Marketing To The Festival Season aka “Millennial Utopia”

Marketing To The Festival Season aka “Millennial Utopia”

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 huge 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 millenials 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 priceless 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.

Leverage FOMO4. Leverage FOMO

The fear of missing out is real, especially if it’s experience that everyone is chasing. Even if millenials 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. Millenials 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 unqiue 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.

Search Marketing Events to Look Forward to

WhatSearch Marketing Expo – SMX West (San Jose)
Highlights – Whether you’re a beginner or expert, this expo is perfect for you. It will feature 50 sessions on SEO, PPC, social media marketing, local/mobile search, landing page conversions and much more.
When – March 11-13, 2013

WhatSouth by Southwest
Highlights – Although this is typically known as a huge music and entertainment event, this has changed in the past few years. This year’s schedule includes: “Awe-Inspiring Web Typography You Can Do Now”, “How to Rank Better in Google & Bing”, “The Learn to Code Movement” and more.
When – March 8-17, 2013

WhatPubCon New Orleans 2013
Highlights – Located in the Big Easy this year’s con will feature “top speakers, cutting-edge sessions, and social media nightlife, featuring a vast variety of tracks and strong lineup of major industry exhibitors.”
When – April 22 – 25, 2013

WhatBlueGlass X in Los Angeles
Highlights – This very limited engagement of only 175 attendees will include speakers like: Andrew Shotland, Brian Clark, Ian Lurie, Neil Patel, and Joanna Lord… to name a few!
When – May 21 – 22, 2013


What The Internship
Highlights – Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as two unemployed salesmen who are able to score a coveted internship at Google.
When – June 7, 2013

What Content Marketing World 2013
Highlights – Speakers include: Jonathan Mildenhall (VP, Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence at The Coca-Cola Company) and Jay Baer.
When – September 9 – 12, 2013

What Conversion Conference Boston 2013
Highlights – 2 whole days focused on website optimization, digital marketing and analytics, with sessions on: website usability and design conversion across different platforms and more.
When – September 30 – October 1, 2013

What search marketing related events are you attending or looking forward to this year?

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.