Experiential: Hands On

Josh Smith - 18/02/2016



I know, I know. You just got the hang of it... Only to find out that the internet is no longer impressed by your content marketing.

When it comes to content, the audience has become a stone wall - indifferent and unmoved.

… So what happened?

Social Media Hates Advertising

Traditional marketing focuses on communicating brand and product benefits.

The features and benefit of a product or service are the foundation of any marketing strategy. Brands have been built around the features and benefits of their product alone.

Until now, that is.

Facebook made it difficult for brands to get leverage from standard content. They noted users chose to use the ‘hide’ function to avoid posts from brands – big and small. They changed their algorithm to make it difficult for branded content to find eyeballs.

Now, to find the same leverage, Facebook marketeers have three options. They can either pay for eyeballs; outsmart the algorithm, or both. Otherwise? Their content will fall flat.

Other platforms continue to develop algorithms that offer marketers easy methods of getting views. Twitter for example, recently introduced their top-of-the-feed video offering.

Brands pay Twitter to keep their video content at the forefront of consumer timelines. Even with that advantage, it becomes more obvious that content is falling flat.

The only way round content saturation is to create content that rustles consumer emotions. With, or without paying, content must now appeal to customer ideology to have impact. This includes everything from angle, to tone of voice, to format.
Social marketing shifted to this idea immediately. You'll note that content on your feed is increasingly video, increasingly emotional – and more viral than ever before.

Social media made it blaringly obvious that people don’t want to engage with brands - they want to engage with people.

Influencing consumers in 2016 is simply having a conversation with them. Not broadcasting at them. Not selling to them.

But if the entire market is talking to the audience, how are you supposed to hold a consumers attention?

You surprise them. Literally.

Experiential Marketing

Experiential aims to connect consumers to brands through memorable or emotional experiences.

The experiences created may have little or nothing to do with the brand’s product or the product's features and benefits. This is main advantage of experiential over other forms of marketing. The idea behind it isn’t to 'up sell' anything, making it hold consumers attention for longer.

Not to mention, it is way more fun to produce. Trust us.

The theory behind it:

Experiences impact consumer loyalty at a subconscious level. This elevates brand awareness above competitors and increases sales organically (sort of).

Or, in layman’s terms:

If consumers like a brand, or feel connected to a brand, they’re more likely to trust that brand with their hard earned money.

Experiential is an opportunity for brands to explore their ideology.

When consumers recognise that a brand exhibits ideology that aligns with theirs – the brand is more likely to retain them as loyal consumers.

The brand’s products thus become an extension, or representation of the consumer themselves - symbolic of an attitude, or a shared way of thinking.

Experiential and Social Activation Campaigns

There was a 54% increase in UK brands seeking experiential support in 2015. Often used in conjunction with social activation campaigns.

Brands and agencies are proactively closing the gap between brand and consumer – reaching beyond the computer screen. Right through it, in fact.

This is having a huge impact on how brands choose to spend their marketing budget. Experiential has proved so successful; there is now a boom of agencies making it their specialty.

Fortunately, all of this means that content marketing isn’t dead by any means, it has merely evolved.

It’s more interactive, more personable and more interactive than ever before.

At Liquid, our new PR & social department are experiential experts.

Looking for something to raise your brand profile, create a splash on social media, or provide your consumers with an event they'll never forget? Pop us an email at lauren@liquidagency.co.uk, or call us

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