A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute and Ion Interactive finds that large companies are making interactive content a stronger part of their marketing mix. It’s a trend that’s not really surprising given how powerful interactive content can be in building customer engagement, brand awareness and lead generation and how quickly the line between the digital and offline world has disappeared.
At it’s core, content marketing is about brands starting a conversation with their customers. It works because humans are inherently social – we can’t resist the call to contribute, to compete, to share and to be part of an online conversation. We love to take part in something larger than ourselves. Add ubiquitous internet and smartphones and you now see social media sitting firmly alongside our physical experience with the world. ‘Being in the moment’ no longer means switching off our devices. It means living it and simultaneously recording it to be shared in real time.
The challenge for marketers is how to effectively manage that conversation and interact with audiences and consumers in ways that enhance their experience of their brand in real time, 24/7. The once carefully constructed brand content no longer has the efficacy and resonance it once did. Brand stories are now being driven by consumers interacting with the brand and it’s easy to see why. We simply trust our social peers more than we do the advertising message.
The live experience
Many of these brand stories and conversations are taking place at live events – an element of marketing strategy that’s become increasingly important. Live events provide a number of touch points between the brand and its audience. By integrating social media, these touch points can be taken to a whole new level. Branded live social activations are now a common feature at music festivals around the world. But for other events, in fields like sports, recreation and conferences, there is huge potential for brands to enhance the overall on-site experience for attendees.
Benefits of social branded engagement at events
With digital now firmly embedded in the real world, people now demand cross-consumption between the actual event, and the digitised version of it. Brands that can offer a hybrid experience will ultimately thrive in this environment.
There are many benefits of incorporating live social branded engagement into your event including:
- Instant gratification – people get a big thrill from seeing and sharing their experiences at live events. This is why event photo booths and kiss cams have had such a long-lasting appeal. Such social pastimes can now continue via social media walls which continue to drive benefits and amplification long after the event.
- Steering the conversation – consumers drive the conversation but you have the ability to steer it by what you determine and curate; from the campaign and its hashtags to what you allow to be shown on your social feed.
- Richer engagement – competitions (especially photo-based) with the ability to highlight and reward participants can liven your event and incentivise people to generate content.
- Maximising your media spend – a social platform that has rights and permissions management in place will allow you to turn earned media (user-generated content) into owned media (redistributed through your brand’s marketing channels).
- Greater reach – while live experiences may reach fewer people compared to broadcast media, the ability to enhance the experience for those attending the event can actually help spread your message much further than just inside the venue. As attendees are encouraged to share on social media, their followers become exposed to your message.
- Driving future attendance – spreading social media content about the event to people who aren’t in attendance can induce FOMO (fear of missing out) that may encourage them to buy a ticket. Eventbrite’s research indicates that nearly 7 in 10 millennials cite FOMO as what drives them to attend events and share their experiences on social media.
- Gaining insights and analytics – the success of an event is not just determined by attendance figures but also by the level of engagement. Live social engagements that can incorporate analytics will provide valuable intel about your target audience, from what interests them to how engaged they are. This can help you fine-tune your event in real-time or for future events.
What content marketing are you planning for your next live event?
With audiences already sharing their experiences at live events on social media, how can brands leverage this to create a great experience online and get better reach and engagement? What brands need is a tool to facilitate this process. Something that can pull together all hashtag-specific social media content quickly and easily, essentially cultivating a complete conversation in real time.
Introducing Aggreg8Live! – a content marketing platform that will do just that.
Imagine being able to generate and gather all the social buzz surrounding your brand into one central branded display.
Aggreg8Live! collects rich content from social media and then displays it in a visually aesthetic grid for your audience in real time.
It’s easy to use and works on all devices. Best of all, you have full control over what is displayed and how it’s displayed. Sit back, curate, and watch your audience form better connections with your brand.
Find out more at http://www.aggreg8live.com/