by Justin Isles, Director of The Events Structure
As the owner of a startup business, you want to make sure that your marketing campaigns are as effective as possible, allowing you to build brand recognition and increase awareness. Experiential marketing has become a big part of that process, allowing potential consumers and investors to get up close and personal with your brand and getting excited about face-to-face engagement.
Today, we’re lifting the lid on experiential marketing, giving you 5 creative ideas for getting your startup the recognition it deserves.
1. Choose your location wisely.
Obviously, where and when your event takes place is crucial to its success. Carry out market research well in advance and make sure that your product is marketable towards the type of audience that are going to be attending your event. For example, it would be unwise for an urban fashion company to take their products to a countryside village fair. Knowing your audience will really help your business reap rewards – and, in turn, ensure your audience get to know you.
2. Appeal to all 5 senses.
Your pop-up event is going to set the tone for your brand, and the most immediate way to do that is by engaging the senses of your potential clients. Depending on your brand, you’ll have already thought about the most obvious senses. For example, if you’re a clothing brand, you’ll have thought about the visual appeal of your products, while a bakery would be more likely to focus on how their products taste and smell.
It’s difficult to stand out, however, when you’re only engaging with the obvious. Try partnering up with another non-competitive brand that can supplement your own event. Whether it’s new music playing in your exhibition trailers, or free cupcakes with every unit you sell, think outside the box when it comes to giving your audience what they want.
3. Find your creative side.
As a startup, you probably already know that to get ahead, you need to be creative in your approach to marketing. You want to build brand awareness and be memorable to your potential client base to make sure they come to you before seeking out your competitors. With that in mind, you’ll want to make sure your creativity sticks in the mind of event attendees.
While there’s something to be said for the weird and wonderful approach, going in loud and bright and grabbing attention, there’s also plenty of merit in keeping things simple. Brands who know what their business is about and promote it in a clean and easy-to-understand way are likely to gain the respect of their audience – and this isn’t always about being the biggest voice or competitor in the industry.
4. Run competitions.
One sure fire way to get people interested in your event is by running competitions. Start by building a social media following and advertise a product giveaway or a premium prize across your channels – then use the event day as the platform from which you can announce the winner. This will encourage engagement and hopefully boost footfall on the day of the event.
Competitions offer an opportunity for your business to give something back. Not only will this help build the foundations for relationships with future customers, it will also be a chance to reflect the values of your brand. And by encouraging participants to share, like and retweet competitions as part of the entry process, you’ll spread your reach far beyond your followers list.
5. Make it personal with social media.
Engaging with your event attendees is a crucial element of building brand recognition and relationships with your client base. You’ll want to make sure you get your target audience interested in your event, interact with them once they’re there, and keep them invested long after your event has finished.
One highly effective way of establishing and nurturing client relationships is through the use of social media hashtags. Create your unique hashtag a few weeks in advance of the event and tell people why they shouldn’t miss your event – advertising special offers or deals they can take advantage of by being there. During the event, live stream the highlights and show non-attendees all the best parts of the event. Then, once your event is over, keep your social media followers up-to-date with snippets of information about the event and what you’re planning next.
If you’re looking for creative inspiration when it comes to experiential marketing ideas for your startup, the above tips are a great place to start!
Justin Isles is the Director of The Events Structure, the UK’s only single source provider of state-of-the-art exhibition trailers, promotional vehicles and other event marketing solutions.