From Luke Skywalker to the Joker, Mark Hamill has had a flourishing career as an actor and voice actor.
But you may be wondering, “what does Mark Hamill know about Content Marketing?”
It's a sentiment he opened with at his keynote talk at Content Marketing World.
Beloved by millions, he returned to the Star Wars mythos in 2015, reprising his role as Luke in the much-anticipated Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
After the disappointment of the prequels released in the early 2000s, millions of Star Wars afficianados were waiting with baited breath for the first new Star Wars movie in over a decade.
The anticipation was palpable — and anticipation is exactly what Mark Hamill leveraged on Twitter in the time leading up to the film's release.
Now, I'm not saying your business should expect the same level of anticipation…
…but building anticipation is a great strategy for getting your audience engaged with your brand.
In a recent interview with the Content Marketing Institute, Hamill dishes out some sage advice for marketers.
Not only does he talk about the power of building up anticipation and hype, but he's also got a story about what happens when it goes wrong.
Why building anticipation (and Daisy Ridley) are keys to engagement
I went on a Twitter campaign before Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out to boost my number of followers.
I asked for permission to say, “I have an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at an Episode VIII rehearsal!”
I’d seen a cartoon online of Rey with Luke on her back. I thought that was a great idea.
I saw Daisy (aka Rey) on the lot and said, “Do you think we can get a shot of you with me on your back?” She goes, “Bring it on!”
Up I went.
We took the picture. I didn’t tweet it right away.
On a Thursday I tweeted, “This Sunday! 8 p.m. U.K. time!”
(The PT Barnum came out in me.)
On Friday, I tweeted, “Only 48 hours left!”
Then the tweet comes out on a Sunday night.
That tweet astonished everyone.
I’d never gotten over 50,000 followers with one tweet. This one got 120,000! I thought the secret must be Daisy Ridley.
When anticipation goes wrong
I started backing off Twitter after one incident.
I had another (Star Wars) idea, got permission as before. I promo’ed my message saying, “Thanks @rianjohnson for an exclusive look at the Episode VIII trailer.”
This was just a shameless attempt to drive up my followers! It’s like eating a bag of potato chips … you can’t have just one. Of course, I built it all up. When I tweeted it … it was just a photo of my trailer where I change my clothes. People weren’t happy about that. (And) I was thinking, “Are we really going to put a trailer out two and half years before the film is released? C’mon!”
Why am I telling you this? You have to try to imagine what the people want. Usually if something interests me or makes me laugh, odds are it will make other people laugh as well.
Think about how you could use anticipation in your business.
You can check out the beginning of his keynote address here:
You can find more great Twitter tips from Mark Hamill over at the Content Marketing Institute.
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