Fyre Festival, the shit show heard ‘round the world, was a major flop. But aside from the chaos and the collective train wreck appeal of “the festival that never happened”, what is it about Fyre that now has the world so fascinated?

There are the models and the concept of luxury, sure, but the unraveling of the Fyre Festival says so much more about our society, including the outstanding power of social media, marketing, and how the intersection of the two has changed the game for businesses and events everywhere.

(Warning: Before you read any further, we want to warn you that there are a few spoiler alerts here if you haven’t seen the recent Fyre documentaries on Netflix and Hulu.)

Below, are five takeaways we’ve gathered from the fall of Fyre Festival, and how you can avoid these same pitfalls when planning your next big campaign or event.

#1 Nail Your Target Audience

The Fyre Festival appealed to a very specific audience; let’s call them the “Coachella crowd”, or better yet, the “trust-fund babies.” Young millennials with a disposable income were what event organizers were after, and so they came out in droves with the help of just the right marketing tools. From the models, to the bright, shiny promo video and ultra-hip music line-up, in this regard, the promoters of Fyre Festival did a hell of a job. Their target audience was captivated, but the event happened to be a flop. If you can apply this type of audience targeting to your own product, you’ve solved one major piece of the puzzle.

#2  Make Sure Your Product is Legit

We all have great ideas, but are they sustainable? The first rule of marketing is that you can’t begin to market if you don’t have a product people want. If your target audience doesn’t truly have a need or overwhelming desire for your product, it may be time to evaluate whether your product makes sense at all.

While Fyre Festival, in theory, had all the makings for a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime event, the logistics just weren’t there to back it up.

Make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you commit to marketing your product or service. It’s hard to regain consumer trust once it’s lost, so don’t jump the gun before your product or service is ready.

#3 Emphasize the Experience

Spoiler Alert: Fyre Festival was not the once-in-a-lifetime event promoters promised, unless your idea of a once-in-a-lifetime event includes one you hope to experience no more than once in your lifetime. Horrible logistics aside, Billy and his team did a fantastic job of hyping up the Fyre Festival experience. Although marketed as a music festival, the music was always secondary to the promise of time spent with celebrities in paradise.

Today, consumers are leaning more towards investing in experiences rather than material objects. Great marketing entails not just touting what you have to offer, but also how it makes customers feel. We all know Billy was good at painting pictures, and that’s what a great marketer does. Look beyond the product, and instead focus on the experience it provides.

#4 Keep Content Consistent

Fyre Festival’s introductory video succeeded in amping up their audience, but one good video does not make a great marketing campaign.

Laziness gets you nowhere in the competitive world of social media. Your audience can tell when you’re regurgitating content. You’ve got to constantly re-engage them with content of substance, or else they’re bound to forget you even exist.

Clarifying your marketing goals, creating a content calendar and putting it into action is one of the best things you can do for your business. Invest the proper time and effort into creating great content, and you’ll be surprised at the great things you can achieve.

#5 Be Weary of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has evolved over recent years, especially with the meteoric rise of Instagram. Models and other influencers played a large role in getting Fyre Festival organizers the attention and subsequent ticket sales they wanted, but it didn’t come without a price. As a result, these influencers are now entangled in a legal battle, and may be found partly liable for damages.

While it may seem like a great idea in hindsight, you’ve got to first make sure that influencer marketing makes sense for your business. Influencers are not invested in your brand the way you are, and thus, they have little to lose. So whether you are an influencer trying to work with a brand or business, or you are a business owner considering this strategy for your marketing efforts, do your homework before you commit.

Navigating the complex world of digital marketing is no easy feat, especially when there are scammers like Billy promising you the world at every turn. It takes a dedicated team of creative individuals to bring a solid marketing campaign to life. If you’re ready to see what a team effort can do for your marketing goals, Triggers is ready to help.