Each year U.S. music festivals attract more than 32 million attendees, half of which are millennials, according to a study by Nielsen Music. And the number of people viewing music festival content via social channels is even greater. Coachella’s Snapchat story alone was viewed more than 40 million times in 2015 — almost 200x the number of attendees.
Social platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are powerful tools for brands in the context of music festivals. By enhancing the festival experience online, brands can establish themselves as trendsetters — driving sales, engagement and brand awareness.
Brands that can easily fit into the trendy party scene, like fashion and alcohol companies, have an especially high stake and impact on the music-loving audience. We’ve collected some tips from brands like H&M, Revolve and Heineken — showing how they engage massive festival crowds with everything from free swag to exclusive before-and-after parties.
Invite fans to shop via Snapchat and Instagram
With such a fashion-conscious crowd, featuring special festival-chic looks on Instagram or Snapchat — and making them available for purchase — is an incredibly effective way to drive sales.
H&M, the official Coachella sponsor, excels in mixing the real-life shopping experience with their digital channels and online store. In a desert-themed 40-by-80 foot tent, H&M allows festival-goers to interact with video sets, create colorful imagery to share on social media, along with comfortable lounges and water-filling stations. They also provide iPads and an H&M Loves Coachella pop-up shop for fans who decide they want a wardrobe change.
Using the hashtag #HMLovesCoachella, H&M cross promoted across all of its social media channels. Below, H&M posts colorful Coachella-style photos to its Instagram account to encourage its 15 million to follow their Snapchat channel.
Get influencers to show off your product
Teaming up with fashion and beauty influencers is one of the most effective ways to increase awareness and get the festival crowds excited about your product. Gifting merchandise to influencers can also increase your exposure as they repeat their favorite outfits or essentials throughout the season.
Festival-fashion brand Revolve teamed up with popular influencer Negin Mirsalehi to model their 2016 Coachella lookbook on Snapchat and Instagram. Armed with 3.2 million followers, her Instagram posts brought in well over 50,000 likes each.
By collaborating on brand-sponsored posts, Revolve was able to capture the attention of Mirsalehi’s 3.2 million followers and her blogger friends. And because Coachella kicks off the season for festivals like Governor’s Ball, Bonnaroo and Electric Daisy, the fashion bloggers are likely to tag their favorite Revolve pieces more than once.
Give away lots of free stuff
Brands that are willing to be generous with their merchandise — and offer stuff festival goers actually need — are favorites among festival goers. Offering simple necessities that help fans look and feel their best are great ways to boost your brand.
Heineken’s freebies revolve around Coachella’s famous party scene with free beer, music and games. At the campgrounds, they offered free cold storage for anyone carrying their product. And while campers still had to buy their own beer — Heineken sweetened the deal by offering a complimentary delivery service. Just text your order and a batch of ice cold Heineken is at your campsite in minutes.
— Coachella (@coachella) April 7, 2016
Inside the festival, the Heineken House is full of exclusive music acts, complimentary photo booths and, of course, more free beer. All worthy causes for Instagramming and Snapchatting about the Heineken House. Below Matt Lanter, best known for his time on 90210, shows off his cornhole skills thanks to #HeinekenHouse. The post generated over 74,000 views on Instagram.
These brands had success because they know that music festivals are much more than just an event, they are a place to make lasting memories. By enhancing music fans’ experience your brand is sure to establish a meaningful and loyal connection with your customers.
Want to engage more millennials? Download our free comprehensive guide The Millennial Mindset: Visual Marketing Tips for Fashion & Beauty Retailers and learn how to engage and activate a generation of visual buyers.