The latest social media craze for marketers: Going offline

Back in June, Carolyn Coyne, global creative strategist at Facebook, talked about video at a conference. She revealed that users watch Facebook videos for only 5.7 seconds on average. And 75 percent of those views come from mobile. Basically, marketers have about a GIF-length amount of time to connect with an audience before they’re already on to the next thing.

Understandably, brands have gotten skeptical of that model. Short attention spans and the closed ecosystems of social media giants dilute the relationship between brands and customers.

Your social content isn’t only competing with family photos, memes, news updates and every other brand — it’s competing with algorithms that are coded and maintained in a black box.

That’s why many marketers struggle to measure social media ROI. Meanwhile, TrackMaven research showed that content marketing output in 2015 rose by 35 percent, but engagement dropped by 17 percent across blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

So it should be no surprise that companies are exploring other ways to connect with customers. Lately, one of the channels getting the most attention is… offline. Because the real world is where impressions last longer than six seconds.

Brand experience, IRL

Enter experiential marketing, which is gaining popularity fast.

“There’s a consensus among marketers that brand experience builds loyalty,” Chris Cavanaugh, CMO of brand experience agency Freeman told Adweek. He added that the company’s research found that nearly 60 percent of CMOs value brand experience for ongoing relationships, while nine out of 10 said they believe brand experience delivers strong face-to-face interaction and more compelling brand engagement.

High-profile clients like Mastercard and Jaguar have recently started dedicating significant budget to big events that could build brand loyalty. Amazon’s physical bookstores are opening across the country. Online retailers like Warby Parker and Bonobos have built stores in select cities.

And, recently, Starbucks shut down the company’s online store in favor of the offline experience.

“Every retailer that is going to win in this new environment must become an experiential destination,” Howard Schultz, the chairman of Starbucks, told The New York Times.

Read more from Blaise Lucey on Marketing Land.

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