Fueling Connection: Online Experiential Marketing Trends

Dog in glasses looking at an iPad

In 2020's edition of the dog days of summer, the weather isn't the only force of nature bringing the heat. The human spirit (particularly in the business world) radiates positivity, perseverance, and persistence to push boundaries and adapt to new surroundings. The service industry aches to keep serving, and brands seek to meet people where they are: at home and online. Experiential events haven't gone extinct. They've evolved. Want to get in on those trends with your brand? Read on.

San Francisco based agency, AnyRoad, recently shared information and insights on their Online Experiential Marketing Playbook, and the most solid takeaways stress the importance of fostering a sense of community and making the experience as sensory as possible for your target audience. Tapping into shared experiences and elevating those experiences captures the trust and loyalty of a mostly homebound consumer. Oh, and if you can swing it, offer it for free.

In order to cut through the noise, think about how you can engage the senses. Anyone can search an online tutorial on baking sourdough boule, but enhance the lesson by delivering a sourdough starter kit directly to the consumer's home or offer a class with a celebrity chef showing an online community how to score those sour loaves.

Don't have the budget for celebrity endorsements or the means to send toolkits and products to enhance an online event? No problem! Engage an audience of makers and share the experience of building something together. Whether it's Comic-Con inviting fans to make their own Bat-Signals out of household cardboard or Arm and Hammer with a week-long summer camp program of activities for kids starring their baking soda or Esquire and Ivy Mix showing amateur mixologists how to make killer cocktails with pantry staples, brands embrace tactile participation to enhance consumer connections.

If these things don't align with your brands or services, try gamification. Don't just present information, make it interactive. Put in a poll or quiz. Enable group chat for real-time. Use your brand to inspire an online escape room. Or, if you're already in the business of gaming like Activision, partner with Fooji to send Call of Duty pizza boxes to avid gamers.

That last example may be the best advice of all. Don't go it alone. Find a meaningful cross brand collaboration. Reach out to an agency that specializes in content creation and storytelling and find your hook. We've got this. Together.

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