How the Star Wars Trailer Exemplifies Successful Content Marketing
When it comes to quality copywriting that converts, there is confusion about what successful content marketing does.
Long story short, content marketing is about information. It answers questions, overcomes objections, and provides education. It’s not about direct sales.
Yes, top-notch white papers, blog articles, and educational videos will include calls to action, but that’s not the goal. The goal of successful content marketing is to enhance the product or service itself.
If content marketing doesn’t sell, what’s the purpose?
Content marketing doesn’t exist to sell a product, but to enhance it. Call it a chicken-or-egg scenario, but the end result of enhancing the product results in higher sales.
To clarify, direct sales copywriting shows your audience the benefits, outlines empathetic understanding of their situation, and tells their unique stories.
Content marketing, on the other hand, provides your audience with educational information and tangible takeaways that benefit them.
Your audience gets a taste of the product, which is improved through the content.
What it boils down to is this: content marketing sells nothing. Instead, it builds a tighter relationship between your business and your customers.
Savvy thought leaders have flocked to this idea.
According to Tamara Franklin, a writer for Calysto’s CCO blog, content marketing and public perception are two sides of the same coin:
“Savvy organizations have broken down the silos, allowing these two disciplines [content marketing and public relations] to work in tandem, recognizing that an integrated marketing team can achieve much greater success than a segmented one. So, if you’re thinking of choosing between PR and content marketing, don’t.”
Read the rest of the article here.
To add to this thought, the relationship you share with customers is contingent on how the public uses and reacts to your product. With quality content marketing, you are able to shape that reality.
If you’re ready to see what this looks like in action, we’ll point to a recent and somewhat popular example…
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Example
When you watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, you’re doing more than catching a glimpse of what’s in store once you buy a ticket. In reality, the trailer makes the product more enjoyable.
We’ll dive into WHY this is the case in a moment, but for now, take two minutes to watch:
You just watched content marketing at its top performance.
While it didn’t teach the audience anything, or deliver any useful tools, this chunk of advertising gold enriched the movie itself. Without risking those dreaded Star Wars spoilers, here is what this piece of content marketing accomplishes:
- The trailer does not reveal the whole story/product, so there is still a sense of curiosity and intrigue.
- It sets the audience up for SURPRISE without misleading them. As a result, there is an element of trust established.
- The ad-makers show empathy to their audience and deliver what they want. (There was a promise to ditch special effects in favor of practical ones.)
- The trailer orients the audience and prepares them t0 receive the product. For example, the Star Wars fan base had grown accustomed to a certain storyline that was going to change.
- It taught the audience about new characters and new experiences.
- The trailer answered questions the audience had wanted to know for decades—i.e., which characters would show up, who would the new characters be, and how the story would come together.
- The trailer overcame objections. (The Star Wars fan base had been largely disappointed with the prequel films.)
If that’s not successful content marketing, what is?
What’s more, the trailer didn’t sell anything. Zilch.
It never so much as said “buy your tickets now.” The trailer formed a connection with the audience, and that’s how the sales were made.
As of January 26, 2016, those sales equaled out to be $1,941,106,736. (Yes, that’s nearly 2 billion dollars.)
Not too shabby for a piece of content marketing. Now what will you give to your audience?