Shoppers want to believe in your brand. But, can they trust your brand? People are skeptical of traditional and digital advertising that encompasses all advertising mediums.

These ads are designed to inform—let shoppers know of an upcoming sale, or persuade, convince people to buy your brand. Consumers may take advantage of the sale.

They may even remember your ad for the 30 seconds it is in front of them. But, will they connect with your brand and become loyal customers?

Loyalty is based on trust—a feeling based on positive emotional experiences. If you want loyal customers, your brand needs to engage with consumers to establish an emotional connection. How can you make that connection? How do you strengthen any relationship? You share experiences. So, what is experiential marketing?

Connecting Consumers Through Experience

Those shared experiences are the heart of experiential or engagement marketing. The experience must be authentic and immersive. It can’t be just about selling a product. These marketing experiences have to establish a positive connection that ties customers to your brand, your values, or your vision. If your experiences connect, your brand can realize greater social media presence, more publicity, stronger brand affinity, and product buzz. Here are three elements to consider when designing an experiential marketing strategy.

Authentic

What does authenticity mean to a company or brand? For an experience to be authentic, it must develop organically from the company and its products or services. It must provide value to the consumer. It can educate, entertain, or inspire, but it can’t be a sales event disguised as an experience.

Experiential marketing gives companies a chance to listen to their customers. It offers customers the opportunity to learn about a company and its products. It creates a two-way conversation with consumers that humanizes a company or brand. Humanizing strengthens the consumers’ attachment to your brand.

Authentic experiences are tapping into the growing experience economy, where the engagement has as much value as the goods or services.

Did you know that about 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences than on purchases?

Shareable

Experiences should be shared. In today’s world, social media is where word-of-mouth marketing happens. When people are enjoying themselves, they share that enjoyment on social media. Whether it’s an Instagram post or a tweet, consumers are willing to tell the world of their experiences — good or bad.
When creating an experience, be sure to incorporate shareable moments. A well-curated experience uses a mix of design, storytelling, and engagement to drive organic sharing. Make sure the experience can be easily shared to capitalize on your marketing efforts far beyond the event itself.

Memorable

To make an event memorable, incorporate as many of the senses as possible. Our senses play a significant role in creating memories, and the more senses that are engaged, the stronger the memory. Engagement marketing is the perfect time to establish a lasting impression on consumers.
Identify the senses to engage as part of the experience. Whether it is custom lighting or the sound, create a sensory experience that immerses the consumer in your story. The more immersive the experience the more likely the consumer is to remember your company or brand.

Why Engagement Marketing?

Experiential marketing isn’t a nice-to-have part of a marketing strategy. It’s a crucial part of an integrated approach. Use engagement marketing to drive word-of-mouth marketing on social media. Let consumers immerse themselves by engaging their senses. Let the experience present a brand in a tangible offline way and layer the digital or online component around it.