experiential marketing for content marketing

“Experience-based marketing isn’t just about dropping your audience into the occasional amazing space. It’s about turning every tactic in your marketing repertoire into a character, event, or twist in the ongoing plot of your brand. With this approach, conversions aren’t goals that you have to draw audiences toward; rather, they are the moments in which where the audience can take part in the story themselves.”

// Kyle Harper, Skyword

Experiential marketing fuels the content factory

Do you remember giggling at Chrysler’s “PacifiKids” commercial? You know the one in which kids, aged 8 – 13, greet unsuspecting customers at a car dealership? This TV spot was created after a hidden camera stunt. Or in other words, it was content taken from a real brand experience.

The experience aligned with Chrysler’s positioning that kids have more influence in parents’ purchase decisions than ever before. But it only interacted physically with twelve families. Yet, all of us also got to imagine what it would be like if our kids were selling us our next minivan.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 81% of content marketers use in-person events. And 75% say that in-person events are the most effective tactic. In-person events, by the way, is the top-rated tactic for content, even compared to videos, blogs, infographics and webinars.

In that same study, producing engaging content was the top challenge (60% of marketers agreed) and also the top priority (72% of marketers agreed) for content marketing.

Experiential marketing is sometimes seen as a risk. It’s nontraditional advertising, and some brand experiences require a larger investment.

But what if that same investment could be used to kill two birds with one stone? And if it could also play double duty to help with your engaging content challenge?

Depending on the type of brand experience, there are several content pieces you could capture and use throughout the entire year. Some examples:

  • Footage of experience repurposed into TV commercials or pre-roll video ads
  • Audience testimonials/reactions for TV, radio or online spots
  • On-site influencer/staff interviews which could be used in a number of ways for years to come
  • Online behind-the-scenes look of your mobile marketing tour by a brand influencer whose content would appeal to his/her followers
  • Photography for stock image library, point-of-sale imagery, print ads or out-of-home ads
  • Social media content, for immediate use including live streams
  • Social media content, such as pictures/videos/memes from the experience and scheduled appropriately throughout the year
  • Primary market research (in the form of participant surveys or polls) used for infographics or white paper content

For example, during the Stella Artois Sensorium, the brand captured chef interviews that were used for two years’ worth of video content to talk about food and beer pairings to Stella’s online audiences.

“It’s not only the number of consumers at the event, it’s the content generated for our brand,” said Todd Allen of AB InBev in this Medium interview.

Leveraging social media for reach and user-generated content is great, but there’s more! If experiential marketers aren’t looking past social, they’re missing content opportunities.

You may need to extend your experiential marketing campaign by a day or two to schedule your content generation, but it might just be worth it!

Imagine centering your entire annual marketing plan around experiential, and how much more you can gain from an integrative planning approach as such?

We know that experiential marketing is effective; 80% of experiential marketers saw a return on investment of 3:1 or more, and 16% realized an ROI of 20:1 or more. But what if now, you also considered content as a driver on your return?

An example given by Jil Eisnor during an Experiential Marketing Summit session, “EventTrack 2017 Unveiled,” was this… What if you could spend $2.5mm on an experience and earn a .34 ROI? Or, what if you could spend $2mm on an experience, $500,000 on content at that experience, and see a 1.8 ROI? Which would you choose? (Note, brand experiences do not need to cost that much.)

Adding a content plan to your brand experience could improve your overall ROI, and make your marketing job a lot easier at the same time!

Experiential marketing is a solution beyond a way to connect with your audience. Brand experiences can be leveraged for your content marketing needs.