Experiential marketing has already turned the world of advertising on its ear, and with new trends emerging in 2022, it’s clear this pattern is set to continue for the foreseeable future. While this form of experience-based marketing has catered to the digital sphere in the last few years, the newest trends are reflecting the desire consumers have to return to a post-pandemic world. Let’s check out some of the latest trends to engage consumers this year.
Five Ways Experiential Marketing Is Changing in 2022
1. More Technology-Focused Strategies
Hybrid events are a carry-over trend from 2021 as brands begin to transition from the virtual-only events necessitated by the pandemic. Hybrid events typically take place online but incorporate augmented reality and virtual reality technology to immerse attendees in the event. This blend of experiences allows consumers to stay at home while also participating in online events that allow for better networking.
There are various immersive technologies that allow for better person-to-person contact, such as augmented reality used in the gaming industry and virtual talking spaces on social media platforms. The advantage of a hybrid event is that brands can reach larger audiences, including consumers that may not have been able to attend the event because of health, financial, or other reasons.
Exploring the Metaverse
Major technology companies are exploring the metaverse, an abstract virtual reality world that allows for more interaction and immersion among consumers. While the metaverse is still relatively new, the central components of using the metaverse for marketing include the creation of avatars and the use of marketing events that can be attended through virtual reality.
As a marketing technique, the use of the metaverse is still being explored, but there are ideas that could see a lot of success in the future. For example, virtual reality concerts can put consumers directly in front of their favorite artists in a more affordable way, while also allowing for personalized content. The metaverse may even allow consumers to experience using a product, such as a car, through a simulation.
2. New Sustainability Branding
Experience-based marketing is used to communicate a wide range of ideals that reflect the current attitudes of consumers worldwide. For example, many brands are investing in sustainability and other eco-friendly products to appeal to consumers who want to save the planet. Clothing brands are using sustainable clothing from fabrics that have been recycled or repurposed to create trendy fashion, while car companies are leaning into alternative fuel sources.
Sustainability branding is a trend that can be easily used in experiential marketing through art installations or other events. Sustainability branding as a marketing strategy can demonstrate how the brand is taking an eco-conscious approach to the development of its products, while also highlighting the importance of minimizing the human impact on the world.
How to Use Sustainability Branding
While every aspect of a sustainability marketing campaign can be used to highlight sustainability, such as using recycled paper to send invitations or distribute swag, it’s also important for the branding to be holistic. It’s not enough to simply be green: companies must also show how the brand is economically responsible and how the brand intends to integrate sustainability throughout the company. Successful sustainability branding builds trust consumers have in the company.
3. Refresh Older Strategies
Art installations are also quickly growing in popularity in 2022. While pop-ups and art installations are not new concepts in experience-based marketing, there are recent studies that show people are more eager to spend time outside post-pandemic and art installations are a good method to draw a crowd. The goal of an art installation is to create buzz about a product, brand, or service.
Successful art installations are entertaining and educational at the same time, particularly when art installations are paired with messages about advocacy. One reason why art installations are so successful is that they create a moment that consumers can experience. When art installations are well done, they are the perfect opportunity for consumers to take pictures to post on social media, which allows the event to gain virtual buzz, as well.
Products and Brand Reels
Video content is still one of the most reliable ways to reach consumers. Video campaigns can quickly disseminate information and are easy for consumers to digest. This strategy is even more effective when brands can create viral video content that captures the consumer’s attention. Some of the most effective video campaigns take on social causes, appeal to the consumer’s creativity, or document real-life stories.
That said, product reels are still effective in 2022. For example, brands can use video content to create a reel of their best-selling products. In one recent successful campaign, The Honest Company created a video featuring Jessica Alba, a founder of the company, showcasing how to use the brand’s best beauty products to create a “natural make-up” look via a short make-up tutorial.
Influencers have been used in the last few years to capitalize on the power of social media. Influencers have the ability to build trust among followers and directly reach consumers to showcase a brand or product. Influencer marketing stands to grow over the next year as new technology and social media apps are used to create content to appeal to consumers.
Furthermore, influencers are often seen as a more trustworthy approach to a marketing campaign, since celebrities can be used as brand ambassadors to endorse a product or testify for a service. Through influencer marketing, brands can share content, host giveaways for freebies, or use other methods to reach a broader global audience, such as hashtag campaigns.
4. Use Simultaneous Events
Live spectator events are still a classic tactic for experience-based marketing, whether the event is an intimate coffee house performance or a concert festival. That said, live spectator events have recently transformed into live-streaming events. Online concerts emerged in 2020 as an easy way for artists to perform for thousands while their audience stays safe at home.
Although in-person concerts have become more common with worldwide restrictions on social distancing lifting since late 2021, there are still many artists who will continue hosting online concerts and other live-streaming events. In many ways, simultaneously broadcasting a live event online while hosting the event in-person is a demonstration of the flexibility future experiential marketing campaigns will demand.
5. Include Advocacy and Important Causes
Today’s consumers care a lot about culture and politics, especially major social issues that relate directly to their lives. To put it simply, for many brands, it may be hard to stay apolitical when so much about the future of consumers is determined by political issues. This is why brands that appeal to the LGBTQ community by hosting pride-related events or creating pride-themed products during June can experience so much success.
Of course, alongside generating consumer loyalty, brands that advocate for important causes can enjoy other benefits. For example, by including advocacy in the overall marketing strategy for a brand, businesses can reach a wider audience – including consumers who might not have heard about their brand otherwise. Advocacy can also reinforce company culture, which can make a business more trustworthy overall.
Some Important Causes to Consider
Younger generations place a lot of importance on values. With the prominence and influence of social media, social and political causes are often hard to avoid, and the younger generation saturates the internet with discourse about these topics daily. Savvy brands have seen this trend and adopted advocacy-based campaigns for many causes, such as:
- Geopolitical conflicts
- Climate change
- Gender equality
- Awareness months
While advocacy for important causes isn’t the right move for all businesses, there is evidence that brands willing to take a stance garner more loyalty from the public. Furthermore, brands that can educate consumers about important issues and direct consumers toward actionable steps (such as petitions or fundraisers) can also make a difference in the world.
Why Maintaining Flexibility Is Important for Future Campaigns
With the birth of digital marketing, advertising experts learned that flexibility is key. By responding to trends from consumers, brands can stay relevant by adopting new methods of reaching consumers through digital strategies, such as social media and email. Going forward, maintaining flexibility in advertising strategies is essential, especially for brands that want to keep up with advances in technology.
Successful brands will be able to use multiple channels to reach consumers with the same campaign. For example, simultaneous in-person and online events, hybrid events, and pop-up installations that create social media buzz are all methods that help brands maintain flexibility. Essentially, staying relevant will depend on how well a brand can adapt and explore novel strategies.
The experiential marketing trends in 2022 are clearly influenced by new technology. Social media and other tech-related strategies are a focal point of successful campaigns, particularly for brands that want to reach hesitant post-pandemic consumers. In addition to using novel technology, brands should also consider reinforcing their company culture with advocacy and sustainability branding. Find out how to implement some of the latest experiential marketing trends by contacting King Sixteen today.