In todays blog post, our CEO, Michael Fisk, shares a marketing secret that has been helping clients see exponential reach at their events. For the first time ever, this information is being released to the public and we hope this simple and practical advice will help you reach millions of people at your events.
It's a practice we use that marries traditional event marketing techniques with more modern day event marketing like social media activations or experiences. Some traditional techniques that we often see at events is simple concepts like shooting hoops to win a prize, face paintings, free giveaway (water bottles, t-shirts, sunglasses, etc). We refer to all of these traditional event marketing strategies as the "fringe". It's on the outer edge of your event or experience, it's easy to understand and doesn't require any explanation or teaching, and people can walk by and understand exactly whats happening and how to engage in the experience because it's just that simple.
These "fringe" techniques are great entertainment, and naturally attract a decent sized audience because lets be honest, people love SWAG (stuff we all get)! As positive as these fringe techniques are, they definitely have their limitations in todays social media sharing world. For example, lets say you are offering face paintings at your event or experience. If you have 200 people come through your experience to get their face painted, this is really fun for those 200 people, but it kind of stops there. Your reach may only be a few hundred people.
Fortunately, we can do better than that, but don't jump ship too fast, these face paintings, SWAG giveaways and basketball competitions are still really important and we don't think you should stop doing them. In fact we highly recommend you keep doing them. However, if you want to see EXPONENTIAL reach (remember you only reached a few hundred people with the face paintings) you need to add another technique that will leverage social media sharing and user generated content. So to help paint picture for you, imagine you have consumers getting their faces painted, they take a photo of themselves with their cool new face artwork, and share it to social media. But why should they share it to social media? If you have a tool like Photoboxx on site it will automatically print any photos that get tagged with #yourhashtag on social media and this is what gives consumers an incentive to take photos, but more importantly share those photos and use your hashtag. If all of this just took place your event will go from 200-2,000 people reached to 20,000-2 MILLION people reached, almost every time! If you don't believe us, then check out this case study from BeautyKind who married the concept of traditional event marketing with modern event marketing (leveraging social media and photoboxx). They saw hundreds of thousand and up to millions of people reached from their events. Both of them offered free SWAG if you shared a photo and showed them your photoboxx print out.
So, you may ask whats the purpose of even doing the SWAG, face paintings, and basketball competitions if the real power is in marketing tools like Photoboxx that are leveraging social media? This is a great and logical question, but here's something else we've learned since being a part of over 2,000 events. If you take away the simple "fringe" concept by getting rid of the SWAG handouts, face paintings etc. then you may lose the attractiveness of simplicity and understandability. If people can't look at your activation or experience from the outside and be drawn in to something simple, they may pass it by. People like things that are familiar.
So, to summarize all of this in a quick paragraph... At your next event or experience, make sure you have both a simple experience on the edge or "fringe" of your event to draw in the crowd. Once you have the crowd, take them a step closer to the "core" of your experience and marketing campaign by getting them to take photos and share these photos with your hashtag or by checking in at your location. These two concepts married together will give you a much larger ROI and will help you get those exponential reach numbers you've been looking for.