If you’re operating in one of the world’s more saturated sectors, you may find that it’s hard to make yourself heard above your competitors.
The sheer volume of competing print and digital marketing campaigns from industry-leading brands can leave SMEs in a difficult position when it comes to communicating with their demographic in the midst of this promotional pandemonium. But more and more ambitious businesses are embracing the unique benefits of event marketing each day, offering them an unobstructed communical channel they can use to reach their audience in an authentic way (and create the sort of brand recognition that typically converts into sales).
Pop-ups in particular provide an engaging and effective solution when it comes to cutting your competitors out of the picture and getting some one-on-one time with your potential customers. The only hard part is securing the numbers you’ll need to see a satisfying return on your investment - whether you’re inviting event attendees into a mobile exhibition trailer or decking out an upcycled shipping container with some bold brand imaging.
And that’s where social media comes in.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at Twitter and Instagram, two of the world’s foremost social networks, to give businesses looking to expand their customer base and boost their brand power the secrets to event marketing success on these social media platforms.
With 310 million monthly active users, Twitter offers a supremely powerful promotion tool for companies looking to access previously untapped audiences online. This digital universe of short-form content is full to the brim with businesses sharing information, broadcasting marketing messages and hoping to convert engagement into sales.
Thankfully, by mastering the art of audience targeting and handcrafting your hashtag for maximum reach, you can navigate your way through the noise to potential customers ready to be exposed to your brand.
Reach your audience
If you’re looking to promote your pop-up on Twitter, the first thing you’ll need to do is create your hashtag. Don’t overeat into the 140-character limit, and make sure it’s easy to remember. You’ll also want to make sure you settle on a hashtag you like well in advance of the event - ideally between two weeks and a month beforehand.
Taking a targeted approach to your social media strategy will allow you to harness the influence of power users, bloggers, and potential partners. You’ll want to make sure you target the sorts of Twitter users who could be potential customers for you, and avoid overlapping with your competitors wherever possible. Take full advantage of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets function, which allows you to target users by demographic - with targeting options including language, gender, location, and more - giving you an opportunity to hit the right audience with the right information.
Once you’ve established your hashtag, you’ll need to engage your audience - and from running exciting competitions and offering exclusive rewards for attendees to live-tweeting throughout the event, Twitter offers an ideal platform for spreading the word about your pop-up. By offering added value, you’ll also be able to ensure that you maintain your following even after the event is over.
Your competition can be announced as far in advance of your event as you like, and it’s entirely up to you what followers will need to do to be in with a chance of winning - from tasks as simple as retweeting content you’ve shared on your company account to asking entrants to record their own video on a topic of your choice and post it on Twitter themselves. It’s worth securing a follow from event attendees during this part of the process, as this will mean you’re able to maintain interest in your brand and in future events you hold long after your pop-up event ends.
Prizes are also your prerogative - with possibilities ranging from product giveaways for low-effort entries, to VIP access to a private party in a luxury event container in exchange for producing and uploading their own unique content. As long as you’re offering genuine value to those who engage with your brand, that’s all that matters.
You’ll want staff on-hand to interact with followers during the course of the event, whether that’s through live tweeting, reacting to key events throughout the day or answering questions from followers and attendees. If you’re announcing prize winners, they can take care of this, too. Exhibition trailers are an ideal pop-up event solution in this respect, with tech support available for all your on-site social media needs - whether you’re looking to enhance your event space through Twitter walls or live video feeds.
To keep attendees engaged with your brand after your pop-up event, you’ll need to take a proactive approach to interacting with everyone who turned up. Thank and reward attendees via Twitter for taking the time to come along, while simultaneously showing anyone who didn’t attend what they’ve missed out on. When it comes to settling on a suitable reward, try offering exclusive discount codes or granting attendees special access to other events in the future.
By engaging with your followers in a meaningful way after the pop-up is over, you can make sure your brand maintains its impact long after your doors close.
Be it through celebrity endorsements, hijacking trending hashtags or simply reaping the benefits of having an active account, engaging with potential customers far and wide has never be so easy thanks to social media marketing. And if you’re embarking on a new pop-up event - whether it’s to launch an exciting new product or purely to generate brand awareness - Instagram is another perfect place to share the good news.
Smart Insights’ latest compendium of global social media statistics demonstrated the incredible level of engagement this powerful platform has now reached. Instagram now boasts well over 400 million monthly active users, outranking Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn - to name but a few of its rivals. The network’s overwhelmingly visual format is one key element that sets it apart from channels like Facebook and Twitter - and something that makes it a perfect place for sharing your experiential marketing efforts. So, if you’ve got a pop-up event on the way, here are some steps you can take to make your business Instagram-ready.
An overactive social media presence can be off-putting for audiences, but being visible across a number of popular platforms is encouraged, and offers boundless potential when it comes to reaching and engaging new people.
