May 24 How Brands Can Create Social Engagement Via Music Festivals
$704 million Generated by Coachella and Stagecoach
99,000 people per day
9,000 Airbnb rentals
1 million tweets per day using #Coachella branded hashtag
40+ million globally experienced #Coachella via Snapchat
239 million total reach
You heard us right. These are the record-breaking statistics coming out of Coachella 2016, the popular, multi-day, annual April concert that kicks off a plethora of outdoor music festivals across the U.S. every year.
Multiply these numbers – give or take – for all music events, including Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Stagecoach, and companies have themselves a gold mine for capturing the attention of a large, young and hip audience. If you didn’t already know, 32 million people attended at least one U.S. music festival in 2014 (according to Nielson Music), and of that number, 14. 7 million were Millennials — the most attractive target demographic for advertisers.
It’s no secret that there is brilliance behind Coachella’s social media marketing & branding strategy. The branded event hashtag #Coachella is easily one of the most blogged about, facebooked, and tweeted topics before, during & after the California festivities. Festival goers snapped images & video to the world-wide Coachella “Story,” making it possible for 40+ million people around the globe to experience the festival from Snapchat alone. It was a combination of cross platform promotion, drool-worthy pictures, strategic hashtag usage, user interaction and live streaming to the social media universe that made Coachella a marketing success worth replicating.
Luckily for businesses — small and large – social media makes it easier than ever before to hop on the music festival bandwagon, expand brand awareness, target new demographics, reinforce a brand’s identity as a trendsetter and ideally influence consumer purchasing decisions.
So, who can capitalize on music festivals, like #Coachella?
While collaborations with music-minded businesses + fashion retailers seem like the obvious fit, the festival’s gorgeous backdrop, exclusive parties, A-list celebs and millennial masses make the event ideal for almost any branded executions. Think:
- Travel + Transportation
EXAMPLES OF BRANDS WHO DID IT RIGHT AT #COACHELLA 2016:
A Cupcake Vineyards truck stationed themselves amid the festivities, offering concert goers 2-ounce glasses of its wine for a dollar each, in return for a post on Twitter or Instagram with a branded hashtag.
The fashion retailer established a pop-up shop on the festival fairgrounds where Coachella attendees could seek refuge from the heat, refill water bottles, engage with the psychedelic video booth and use on-site iPads for online shopping.
Live Lokai collaborated with social media Instagram influencer, Helen Owen, and her nearly 900K audience to market the brand’s bracelets at the festival.
Birchbox wanted to give it’s 407K followers an inside look into the Coachella experience. To do this, the subscription service enlisted a popular beauty expert (and the company’s social media manager) to takeover the Instagram handle and provide beauty tips, behind-the-scenes footage, and other collaborations between Revolve Clothing Company, Collage Vintage and Sincerely Jules.
To spread the word about Sonic Drive-In and the brand’s new Instagram-inspired square milkshakes, the restaurant chain distributed milkshake concoctions to Base Camp campers for the prive of an Instagram photo shared with the hashtag #SquareShakes.
Now, the question is, how do YOU do the same the next time a live music event makes sense for your brand?
- Engage influencers real time: For brands who are unable to spend millions of dollars to be an official festival sponsor, activating well-known influencers on various social platforms can be highly effective at reaching and impacting already super-engaged festival fans. Executing strategic product placement through images and videos on an influencer’s page can not only get your brand and product in front of millions, but the associations consumers will draw between the product/service and one of the world’s coolest festivals will yield vast benefits when it comes to establishing a positive and relevant brand identity.
- Create and market a hashtag: #DIDYOUKNOW: 80% of social content shared at events is lost due to missing hashtags, social handles & keywords? (Via Hypebot). Don’t let your brand get lost. Creating a unique branded hashtag will maximize brand exposure and garner momentum for a company and/or social media campaign. This is especially effective when brands partner with highly-recognized social media influencers at a particular event, like Coachella.Our advice: Insert yourself into the conversation well before the event begins. Be part of the tease, the lead-up. If you establish a connection with these fans before the event, they’ll likely stick with you through it.
- Use authentic fan social content or user generated content to further buzz among fans: A brand should always be monitoring event hashtags — #Coachella and #CoachellaLive in this case — to see first-hand consumers using and/or interacting with your product/service at the event. If you get permission from the user, showcasing this organic, authentic content from real, relatable people is one of the most powerful social media marketing tactics a brand can leverage.
- Live stream: Show behind-the-scenes footage that fans can’t get anywhere else. Users yearn to feel included and connected with brands they adore. Livestreaming via Snapchat, Periscope or Facebook Live affords your audience an experience they likely can’t get anywhere else, and strengthens the relationship between you and that consumer.
- Be present and consistent across multiple platforms: With such a large fan base, exist many segments of people who share different social media preferences. Having a presence across social channels and publishing a mixture of content types allowed Coachella to reach the broadest audience possible. You want to be weary as to not over-exhaust your resources though. Pick the channels that make the most sense for your brand – where your target audience lives the most, and tailor your content to those platforms.
- Share eye-catching imagery: Millennials are a highly visual group of consumers, so when attempting to market directly to this demographic, pretty pictures are a must. Showcase imagery that evokes an immediate emotional response within your viewer – this allows users to connect and live vicariously through you.
- Be the lifestyle: Coachella and most other music festivals are not just events. They are an experience, a community, a way of living. This is the mecca of marketing, to elevate a brand or business to a state of being or persona users can identify with. Cultivate an experience for and offer something of value to your fans across social media that supports their presence at the event.
- Be available to your fans: It’s a known fact that response rate and creation of an interactive platform amongst users is vital for a brand’s social identity. It’s no different during a live event — responding to your fans, answering questions and offering value in real-time never goes unnoticed to fans. A consumer that trusts and knows a brand is there to support them, is a consumer that will keep coming back.
- Conduct Contests & Giveaways: At Coachella, one of the most popular ways brands can inspire sharable moments among fans is by giving away prizes & goodies via social media that festival-goers actually need – like sunscreen, water, make-up or fans.
- Channel Takeovers: Enlisting top influencers from Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube to take over a brand’s channel for a day or weekend during a live event is one of the most highly-engaging ways to spread the word about your product/service/brand. People aren’t as excited to talk to the brand directly, but if you give them access to someone of influence that they idolize via your channels, well, users might just pay attention then.
Need help promoting your brand during a live event? Contact us for a consultation!