Experiential Marketing is one of the best ways to stand out in your market. It works by creating a genuine relationship between your brand (you) and your target clients through fun, interactive and memorable experiences.
The goal of Experiential Marketing is to create experiences that connect with your values and your brand in order to develop an emotional connection with your audience. This connection leads to an association of those emotions with your brand, which increases both the value and desire for your services.
CONNECT WITH YOUR MARKET
One of the best (and fastest) ways to connect with your target market is some sort of in-person event.
Online marketing works best when coupled with offline marketing, and you need some form of in-person connection in order to build deeper relationships with your target clients.
But we’re not talking about just any in-person event. In order to be successful these events must be both engaging and an actual experience for your audience.
Ultimately your goal is to get them back to your website so that they can be tracked and marketed to continuously (retargeting).
Below is one idea for an in-person experiential event (including how to implement it), but really the possibilities are endless. So take some time to plan out several events throughout the year in order to consistently stay in front of your market and increase the connection to your brand.
AN EVENT PHOTO BOOTH
One of the best ways to get in front of and engage with your target market is to provide a branded experience with an event photo booth. This creates a memorable experience with your audience and generates ongoing buzz that increases your visibility.
This is also good for ‘breaking in’ to new schools or communities, and gives you a way for them to experience your brand. And if you print the pictures at the event it allows them to leave with a branded image in hand as well!
However, whether or not you print the pictures on site you want to make sure that you are driving them back to your website. We’ll give you some ideas for how to do that as well.
Here are the two main ways that you can implement photo booth marketing at an event.
OPTION #1: You Bring The Photo Booth To The Event
While you can certainly use your DSLR to setup a photo booth at an event, there are several apps that make it much easier to do a DIY setup instead.
The Pro Edition has some additional features that can increase the benefits for your brand, including placing your logo on the layouts.
For events, setup the app in advance to make all photos have a branded look for your business. This gives you full control over the experience.
But don’t just put your logo on there. Create something that resonates with your target market that is highly desirable and relevant so they will share the images and create buzz for your brand. Remember, the key is to tie your brand to values and emotions that will connect with your target clients.
SHARING THE IMAGES
1) PRINT PHOTOS AT THE EVENT
By printing the photos from the photo booth at the event, you are giving your audience something branded and memorable to take with them that leaves an impression.
The fastest and easiest way to do this is through in-app printing in your photo booth app. This tutorial from Simple Booth shows you options for doing this.
You can also print images to a Fuji Film Instax printer if you want to print out Polaroid-like Instax prints for attendees to keep.
Whichever way you choose, be sure the final print is branded in a relevant way that makes it highly desirable and share-worthy. This increases the value of the experience and strengthens the connection with your market.
2) SEND THEM TO YOUR WEBSITE TO DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES
It’s important to give your target audience a reason to go to your website when you’re at an in-person event. This allows you to use retargeting to ‘follow’ them around for 30 days and continue marketing to them.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to setup a page on your site where they can go and download all of the photo booth images from the event. This keeps the buzz going, and also drives traffic to your site which increases the connection to your brand.
Be sure to do this as soon as possible after the event (that same day/evening if you can) while people are still excited about the event itself.
OPTION #2: Have Event Attendees Snap The Photos
Another option for the Event Photo Booth is to have event attendees take the photos. This is a good option if you can’t (or don’t want to) setup a photo booth yourself, and can give attendees something fun to do and engage with each other. Plus, they can take the photos right on their phone.
CREATE AN EVENT HASHTAG
Create a branded hashtag for the event and let your audience know about it (via social media, word of mouth, passing out cards at the event, etc.).
Have attendees upload their photos to Instagram or Twitter and use the branded hashtag you created in the comments.
Decide ahead of time what you want to do with the images in the feed, keeping in mind that your goal is to drive them back to your website.
HOLD A CONTEST
One option could be to hold a contest where you select the best images posted with the branded event hashtag based on criteria you setup beforehand (i.e. craziest location, best photo with the DJ, most people in a photo, etc.).
At the end of the event select the winners based on the images that you pull from the hashtag feeds and announce the winners on your website, in your social media and in your email newsletter.
Award prize(s) to the winner(s), but keep it relevant and branded (i.e. don’t simply give a ‘free session’ but rather something that connects with your brand, such as an instax camera and a free session, or a Lululemon gift card). You can also team up with partners for giveaways. The point is to make it fun and experiential!
PRINT ATTENDEE PHOTOS AS BRANDED KEEPSAKES
Setup a printer at the event to print hashtagged photos for the attendees to take home and keep as a branded souvenir.
You can also use IFTTT to save photos to Dropbox with your branded event hashtag and print them using the Live Booth app. Live Booth is made by the same company, and can work along side of, the Simple Photo Booth app.
Another option is to use the Fuji Film Instax printer, which prints out Polaroid-like Instax prints from your smartphone.
1) Determine what is included.
Whether you’re doing an event photo booth or a different type of in-person experiential event, start by determining what all you will include in – and what all will be part of – the marketing strategy.
2) Contact the school or person(s) in charge.
If you’re doing a photo booth or contest where you need a physical presence, be sure to contact the school or person(s) in charge directly. Make this as easy as possible for them, and focus on the benefits both to them and to the students. Do not make this promotional in any way.
3) Contact potential partners.
If you’re planning to incorporate partners in any way with your photo booth or other event, contact them to set things up and get everyone on the same page.
4) Plan to have help during the event.
Be sure to schedule help for the event. You could use your models, clients, staff, parents, partners, etc. and get them involved as well. But be sure you don’t try to do it alone, especially if you’re doing an event photo booth.
5) Create promotional materials.
I.e. cards to hand out, signs, lookbooks, props for photo booth, etc.
6) Create a page on your website for the event.
Setup the page(s) on your website that you will drive people to for the photo booth or other event.
7) Plan the photo booth setup.
If you are doing a photo booth, be sure to plan for a backdrop and bring cool ‘props’ for people to use, and keep them tied to the event if possible. Make them fun and unusual so that people will remember the experience and want to share the images. I.e. hats, glasses/sunglasses, boas, branded pieces to hold, funny signs, and so on.