There are hundreds of music festivals that take place year round in the U.S. alone, however the big, multi-day, even multi-weekend festivals SXSW, Ultra, Coachella, EDC, Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza usually kick off in spring and hit HARD in the summer time. What’s happened with each of these festivals is that they have transformed way beyond music and become a playground for art, fashion, food, technology and social issues. The attendees are more than just concertgoers and see these events as can’t miss experiences they love being a part of.
Of these millions of attendees, half of them are millennials. What do you do when you have a plethora of excited millennials in one place with Internet access? You market to them.
1. Geo-fence Targeting
One of the most effective marketing strategies when it comes to these large-scale events is location targeting. Marketing techniques utilize mobile device location data, lat/long coordinates to pinpoint those in that geographical location at a specific time. Think of Snapchat Geofilters that can only be accessed while you are within the boundaries of set perimeter.
Geo-fencing, is creating a virtual perimeter that triggers specific ads and content including special discounts and offers to attendees and promoting products and events that the audience would mostly likely be interested in. Advertisers are also utilizing this technique to re-market weeks after the event is over.
2. Interactive Experiences
More and more brands offer interactive experiences at festivals and let the attendees do the marketing for them. Some brands will showcase cutting edge virtual reality or fun new technologies for attendees to tinker with, but it doesn’t have to be that high end or complex.
Displaying new products that haven’t hit the public yet can be enough to get the buzz going. Even simple things like digital photo booths with props, cool art installations or basic chill zones can generate brand awareness because millennials love sharing these instagrammable moments. Branded booths offering sun relief or a place to charge phones and connect to WiFi are considered a festival oasis. Attendees are coming to you and you can exchange their much-needed relief for a Re-post/Retweet, hashtag share or even a sticker on their festival outfit and call it a deal!
3. Influencer Parties
Depending on your industry, hosting an exclusive party off festival grounds during the day has become invaluable for certain brands especially for fashion retailers. Inviting celebrities and ”lifestyle influencers” to attend and share their experience on social media can have a huge ROI, just ask Revolve.
You don’t need an A-list guest list, ask influencers in your specific industry and create relationships. Vloggers and social media micro-influencers are happy to share and engage their followers.
4. Leverage FOMO
The fear of missing out is real, especially if it’s experience that everyone is chasing. Even if millennials aren’t at the festival physically, they are there virtually. Utilize that festival theme and plan your content around it. Email blasts, blog posts, playlists, podcasts and shareable social media images can garner you valuable web traffic without even stepping foot inside. Millennials who can’t attend are live streaming, live tweeting and are still a part of the conversation so you should join in too.
5. Experiential Marketing
Want to test something totally out of the box, this is the crowd you want to experiment with. Brands like Soul Cycle offered spin classes to attendees so they can get their workout in before they let loose inside the festival. Asics offered a pre-festival morning hike and what these lead to were highly shareable moments that really leveraged other aspects of the festival culture.
Millennials are excited to try new things and be a part of something unique and the festival environment is all about having fun after all.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.