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A Winning Combination: Social Media & Experiential Marketing

“74 % of experiential event participants have a more positive opinion about the brand, product or service being promoted after the event.” – Shea Carter, MMGY Global.

Last week, several members of the AWG Marketing team, myself included, attended a Social Media Club of Kansas City Professional Luncheon covering social media and experiential marketing. Shea Carter of MMGY Global, an integrated travel marketing agency headquartered in KC, presented why these two marketing strategies work better together to increase customer engagement both online and offline. She also provided insight on how to create a social/experiential campaign.

What is experiential marketing?

It’s a type of event marketing that allows consumers to directly engage with brands in a unique way. Carter shared several examples of experiential marketing campaigns that she has worked on in the past. Here’s one example of a food truck trip that MMGY created for client, Lufthansa USA:

This example shows how experiential marketing and social media combine for a creative consumer experience that results in massive reach and consumer content.

So why invest in an experiential campaign?

The statistic above is moving. Social media is a low-cost marketing channel that can connect brands directly to consumers 24/7. By adding experiential marketing to the mix, consumers can interact with brands on a more personal level, humanizing the brands and solidifying their loyalty.

Carter shared 5 key insights to keep in mind when researching, creating, deploying and measuring an experiential campaign:

  1. Experiential marketing needs social media to engage beyond in-person activities.
  2. Both social media and experiential marketing are all about giving the brand a personality and creating a relationship with consumers.
  3. Influencers can take the message you’re sharing in other channels and amplify it to a new, highly engaged audience. Be selective. Be fair. And trust them to do their thing.
  4. People are going to share their experience at your event via social. So it’s up to you to guide that experience.
  5. If you can’t measure it and show value, you probably won’t be allowed to do it again.

“People who work in experiential marketing have to be inventors,” Carter noted. This is important to keep in mind during all stages of the experiential process. Creativity can deliver a fun idea for an experiential campaign, but with any event, things can go wrong. It’s important to be prepared and flexible, while continuing to provide exceptional customer service even if the event doesn’t go according to plan.

Why do I work at AWG? “I work with an amazing team that values creativity and innovation. I enjoy tackling new opportunities and challenges each day that, of course, always involve food!” -Cara