Whether you’re in sales or marketing we all know that success comes from having the proper exposure for your product or service when consumers need it. Much of the marketing budgets spent on advertising is a lot like a firework show. They are bright shiny, noisy, and very few make an impression that last for more than a few minutes. Everyone is doing them because they get attention but they are costly and short-lived. This is push marketing. It’s in your face, uninvited, and in most cases unwelcome messages that are largely ignored. Push marketing has been around forever and use to be the gold standard of the way you promote and advertise. Clearly consumers have shown they do not like this kind of marketing. They use DVR’s to fast-forward through ads, they use call blockers to rid themselves of unwanted sales calls. But brands continue to spend huge budgets doing what consumers despise. Likely due to a follow the heard mentality, we’ve always done it that way thought process, C-suite egos, executives that just don’t know better or just plain lack of creative, innovative thinking. The thinking might be I just don’t have a better alternative. Have you ever watched a terrible TV spot and though about the process that approved the budget for the spot to run? Somewhere a group of people sat in a boardroom and thought; this is the best way for us to invest in our company’s future. Ugh!
The last ten years have brought about immense change in the way consumers learn about and choose to engage with brands. Is there a more effective, efficient and meaningful way to engage with consumers?
Continuing with the firework show analogy it is strongly suggested that brands need to shift from doing fireworks shows to creating bonfires (social media). A bonfire creates a place where people gather and share, they invite their other friends, and they help build a bigger fire because they like it. A bonfire does take longer to build, it takes awhile to get good at it, it will start small, and will take time attract the masses. The thing about a bonfire that makes it special is that it will last much longer, have long lasting pleasant memories. You can even use a firework show to tell people about your bonfire. Instead of being fast-forwarded and blocked your brand becomes welcomed, shared, loved and trusted.
The art of social media takes time, builds over time, and has to be thoughtfully orchestrated or it turns into just another form of in your face push marketing with social media. Social media can be thought of like a cocktail party. First, it has to be fun or nobody’s going to make an appearance or get excited to talk and share with his or her friends. For the executive it’s important to know how to work the room at the cocktail party. If you do a good job everybody remembers you. Likewise if you do a poor job everyone remembers you but not in the way we want. Like the brand recognition that comes from a solid social media strategy you have to learn to work the social media room well. This is where most C-Suite executives miss the social media mark; they really don’t understand what it takes to be successful. It’s easier to light the fuse on the firework and watch as the rocket explodes in the air and say cool look what I did. Social media is not to be taken lightly and should have a key focus within any organization. It takes a long-term commitment to execute on a social media strategy that can show true benefit and add revenue to the bottom line. However done properly it will create a brand voice that can far exceed expectations and elevate brands to new levels within the minds of consumers. In other words stop marketing to them and learn how to market through them. It's not about creating the message, its about mashing the message and the user-generated social content together. How is your brand relevant to the conversation? Brands need to open themselves up to new ideas and new ways to engage with consumers.
So lets shift our focus to exactly how a brand can create a strong social media strategy. How do we emulate the social media cocktail party and make it fun and engaging? What tools and technology can be used to create memorable experiences that are worthy of sharing and creating a buzz on social media?
Consumers are no longer passive; they want to be engaged and interactive. They need to be dazzled and delighted. So after you have done all the work to understand your brands demographic, it is suggested that you engage with these consumers where they like to relax, have fun, dine, party, and share with others. We are talking about events, all kinds of events, from sporting events to charity events. Exclusive parties, nightclubs, high profile events and events that cater to your brands demographics in a fun and inviting way. Be daring, test and learn
How to you engage at these events? Glad you asked. Take a look at innovative interactive entertainment technologies that can associate your brand in a fun and creative manner. A great example of this is the digital graffiti wall technology from Air Graffiti Dallas (www.airgraffitidallas.com). The creative minds at this organization can elevate your brand by creating a fun branded engagement that will get shared on social media. They construct their mobile digital graffiti wall at events that attracts the masses with its amazing digital spray paint technology. Add to this the ability to shoot photo’s of people at the event and display them on the giant screen and customize the image with digital spray paint, digital stamps and stencils and you get a powerful brand activation technology. Air Graffiti Dallas can event provide professional artist or branded stencils like a logo that can be used on the virtual graffiti wall. Logos can be placed on the screen as well as prints. Your custom branded message is shared on social media and email. Event guests are dazzled and delighted and cant wait to share their branded experience with their friends. It’s a great way to gain social media engagement and be a hip cool brand and its almost as easy as lighting the firework fuse.
Another engaging new interactive technology from same great minds as Air Graffiti Dallas is the new SloMo Lounge that captures a few seconds of event guest interacting with each other and quirky props and them plays it back in super slow motion that reveals incredible and funny facial expressions and emotions. Event professionals have designed this technology for events with branding at its core. Share on social media and email with your custom branded message. Its fun, interactive, innovative and unique event entertainment that will set your brand apart.
These are just two great examples of ways that you can create engagement that consumers will be excited to share and talk about on social media. You can work with the team at Air Graffiti Dallas to create a branded engagement campaign that can be scaled and will target your brand demographic. It’s all about creating an experience they are excited to share. Now you’re marketing through them. Now keep the conversation going!