Did you participate in Force Friday? I know all of that new Star Wars merchandise came out over a month ago now, but there was something noteworthy about the whole product rollout that’s been sticking with me. No, not BB-8. Though that was undeniably cool, too.
What I want to talk about is the way Disney decided to put Star Wars absolutely everywhere. This was not a quiet launch. This wasn’t just a few things in a few stores. This was a massive, you’ll know about all the new Star Wars loot even if you’re asleep sort of reveal and it was pretty darn effective. I went to Target a few days after the rollout and it was Star Wars stuff as far as the eye can see. I mean, I could see the huge stuff Chewbacca from a few aisles away and I was impressed.
Sales of The Force Awakens toys and memorabilia were anticipated to reach $5 billion within a year of launch and $3 billion before 2015 closes out. Pretty impressive, right? And yes, Disney was behind this so they have the influence and money to put their products anywhere they want and do as much marketing as they want. But just because we’re talking about the top dogs (er, mouse?) doesn’t mean there aren’t lessons to be learned and tactics to mimic for bloggers.
If you have a blog and you want to get more readers (who doesn’t?) you can be well-served by imitating the “be everywhere” motto of Disney with its Force Friday, The Force Awakens merchandise release.
Dominate Your Industry
No matter what niche your business or blog covers, make sure you’re bringing everything you can to the table. That means dominating your field through the use of exclusives. All of that Star Wars merch is exclusive to Disney. If someone wants a realistic talking Yoda they’re going to have to get their butts down to the Disney Store or Target and pick one up in the toy aisle — which features pretty much exclusively Star Wars stuff now. No, that’s not an exaggeration.
This will obviously be on a much smaller scale for a blog than it is for the likes of Disney, but it’s an important lesson to learn anyway.
What qualifies as an exclusive? Quite simply, anything that can’t be found elsewhere. While any blog post you solely create could be considered exclusive, you need to do a little more here. Really pull in those prospects with something creative.
For instance, you could offer an exclusive e-book that collects some new insights or observations about your industry. You could provide a downloadable that your visitors can use to help them get organized and succeed in their businesses. The options are limitless. So long as you provide something that is unique to your business and offers value to your prospects, you stand to attract the right kind of attention.
Guest Blog Like A Jedi
Or, you know, like an expert blogger. Despite all the SEO kerfuffle a while ago, guest blogging is still a viable way to build recognition for your business. No, it’s not going to ramp up your SEO all that much but it will get your name out there on other websites and attract the attention of other people in your industry.
The key is to drive some traffic back to your own blog through a solid author bio link. But don’t do it just for the link, mind you. Guest blogging is only truly effective when there’s substance behind it. Show you’re an expert and people will want to connect with you. It’s a pretty neat Jedi mind trick, when you think about it.
Monetize Everywhere, Even Social Media
Being overtly sales-y can come across as disingenuous. But being sales-y and a hype machine are different things that just letting people know where and how to buy your products. Keep the promotional speak to a minimum and instead just be honest. But in order to let your products or services speak for themselves, you’ve got to point people in the right direction.
This requires some strategic monetization. Sure, you can tweet “Buy my stuff!” and that might work sometimes. But you might have a better shot seeing those conversions if you’re consistent. That means sharing high-quality content written by you and other people. It means displaying discerning taste. And it also means making your offers clear, to-the-point and most importantly, accessible.
Accessibility is accomplished through a multitude of ways, from direct social links, to social ads, to blog posts, to pay-per-click. The point is, don’t be afraid to let people know what you’re selling in every place your business has a presence. Disney certainly isn’t worried about over-saturation, and neither should you.
Take An Omni-Channel Approach
This falls right in line with monetizing everywhere, but demands its own section. Embracing omni-channel marketing is good for the health of your business, no question. It doesn’t matter what you offer; being present in multiple channels and ensuring all of these channels work together toward a common purpose is essential. And it’s something Disney has done well for years.
This Star Wars merchandise rollout is just the latest example of Disney’s impeccable ability to create a seamless experience across multiple channels, from TV ads to store displays to its mobile website. Each of these components works together to deliver a brand message and to motivate potential customers to buy. Branding the Star Wars merch release as “Force Friday” was a good move too, since it played off of existing noteworthy days for shoppers (Black Friday) and Star Wars fans (May the Fourth Be With You).
While your blog likely won’t attract the attention of masses of people, you can create a identifiable experience for your prospects who find you on your website, via advertising, or on social media. Keep your messaging, imagery, and voice consistent across these channels and your blog visitors will come to know you and your brand for key characteristics. This just isn’t possible if your brand identity is all over the place or varies depending on where a prospect finds you first.
Did I miss anything notable about The Force Awakens merchandise launch? What lessons have you learned from big companies like Disney and big brands like Star Wars that you can put into practice on your own blog?
Image sources: Grand Forks Herald, Disney Store
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