October 14, 2016
As a startup, it’s essential to keep finding creative new ways to make your marketing messages stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is to make your marketing relevant to a broader public discussion or trends related to current events. The Internet news cycle moves faster than ever before, so it’s important to stay nimble and adaptable and find ways to “piggy back” your marketing onto a bigger topic that people are talking about.
One example is a company run by some friends of mine, called Hack and Slash Games. They make a “gladiator combat” card game called Ophidian 2360, and recently announced an expansion pack for their game called “People’s Champion,” which includes new card characters based on Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and other 2016 candidates. They featured this expansion pack in a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to fund the new card designs, and they quickly reached their goal.
By capitalizing on public interest in the American presidential election, Hack and Slash Games was able to offer a unique marketing message that got people’s attention and delivered results. What are the lessons here for your business?
Piggy Back on a Broader Topic
Obviously, public interest in the election is running high as we are less than one month away from Election Day. There are countless opportunities for your company to comment on the election campaign (in a nonpartisan way) that ties into your marketing.
For example, if you run a public speaking training firm, you could do a blog post on “5 Public Speaking Lessons from the Latest Presidential Debate.” Or if you own a donut shop, you could introduce special “Trump” or “Clinton” themed donuts. Or if you are a sales/marketing/social media consultant, you could do a podcast with “3 Essential Sales and Marketing Lessons from the Presidential Campaign.” The possibilities are endless.
And even if your marketing message doesn’t relate to such a big and obvious target as the presidential race, or if you don’t want to risk being too political, there are many other topics that are constantly trending on social media. Find a news item or a popular TV show or a popular culture trend and look for ways to connect your brand and your marketing to it.
Find a Unique Angle for Your Brand
It’s not enough just to piggy back on a broader topic and hope for the best – ideally, you need to have a unique angle that lets you incorporate the broader trend and connect it to your brand in a way that makes sense. For example, Hack and Slash Games did a great job with this because they introduced new “gladiator” characters for their card game based on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. People are already absorbed with the idea of these people “battling” in the presidential election, so it totally makes sense to imagine them as futuristic “gladiators” in a card game too.
If you find a unique and credible angle for why your brand is talking about this particular topic, your marketing will be much more believable, enjoyable and relevant for your customers.
Invite People to Participate
Hack and Slash Games quickly capitalized on their new presidential campaign-based concepts by setting up a Kickstarter and inviting people to contribute – they offered to give away special limited edition artwork to donors. The best way to get marketing mileage out of a time-sensitive, relevant “piggy-backed” conversation is to make it interactive. Reach out to your audience on social media, offer them a specific call to action, and give them a unique value-added experience that is related to your marketing message.
This is how you can take a unique, creative, relevant marketing message from “grabbing attention” to “generating lasting results.”
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