In 2018, movie-ticket revenue was up 8 percent from the previous year. With streaming platforms like Netflix to Hulu, you might wonder why so many people are continuing to hit the theater. One explanation for this increase was the influx of new movies that focused on diversity and reaching larger audiences — proving that content is king, no matter the venue. Here are some box office tips to help you make record-setting content that connects with your audience in new ways.
Tell a Unique Story
For most, going to the movies is a treat — a chance to relax or jump into a world that isn’t our own. Because movies offer an escape from our everyday lives, it’s no wonder that we’re not thrilled about seeing the same old scenes or plots played out over and over again. Think about how you feel when a sequel flops or the latest superhero movie seemed, well, too predictable. With movie ticket sales on the rise and a bevy of new, unique films, it’s no wonder that people are flocking to the theaters to get their dose of drama. As content marketers, this is an important lesson we can apply to our brand messaging. Try thinking up new ways to reinvent your storytelling techniques. Does your content feel too “plug-and-play?” If so, revamping how you tell your stories or giving your audience a new perspective can greatly impact its shareability and overall reception.
This year, we saw movies like Black Panther and If Beale Street Could Talk, which focused on telling diverse stories by amplifying overlooked voices. With no surprise, both of these movies are critic and fan favorites, each with several Oscar nods. If you’re looking to capture the same enthralling moments, make sure your storytelling is open to a number of perspectives and experiences. By increasing the diversity and inclusivity of your message, you’ll appeal to wider audiences with more genuine and honest content. After all, the storytelling that has the most impact usually represents the world we interact with on a day-to-day basis
Listen to Your Audience
Without a captive audience, a movie might be destined for the Rotten Tomatoes graveyard. So how can you avoid a low rating, or even worse, the content black hole? Take a tip from the movies and start listening to your audience. This year, Black Panther and Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse responded to waning ticket sales for superhero movies with smashing success after they emphasized diverse, genre-bending storylines. With this in mind, content marketers shouldn’t rely on tried-and-true storytelling techniques, especially if you’re getting mediocre results. By listening to your audience and noting how they respond (social media can be especially helpful here) you can adjust your future content to help guarantee a captive crowd.
Drum up Excitement
Of course, movies aren’t just successful on their own. With a strong social media presence and a few awards in their back pocket, most movies can boost their success with well-timed previews and releases. Understanding how generating a buzz can help your storytelling will help you create a content plan that prioritizes strong PR and social media tools. The combination of these forces will make sure that no matter the story, your content won’t be a flop.
For your next content planning meeting, make sure you grab your popcorn and a notebook so you can brush up on your cinematography skills and your content marketing game. With these tips, your content will be generating as much buzz as an Academy darling.