4 Tips To Market Your Business Like A Hollywood Blockbuster

Imagine starting work one day and a line of people are waiting to work with you.

There are hundreds of people lined up out the front, with the line winding down the block, around the corner and out of sight.

There are even some people in sleeping bags or sitting on foldout chairs sipping coffee having just woken up from spending the night sleeping on the pavement. And all these people are waiting with cash in hand ready to buy that thing you sell.

Sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it? Also sounds a little unrealistic right?

Well the truth may be that you will never have customers sleeping out the front of your store, however there are some valuable lessons we can learn from Hollywood about creating buzz, excitement and a buying frenzy for your product or service.

Every year there is a a blockbuster of the summer. A movie so in demand and popular that people go crazy over. Getting people so worked up with excitement and anticipation that they dress up as their favourite character, sleep in the streets just to be firsts in line to buy a ticket.

These movies will go to have  hundreds of showings, thousands of DVD’s sold and they’ll even show up on the television. Yet people still feel they have to see it first and see it NOW.

Why is this?

The good news is it all comes down to marketing tactics that can be applied to your business!

So lets take a look at 4 common tactics used  in Hollywood and how you can apply them to your business:

1) Creating a story in your marketing:

This does not mean the story in the movie, rather the story surrounding the movie.

For example magazines and newspapers run many articles full of speculation and interest surrounding the gossip from the movie set. Is there tension between the lead actors? Is the starring actress refusing to leave her trailer before 11am? Has there been major issues with production?

People get pulled into the story that is happening and want to know what will happen next.

What story is happening for your business? Has there been major issues with suppliers, dramas at the factory or has something exciting happened that you can share with your audience?

2) Giving away your highlights:

A movie trailer may only be a few minutes long but in it they show the highlights, the exciting parts, the interesting bits, and all to make you go ‘I have to know more’.

In the online world this is the part where people give away cool free content. They give away a technique or idea that is working fantastically well. Sure they might be doing this to be nice, but generally people give away the highlights to draw you in and to raise your interest.

You can see this in practice In Laura’s latest launch of Creating Fame. Her first video shows you how to create fans out of thin air. She goes into incredible detail and takes you step by step through the process, and you come away knowing exactly how to create fans for your business.

3) Using scarcity:

You would think that there is no scarcity when it comes to movies. Once they are released they are forever out in the world on DVD, Blu Ray, on the internet, at the cinema, on your TV. There is basically an unlimited supply of the movie yet people get so excited about being the first to see a movie that they do all kinds of crazy things.

Scarcity works in a number of ways. People want and crave what they can’t have,  for example with the movies there is only one ‘first showing’ which creates demand as people vie to be one of the few that gets in first. The scarcity then breeds more demand as others want to get in on the act too.

How can you create scarcity in your business? A few well known examples are the use of limited editions or free gift with purchase. If it is a physical good that is actually limited that is fantastic. If it is a service and you can only help 10 people at a time that is scarcity that works extremely well.

4) Having a release date:

Perhaps the most crucial tactic is to have a release date or a launch date.

You can create all the anticipation, scarcity and intrigue you want but it all must culminate in a certain date or event.

In Hollywood this is the release date of the movie, in your business it can be the start date of a sale or the date you release a new product or service. One thing to remember is that there needs to be a corresponding end date as well. Your sale cannot go on indefinitely, your new limited and exclusive offering will not be around forever.

So if you want to market your business like a Hollywood blockbuster be sure to create a compelling story for your prospects to get involved with, give away something useful and interesting but not everything and be sure to get a release date!

 

Need more actionable advice?
Get your FREE weekly marketing “to-do” list
straight to your inbox every Wednesday:
Casey Stevens is a product launch marketer who helps real world businesses use the best internet marketing strategies in their offline businesses. Get a free blueprint where a top marketer shares step-by-step how he created a $5 million launch for a car dealership at http://www.productlaunchsolution.com

Comments

  1. Wow, what a great post! I’ll have to link this as a post-project resource for my clients! I design sites and stuff but most of the time, they don’t even know what to do with it! All these tips are awesome. I’m gonna have to brainstorm how to inject story in MY marketing. The example of on-set celeb gossip is superb.

  2. Hey Havana, glad you liked it :-)

    I was a bit unsure about putting in the part about the gossip, as gossiping isn’t always a nice thing, but I think you get the point that it’s about the Story.

  3. Great article Casey! I remember learning, last year, the value of a story in your marketing plan. Everyone loves a story because if gives them a chance to relate to the product or service. :-)

  4. Stories do change the game … whether it’s the story for the producer, the story for the user, or the stories your users tell to others and spread in the most compelling way.

  5. @Robert: Thanks for the kind words! Absolutely you want people to be able to relate to you.

    @J.D.: You’re right, People don’t realise it but there is definitely a story for the producer, the user and every other part of your business.

    I would love to hear your stories if you’re willing to share :)

  6. Like the post Casey… I always thought that even project launches were just a scaled down version of the big hollywood and album launches.

    We get so drawn into the stories of the movies and characters, but also as you mentioned, the stories that surround the whole project.

    What are the actors doing? Who hooked up set? Who got into a car accident on the set of the movie and survived.

    Why does the actor/actress love the role they’re in and why they chose the movie etc.

    It goes on and but… but I think your post is spot on.

    I’m sure there’s more we can learn about, marketing and hollywood that could benefit our businesses and blogs for the better.

  7. You are spot on Will,

    Hollywood even do testing of their films to see whether it is going to bomb or not, just as we should be testing in our business and blog.

  8. Nice Tips, I really liked the one about creating a story in your marketing. I think did this well with ‘Any Given Sunday’ a few years back – I believe that was the title (from Oliver Stone).

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot Com

  9. I love this! I seriously opened up my notepad and took notes. I’m starting to get more involved in my marketing (specially social media) and I’m trying to transition into a new business model. I love your ideas. Thank you.

  10. Great post. I also took notes LOL! I have a piece that I was keen to add to my site this weekend, with the idea of making more like it in the near future. After reading this, I wanna create some buzz first and announce a release date. Tell some stories along the way. Maybe even find a way to add some scarcity to that. Thank you!!

    • Hey Jeanie, thanks for the feedback :)

      Stories rock, add in some honest scarcity and you will most certainly create buzz.

      All the best with it!