You have probably heard of event-based marketing. If not, you might be interested to know that quite a few of the traditional celebrations like Father’s Day and possibly Valentine’s Day, as we know them, were once marketing campaigns.
In the past and present, and well into the future, event marketing remains an effective way of grabbing the attention of big groups. A correct customer engagement strategy will help you provide each member of a target group with an experience that will resonate in his/her heart. And it is the hearts you want to win, isn’t it?
Plush hearts and family feasts recede into the background to make way for more ‘audience-oriented’ events. You can use anything from cultural or sports to find common ground with your existing and prospective customers and thus guarantee increased engagement.
We will use one famous movie as an example of how this can be done in practice.
Use the Force!
The booming movie industry announces new blockbusters every other minute, which means you get more and more channels for reaching out to your prospects. Long-running series like ‘Avengers’ or ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ have millions of fans which qualifies them for pop-culture status.
Since its release in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has not just taken in billions of dollars in the box offices and fan merchandise but has also turned the epic story of space wars into a fully fledged brand. As a result, May the 4th, which used to be an inside joke greeting for fans of the movie, grew into a trending event.
Occasions like this are ideal for telling people that you have more to share than just business-related items. The amplifying power of social media can help you deliver your message (together with information about your brand, of course) to thousands of adoring and even more casual fans of any given movie.
It is not surprising that every year the army of companies wishing to pay tribute to May the 4th is increasing.
This year SEMrush has sent its greetings to Star Wars fans not just via social media. We have also prepared some Easter eggs in the Social Media Poster interface.
Movavi, a multimedia editor, chose to combine Han Solo’s charm with the cuteness of a kitten. It was a heady mix, as you can see!
They have also released a blog post telling the story of the legendary movie.
Wave.video, who describe themselves as an online video maker of the future, released awesome ads featuring the franchise characters. They are also offering you to feel the Force of the social video.
Come to the Light Side
Using the "May the 4th" event as a marketing strategy has worked well for many other companies, and may work for you too. Event marketing is a great option when you need to drive traffic to a pioneer product/feature when you are lacking a promotional budget, when conventional marketing tricks don’t work or when you just want to connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
So how can the force of a popular movie give power to your marketing?
It is the Jedi way to be prepared, so we suggest — plan early. A movie premiere is almost never just ‘coming soon’. An exact release date is given early, so research and plan accordingly.
Which of your audiences do you want to target? Consider age, location demographics, and interests. Break down segments of your audience and tailor your targeting to different groups, depending on the movie genre.
Movie marketing strategies and plot lines offer content ideas on a silver platter. Everything from trending hashtags and mottos to graphic design ideas is prepared for you. Come up with ways to use them to reach your target audience in a way that will make them remember you in a fun way. It is easier to engage with an audience over something they like than it is over what you are trying to sell.
A word of caution: be careful! You can go to the dark side without noticing it by using copyrighted material that you have no right to use. Your campaign could lead to a reputation problem or legal consequences.
To Win the Hearts of Fans, You Must Become a Fan Yourself
[The Emperor:] 'Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.'
For you, a popular event may be nothing more than a promotional opportunity, but for the legions of fans, it is an important part of their lives. True fans are offended by inaccuracies. A small mistake in a quote or the wrong character’s name can be critical. Be careful, explore the topic, and complement it with something really special.
[Yoda:] 'Do. Or do not. There is no try.'
Maintain the highest quality possible. A photo of a small kid in a botched Jedi costume may gather several thousand Twitter upvotes … for the kid. Creating an effective business promo will require creativity, skill, and commitment.
Observe the Law
[Supreme Chancellor:] 'The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.'
Copyright holders won’t welcome unauthorized linking to their brands. Don’t mess up with registered logos of proprietary characters’ names. There is plenty of space for imagination in any story.
Grand Master’s Checklist
To sum up all of the above and make sure you haven’t missed anything important, we offer you a simple list of steps that you can take to get closer to your existing customers and attract the new ones in an ingenious way.
Choose a movie and related dates. Don’t limit yourself to premiere day. Many films have already given us a number of significant dates. Consider everything Google has got for you, from the anniversary of the Titanic premiere to Anastasia Steele’s interview date and pick what fits best for your marketing strategy.
To reach out as many potential customers as possible, you should look at blockbusters with a relevant audience. Perhaps fans of an upcoming horror movie won't be currently interested in pregnancy-related products.
Establish a correlation between the movie and your product or service. A mere association is enough, but it should be clear to everyone.
Create the content. When choosing the right formats, don’t get carried away. Always consider costs of the promo to the anticipated profit.
Spreading the word. To help your content reach its target audience you should deliver it via multiple channels, and perhaps in multiple formats. When working with social don’t stick to one network and consider which content formats work best with each network - text, image, video, polls, GIF, etc.
Finding a joint interest with your audience is a transparent and easy way to increase engagement. Don’t hesitate to try it and may the Force be with you :)