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Summer festivals present a marathon of brand opportunities

Summer festivals provide brands with a multitude of ways to add value to festival goers' experience, says Milana Saric, client strategy director EMEA at Adaptly.

This year’s Glastonbury was “the most shared, ever” according to the festival’s official technology and communications partner, EE. Fortunately, for other brands wishing to get in on the action this summer, there’s still plenty left of the season.

That said, companies must add something of value to the festival experience; providing something fun or useful, rather than just pushing out their branded messages.

Connected camping

This year, for instance, EE created a 4G-connected smart tent offering one Glastonbury-goer a taste of “connected camping”. Visitors competed for the chance to spend a night in the tent by replying to the @EE Twitter handle and using the #4GEESmartTent hashtag.

Similarly, beauty brand Benefit Cosmetics built a “brows and beauty drive-thru” service with those using it encouraged to post pictures with the hashtag #BenefitBrows which automatically entered them into a contest to win a year’s supply of products.

A branded Snapchat geofilter is another route to offering festival-goers a fun way to share their experience, while Promoted Tweets can be useful if they highlight competitions or provide users with information.

Lenses is another popular feature on Snapchat. It has been reported that 30 million Snaps are decorated with them each day. They are great for getting people to immerse themselves in a brand and they encourage sharing. What’s more, Snapchat is the perfect channel for reaching and engaging younger audiences, and the platform’s vertical video format is a good way to showcase insider content or limited-time summer sales around events such as the late summer bank holiday weekend.

Instagram Stories is also bound to be a destination for user-generated snapshots and videos over the coming weeks. This immersive, full-screen format is useful for brands wanting to place themselves in the midst of the fun. As long as ads are created to fit the look, feel and style of Stories, and do not interrupt the user experience, they are an effective way to inject a brand into the excitement of a happening or event.

With all of these platforms and opportunities, it’s important to make creativity a focal point. At festivals, in particular, audiences will reject anything that feels overly staged or commercialised, so always ensure content fits naturally within the platforms. Events like Glastonbury are often about more than just music; for example, many visitors plan their outfits weeks in advance and share pictures of preparations on social media. Instagram Stories and Snapchat both offer brands the opportunity to create engaging and visual experiences as they take up 100% of screen real-estate. And by using native tools, such as emojis, stickers and creative overlays, advertisers can craft content that is beautiful, useful, humorous, or even all of the above.

Consumers will be killing time in-transit on social media, too, travelling to and from festivals or other holiday destinations. Through Twitter’s Direct Messages, brands can communicate in real-time to update consumers on travel statuses or help them find deals. Consider leveraging the Direct Messages API to deliver faster, richer, and more engaging human- and bot-powered customer service, marketing, and engagement experiences. Location-based mobile ads on Facebook and Instagram can also drive consumers to where you are.

It comes as no surprise that food dominates a large part of most summer festivities. In fact, it is the largest category on Pinterest with over 15 billion Pins, while the foodie community on Instagram is thriving, too, with more than 213 million #food tags on the platform. As such, highly visual ads featuring food items should find a large audience and high engagement rates across these channels.

The fact is, verticals across the board from retail to auto see consumer spending spike as the temperature rises. Summer is no time for advertisers to lose focus. These few months present a marathon of advertising opportunities. With more sunshine and time on their hands, users are more likely to check in on and post to their favourite platforms.

Adaptly enables advertisers to scale campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest through tech and services.

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