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The power of experiential marketing continues to be reflected in the budget allocations of top brands and companies as they shift more resources and creative capital to in-person events and activations. According to a recent Marketing Industry Trends Report from HubSpot, 83% of marketers surveyed said they planned to maintain or increase the level of investment toward experiential marketing in 2022. HubSpot further explains the trend: “Real-life experiences help foster a sense of connection that brands cannot mimic digitally.”

Experiential marketing creates a significant impact at any scale because of its ability to amplify a message beyond a single instance. So, brands without Fortune-500 level budgets take note: there is plenty of opportunity in cost-efficient experiential campaigns to see significant returns in both reach and loyalty.

How to Make the Most of Your Experiential Marketing Budget

1. Plan Ahead and Early 

Sure, sometimes experiential opportunities present themselves at the last minute that you must capitalize on. But when schedules allow, planning events and activations with plenty of lead time will ultimately benefit your bottom line. You’ll have more power to negotiate with vendors, suppliers, and production agencies if you aren’t looking at rush charges. And you’ll ensure you’re getting the highest-quality product or service for the best price.

2. Leverage Established Local Events  

An excellent strategy for brands launching their first experiential campaign is to leverage existing events or integrations rather than starting from square one. Large festivals, gameday experiences, or major exhibitions are enticing but likely expensive. Instead, look for established opportunities that are locally popular in target markets. You’ll get attention from an engaged audience who are happy to see brand support for an event they love attending. And you will gain experience in an environment that can later be scaled with valuable insights and learnings.

3. Go to Where Your Customers Already Are 

If your experiential strategy doesn’t rely on a particular event, a cost-effective way to build audience connections is by bringing your brand into their everyday lives. Street team and guerrilla marketing aims to “surprise and delight,” and executing these types of campaigns can be deceptively simple and budget-friendly. The trick is to know exactly where your target consumers are and offer them something they will appreciate via an interaction that will resonate.

does street team marketing work?

Street team marketing targets consumers where they work, live and play.

4. Create Shared Experiences

Why impact one person when you can easily reach two? Since experiential marketing is centered around the 1:1 connection, the simplest way to increase reach is to think 1:2. Brand experiences built as multi-person activations immediately impact overall reach with minimal additional investment. Plus, it makes the entire interaction more memorable, and the audience has the brand to thank as the facilitator.  

5. Don’t Forget the Social Factor 

Of course, your audience’s social media is the number one way to amplify your experiential marketing efforts cost-effectively. But don’t come up with a catchy hashtag, hope for a photo-op and call it a day. Today, social algorithms love video content, so consider how to make your brand activation conducive to filming quick clips to maximize social impressions and engagement.

Getting bigger engagement from experiential marketing campaigns doesn’t require a bigger budget. But it does require a keen understanding of your target audience and how to connect to them personally. So while many trending experiences from big brands seem big and flashy, take a closer look at the actual execution to see how simple the connection can be.

ATN Event Staffing is your one-stop resource for experiential marketing staff. For nearly two decades brands and organizations of all sizes have counted on ATN for their event staffing needs.