Each year, the world's largest fandoms meet under one roof, discussing their shared love for a particular comic, TV, movie or book series. Comic-Con International takes place just once per year, but it draws thousands of celebrities, writers, journalists and consumers, many of which display their fandom fervor through their fashions.
The event is typically sponsored by some of the world's largest and most important media influencers, including Marvel, DC Entertainment, Nintendo, AMC, Ubisoft and Xbox. Over the course of the extended weekend, visitors have the chance to participate in a variety of discussions, booths, displays and events tailored to a specific series. At these areas, attendees are treated to behind-the-scenes looks at their favorite fictional realms, Q&A panels with stars and glimpses into the future of the fandom.
While most small businesses may not be an active presence at this year's event, which runs July 24 to July 27, there are a variety of lessons to learn about content marketing from Comic-Con and its promotional strategy.
1. Customized content for all consumers
Part of the appeal of Comic-Con is that it has a slice of interactive fun for all people - fans of series from "The Vampire Diaries" to "Firefly" can find a home at this international event, as there are hundreds of potential panels to choose from. Small business owners should adopt a similar strategy when posting content to their website and social networks. If your business reaches an array of individual consumer groups, be sure to feature content especially for those niche purchasers. That way, your consumers will feel appreciated while your brand continues to receive a great deal of recognition.
2. An all-telling Q&A
Unveiling a new product? Changing up your store layout or offerings? Offer consumers the chance to speak with you about the state of your business and why you made certain decisions moving forward. Whether you're inviting customers to an in-person panel at your physical site or engaging in a digital discussion with Twitter or Facebook, keeping your consumers in-the-know could be vital for your business. You may not be able to pull impressive celebrities like "Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams or "Orphan Black" lead Tatiana Maslany, but engaging in an active discussion with fans of your brand allows them to further interact with your company and have a say in its future.
3. Recurring themes are key
On the Facebook page for this year's Comic-Con International, followers are treated to daily posts that feature exciting new information about the event and what to expect. In addition, those who visit the page and are planning to attend Comic-Con have access to a "Toucan Tip of the Day" - a customized post that explains a new thought from which Comic-Con attendees can benefit. Small businesses may adopt a similar recurring post on their Facebook or Twitter profiles. For example, those who want to deliver insights specific to their industry can implement a similar tip of the day or week post. Alternatively, small business owners can develop a series of blog posts or promotional giveaways relating to one specific theme.