Your marketing does not exist in a bubble. Your website, blog, store, business — everything is part of a wider world. Your customers don’t simply wake up, consume your content, then go back to sleep. They go out into the world and do stuff. They watch the news, go to the movies, have friends, get into debates, go to work, and consume other content. People give reviews of the newest movies, others create memes from particularly funny or awkward moments, and many re-watch their favorites time and time again.
So, it’s important, both when planning and creating your content, to be aware of the world around you. How are current events and entertainment going to impact your business and your marketing tactics? Can you take advantage of things like movies to grow your business without seeming like a shameless band wagoner?
Movies influence the world
All types of entertainment impact the world in some way, but movies are the king at it. When a major movie hits the silver screen, millions, if not billions, of people all have the experience of watching it. Whether they liked the movie or not, they all went through something they can share and talk about with others. Themes resonate with them, plots are remembered, and memories are created.
It’s because of the popularity of movies that they can have a massive impact on entire industries. For example, last year Stephen King’s It was released, a horror movie with a clown as the main antagonist. The movie created (or increased) fears people have for clowns, even the non-scary variety. The World Clown Association blames the movie for a rise in clown phobias and a steady drop in people hiring clowns.
On the flip side, Guardians of the Galaxy had a major impact on the sale of older music, especially in the form of the movie’s soundtrack. The official soundtrack went to the top of Billboard’s Top 200 and was a massive boost to the sale of older music.
Identifying impactful entertainment
Not all entertainment has a meaningful impact on the world. In fact, most entertainment does little to change the world or affect how people act. Not every show is Stranger Things causing a resurgence of interest in Dungeons and Dragons and not every documentary is Blackfin exposing Waterworld.
It becomes important though to identify early what movies are going to be massively popular, especially among your target markets. That way, you can properly take advantage of, or mitigate the damage from, any impactful movies. This means staying in touch with your target markets and doing research on what kind of entertainment they consume.
Mitigating the damages
It’s quite possible that a movie could negatively impact your business. Organizations across the globe have been hurt by movies, including clowns, beaches, governments, the police, and more. Entire towns and cities have gotten a bad reputation because of movies that accentuate their flaws and dangers.
So, let’s say a movie, quite possibly a horror film, paints your business in a bad light. The worst thing you could do is just ignore it and hope for the best. That leaves the movie’s narrative in the minds of consumers, with nothing to correct or change it. You must join the conversation started by the movie and steer people to a more reasonable state of mind. Treat it more like dealing with negative PR and turn it into a chance to market to consumers.
Produce content that ties into the movie, that conveys both a logical and emotional message that counters the movie. Logically, most people understand that there is little danger from what they saw in a horror movie, but they still feel scared. Depending on what emotion the film is using to hurt your industry, you need to combat it. Effective marketing needs to be emotional to change consumer’s impressions. Simply presenting a logical argument isn’t enough, you need to override their negative emotion with something positive.
Boosting your reach without cash grabbing
Another way movies impact the world is by creating conversations, and your business should be getting involved. You can increase your reach considerable by being a part of a movie’s hype/conversation and potentially make connections with your target markets.
The key to doing this though is to not come across as cash grabbing. In a sense, don’t try to talk about the movie while shamelessly plugging your product or service. If you want examples of this, go no further than the cash-grabbing date of May 4th, also known as Star Wars day.
May 4th, or also known as “May the 4th be with you” started as a day for fans to appreciate their favorite movie, but quickly businesses jumped on the bandwagon. Now, the day is filled with businesses promoting their products with Star Wars day sales, cheesy memes, and awkward attempts at being funny.
Instead of simply trying to tie your brand to that of the movie, try to create something unique that adds to the conversation. Make something people would want to share, not just have to scroll past on their feed. Ask questions that can start conversations about popular movies, like fan theories or favorite moments, and then respond back when people answer you.
Just make sure that the entertainment you talk about is something your target market actually enjoys. If your marketing is designed to be family friendly because of your audience, then don’t start talking about the newest Saw movie.
Don’t get too obsessed
Don’t let needing to be on top of the newest trend or media topic control your marketing. It’s important to understand how movies impact businesses, and how to sometimes use them for your advantage, but be independent of them. Too many businesses try to tie themselves to the newest movie or TV craze that their branding has little identity outside of it.
Stay focused on the best practices for your marketing and only include movies or entertainment when it becomes relevant or needed. That way, when you do bring up a movie on your company’s Twitter, it’s something fresh and new, not overkill. Match it to your branding and work on having it be natural. If it doesn’t make sense for your audience or business, don’t stress about it.