By Lisa Major
Give the people what they want.
Or. In this case, give the target audience what they want.
Many brands have turned to the digital space to market themselves. From social media ads to pop-ups, digital marketing is a crowded space with extremely short attention spans. Brand activations, on the other hand, offer brands a unique opportunity to engage directly with consumers on their terms. They allow brands to reach new audiences and form loyal bonds with a community of fans, influencers, and customers. But what happens when you combine the two together? Magic, that’s what. The marriage of social media and brand activations can have a huge impact on your brand. Read on to learn more about making your next brand activation an Insta-worthy success!
This goes without saying but…make your brand activation Instagrammable.
If you haven’t gotten on the bandwagon of social media marketing for company success, I’m afraid you are way behind, friend. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start focusing on its importance now.
Let’s face it, everyone today is looking for those perfect “Instagrammable” moments to capture and share with the world. Everywhere we go, we’re on the search for the next picture perfect moment. This is a fantastic (and usually free) marketing tool that companies need to take advantage of. Activations that are shareworthy reach a broader audience and leave a significant and long-lasting impression.
Millennials and Gen Xers hate being sold to. They don’t like being talked at or feeling like brands only want them around if they buy. These two generations have become extremely in tune with how brands market to them and are good at dropping brands that they feel are disingenuine. Things like signage, promoting sales discounts, listing reasons to make a purchase don’t work the way they used to. Instead, brands should aim to attract consumers to with something that don’t want to miss out on by creating some FOMO to draw them in. Once you have them there, engage them with games, contests, giveaways, and conversation. Try to keep things as organic as possible and allow your customers to discover the positive impacts your brand can have on them, on their own.
At SXSW 2019, Amazon Prime Video built a massive walled garden to promote their show, Good Omens. Based on the cult favorite novel, the network used costumed brand ambassadors dressed as angels and demons who wandered around the garden asking attendees their plans for the soon-to-be apocalypse. Attendees chose between heaven and hell, and based on their decision, they were then escorted into separate activations. Once inside, the activation elements included everything from musicians and DJs to a “hellhound puppy pen” with costumed adoptable pets from a local animal shelter. Don’t be afraid to use wit and whimsy to think outside the box.
It is common for brands to feature celebrities at panels and meet and greets. But, more and more consumers report that their buying decisions are based on recommendations from social media influencers rather than celebrities. From micro-influencers to bloggers, leveraging these types of influencers and their strong followings to create an authentic connection with your brand can have a huge impact on your ROI.
When Tinder launched its paid subscription version of its popular dating app, it hosted a launch event that had an airline theme within every single event element. An airplane prop from a movie set dubbed “Tinder Air” was front and center in the activation space. Costumed brand ambassadors dressed in TSA uniforms and as flight attendants and were responsible for greeting guests. Tinder offered boarding passes instead of guest tickets, and get this, they even had a Tinder-branded security checkpoint complete with metal detectors. Not only did the theme represent the brand’s new service, but it also offered a prime opportunity for attendee-generated content.
Consider the Insta-famous Museum of Ice Cream. Something that is typically considered dull and sterol (a trip to a museum) was turned into an engaging exhibit that fostered interaction. The entire space was designed and built with the idea of it being a fully sharable experience on social media. Thus, inciting appealing visuals and full sensory experiences. Your brand activation should do the same. Strive to create content that is aesthetically appealing to your audience as well something they will want to share.
When brands create a shareworthy, or Insta-worthy, experience, consumers tend to linger around, offering you the opportunity to fully engage them. They take photos, and more importantly, they share photos. That’s where the magic happens. As a result, brands can instantly and organically reach a whole new audience in a matter of seconds. And when those followers see that content, they are more likely to pause and engage with the post rather than scroll by it. Even better, they remember it.
To get the most bang for your buck, enlist an experienced team of brand ambassadors that can subtly push for social sharing. Whether it’s a hashtag share, a photo opportunity, or an Instagram mosaic, brand ambassadors can help guide attendees to get your brand the exposure it deserves.
No matter where your brand activation takes place, ATN can provide you with the right people who will get your brand noticed. We offer a wide range of staffing solutions for brand activations and experiential marketing campaigns. Click below to get in touch with one of our event staffing gurus to learn more about what ATN can do for you!