In recent years one of the words that has been generating quite a buzz in the world of marketing is ‘experience’. But what does is mean? Experience marketing is described as marketing where an experience is created for a product or service like a festival. A prime example is the Red Bull Stratos Space Jump, where Felix Baumgartner leaped to earth from a staggering 39km height with a Red Bull parachute. By doing so Red Bull enables people to connect with their brand and build an emotional connection with it. Next, consumers want to share this fun and unforgettable experiences with others. This increases the loyalty of the customers, enhances the brand image, stimulates word of mouth and makes people want to identify with the brand. This increases the odds for a consumer to choose this brand and makes sales go up.
Experience marketing is becoming increasingly important
Within festival marketing experience marketing is also becoming increasingly important. Visitors are more demanding and a simple stage where the biggest artists are performing just doesn’t cut it any more. This means it’s important to consider what you can add in experience to your event. Coming up with and linking a theme to your festival could be helpful. For example, a theme can help you when you design the artwork and stage, but it also can help you come up with fun activities that link to it at your event. Both contribute to the positive experience of a visitor. A good example is the ferris wheel at Intents Festival – The Funfair of Madness. Pictures taken from this ferris wheel were widely shared on social media which lead to free publicity. But contributing to the experience of your visitors can (and maybe should) also be done before and after the event. Consider for example the box that Tomorrowland sends out to the lucky few who managed to score a ticket. This also contributes to improving the brand image.
Ensure relevant content with impact
Nowadays it can be hard to stand out from the surge of content on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Gathered tons of likes on your Facebook page but your posts still produce only a handful of likes? That’s because the reach of your post is determined by EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm. The reason why Facebook uses such an algorithm is because when all content uploaded would be shown to you, your timeline would be an absolute mess. Facebook wants to prevent that irrelevant content is shown to you because that might trigger you to leave its platform. That’s exactly the reason why EdgeRank exists.
When assessing a message, Facebook takes the response to earlier posts from your page in consideration. By doing so, Facebook “knows” if a post is interesting enough for the people that have liked your page. Did a similar post only get 10 likes before? Chances are that the reach of the next message gets smaller. By taking these factors into account you can save money on promoting Facebook messages. Some important rules:
- Add value, do not push solely on sales-oriented messages
- Quality over quantity
- Add emotion to your message
- Test different types of content
Here at Start Moovin we notice that organisations prefer to post as many content as possible to make sure they are visible for their followers. However, this has been proven to be contra-productive. Make sure that all your content adds value for the people that liked your page.
Reach only what and who you want to engage with festival marketing
From our experiences we have noticed that organisations are inconsistent when it comes to defining their objectives and target audiences. This doesn’t only make your content less effective, but it also makes it hard to determine which content was successfull. That’s why it is important to define what are your visitors come from. By doing this you make sure you won’t reach (and thus spend money on) people that aren’t interested in purchasing a ticket.
To ensure reaching the right target audience, Facebook (and so Instagram also) provides various targeting possibilities. You can target the likes of your own Facebook page, but also the people that like the page of an artist that will be performing on your festival. It’s also possible to target people who reacted to your Facebook event. It could be possible that the number of people that attend your event is higher than the amount of people that purchased a ticket, which makes it important to convert the people that are interested in the event into ticket buyers. People that visited previous editions can also be reached by creating custom audiences. You can, for example, upload a file with the e-mail addresses of ticket buyers from previous editions.
From what we’ve seen throughout the years is that most important target group are the visitors of your website. They already visited your website which means they are very interested in your event. By placing a Facebook pixel on your website you can also reach those people on Facebook. Next to that you can use this pixel in your ticket shop so it can measure conversions from your Facebook ads. Measuring your results is a fundamental part of event and festival marketing. By measuring carefully you know exactly if your ads are performing well and if you’re hitting your targets.
What costs do I need to take into account?
Because of the competitiveness in the festival market it’s inevitable that marketing will take bigger chunks from your total budget over time. As stated before, festivals are having a harder time to grow their reach. Next to writing appealing text through copywriting and creating content you also need to plot a strategy. “Content is king, but context is queen” is a common saying in the world of marketing. Creating nice content is part one, but it still needs to be relevant. Otherwise it still doesn’t achieve its goal.
The depth of your strategy depends on several factors. Next to budget you need to take into account the amount of visitors, the competition, the location and the date. When there are many events in the direct area of your event, the challenge to stand out from the rest becomes even bigger. To spread and spend your marketing budget in the right way is key.
A good start is half the work
Many festivals won’t directly dive into organising the next edition straight after this year’s edition ended. But directly after your festival is the time when people are still enjoying the memories made and exactly then is when people are most likely to subscribe to next year’s Facebook event. Make sure to be prepared by securing next year’s date in advance and have artwork ready to be posted online when your event ends. Another thing you see sometimes is that festivals start selling reduced fee tickets like early birds straight after the festival ended.
Festival marketing examples
Of course there already are many organisations that have their marketing game on point. They use and combine both offline and online marketing to enhance their brand and bring it to the attention of (potential) visitors. Some good examples are shown below.
Each year Tomorrowland’s ticket buyers receive an exclusive case which contains the bracelet that provides entry to the festival grounds. Receiving and opening the case is an experience on its own. After opening the case a song starts playing and the contents become visible. The experience on its own is jaw dropping already. The tone has been set and shivers crawl down your spine because of the excitement. Watch a video of the case here:
The stages of Intents Festival become bigger and more exuberant every year. Every year the theme is the foundation of the festival and the organisation builds on it accordingly, putting it first in every part of the production creating an intense (or intents) experience. Visitors get immersed the entire weekend at the festival grounds where they can go crazy as much as they want.
At Emporium Festival the theme also returns in various ways on the festival grounds. Next to the impressive stages, they also make sure to offer experiences to the visitors throughout their visit by offering a wide range of activities and live-entertainment. During the ‘Fairytales’ edition for example you’d walk into Snow White, Cinderella and other fairytale figures across the entire grounds.
Music speaks, we listens
Since years Start Moovin works together with festivals and events to create concepts, content, marketing plans, content schedules and advertising campaigns. Curious how Start Moovin can help you? Be sure to call us at 085 130 2795 or use our contact form.