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Bring some Star Power to your Digital Marketing

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A savvy marketer knows how to make the best use of an opportunity. Not only can businesses create their own opportunities with events, deals, and seasonal campaigns, you can be resourceful and find them in events seemingly unrelated to your business.

One of the best demonstrations of this is found by looking at the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the UK. Here, we’re going to look at it as an example of how star power can really help you add some shine to your digital marketing.

A royal success

If you want to see how star power can convert into real revenue for you and your business, all you need to look at is recent reports from the royal wedding. It generated over $1 billion to the UK economy in a single day. Much of that was related to spending on tourism, attending the event, and buying all kinds of related merchandise.

However, there were plenty of big brands not directly associated with the event that got in on the action as well. Potato chip brand Tyrell launched an event-specific flavor, KFC launched a promotional “fine china” bucket, and high-end grocery chain M&S sold a unique sandwich linked to the occasion.

If you can tie a promotional item to the wedding, not only might you get a bigger share of the economy that it creates, but you get a new boost to visibility and branding power surrounding that event.

Tying in your marketing

You don’t need to launch a brand-new product to make the best use of star power, however. We can learn a lot from the royals and their use of social media, as well as how other companies leveraged the event for their own marketing campaigns. Global activity showed a massive surge around hashtags, mentions, and keywords regarding the wedding. Hopping on those hashtags and relevant phrases can see your social media posts temporarily reach a whole new level of reach, especially with many of those avidly following the event also eager to consume related media.

Of course, to really make use of such an event and the star power it lends, you have to make sure that your content is related to what you’re linking to. Just look at how some other brands, even those that seemed entirely unrelated, managed to tie in their own campaigns to the big day.

Furniture manufacturer, IKEA, for instance, won a few laughs and a lot of attention with a social media ad for their HARRY chair. The caption:

Don’t worry, ladies, HARRY isn’t off the market. We promise.

and it got thousands of shares and likes, with hundreds of comments. Finding a way to tie existing products or even to organically work in the theme or most viral hashtags and keywords can give a serious boost your marketing numbers. This, of course, means a greater chance to click through and customer conversions.

Proximity is power

To see how to best use the star power of a big event in history, pop culture, and media, it pays to have some proximity to the event already. Small businesses around the location of the wedding in Windsor saw perhaps the greatest windfall of all. On a wider scope, many UK-based businesses or international businesses with British roots could play up a patriotic appeal to their products and their brand.

The closer your business is to an event, even thematically or internationally, the more leverage it offers your brand. Of course, timeliness is just as important as proximity. If you are the first to leverage an event to your market, it can fresh, funny, and inventive. If you are the 33rd brand they have seen tying to an event, it can look like you’re jumping in late to the party.

Can it be too much?

If your marketing campaign and voice doesn’t have the right fit, or your product is just too unrelated to an event, you need to market with a little more caution. The brands mentioned are either UK-based, have a related product, or at least a social media voice that is well-established and informal enough to capitalize on the big wedding.

Other brands did not fare quite as well. Hidden Valley is one such brand that launched a special gem-encrusted bottle of their dressing worth $35,000 that is to be given to the winner of a social media contest. While the value of the prize alone is certainly generating some interest, the campaign is also generating some skepticism.

If you can’t deftly navigate your brand into an event or celebrity news, it risks falling flat and looking like its jumping on the bandwagon. It can be tough to see the line where authentic and fun becomes cynical. You need to make sure that your marketing is funny with an organic voice that lends genuine appeal to it.

Does it have any lasting value?

When putting together any digital marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to ask what the long-term impact is. There’s no denying that even a quick, easy tie-in with an event can lend your platform a great deal more reach for a short period of time. For smaller businesses, that can enough to give you the kind of public profile you want. For bigger brands, however, achieving longer lasting success through the viral power of star events is harder.

Many UK companies benefited from the wedding because of their distinctly British heritage. If you can find the opportunities that allow you to more closely tie your brand to a moment in pop culture, then it can help cement the appeal of your brand.

If you’re opportunistic and creative enough, you can make use of huge events, celebrity news, and even recent media releases to add star power to your marketing. The royal wedding might be the biggest and most obvious example of this, but similar digital marketing pushes were seen during events like the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Know when a celebrity, media, or public event is hitting levels beyond viral and capitalize on it with your marketing.