Merchandising your Work
In 2021, digital and event marketing synergy is crucial to maximizing event results and your marketing budget. With social media being fully integrated into the daily lives of the vast majority of consumers during 2020, there is no denying the importance of harnessing the power of digital storytelling. When the world was on lockdown, social media became a central part of everyone’s lives. The paradoxical thing is: social media remains a powerful force, while live events take on a boosted value that we’ve never before experienced. Businesses’ strategy in 2021 is to neatly package all event marketing activations inside of a digital campaign.
The Reciprocity of Live and Digital: This means creating brand activations that invite social sharing and creating content from the events. Your booth, your branding, your marketing materials at an event will live longer and travel further if you create some compelling content at the event. Through this content creation, you open up the possibility for:
- Follow-up communication with potential customers
- Cross-marketing opportunities with other brands at the event
- Email acquisition strategy
- Marketing materials for future events
- Much needed content for your editorial calendar
Essentially, by creating content out of the event marketing, you are merchandising the work done at your brand activation. Your event marketing efforts get to live a second life in your digital marketing and your digital marketing helps to promote your next event.
Quality Content Creation: The most significant challenges to accomplish the successful merchandising of your activation are:
- Creating high-quality content worthy of being shared
- Presenting your brand in an authentic way
- Adding some value to the social media ecosystem
In order to tackle these challenges, you may want to think about hiring professional content creators to maximize the efficacy of your marketing efforts.
Curating Social Feeds: In 2021, marketing on social media is highly sophisticated. At the time of writing, Forbes has published 32 articles on their website about social media in the past 30 days. Facebook is redefining the digital landscape with the ‘Metaverse.” Clearly, digital marketing is not going anywhere. This massive influx of marketing energy into the channels of social sharing has created a crowded space. The bar has been raised. What worked 1 year ago is no longer viable in today’s climate. While Instagram started as a place to share photos instantly from your phone, it is common practice among brands to hire professional photographers, writers, and videographers to produce the content for their feed.
Amplified Word of Mouth: If you want the people who attend your booth to share a photo of themselves in front of your branding, then taking a great photograph of them increases the likelihood that they will want to share something about your brand with their friends and followers. If someone stars in a moment within a fun video created at the event, they will want to share that with their family and friends. The same is true for a quote in a blog. This kind of sharing will earn you the best value that social media has to offer: an amplified version of word-of-mouth marketing. When people include you in the stories they tell about their lives, you create powerful organic marketing value. You never know when you’ll have an influencer in your event footprint. Build an experiential moment that no one can resist.
Creative Cross Marketing: Hiring professionals to create content at the events you attend allows you to provide value to other brands in attendance. Since you have a photographer present, you can create interesting cross-marketing opportunities. If you are sampling your newest jams and preserves, you might do some beautiful photos with a cheese maker in attendance. A creative photographer who finds these opportunities could lead to your photos being used by other brands with all the added value of reaching their audience. Let’s face it, if there aren’t quality photos or video, the event didn’t happen.
Digital Recaps: A powerful effect of creating content out of your event marketing is the amplification through digital marketing. When you publish blog posts, photo albums, and videos on your website and you share them to your social channels, you give your audience some compelling content and motivate them to attend your next event. If you plan to return next year, it helps create quality content from this year’s event. That way, you will be able to entice people to attend your next appearance.
So next time you sit down to plan your event marketing, consider your program’s digital and event marketing synergy. In 2021, finding a synergy between online and experiential marketing is a recipe for success. Check out our Youtheory Activations. We’ve created digital content that invites you to be part of the events.