One of the primary goals of marketing is establishing social proof. Social proof is a phenomenon in which people assume the actions of others to try to reflect correct behavior. For marketers, that means by proving yourself to one person, their opinions and behaviors can influence others around them. Word of mouth is a predominant way that behaviors are transferred from one person to the other. It is because of the power that peers have in influencing each other, much more than traditional advertising, that Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) has developed as its own sector of marketing. And as far as we can tell, very few channels can boost WOMM better than experiential. This week’s EPS Water Cooler showcases 6 ways to improve your WOMM strategy. We also feature an article on essentials for experiential lead capture and social media strategies for events.
According to Forbes, word of mouth “has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing—the one that consumers trust above all others and the one that is most likely to drive sales for your company.” Getting consumers to buzz about your brand or product can be one of the most impactful ways to earn their short and long-term business. So how do you do it? How do you earn that ever-important social proof and get people talking? This Forbes article lists 6 key strategies that can boost your word of mouth marketing efforts. From enlisting the help of influencers to executing experiential marketing campaigns, your brand can be the talk of the town.
When you think about any strong relationship in your life, changes are the vast majority (if not all) were developed face-to-face. The fact is, much of our communication is nonverbal. Dr. Albert Mehrabian found that “7% of any message is conveyed through words, 38% through certain vocal elements, and 55% through nonverbal elements.” This means that building a relationship, especially a brand relationship, cannot be done through traditional advertising alone. It is no wonder that the data continually show that brand experiences are the best way to build strong relationships with consumers. Here are several reasons why live events are they key to strengthening your marketing efforts.
There is no doubt that social media is one of the primary ways that word of mouth marketing works in today’s day and age. While people crave in-person experiences, they spend a tremendous amount of time online. In fact, a Mediakix study showed that the average person spends almost 2 hours a day on social media. In terms of minutes, that breaks down to “YouTube (40 minutes), Facebook (35), Snapchat (25), Instagram (15) and Twitter (one)”. From there, Mediakix “projected those figures out over a lifetime, arriving at a total of five years and four months” per person. The lesson? Even with the clear benefits of executing an in-person brand experience, it is imperative to boost your event’s reach using social media. Here are per platform trends, tips and strategies on how you can do just that.
For years, experiential marketing events targeted brand awareness and developing positive word of mouth marketing. Now times have changed. Marketers have begun to see that events can play double and triple duty. While they still promote a positive brand image, events are also content gold mines and lead generation machines. According to Event Track 2016, 98% of event attendees will create digital or social content, and 100% of them will share it. And, with all the positive vibes created at an event, consumers are much more likely to part with their contact information. But when it comes to lead generation, brands need to be diligent. They must ensure that lead information is captured properly and followed up with quickly to ensure ROI. Here are 5 experiential lead capture essentials.
Trade show marketing can be competitive. At any given event, your company has a small footprint and is surrounded by competitors and a vast amount of noise. While these environments are prime for hyper-targeting your audience, making a memorable impact on attendees is a challenge. Enter experiential marketing. The brand experiences created under the umbrella of experiential are customizable and open to creativity. Brands can transform a typical trade show booth or exhibit into an experiential trade show experience. This will take your trade show word of mouth marketing to a whole new level. When attendees visit your highly-engaging experiential exhibit, they won’t be able to resist sharing with other attendees. Here are 7 examples of successful trade show marketing.
Traditional marketing and advertising has long been characterized as disruptive and cold. The conversation is one way, in which the brand does all the talking, and consumers are without a voice. It is no wonder that traditional marketing struggles to communicate a brand’s authenticity. And now, in this ultra-competitive, modern business landscape, being real and authentic is of critical importance. An Ad Age article reports that, “the 75 million U.S. millennials do not like being advertised to. Gone are the days of big, successful push-marketing efforts. Today’s marketers need to stop selling and start engaging on customers’ terms to drive pull-marketing efforts at scale. Hence, the marketers’ drive to authenticity.”
The success of counter-culture conferences proves there is demand for outside of the box experiences. One of these alternative events is C2 Montréal. This is “a three-day conference that aims to merge commerce and creativity by putting attendee connections at the center of the action.” This article goes on to describe the event as “an offbeat hybrid of a TED talk and a theatrical performance that re-imagines and challenges the standard conference format.” Many of the conferences’ experiences went well beyond unique, and made a memorable impression on guests. Event Marketer identifies 6 key experiential marketing lessons that companies can take away from this show-stopper of a gathering.
Experiential marketing takes many forms. Street teams, guerrilla marketing, PR stunts, product sampling, demonstrations…when it comes to creating a brand experience, the sky is the limit (literally, as EPS has executed campaigns onboard commercial aircraft). One of the experiential tactics du jour is the pop up shop. Pop-ups are excellent opportunities for brands to drive revenue by opening a temporary shop in a high-traffic location, or during high-season. When done well, they give a brand a huge word of mouth marketing boost. But, like all experiential techniques, pop up shops take planning. This includes execution and promotion, but also in establishing measurable goals, data collection, and more. Here are questions to ask before your brand executes a pop up.
Word of mouth marketing is immensely powerful, and experiential marketing is one of the best ways to get people talking. As the holidays approach, harnessing the power of events is critical for all industries, but, most of all, retail. Download our free Experiential Marketing and Retail eBook to find our how experiences can make your company stand out.