If there was ever a movie franchise to build a campaign around, it’s Star Wars. Decades of fans spanning three generations can attest to that. These fans highly engaged nature can make for some great online content. Why? Well if there’s one thing Star Wars fans love to do it’s talk about Star Wars online
Target have tapped into this with their cross platform #ShareTheForce campaign on:
- A dedicated website
- Twitter, with a hashtag campaign built in
- Other social platforms
This article will look at each part of their #ShareTheForce campaign. Read through it to see examples of how Target is creating a cross-platform online marketing campaign, and get ready to build one of your own.
Cross platform marketing with Target’s #ShareTheForce
They started with video marketing on YouTube
To clearly illustrate their intentions, tapping into nostalgia for Star Wars and how deeply it can impact fans, Target turned to video marketing. If you watch this video without feeling a little something, you’re simply not a Star Wars fan:
Cute kids, including one viral little girl talking about Darth Vader, cheap laughs, incredible special effects …what else can you possibly do with your video marketing? Target do it all here!
To start pulling it apart as a piece of video marketing, rather than looking at its emotional appeal, Target hit these points:
- They title the video “Share the Force.” They want to teach viewers this one phrase so that they remember it, and hopefully use it on social media.
- They largely feature clips of ordinary people. This will push more ordinary people to engage in the campaign. If it was all shots from the next Star Wars film it would just be another trailer.
- They put the #ShareTheForce hashtag in the sparse description below the video. This is another teaching opportunity for them to let viewers know what the video is about.
If I had to be critical, I’d criticise them for not using a YouTube Annotation at the end pushing for subscribers. Having a call to action like this is one sure technique for making your viral video have a lasting impact on your YouTube channel’s goals over the long term.
User-generated content marketing on a dedicated website
The end of the video features a website address www.SharetheForce.com. If you miss it there, they also include it in the video description. Once you visit the website you’ll see that the point of it is to add your ‘memory’ to a collection of Star Wars themed constellations.
Users are then prompted to share their place in the Star Wars universe with the world:
— dakota (@Dakota_Carter15) August 31, 2015
This will do wonders for their social proof as many people will be sharing this content. As more people share, more people will want to share and use the branded hashtag. This is a key moment in their user generated content beginning to tell their brand story for them.
The problems with all if this is that Target didn’t work hard enough to make this website easy to view. It’s recommended to be viewed on Firefox or Chrome (Yep, I’m on Opera and Safari) only. Worse, it’s a very data heavy webpage with a moving background AND auto-playing music. They could miss out on the more impatient users who simply won’t wait for all of this to load.
Social Media and hashtag marketing
Target’s end goal is to create many, many small shares from users on social media, and to connect each share to a larger brand story with hashtags. The hashtag that they use is, you guessed it, #SharetheForce.
The hashtag has caught on with other Star Wars related content on Twitter in general. It has also come in handy with their #ForceFriday hashtag as they cross the two hashtags over:
— Target (@Target) September 4, 2015
Yep, they even threw some SnapChat marketing into the mix! Everyone reading this article right now should be seeing the importance of all your social marketing platforms working together, not alone on an island.
The hashtag is being used frequently on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This adds up to thousands and thousands of small interactions which are all part of one large marketing push.
This is exactly what you should be using user generated content for. A hashtag, that you push hard, is the essential aspect of the whole thing. This is one tactic you can use when using Twitter marketing to get YouTube views.
Effective cross-platform marketing from video marketing to social
Target is a big brand with a big marketing team and a big marketing budget. I know that not every brand can afford to market alongside one of the largest movie franchises of all time. Some planning with hashtags, video, and website marketing, and a helping of imagination, can create stunning cross-platform marketing campaigns.
Follow Target’s #ShareTheForce campaign as an example:
- Have one idea that you push on people. Edit it down to something long enough to be a hashtag. #SharetheForce being the example here.
- Create one central piece of content that informs those who find it what you’re doing. A video is great at this, and it’s what Target used.
- Have a custom website, or a dedicated page on your current website, to send people to create their user-generated content. Don’t have the money for this? Incorporate a heavy call to action in the video for shares along with the hashtag.
- Push people to share the content they create with friends. This will be on the custom website if you’ve built it, as well as in the video and on social media.
Start from the top of this list and work down. You’ll be well on your way to creating a cross-platform marketing campaign that engages people all across the entire Internet once you’re done!
Ernest is a video marketing enthusiast with an equal love for social media. Follow @Buyviewsco on Twitter! His favorite Star Wars character is Luke.