Few film franchises have been as wildly successful as George Lucas' "Star Wars" series. From books and comics to movies and video games, the timeless adventurous tale has held significant swaying power among its impressive fan base since the release of the original film in 1977.
The upcoming movie, "Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens," is not set to be released until December 2015, but the executives running the marketing campaign have provided small business owners with invaluable lessons regarding their own marketing ventures.
Are you counting down the days until the newest sequel? If so, quench your "Star Wars" thirst by keeping the following in mind when planning your marketing strategies.
1. Tease your followers on social media
If your brand is releasing a new product or service in the near future, follow in the footsteps of director J.J. Abrams by giving your virtual followers a glimpse of your new goods on social media. Each time Abrams announces news about the movie, he does so by updating his personal Twitter with notes written on small pieces of paper. Most recently, he posted a photo with a piece of stationery that announced the date of the very first teaser trailer for Episode VII. Adopt a similar tactic when announcing news for your brand - you don't need to use your personal account, but giving fans a glint of what's to come is a great way to get them involved.
2. Don't give it all away at once
You don't, however, want them to know everything that your brand plans on unleashing in the future. Abrams has kept the entire production hush-hush, which has further fueled speculation and anticipation among fans. Build similar suspense by dangling hints for your consumers, encouraging them to visit your store to learn more.
3. Create weekly themes
On the official Facebook account for "Star Wars," the franchise follows a series of promotions that are tailored to the day. In addition to "Throwback Thursday," where the page posts history and pictures, there is "Trivia Tuesday" and "Spotlight of the Week." Coordinate similar promotions to further build fans for your business' social sites.
4. Bring back the classics
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are all confirmed to star in the new movie - don't be afraid to bring back some of your business' most popular services or products to appeal to your oldest and most loyal consumers. You don't necessarily need to bring back an old product, but consider releasing a limited edition item with its original packaging to build nostalgia among your fans.