2016 report, which finds that “Seventy-two percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide quality event content opportunities and experiences.”
It’s just not enough for a brand to drop an engaging experience onto a festival site anymore, so here are some key reasons why you should have a robust and diverse content strategy for your activation in 2018.
Limited Reach On-Site
Yes, there’s nothing better than a tactile engagement with a brand to forge meaningful connections. As activations increase in creativity and ambition, the consumer is being fawned over with incredible immersive experiences.
It’s not about the banner anymore, you need to be thinking about how you can reach the people off site as well as onsite. – Olivia Diamond, Shed Creative Agency
But if you’re focused squarely on the attendees at the event, you are severely limiting the audience for your awesome experience. Brands should be thinking about the online audience as a secondary touchpoint, and if you can craft great content—either with an accompanying 360° online campaign (e.g. the Smirnoff House) or by embedding content production into the activation (e.g. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword portrait activation)—your reach extends far beyond the confines of the event site.
“Content shares via social media significantly amplify the reach of events and experiences by reaching an increased multiple of the on-site participants,” states the Event Marketers report, before explaining that 98% of all consumers create content at the events they attend, and 100% of those surveyed share content.
After the last attendee leaves the event and your team starts tearing down your super fantastic awe-inspiring structure, that’s that. Unless you’re touring the activation around, that project has expired.
83% of consumers say that quality event content makes them more likely to view the brand favorably, so creating content—either in the form of a video recap or in an editorial style like Hardwell and KLM’s partnership in emerging dance markets—will allow you to keep your project alive online and, at the very least, give your audience a taste of how cool you were that one time.
“As shown in the research, quality event content has a long shelf life,” Event Marketer’s report continues. “Clearly, more marketers will focus efforts to develop engaging event content to earn increased social engagement from targeted consumers.”
Add to Case Study
If nothing else, having content in the form of photos or video is extremely valuable for building case studies and showing prospective events or clients what your activation will look like in their context.
At Intellitix, we produce short 2-3 minute videos that show our product in action to both expand our business-facing content and to offer tangible examples of how we adapt to different challenges.
While our content is largely B2B and has little consumer value (unless you just get really jazzed about the finer points of RFID technology), it allows us to show prospective clients how our technology can be seamlessly integrated into their events.
Leverage More Followers
Having a really strong, emotionally-rich video recap of your activation ticking over on Facebook can do a lot to endear your audience further to your brand’s core message, but it can also cast the net wide and bring in new audiences.
The brand’s relationship with a partnering event or artist can lead to healthy cross-promotion, with each entity tapping into and sharing in the other’s audience. This, of course, requires prior negotiation and often hinges on the brand’s ability to elevate the message of the event, and likewise the event reflecting positively on the brand.
Ultimately, the big takeaway from this article should be: why are you going to all this work to build a compelling experiential campaign if only a few thousand people will actually get to see it? By developing a winning content strategy for your activation you can maximize your reach and unleash it into the digital realm, where it can be used to greatly expand your audience and act as the first touchpoint for new leads.