What Star Wars can teach us about digital marketing

May 4, 2018

Happy Star Wars Day, and May the 4th be with you.

Whether you love or hate the Ewoks, there’s no denying that Star Wars has made an incredible comeback over the past few years and, as digital marketers, we can certainly learn a thing or two from the galaxy’s favourite sci-fi franchise.

1. Play on emotions

Not in a mean way, but if there’s one thing that’s going to get your content shared and noticed, it’s connecting with people’s emotions. Think about every video, article or photo that you see pop up on your social media feeds. Each and every one of them elicits some kind of emotion from you, whether it’s joy, sadness, anger or, just like the new Star Wars series, nostalgia.

Even after its release, every friend, family member and co-worker on your social media would share anything and everything to do with Star Wars. Ok, let’s be realistic; it’s unlikely that your content will get the exact same level of attention that the movie did, but don’t be afraid to create content that people will want to see, chat about and share with their loved ones.

2. It’s ok to reuse ideas when they work

If you watched Episode VII in the cinema and experienced a strong sense of deja vu, then you certainly weren’t alone. Many people took to social media after its release to discuss the similarities between franchise plots.

Let’s explore, shall we?

  • An adorable droid escapes with a secret message for the rebels/good guys
  • The bad guys are looking for that droid
  • The bad guy is wearing all black and a big helmet
  • His boss is a mystery shadow man
  • The bad guys build a weapon that can destroy planets
  • The rebels/good guys try to destroy that weapon
  • A father figure meets their untimely demise

Without reading too much into what happens in between, we could have been describing one of two Star War films here; A New Hope (1977) and The Force Awakens (2015).

But the funny thing is, it worked, and The Force Awakens still carries a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes to prove it. So the lesson for digital marketers is simple: don’t be afraid to reuse content if it works.

If you’ve seen success with a PR campaign or piece of blog content, figure out how to re-purpose and reuse it for a new audience or a new client. Don’t worry about seeming repetitive; if Star Wars has taught us anything it’s that sci-fi fans like consistency.

3. Good brands always do well

Nike, Coca Cola, Apple, and yes, Star Wars; they’re all brands that are instantly recognisable. Star Wars’ logos and icons like lightsabers, Darth Vadar and Ewoks are known all over the world. Even the ads from these brands use the same tone of voice and the same look, so you know exactly what to expect – it’s all about consistency.

The success of Star Wars after such a long time shows that creating a strong brand – including the right tone of voice and image – that is easily recognisable and enjoyed by your audience, then you’ll reap far more benefits than just throwing out content.

A strong brand gives you a loyal follower base that will look forward to each new piece of content you produce. Even if you make a slight mistake, they’ll forgive you and still look forward to the next one. And that kind of brand loyalty can’t be bought, only earned.

4. Great things take time to create

It took 10 years for Lucasfilm to produce another film in the Star Wars franchise, following Episode III in 2005. But the build-up and response didn’t suffer at all as a result. If anything people were more excited because it had been so long.

Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012, and for three years we were promised the next instalment with nothing coming to fruition. But that didn’t matter because as soon as you hear that iconic opening fanfare, you’re instantly transported back in time and, let’s face it, you get nostalgic chills.

Disney had one chance to ‘wow’ us with a Star Wars comeback. They took their time and oh boy did it pay off. The advice is the same for digital marketing; great content and campaigns takes time so instead of rushing, give things more thought and they will perform much better than being squeezed in at short notice. Just maybe don’t take three years.

Need help upping your digital marketing game that’s light years ahead of your competitors? We can get you where you need to be.

digital marketingstar wars
Written by
Nick Boyle

Nick is Cue's Operations Director and has more than 10 years' experience in Digital Marketing. During this time, he has worked with some of the UK's most recognisable brands, delivering strong and consistent results along the way.

On top of his marketing experience, Nick is also a qualified English teacher; with his attention to detail and analytical mind proving vital in delivering sustainable, best-in-class (pun intended) strategies for our clients.