Suicide Squad found its audience long before the first ticket was sold – and content marketers should follow its example. By Emily Lewis
This week marks the release of the long-anticipated DC Entertainment film Suicide Squad. Although critics speculate about its actual quality, the movie is still set to break box office records.
How far is this ensured success down to the colossal marketing campaign Suicide Squad has embarked on for the past two years, and what lessons can content marketers take from DC’s full-on approach?
Rumours of DC Entertainment’s newest blockbuster Suicide Squad began to circulate as early as autumn 2014 – officially making the film’s PR campaign longer than the current US presidential campaign.
Planning is key to any content campaign, though allowing a campaign to run for too long runs the risk of over exposure. Your message can quickly become tired, and repeated emails soon feel like spam.
Make it personal
The ability to be personal is a valuable asset to any brand. DC Entertainment hasn’t been afraid to make use of the hype an all-star cast can create. Every potential casting was a gateway to generating massive PR buzz.
Within your business, you also have a star-studded cast. Your employees have a huge range of expertise, and giving these experts profiles that clients can access allows a higher level of connection to your brand.
DC made the stars do the work. On 3 August, two days before the UK premiere, the film’s co-stars Cara Delevingne and Margot Robbie were pictured spray painting graffiti artist Ryan Meades’ mural. Stunts and strategies such as these feel like direct communication from the actors, not just from a studio (or, indeed, business).
Make the most of social
Suicide Squad’s social media campaign has received a level of fan engagement any business would envy. David Ayer’s tweet of Margot Robbie tattooing her co-stars received a whopping 16,000 likes and 11,000 retweets, generating countless news articles across the web.
By releasing insights into the filming of the movie from the actors’ perspectives, Suicide Squad has established a personal relationship with its fanbase. Not only did they succeed in making it personal, the marketing team behind Suicide Squad was also exceedingly good at knowing what information was appropriate on which media platforms.
This is a great lesson to content marketers: Twitter isn’t an area for your brand to post every piece of content and information you produce. With the less formal platform that social media provides, think about what fits the bill, be it images, videos or easily digestible text.
Create an appetite
There was a very high level of awareness for the launch of Suicide Squad. Two years of constant PR and marketing strategies left no stone unturned in terms of fan engagement. However, DC’s strategy to prevent over exposure was to reveal plenty of detailed info about the characters – but absolutely nothing about the plot.
Through this technique, Suicide Squad maintained an appetite for its product. In content marketing, it is often sensible not to give away your most valuable content, while at the same time releasing enough material to engage your audience. The prime cuts of content are reserved to drive the sales funnel, earn email addresses or conference registrations.
Mirror the brand
Suicide Squad has never once faltered on its image. Punchy, offbeat and jaunty, the stars and makers of the new film have stayed true to the brand ethos. The way the film has marketed itself has remained on brand, always looking for the edge and veering away from the mainstream.
This ability to mirror your brand consistently throughout your content marketing strategies suggests an unfaltering confidence in what you can offer. Whether your brand is innovative or authoritative, agile or collaborative, ensure that the way you communicate reflects and supports your brand and its message.