AKA engagement marketing

If you see a captivating ad of a product that could be useful to you, would you buy it? It could be. What if a friend tells you that this product is fantastic? You would most probably go for it. The closest the experience of a product or service is to you, the easiest the decision of trying it will be.

Now let’s see this same situation from the other side of the mirror: if you are trying to promote your product or service, which strategy would you like to follow? The one that gives you a great ad or the one that makes those two friends have a conversation about your brand? Which one you think would be more useful for you?

Yes, of course, you’d love to have that golden word-of-mouth with your brand on it. Moreover, getting there it’s possible if you use the right advertising strategy: the one that will focus on helping consumers experience your brand and then become their ambassadors. That’s experiential marketing in a nutshell.

Also known as engagement marketing, this series of strategies immerse the customers within the product, by engaging them in as many ways as possible. The goal is to allow people to form a memorable and emotional connection with a brand, which might kindle loyalty and improve customer lifetime value (CLV).

Experiential Marketing 101

It doesn’t matter how many samples you give away or how good are the promotions or offers you run. The magic ingredient in this recipe is to put the customers in an immersive branded experience. When the consumers feel the need to come back, you know you’re on your way of building that CLV.

As happens with many other strategies, the central element of this equation is the customer. You need to have a customer-centric approach, and put yourself in the mind of the consumer to establish that link you’re searching. It sounds tricky, but the results can be powerful. A brand ambassador (and sometimes even a warrior), will promote your brand even better than a salesperson, because as consumers we are more bound to listen to a friend than to a salesman/woman. So you’ll want to be in the client shoes to know what they need and provide it to them.

When it comes to the message or, more specifically, the way you spread it, you can always use the power of storytelling. When your customer identifies with the story you’re telling, he or she will feel a genuine connection to your brand and then have an emotional response. It is vital to have a compelling story, with characters, personalities and situations your audience will feel an immediate connection. As you’d do if you were writing a novel, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. A happy one, of course.

Also, speaking of happy, that is precisely how you want your costumers to feel after experiencing your brand. When they’re feeling good, will want to talk about it, share it on every social media platform, and tell their friends and family to experience it as well.

In the end, the most valuable benefit your brand will receive is that word-of-mouth advertising, which is definitely (as it has been researched and concluded by Google, Ogilvy, and McKinsey) more influential than any other media you could use.

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