Broadly defined, experiential marketing is a “marketing strategy that invites an audience to interact with a business in a real-world situation.”1 What does experiential marketing for agencies mean to you and why is it important?
Events that incorporate an experiential marketing strategy can help communicate directly with prospects, explain employee benefits in a comprehensive way, and leave a positive impression on attendees. Experiential marketing for agencies should be implemented when organizing and promoting any event.
How To Organize An Event That Feels More Like An Experience
Organizing an event that follows an experiential marketing for agencies strategy can feel like a big undertaking, yet when broken down step-by-step, it’s a fairly simple equation:
- Select a Well-Trafficked Venue
When choosing a space, it’s a good idea to pick an area that has high traffic. A public space is ideal, where individuals can happen upon the event and participate. If you have difficulty identifying an appropriate public space in your town or city, consider partnering with your Chamber of Commerce or a local business such as a popular coffee shop.
- Have an Interactive Component
It’s best if an experiential event has an interactive component to engage your prospects. Avoid formal presentations or marketing videos and opt instead for inventive, informative activities. For example, host a quiz or game show, similar to Jeopardy, where individuals can learn fun facts about innovative benefits such as telemedicine, flexible spending accounts, and high deductible health plans.
- Teach People Something
Explain the advantages of implementing a benefits plan for their employees. Healthcare options can be challenging for employers to maneuver, and giving them the chance to meet with an insurance agent can address some of their questions and convey a positive impression of your brand.
- Incorporate Digital Technology
To make the event more interesting, incorporate video, slideshows, and other kinds of digital technology. You might broadcast success stories from your current clients, or have a slideshow introducing your agency’s brokers. It’s also a good idea to take videos of the event to publicize it over social media.
Steps For Planning The Event
If you’re just starting to use an experiential marketing strategy, it can be difficult to know where to begin. We’ve broken the process down into three main steps to help you get started.
- Step 1: Define Your Goals
Before you start planning, you need to be clear on what your goals are. The main goal of experiential marketing for agencies is to give your audience a positive experience with your brand, so be sure to take this into account. You need to know what you want to accomplish, what message to send, and how you’d like your guests to feel during the experience. Once you define your goals and message, keep them in mind as you begin planning the event. To be successful, the event needs to engage your guests and convey your agency’s message to them.
- Step 2: Consider Working With An Experiential Agency
If you are new to experiential marketing for agencies and have the budget for it, you might want to work with an experiential agency to plan your first event. Experiential events can be difficult to plan effectively, and consulting with a specialist can help ensure you are on the right track. If you decide to work with an agency, make sure you do your research and look at their customer reviews, testimonials, and previous successes.
- Step 3: Plan the Event
When planning an experiential event, there are some special considerations to keep in mind, such as how your agency can provide an engaging and valuable experience. You might want attendees to understand how your agency helps employers find a customized benefits package. Another consideration is how to make the experience immersive and elicit an emotional response in your guests. Maybe offer a free meditation session and a benefits consultation to overwhelmed employers to help them understand what options are available to them. This can convey that your agency genuinely cares about the well-being of your clients.
How To Market The Event
Now that you’ve organized and planned your event, you have to create some buzz. The following areas are the most powerful when executing your marketing strategy for an event:
- Social Media
Social media is a powerful and free tool for generating buzz and marketing your event. To get started, select the social media platform where your agency has the most followers. Then start creating engaging content to share with them about your event. Invite potential attendees via email with glimpses into the conference agenda. You might post a video geared toward employers with a clear message on how the event will help them in their HR and benefits administration duties. If you’re charging for the event, offer a discount to the first 5% of attendees. If it’s free, offer a free prize.
- Create A Hashtag For Your Event
When publicizing over social media, don’t forget to create a hashtag for your event. A hashtag encourages your audience to keep in touch, and makes it easy for them to ask questions about the upcoming event. It’s also a way to encourage your attendees to give feedback about the experience, and to share photos and videos of the event. This article has some suggestions on how to get started.
- Email Your Prospect List
Take advantage of that prospect list you’ve spent time cultivating over the years. This is the perfect time to create a meaningful cadence, including pre-event, event reminder, and post-event communications. Incorporate your social media links and event hashtag for an all-encompassing message about your upcoming event.
- Utilize Brand Ambassadors
Your best option is to recruit satisfied, long-term clients as brand ambassadors to help promote your event. They can help spread the word and explain how this event will help employers who are seeking a company benefits plan. By sharing their experiences, they can convey to the guests exactly how your agency will help them.
Experiential marketing events are a powerful tool that provide the opportunity to give prospects a hands-on experience with your agency, and to have a personal interaction with your brokers. Ultimately, experiential marketing for agencies can leave attendees with a powerful impression of what your agency stands for and how you can help them