I know – all the fuss is out there today about Avengers End Game – don’t worry – no spoilers in this email. The Marvel Avengers series has been a huge box office success – why? For the same reasons your social media will or will not work.
Let’s have a look at it more closely.
Firstly – as I have said before – getting something off the ground is not easy and you have to be patient. If you know your audience and can throw some money at it – then it will grow quicker. If not it will take time and effort.
When Marvel launched the Avengers in 1963 it was fantastically successful, but it came on the back of a lot of hard work. Marvels first comic book was launched in 1939, and was a big success featuring the Human Torch, and was followed 2 years later by the highly successful Captain America
They had picked up on a known and popular genre, and hit on the right characters at the right time. After WW2 though, the superhero genre lost favour, and Timely (as they were then known), kept afloat by following popular trends (westerns, war drama, monsters and horror) and getting stuff produced quickly and cheaply.
In the late 50’s superheroes revived with DC comics Flash and Green lantern, and Marvels genius move (credit to Stan Lee) was to follow suit but make their characters appeal to a grown up audience rather than the audience of their previous comic books – kids!
And here is the genius – whilst DC’s Superman never seemed to cross international borders or get involved in politics, Marvel had addressed the political issues of the day – communists attack Ant Man in his lab – Spiderman deals with America’s drug problem.
And why did this work ?
Well, because people like the familiar and the novel. It’s a dichotomy. The brain loves the familiar – but not TOO familiar or it’s boring. So, Superman doing the same old same old, wasn’t exciting enough. But the Brain also doesn’t like completely new. What the brain does like is the combination of the familiar and the new.
For example – if your best friend turns up at your door with a surprise present – just cos she loves you, that’s nice. If a complete stranger did the same that would be creepy and you’d be calling the cops!
So, what Marvel did was it made the familiar novel. It created super heroes for grown-ups.
The other thing it has done brilliantly is start with the end in mind – at least as far as the current Avengers films are concerned. They always knew they would be making End Game. Everything that came before was leading to this film. Iron Man, then Hulk, then Thor, then Avengers and all the rest of the 20 films – all led to End Game. They didn’t try to go for the big one, till all the pieces were in place.
Now I am off to see End Game tonight – and at 3 hours long it is a marathon. I’m sure it will be worth it.
And it made me think that all of the above also applies to your social media.
If you start off by knowing your audience and knowing what they like and what they want, and then you give it to them, but with a slightly different take, a novel approach – then you are more likely to succeed than if you are trying to create something no-one has ever heard of. If you are doing the latter then educate, educate, educate before trying to sell.
People have the same misapprehension now about using social media for their business that they did when websites first launched. Many people feel that they can just stick up a Facebook page or create a Twitter account – tell people (who don’t care at this stage) about their great event or product and they will just show up and buy.
That’s not how it works.
In order for people to buy from you they must first KNOW LIKE AND TRUST you. The KNOW LIKE AND TRUST is the hard bit that takes the work. It’s a bit like sales – the close should be easy if everything else has been done right.
The reason End Game is (going to be) such a huge success, is that Marvel put the hard work in for the last 80 years – and in terms of this specific string of films – for the last 11.
They have put both time and money against it, and they have an amazing quality product which their audience wants.
For your social media to be a success you must first do the hard yards. You need to understand your audience and give them what they want – preferably in a novel way. In order to build up this tribe of people your ‘thing’ (product or service) must give perceived value in excess of the ‘cost’. It must seem like a no brainer. You have to give first before you ask for anything back.
This will take time – even if you have money to put against it. If you don’t have a marketing budget, then it will take longer. And that’s the truth of it. Dig behind every one of your competitors ‘overnight’ successes and you will see a lot of hard work, a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of creativity, and / or a lot of luck.
So if you want your business to be as successful as End Game (and who wouldn’t), but you are not prepared to put in the time, energy, money, effort and strategy – then you will be disappointed.
The most important part of it is to look at your audience and ask yourself – “would I buy this”? And then “Why would I buy this?” and finally “Why would I buy this from ME?”. Once you have the truthful answers to those questions go ask your audience the same questions. And then once you have a great product or service, which differentiates itself from the competition whilst still being in demand, you need to spend time developing your potential audience into raving fans.
Once you have raving fans – you can offer them everything you have and they will buy it.
Simple – but not easy.
If you need some help getting traction with your social media, because you know you have something amazing that people want but you just don’t know how to let them know – then FB message me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right – I’m off to the cinema!