It’s said that all good things must come to an end, but I don’t believe that. Why? Because as experiential marketers, we never stop communicating with the consumer. An event may come to a close, but our job is only just beginning as we continually evaluate new touchpoints by which we can connect with our consumer. It’s like courting somebody you have a crush on—you don’t just say hi then take them home to mom and dad. You have to keep a dialogue going and develop some trust along the way. Take note, because these tips will certainly help you as a marketer, and maybe even benefit you personally (don’t hold me to that).
Nobody likes being spammed, but no one said a tasteful email every now and then is off limits. In fact, it’s encouraged! It’s one of the easiest ways to maintain a connection with consumers, as it feeds them information that’s both relevant to them and in line with their passions. Don’t just stick them with boring text about how great you are though. Make it interactive, whether that means inserting a poll, featuring a short video, or opening up a sweepstakes for the consumer to take part in. Remember, it’s a two-way conversation, so give them an opportunity to take action!
Nothing catches a consumer’s attention more quickly than the prospect of free stuff. In that moment, only one thing matters, like a dog spotting a squirrel. Now that you have their attention, it’s up to you what you do with it. My recommendation: always get something in return. Give them a short survey to fill out or require a selfie submission to your designated hashtag. It’s quick and harmless and makes the consumer feel like they’re coming out ahead. In reality, you’re gaining valuable information about your brand and your consumer to better shape your relationship moving forward.
A win-win for brands and consumers alike, user-generated content has earned a spot within every brand experience. It’s one thing to send an email to your consumer, but another entirely to send them on their way with a permanent reminder of their experience with your brand. I always look back upon my experience at Budweiser’s Made in America concert because of the branded picture I took away from it. Even something simple and subtle like that can be the reminder a consumer needs to reconnect with a brand. Take it a step further and make the content personal to the consumer. Maybe it’s a signature; maybe it’s just adding the person’s name. Any way you spin it, personalization will always win.
Emails are the engine that makes post-event communication go. Once you’ve captured a consumer’s email, you have the power to remarket in endless forms and fashions. I mentioned before the ability to connect via newsletter, but another medium often overlooked is social advertising. I’m not talking your run-of-the-mill boosted post on Facebook, but a completely custom audience based on your accrued email base. Not only can you provide subtle reminders to your existing audience, but you can use that audience to find others ideally suited to your brand. Remember, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so those leads you captured probably have dozens of friends and family members who fall in line with your messaging.
Create Shareable Content
If you’ve done your job at the event itself, the consumer is hooked. Now you just need to reel them in. Food always works well as bait, but in this case, it’s your content that will tighten the hook. Create and deliver a mix of unique and shareable content that consumers will read and want to share. Remember, different strokes for different folks. Don’t create a one-size-fits-all solution and expect your content to resonate with everyone. This is your day-to-day opportunity to build on your conversation, so make it count!
OK, so these solutions are more business-facing than personal, but they still accomplish the same goal—cementing relationships. The fact is, once you stop putting out any effort, your counterpart will find something better and more engaging. No one said maintaining a relationship was going to be easy. They won’t all work out either. But as Michael Jordan once said, “I can accept failure. I can’t accept not trying.” Make your voice heard and the rest will fall into place.
Jay Selig is a marketing and PR manager at RedPeg Marketing, an independent experiential marketing shop headquartered in D.C., with an office in L.A.