4 Content Marketing Strategies Inspired by Summer Blockbusters

The Avengers wasn’t an accidental success, neither were Jurassic Park, Independence Day, or “insert favorite summer blockbuster here.” A lot of time, money, research and (arguably) thought goes into creating and distributing movies that people often literally line up around the block to see.

You might not have the budget of Bruckheimer or the storytelling talents of Spielberg, but you too can create content that engages your audience and helps you build a well-known, memorable brand.

Here are four tips inspired by summer blockbusters that can help you create thrilling content and spread the word about your business. So take a seat, grab a big ol’ bucket of over-buttered popcorn, and enjoy.

Leverage Audience Feedback

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It may be nice to imagine that Hollywood producers care deeply about maintaining the true creative vision of screenwriters and directors, but such is usually not the case.

With so much money at stake, studios go to great lengths to ensure target audiences respond positively to their films. On top of making numerous script revisions and leaving entire scenes on the cutting room floor, studios conduct test screenings and focus group screenings to gauge the response of the movie-going public. Based on this feedback, studios will often make small to very large changes to a movie to increase its appeal.

While you certainly shouldn’t pander to your audience or pretend you’re something you’re not, you should leverage feedback to ensure your audience actually desires the content you’re sharing. According to marketing consultant Pamela Wilson, “You aren’t really executing on an agile content marketing strategy until you put it out into the world and start listening to feedback.”

Think like a producer and leverage feedback to make your content more attuned to your audience’s expectations. View analytics data to see which blog posts get more clicks. Monitor comments on your social accounts. If all else fails, straight-up ask social users if your content stinks or not. Take the time to understand your audience and your content will be primed for virality.

Have an Awesome Hero

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Luke Skywalker. Harry Potter. Superman. Any of these names ring a bell? Big blockbuster movies often revolve around one or more likely protagonists. We, as audience members, learn to love these heroes, whether for their selflessness, faults, good deeds, or way with a lightsaber.

Like a blockbuster movie, your content should also revolve around one awesome hero: your audience. I’m not saying to turn your next eBook into an epic space opera starring your most loyal customer. I am encouraging you, however, to make your customers the main focus of your content. Remember, it’s about them not you.

If you don’t believe me, just ask Matt Wesson, Marketing Content Specialist at Pardo. “Our brains are…extremely self-centered,” says Matt, “so keep your content focused on your customer. Make them the hero of the story your content is telling.”

Don’t use your content to talk strictly about your product or service and how awesome it is. Make your content about your customers. Provide them with how-to’s that help them solve their problems. Showcase content that they submit (e.g. videos, photos). Use a lot of “you’s,” not “we’s.” Give your audience the lead role in your content and they’ll be waiting for the sequel with bated breath.

Go on a Promotional Blitz

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The summer Jaws came out it was pretty much impossible to turn on a TV and not see an advertisement for the film. And that was 1975! Today it’s pretty much a given that you’ll see about a bajillion commercials, billboards, banner ads, etc. for a blockbuster before it hits theatres. Iron Man 3, anyone?

While it’s certainly not wise to spam your audience with content 24/7, you do need to promote it in a friendly, non-invasive manner as much as you can. You’ll only reach a portion of your audience every time you share a piece of content, so do all you can to ensure it reaches as many eyes as possible.

According to Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, “Writing content is only half of the battle. The other half is promoting your content. You should spend as much time promoting your content as you do writing it.”

Do you think Avatar would have been as big a movie if James Cameron and Co. had simply released it in a few theaters and put out one measly press release? Heck no!

Once you’ve created your content, get out there and promote, promote, promote. Tweet about it multiple times with different wording each time. Pin it on Pinterest. Share it with people in relevant LinkedIn Groups. Make action figures and lunchboxes if you want. Great promotion can’t save a stinker, but it can lead to more exposure and a longer running life for quality content.

Up Your Production Value

4 Content Marketing Strategies Inspired by Summer Blockbusters image spacecraft4 Content Marketing Strategies Inspired by Summer Blockbusters

Would The Dark Knight have been as successful if Christopher Nolan had skimped on the special effects? Would audiences have marveled at a Batmobile made out of cardboard and Scotch tape? I’m guessing not.

When it comes to content marketing, presentation matters. You might have a great, information-rich eBook on your hands, but, if it looks like it was designed by a third grader with a box of worn-down crayons, your target audience probably won’t be clamoring to download a copy.

According to Daniel Tynski, co-owner of Fractl, one of the top reasons content fails is due to poor production:

“Make your content stand out through execution, then let the message, and ideas included in the content lead the way to massive sharing and engagement,” says Daniel. “Those who neglect this aspect risk not standing out at best, and losing credibility at worst.”

Your content doesn’t have to look like it was designed by Banksy, but it should at the very least look clean and professional. Design awesome eBook covers. Get a decent WordPress template. Avoid Comic Sans text at all cost. Make an investment in your content’s production value and your audience is way more likely to make an investment in what you have to say.

What do you think is the secret to “blockbuster content”? Is it more about the message or the medium? What’s your favorite summer blockbuster of all time? Let us know in the comment section below.

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