Consumer Engagement Strategies for Brands in the Era of Social Distancing

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

As the number of COVID-19 cases rises across the country, and communities begin to reverse decisions made to reopen certain businesses as a result, the need for marketers to devise innovative solutions to engage consumers within the confines of their own homes remains critical. Following are several strategies employed by brands during lockdown, as reported by Event Marketer, from virtual workouts to gamifying experiences to embracing milestone events for Gen Z audiences.

Branded Virtual Workouts

In the absence of gyms and studios during the pandemic, brands that have courted fitness enthusiasts in the past are continuing to do so through virtual experiences. Michelob Ultra, for instance, created a virtual workout series, dubbed “Movement,” that featured trainers and gym owners, musical guests, a happy hour Q&A and a cause-marketing component that benefited trainers who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Gaming Tie-Ins

The gaming vertical has an advantage during lockdown since audiences were accustomed to playing online prior to the pandemic. Not surprisingly, gaming usage has soared. That made the decision for Formula E to launch its nine-week Race at Home Challenge a no-brainer. The competition featured Formula E drivers, top gamers and influencers and benefitted UNICEF’s projects to provide relief for COVID-19. Avocados From Mexico embraced gaming slightly differently, with a gamified guacamole experience and sweepstakes.

Lean In With Entertainment

Bud Light is known for supporting festival music through its “Dive Bar Sessions” experience. But without a festival season, the brand opted for a weekly virtual music experience: Bud Light Seltzer Sessions: Your Flavor. Your Show. Fans watched top artists perform online but also enjoyed some customization, such as helping to choose the set list and which seltzer flavor musicians sipped during song breaks.

Tentpole Gen Z Events

Think Prom and Graduation. Realizing that high school seniors were missing out on these milestone events, brands filled the gaps with a virtual prom—developed by Teen Vogue in partnership with Chipotle and e.l.f. Cosmetics—and a virtual graduation ceremony on Facebook Live from Natural Light.

For a closer look at these virtual brand campaigns and others, read more in Event Marketer.

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