Instagram offers the perfect opportunity to create a strong digital identity. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (though equally useful in their own right) are generally a one-way street, in that what is shared there stays there. Instagram, however, allows you to upload media and share posts between a variety of other networks. Whenever you upload content, sharing that post across multiple channels means that followers on your other networks may just engage with your brand. It’s all about being on the right platform at the right time - and if you can be everywhere at once, this shouldn’t be too tricky.
Don’t be greedy
It’s not hard to see why Instagram refers to itself as a ‘visual inspiration platform’. The network allows you to upload, edit and share images of absolutely anything you like - and in marketing, this provides a powerful and dynamic tool for pop-up promotion.
Whether you’re sharing gorgeous snaps of a beautifully branded exhibition unit or want to show your followers what’s going on inside a hi-tech promotional vehicle, there’s no limit to who can attend your pop-up if you share the experience via Instagram. What’s more, by ‘checking in’ or tagging your location, you can allow people in the local area to discover your event through a destination or activity-related search.
Regardless of whether your aim is to create intrigue, get locals down or simply build brand awareness online, sharing photos and videos from your event offers a broad range of added benefits. Remember: post image, check in, share!
Whether you’re putting the finishing touches on your display or the event is in full swing, Instagram’s new story feature is a great way to stream your pop-up in all its glory. Experiential marketing isn’t confined to physical experiences - and by posting a story, you can give users across the world a chance to interact with your brand.
Try to capture key moments of the experience, as opposed to bombarding followers with exhaustive footage of the full event, and you can invite Instagram users to be a part of your pop-up without them ever having to leave the house.
Don’t forget the hashtag
Summarising your pop-up through a product name, place and time, or even a pun can help you to create a hashtag that’s meaningful and memorable, and stands the best chance of gaining momentum. Hashtags are, ultimately, designed as a search function - so it’s important to be specific, as popular hashtags like ‘love’ (featured on 696 million Instagram posts) will almost certainly be lost in an endless sea of other posts. Forgetting to include any hashtags is a recipe for disaster - and don’t be afraid to use a few per post, if you believe these will help the right users to find your event and engage with your brand online.
Snapchat is one of the most personal forms of social media currently in use - and while not all businesses will be sold on this form of engagement, it can be undeniably useful as an event marketing tool. Whether one team member is responsible for managing the account or a number of staff members are given access, you can use your company’s Snapchat account to create unique behind-the-scenes content before, during and after your event. From images and videos of your brand ambassadors preparing the exhibition trailers to a live feed during a competition, Snapchat can provide your customers with intimate access to your company and break down the barrier between brand and consumer.
Another of Snapchat’s useful tools is its wide range of filters. This has been a large part of several recent advertising campaigns, encouraging engagement and getting users to interact with brands. These filters can be used to generate interest in your own experiential marketing event, with users getting involved with your branding free of charge.
When it comes to advertising your engagement marketing events to large groups of professionals, there’s no better tool than LinkedIn. The first thing you’ll need to do is create a group page for your event. This is where you’ll be able to post information and updates about your event, and keep the conversation going with interested, potential attendees.
Secondly, if you have special guests speaking or appearing at your event, get them to personally post updates or profiles to create a buzz surrounding your event and encourage attendees to stop by your exhibition trailer.
Finally, you can use LinkedIn’s published posts feature to ensure literature related to your event is circulating and is directed towards people most likely to attend. LinkedIn does keep its algorithm a closely guarded secret, but try and spot trends from other posts that rank highly and implement that information into your engagement marketing strategy.
Facebook is the most widely used social media site in the world, and your event needs to be making most of this accessible platform. Companies use Facebook to advertise just about anything these days, and in order to make your event stand out, it’s worth considering these tips when posting about your event:
● Provide all the relevant information in quick and easy bites. E.g. time and location of the event
● Use your cross-platform hashtag to keep users engaged no matter what other apps they may use
● Finish off with a call to action that encourages the user to RSVP to an event invitation or visit your site
If you’re willing to invest money in advertising your event on Facebook, its paid promotions feature means you can use audience and location targeting to narrow down the people who your ads will reach. This means you can analyse the data to find out who attended your event and even collect their email addresses from your exhibition trailer for future remarketing campaigns.
Companies who use Snapchat creatively are the ones that tend to have the most effective engagement marketing campaigns, because the more intimate and immediate contact a user has with your brand, the more likely they are to attend. If you’re aiming to build hype surrounding an upcoming event, send out coupons that the user can only open once they’re in one of your exhibition trailers on the day, because it will self-delete once it’s opened and they won’t be able to get it back. This will encourage foot traffic to your promotional vehicle and allow you to give something back to your loyal followers.
If you’d like to delve deeper into the world of experiential marketing, head to our blog for all the latest news, expert tips and event inspiration you’ll need to make your next pop-up a wild success. And when you’re ready to create the ultimate brand environment, check out our state-of-the-art product lineup to find your perfect match.