Social media is having a significant impact on execution of experiential campaigns. It is effectively leading to multifold brand interactions, in the process. Thanks to enhanced consumer awareness of networking and sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc, the digital element of ad campaigns can now come into play before, during and even after a marketing event.
Websites, already integral to such experiential activity, albeit more as a follow-up to initial interactions – enable users to source additional details or offers – coupled with social networks’ introduction in the mix of things. Digital, thus joined at the hip to experiential element, is now one of the major thrust areas of brand awareness activities, owing to its complementary nature.
Cultivate self-motivating brand ambassadors online
Consumers are keen to exchange views and share experiences online about brands. Social media creates excellent opportunities for brands from this self-generated spontaneous interaction. The exciting possibilities social networking offers are too tempting to ignore for them, as they understand how focused online conversations can attract a large number of users. For instance, using sampling activity as the core of a digital campaign helps create a closely-knit virtual community.
At a very basic level, shooting any branded event and then putting it up online can amplify its reach. When a business, entertainment or sporting event’s video is made available on the Web, it is bound to draw in a wider audience base at no additional cost. Consumers attending these events are encouraged to share their experiences by putting up photos and video content to networking sites.
Haircare brand Wella achieved good exposure for an international event held in Berlin, with an extensive buildup through Facebook teasers and Twitter updates. The well-thought campaign included video blogs and photographs. Updates during the actual show posted online received spontaneous response.
A recent campaign for Maker’s Mark, Kentucky bourbon whiskey brand, had artists creating live art using its signature seal ‘red wax’ in bars. Apart from building a Facebook community, the individual artists’ social networks were also tapped. The idea struck an instant chord with customers.
Being open and flexible is vital
Social media is a perfect avenue for running low-budget campaigns. Importantly, those participating in interactive activities tend to continue the relationship through Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to spread the word at little or no cost to a brand.
However, the usage of social media demands a far greater open and flexible approach than marketers are generally used to. It cannot be treated as another ubiquitous form of advertising. So what are some of the basic things to be considered, while using social media for brand awareness?
- Trying to control the conversations or pushing content does not work. In fact, it can well backfire.
- The key is not to be afraid of relinquishing control. Let the things take their own course, so that consumers feel free to interact on your behalf.
- Marketers must be honest and genuine in their communication. They should be able to deal with a negative response, at times.
If executed properly, these strategies help businesses cultivate countless brand ambassadors who are self-motivating and self-recruited.