How to Leverage Experiential Marketing through Social Media
Nobody likes a "flat" brand.
And by flat, we mean 2D, personality-free, dull-tastic – basically, the most un-engaging and yawn inducing brand you could think of.
Brands are taking over our online space now, and with this, the immediate need to connect with their audience has developed. And you guessed it; this has fed through into marketing too.
When you’re marketing your business online, it needs to be personalised to draw the attention of your target prospects. Experiential marking is also known as engagement marketing, so you need to remember to engage your audience if you want to see results.
But what are the benefits of this marking technique? And how can you use social media, the golden chalice of digital channels, to utilise it? We have all that information and much more below.
We even have a juicy case study that proves the magic of experiential marketing, and we hope it inspires and invites you to try the same.
So, alas, let us begin.
The Benefits of Experiential Marketing
The key to experiential marketing is to get the customer involved. In short, invite your customers to the party.
You want your customers to help build your brand even further, become ambassadors and tell the world why they love you. This connection helps a life-long, loyal brand/customer relationship to flourish.
This is so important in the social age.
A survey undertaken by EventTrack recorded that 98% of participants were more likely to purchase from a brand that utilised experiential marketing.
Now that’s a figure that’s hard to argue with – but what are the ultimate benefits of this marketing process?
Let’s break it down!
- It reduces customer/business barriers
- Encourages new business
- Personalises your brand and makes customers feel important
- Allows you to build up a range of brand ambassadors via people who like your business
Word of mouth always has been, and likely always will be, a great way to get your brand out there. With engaging marketing, this is easier than ever before.
People will talk about you if you go above and beyond to engage them – and this will turn others towards your brand.
How to Use Social Media to Develop your Experiential Marketing
So far, we’ve talked about what experiential marketing is and why it’s good for your business – but how can you use one of the most effective advertising mediums around today to further this?
Social media users grow daily. Nearly 2.1 billion internet users have social media accounts. This is a monumental audience simply waiting to drink up your engaging content and clever promotions.
So how can you do this on social? Well, we’re firm believers of showing rather than simply telling. And we recently helped the DoubleTree Hilton brand develop this precise marketing type with none other than Luna Cinemas.
We're not ones to over-toot our trumpets, but we think you'll find this campaign round-up will provide a bevvy of inspiration for marketing and brand managers looking to get experiential on their brand.
Experiential Marketing on Social in Action – Luna Cinema and DoubleTree Hilton Case Study
When DoubleTree Hilton and Luna Cinema teamed up, it was always going to be a fun campaign. And this certainly came to life during the #StarryNights campaign developed here at pixel8.
- To introduce 18-24-year-olds to the DoubleTree by Hilton brand and encourage audience participation and engagement on social media
- To acquire new, younger customers and build consumer trust
- To establish DoubleTree as a brand in touch with millennials
- Give social media users an insight into the DoubleTree personality e.g. ‘all about the little things’
- To create an engaging and compelling social media competition that reinforces DoubleTree’s brand and gives something back to the audience
- To develop an overall social media campaign that targets DoubleTree by Hilton’s three most important digital audience segments: Spectators, Joiners, and Creators
- Luna Cinemas were to host 125 outdoor cinema screens around the world, each sponsored by DoubleTree.
- The usual DoubleTree cookies were handed out as guests arrived, as were summer survival kits – but the main part of the campaign was the dress-up photo booth.
- Groups were allowed in to take photos and were then encouraged to share these on social media along with the hashtag #StarryNights
- The best photo got to watch the film with their friends with a luxury DoubleTree Hilton VIP bed
This is engaging marketing on social at its finest, if we don't mind saying so ourselves!
- Researched and gained a thorough understanding of DoubleTree’s Spectator, Joiner, and Creator audience segments - and what kind of social content they love
- Established a new tone of voice for DoubleTree by Hilton, ensuring all digital copy worked in conjunction with Luna Cinema’s own creative vision
- Produced a new brand guidelines document for the #StarryNights campaign, including colour, typography, and other design requirements
- Getting the popcorn and beanbags out and ‘researching’ all of Luna Cinema’s movies
- Monitored and evaluated all #StarryNight social media content
- Produced engaging press releases
- 2,115,887 content impressions across all social media platforms – 60% of whom were DoubleTree’s 18-24-year-old target audience
- 109,991 ‘#StarryNights’ impressions all social media platforms, with 61.5% of these impressions from the UK
- 3,723 content engagements all social media platforms
- Pushed the DoubleTree Twitter account into the top 5% of Twitter accounts in the world based on Klout
Through clever use of social media, the pixel8 marketing campaign has allowed DoubleTree by Hilton to gain a better audience understanding and target an entirely new customer segment, including:
- Communicating with 18-24-year-olds on a daily basis and providing them with valuable content
- Providing the audience with something fun, engaging, and cool to share with their social media networks (all whilst sharing the DoubleTree by Hilton brand)
- Raising DoubleTree’s brand awareness on Facebook, acquiring - on average - 746 new page likes per week
- Improving audience communication with customer-specific tweets, attracting on average 72.9 engagements per day – meeting DoubleTree’s objective of targeting Spectator, Creator, and Joiner audience segments
- Increasing DoubleTree’s presence on Instagram, with 4,228 impressions in just two months
The below image details just how much feedback the campaign generated. 1,546 entries don’t lie. People love to engage with brands and get involved on social.
In short, experiential marketing is exactly what today’s social audience need in order to develop a relationship with a brand.
As you can see, there was a sharp rise in followers of the brand – especially on Facebook. As well as this there more than 55,000 engagements and that’s without evening mentioning the trending rates which were high above the usual average for the hotel industry.
If this isn’t proof that experiential marketing is effective, we’re not sure what is!
Experiential Marketing & pixel8
There is only 17 of us. 4 of which worked specifically on this campaign. And yet we have succeeded in creating successful campaigns for some of the biggest leisure brands in the world, including DoubleTree by Hilton.
The #StarryNights campaign was a true team effort - utilising all of our branding, marketing, and creative skills in one amazing project. With only a limited budget, we succeeded in achieving 17/17 of Double Tree’s key performance indicators. The pixel8 team went above and beyond in raising the profile of DoubleTree’s Twitter account - ranking it in the top 5 Twitter accounts across the world based on Klout.
Using our in-depth understanding of social media strategy, we also created a campaign that gave DoubleTree by Hilton an effective way to communicate with 18-24-year-olds – helping to establish new business opportunities for the hotel brand in the future.
If you’d like to dig into the world of experiential marketing, then why not contact pixel8 today? We’ve worked with a wide range of brands and experiential marketing really is one of our specialities.
Give us a call on 0161 224 6489 to find out more. You can also fill in the contact us form below and we’ll be sure to get in touch - we're brimming with ideas, and your brand could be the next experiential campaign to capture the hearts and minds of your customers.