What is Experiential Content Marketing?
Why do people go to music festivals year after year when they can enjoy the same music from the comfort of their homes? Why do conventions get tens of thousands of attendees?
It’s all about the experience.
Traditional ads are no longer enough to impress the largest consumer group out there—the millennial generation. Compared to other consumer groups, they value experiences over products. Not only that, older generations have followed suit. Over the years, the US has seen around four times more spending on experience-related services than on goods.
This phenomenon has led to the rise of the experience economy. In no coincidence, it has also amplified the importance of experiential content marketing.
Experiential Content Marketing: What Is It?
Experiential content marketing is the use of content to tell stories about your brand and why you’re nothing like the rest. Its primary purpose is to forge a bond between the brand and its consumers through immersive and memorable branded experiences.
“Experiential content marketing is the use of content to tell stories about your brand”
Unlike traditional marketing approaches, where you just promote products to a passive audience, experiential content marketing creates opportunities where consumers can engage a brand’s identity and core values in a tangible way.
The stories that audiences want to know about include the history of your brand, your mission, as well as your vision for the years to come. People want to know why you’re driven to do what you do and what goes on behind the scenes when you’re coming up with new products or services.
Evoking positive emotions through stories will help brands leave lasting impressions. Forging these emotional connections enables brands to enhance customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.
Experiential Content Marketing Strategies
Storytelling is an age-old practice that people have been using since the very beginning of human existence to engage others and forge bonds. In business, great experiential content marketing can stir positive emotions. It creates lasting memories that transform consumers into loyal ambassadors.
Leverage user-generated content
Since consumers prefer having deep connections with brands, the demand for authentic content is greater than ever. Today, user-generated content is, without a doubt, the most authentic form of content you can share. Around 75% of consumers seem to think so. Using the voices of your brand advocates will help you gain positive impressions on social media. Not only that, it humanizes your brand and makes it more authentic.
Create one-of-a-kind branded content
Just because consumers trust other consumers and influencers more than brands doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop generating your own branded content. Audiences who already have positive experiences with the brand expect a consistent stream of quality content. Generate branded content to keep consumers engaged with the brand, and be sure to create content that performs well on multiple channels: social media, search, and PPC to name a few. Video content is one example.
Match great content with great design
When you’re doing experiential marketing, prioritize content over design. After all, it’s the substance of your narrative that helps you connect with people and form lasting relationships. Your content serves as the foundation of your marketing strategy. Once you’ve generated content, you can build a design around it.
Examples of Great Experiential Content
To help you get started, we’ve made a list of a few amazing experiential content strategies. Hopefully, this inspires you to create your own stories.
Apple: Shot on iPhone
At some point, even Apple’s most loyal patrons had doubts about their smartphone’s camera capabilities. They were unsatisfied with how it performed in low light conditions. In response, Apple launched the Shot on iPhone campaign to dispel any feelings of distrust. By using user-generated content, they regained the trust of skeptics. Plus, they’ve found an effective tool to improve user engagement. Since then, Apple has launched several versions of this type of campaign, including the most recent: Shot on iPhone XS – Don’t Mess with Mother.
Adobe – Celebrate the World
Another company that uses user-generated content to engage consumers is Adobe. They regularly run campaigns where they encourage skilled artists and designers to share works of art that they’ve made with any Adobe products. Their most recent campaign is #Adobe_CelebrateTheWorld to improve content discovery. This is an excellent way to showcase the capabilities of their software. At the same time, it is a brilliant method of boosting user recommendations and expert endorsements.
Tools for Experiential Content
Brands have a wealth of tools to choose from. You can even combine digital content with other tangible tools to create engaging experiences for your audience.
- Digital content (using tools such as Weld)
- Social media content
- Traditional print media
- Branded events
In today’s landscape of business, experiential marketing is replacing traditional marketing strategies. Brands must up their game and invest in experiences that their consumers desire. From pop-up shops to expo booths, the experience economy is the most effective way to grow your brand and gain loyal customers.