By Wes Bodkin • April 04 2019
In a recent Gen Z survey by The Campus Agency, 58% of college students ranked Instagram as the social platform they view most often, followed most closely by Snapchat at only 17%. Instagram is leading the charge in the world of digital marketing. It offers inexpensive, highly targeted ads that can be listed in only minutes. So why do some of the most successful brands continue to turn towards interactive, experience driven campaigns?
While social posts are great for building interest and awareness, interactive events are key to creating a powerful emotional experience that allows your audience to take part in your brand. So many brands advertise on mobile every day, but only a few put in the work to get people off of their phones and interacting with people.
A Lasting Impact
What does it mean to be memorable? How about a meaningful conversation they had about free speech, fake news and the importance of staying current with an on-campus ambassador from the most read newspaper in the U.S. Or maybe it’s the epic shoe party and fashion show that happened on their quad last weekend.
At the heart of all these experiences is the brands ability to show their audience who they are and what they stand for, beyond flashy photos and clever taglines. By showing their values, brands enable consumers to create a deeper connection and build loyalty. Experiential marketing is vital to showcasing this brand identity, especially when it doesn’t have any brick and mortar locations. What brands need are the people who make it real, and customers connections with these people are what allows them to identify with a brand.
If done right, your activation should be highly branded, unique, and most importantly sharable. Ask yourself, “Is this instagramable?” At the end of the day, the best result you can get is your audience posting their own unique content that features your activation. Why is this? Because they most likely share many demographics with their peers/followers, which means hitting more of your target audience. In addition, seeing someone they know with your activation will make it personally relevant to them.
Due to the nature of user generated content, their posts will blend in well with the rest of the feed, it won’t stick out like a sore thumb like advertisements on social. Depending on how long your activation runs, this will help attract more people to it, which means higher impressions and higher overall ROI.
While social media marketing does have the ability to be highly targeted, interactive marketing events are an opportunity to gather more information and more insights about your audience that you may not have previously known. In some cases, these events even allow brands to reconsider who their target is, and tap into a demographic they hadn’t considered.