Motive: Experiential marketing and social media — a dynamic duo
by Amahle Madlala (@amahle_san) In uncertain economic times, brands are always looking for more ways to stand out. Social media is one such tool that, when coupled with a dynamite experiential campaign, makes it more effective.
In recent years, experiential marketing has been proven to help brands by connecting with consumers in meaningful ways. According to the Event Marketing Institute’s EventTrack 2015 study, 65% of marketers are seeing a direct sales lift as the result of experiential marketing. Additionally, 87% of consumers find live events more effective than TV advertising, and 98% say a live event motivates them to buy a product.
As stated by World Wide Worx and Fuseware’s South African Social Media Landscape 2015 report, a survey of 65 of South Africa’s top brands reveals that 95% are using Twitter and 92% are using Facebook. Fifty-one percent of these brands intended to increase their social media budgets in 2015.
The vast reach that social media offers may help brands make a bigger impact upon their consumer base. The ROI keeps marketing and finance directors smiling.
While so many SA brands are online, so few are using the space to its full marketing potential. We would do well to look at global brands and learn from their successes in integrating experiential with social.
To celebrate its 100th birthday, Oreo launched a social campaign called Daily Twist, where they created 100 pieces of content for 100 days. The content was focused on buzzworthy topics and incorporated the Oreo cookie in a creative way. On the final day of the campaign, Oreo set up a fishbowl in the middle of Times Square and crowdsourced topics to let the public decide which Twist would be the 100th one. This campaign made public interaction via social media a key element. After the campaign, Oreo saw a 1 042 433 increase in Facebook fans, a 280% increase in Facebook shares and 515% increase in Twitter retweets.
Smaller and specific
Sometimes mass awareness isn’t the key objective, but attaining the attention of smaller and specific target audiences is.
An example of how social media may effectively amplify offline events to specific users was seen during a social media campaign surrounding a bank’s induction week for graduate programme participants. The week was made up of series of interactive lectures, as well as teambuilding-style experiential events in which the incoming graduate programmes participants took part.
Over the week, participants were asked to share their favourite inspirational quotes heard during the events, using the campaign hashtag #FMSummit. The bank’s social media manager retweeted the participant tweets and used social media ads to ensure that campaign content reached people who fulfilled criteria set by the programme managers. The result? People who met the criteria were made aware of the bank’s graduate programmes and the hashtag campaign reached over 850 000 people, therefore increasing the amount of quality programme applicants for the following year.
Experiential marketing is more than an event, and social media is more than just a networking platform. More and more, brand managers recognise how experiential and social media marketing can work together as a dynamic duo to achieve key business objectives, including increased brand awareness and sales. Social media isn’t all about selfies and memes; it’s where consumer bases are grown.
“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on MarkLives.com. Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.
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