Essence Music Festival logo.

Essence Music Festival Zehnder Case Study

The Client
Essence Music Festival

Essence Communications is a news, media and events organization whose brands include Essence magazine, Essence.com, and Essence Festival. Essence Festival is the largest event celebrating African-American culture in the US, with more than 500,000 attendees.
The Strategy
The Reality of Real-Time

In 2015, Essence tasked Zehnder with handling social media engagement and brand activation for the 2015 Essence Festival in New Orleans. The client was relying on our agency to make the event more successful than ever through unique, high-quality social media content captured on the ground and deployed in real time.

Scheduled content makes up much of the social media world -- because it’s easy, predictable, and planned. Real-time content, on the other hand, is a much “higher risk” endeavor that many brands shy away from. Zehnder’s brand activation team boasts decades of experience in event marketing and real-time online marketing. Essence was able to trust us with capturing the right content at the right time, refining it quickly, and publishing it with messaging that aligned with their overall marketing goals. Our efficient, effective approach secured millions of impressions for the client in only four days.

Going Backstage for Unique Branded Content

We enhanced Essence’s content by making it truly unique — that is, sharing stories and perspectives that only the Essence brand had access to. We scheduled a number of celebrity Twitter interviews and backstage appointments to ensure access to some of the festival’s top performers and most share-worthy moments. This helped Essence content stand out among other social media posts.

On the Ground and In the Office

Zehnder’s on-the-ground team was supported by staff in our office who worked quickly to edit, promote, and publish raw images and copy. Our in-office team also responded to comments and messages and monitored performance. This approach allowed us to deploy high-quality content quickly, and make informed strategy decisions in minutes.

The Results
Social Success

With an on-the-ground team taking over the Festival, Essence Music Festival experienced a record number of impressions, follower growth and engagement.
12M+
Total Impressions
Between Facebook and Twitter, a total 12M impressions were realized.
10,000+
Mentions
More than 10,000 Sponsor and Sponsor + Event mentions were tracked.
85%
Instagram Growth
Instagram follower growth increased year over year by 85%.
103K+
Followers Added
Over 103,000 Instagram followers were added in the month, weeks leading up to and through the festival.
12M+
Total Impressions

Between Facebook and Twitter, a total 12M impressions were realized.

10,000+
Mentions

More than 10,000 Sponsor and Sponsor + Event mentions were tracked.

85%
Instagram Growth

Instagram follower growth increased year over year by 85%.

103K+
Followers Added

Over 103,000 Instagram followers were added in the month, weeks leading up to and through the festival.

Listen Hub

Listen Hub is how we gather such in-depth statistics about all of our projects. Using breakthrough technology, we sift through multiple channels – social media, blogs, web traffic, search engines, videos and customer relationship management software – to analyze real-time conversations taking place about your brand.
Learn About Listen Hub
Let's Talk.
Thanks for getting in touch! Someone will contact you very soon.