Social Networks
15 May 2015

Social and Digital: Why the hype?

Everything we hear and read is about social and digital platforms being at the forefront of marketing around the globe, but are they?

Social and digital is apparently taking over the world with over 4.7 billion minutes spent every day on just Facebook alone, and the driving force behind this is – content. But is pure digital content the best solution for a brand?

Whilst social and digital take all the glory in the marketing arena, it is LIVE engagement and experiential strategies that sit at the top of the chain. Brands who focus their efforts on cross media strategies which include a LIVE engagement component, provide a far more immersive experience than when just focusing on the pure digital element.

For example, the Premiere League is followed by around 1.2 billion fans worldwide and these fans can consume all of the digital content they could ever want. But, teams still organise off season overseas tours – not just because they are financially lucrative, but because it allows the fan to actually engage with a team and form a deeper connection than just being a fan of the League. They become a fan of the team and the team gets a fan for life.

People are inherently social and at the end of the day, nothing beats getting people physically together. Yes you can watch the streaming of a live concert online – but isn’t it a much better experience being there?! The same goes for business, people can learn about your brand or product online, you can build relationships over the phone or email, but I think we all have to agree that better relationships are built, more business is done and people get a better understanding of who you are, what you do and what your brand stands for when you are all physically together. This is where a creative LIVE experiential strategy can really make a difference. A study by the Event Marketing Institute showed that 96% of people are more likely to buy a product after participating in a piece of live brand engagement and 74% of consumers have a more positive impression of a brand as a result.

Many brands create their own content that they distribute digitally and hope will go viral – very little of it actually does. If you have your customers heading up and generating content as a result of a fantastic LIVE brand experience, they are 4 times more likely to become advocates for your business. As well as creating content for your brands social channels you are also helping your customers create exciting and fun content for their social channels. This self-generated content is far more credible than brand generated content, especially when 78% of people are only listening to peer recommendations. Its big business to get your customers on side. Experiential activity gives your customers something to shout about.

It is key that robust measurement and KPI’s set up around LIVE activity. The simple fact is, the cost of a LIVE piece of engagement work will cost more than creating pure digital content – however, when done correctly your LIVE strategy also provides better and more measurable results than just a few unrelated tweets or posts to a potentially unengaged social audience who are just following your brand because they want to win a competition!

Experiential strategies are at the centre of this huge era of content, but they have to be engaging, entertaining, informative and ultimately drive the ROI.

Here at Paragon we have over 15 years of brand engagement experience to draw on and would love to talk to you about how we can help you create an engaging, creative and results driven LIVE brand engagement strategy that can also cross over and generate content for the wonderful digital and social world in which we live.

Written By Tom