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The power of teasers: What the film industry teaches us about marketing

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The power of teasers: What the film industry teaches us about marketing

Few industries have mastered the art of building anticipation and delighting customers as effectively as the film industry.

Budgets aside, some of the highest grossing films have owed their success to how they've been marketed.

Let's take Barbie, for example. Barbie took over just about every platform of marketing it possibly could. Barbie was marketed within an inch of it's life. The marketing budget was a whopping £120,000,000, that's more than they spent making the film!

A whole load of brands boarded the Barbie bandwagon, giving it further exposure: Fans can stay in a Barbie Dreamhouse with Airbnb. Fashion giants like GAP and Fossil banked on Barbie themed merch. In fact, it's marketing was so successful that the colour pink itself is enough to represent the franchise.

Marketing movies doesn't just sell a viewing experience. It sells an entire world, a cultural landmark, a franchise. It's a powerful marketing phenomenon.

So, what are some key takeaways from film marketing?

  • Teaser content piques curiosity
  • Plot twists will delight your customers
  • Experiential marketing brings a product to life

So how can we borrow these concepts for our own strategy?

Teaser content piques curiosity

Teasers work because they tap into our natural curiosity. They give us just the right amount of information to intrigue audiences, but not enough to spoil.

When we see a teaser trailer, we start asking questions. What's the movie about? Who's in it? What's going to happen?

Repetition of these teasers adds to curiosity - which builds up over time. Anticipation is like a slow-burning fire, each teaser is like a piece of kindling that keeps the excitement growing.

By the time the full trailer drops, fans are already marking their calendars. By the time the movie is released in cinemas, we're more than willing to part with our cash to find out what happens.

The takeaway?

Releasing teaser content is a great way of hype marketing and it'll create more buzz around your product.

Exciting news about your product? Adding new services or features? Exciting collaboration with another business? Use newness as an opportunity to create hype.

Write copy that generates anticipation. Think words like 'announcement' or 'big news' to hook your audience. Or perhaps include cliffhangers in your short-form video to generate more conversation and engagement.

Teaser content comes in the form of...

  • Sneak peeks: Give your audience a sneak peak at partially revealed bits of information about your new announcement. This builds tension and adds to the exclusivity of the news
  • Countdowns: Countdown new releases, information or product breakthroughs. Countdowns are a perfect excuse to post new content, and it's a vehicle of anticipation
  • Exclusive previews: Offer subscription-only or membership-only early access to new offerings or discounts. This will incentivise a one-time customers to become a subscriber

Add marketing plot twists to delight your customers

Trailers can give away so much, but when we watch the movie itself we are granted access to the twists and turns within the content. Whether it's jump-scares, shocking events, laughs or tearjerker moments, the element of surprise is powerful.

The takeaway?

The element of surprise is equally just as powerful in the customer journey.

There's a plenty of room for this in your customer's journey with your product. The delight stage of the inbound journey fosters loyalty and generates positive word of mouth.

Surprise and delight your customer with...

  • Unexpected gifts or discounts: Send surprise gifts or discounts to loyal customers
  • Easter eggs: Hide fun, unexpected elements in your marketing materials or products for customers to discover
  • Surprise upgrades: Offer complimentary upgrades or added features without any notice

Experiential marketing will bring your product to life

The film industry takes the crown for experiential marketing. It's experiential marketing at it's rawest.

Experiential marketing is powerful. Why?

Because it creates a sense of FOMO, and generates organic word of mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth buzz is golden content. It's free advertising, and it comes from a source that people trust - friends and family.

We're far more likely to watch a movie if someone has recommended it to us. It's about as powerful as a positive review, and it attracts interest from new potential customers.

The takeaway?

Experiential marketing is all about creating an experience around a product. Experiential marketing is driven by events. It brings your product to life, and humanises it.

Experiential marketing is all about creating an emotional connections to your brand, which nurtures leads and creates long-lasting customer relationships.

Create immersive experiences such as...

  • Pop-ups: Host temporary, themed spaces that reflect your brand's personality and bring your product to life
  • Interactive events: Organise events where customers can engage with your product in unique ways
  • Themed industry events: Network in your industry with themed events that are topical to your niche

Make your brand memorable

Taking notes from movie marketing doesn't mean you have to build a pink plastic Barbie Dreamhouse. It doesn't mean you have to guide your customers through synthetic Hogwarts, offering a canapé of butterbeer. And it definitely doesn't mean you need Barbie's marketing budget of £120,000,000, either.

It's about making your brand memorable, and engaging with customers on a sensory level, creating lasting impressions. Whatever the campaign, try and do something unique that will help your audience remember you.

Roll out the red carpet for a new campaign

With the competitiveness of today's market, there's no better time to hype up your product's uniqueness with memorable, innovative tactics.

Make an event out of new campaigns. Hype up your product. Build up anticipation and create a buzz. Get your audiences excited, and allow your product to be the star of your own movie.

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