IRL experiences for people to engage with your brand are a KEY priority.
Mainly because IRL experiences and online connections offer the perfect blend of online and offline engagement that consumers today crave. Find out why and how your brand can use IRL experiences to drive digital growth below.
1. Experience is the most important factor driving consumer purchases today.
ICYMI, Consumers today make purchase decisions primarily for experiences, not the goods or services being sold (Source: AdWeek).
The best IRL experiences execute a flawless blend of offline and online tactics to deliver a fun experience.
A.K.A. IRL events that are insta-friendly to maximize digital engagement with Facebook checkins, devoted Twitter/Insta hashtags, contests, etc.
2. Cater IRL experiences to deliver the best UX.
A great user experience (UX) is one that makes it easy for consumers to engage.
Keep in mind that for consumers today, there is no 'offline' and 'online' because digital is just an extension of life. Essentially, brands that integrate offline and online tactics set the standard of expectation today (Source: Racounter).
When considering the UX for IRL experiences, get creative and focus on your target market. Figure out what social platforms are best suited for your audience, how to cater engagement before, during and after IRL events and make it fun for people to engage offline and online.
3. Kick off promotions to build anticipation early.
As much as people love IRL experiences, if there isn't enough hype and notice, people aren't going to make it. Remember, anticipation is a big part of the fun.
Give at least 90 days for IRL event announcements to maximize your exposure and participation.
Start off with teasers to build anticipation, then launch registration and continue to remind people with extra tidbits about what the happs will be.
4. Be sure the IRL is selfie-optimized.
LET THEM TAKE A SELFIE!
SRSLY though, if it isn't insta-friendly, is there really a point in going to this thing?
Be sure to give clear hashtags for social shares and optimize on backdrops for selfie madness that is sure to ensue at any IRL event worth attending. This maximizes your digital exposure and gives that highly coveted offline and online blending.
5. Create incentive for people to share and engage with your brand on social media.
Consumers attending your IRL event already want to take a million pictures if you've made it insta-ready (see above),
BUT, you can really hone in your social shares if you create incentive for photo shares with tagging and hashtags by running a contest. Be creative, depending on your target audience and event, you might want to have a giveaway or special treat for winners to be announced a week after the event. Or, support a cause to donate money for social shares (consumers today love socially responsible brands).
6. Surprise people with unique products, services, or anything creative to show off your brand.
Even with all your promotions for 90 days or more, there should still be a little something something extra that is only unveiled at the IRL event to surpass peoples expectations.
This can be small items like limited-time coupons to unique product packaging, cool merch, freebies - the possibilities are endless. Just be sure to focus on having at least one or two unique surprises that elicit delight.
7. Connect with synergistic companies for partnership opps to enhance events.
When possible, try to find partnership opportunities to help with costs and promotions that ultimately enhance the event. This can be food, music, equipment and more depending on your niche market.
This way, you make the IRL experience even more fun and gain the benefit of a new partnership.
8. Get more attention with Influencers and press.
Ok so just BTW, first you want to maximize your offline and online promotions before reaching out to press and any influencers.
Then, think about reaching out to press with a prepared document on LinkedIn and/or consider social Influencers in your niche. Be sure to vet Influencers and keep a budget in mind, or better yet, create a results-based agreement with any Influencers.
Truly, all social media users are Influencers within their own right, so this is a case by case evaluation to consider if it's worthwhile for your target audience and the particular Influencer.
9. Run LIVE social media exposure during the IRL.
Live tweeting, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, SnapChat stories - be sure your brand is optimizing the event to continue to showcase the IRL experience on social media.
Live social media is crucial to show people behind-the-scenes sneak peaks, entice more people to join and get more engagement. It's a smart idea to have specific planning laid out for aspects of the event (such as prepared guidelines for any pictures, consistent hashtags and copy) prepared beforehand so that in the moment it can be as good as possible.
10. Share your post IRL event coverage.
Here's another really cool way to leverage your event and delight your audience... the after-event content.
It's true, content is king and everybody loves a good story. Take plenty of pictures and video at your event so you have the creative multi-media for your website, emails and social media posts.
This way, you leverage your event to create new and engaging content. Whether it's shout-outs, articles, fun emails or social media posts - your post event coverage is a real value-add for your audience. Plus, it helps you get attention and excitement for your next IRL to keep your customers happy and ultimately, grow your brand.