When the unexpected happens, as a marketer, you need to pivot your strategy on the drop of a dime. You’ll need to ask yourself and your team, how to address a crisis, how to continue connecting with your customers without a typical call to action, and think about how you can continue generating revenue.
When an unprecedented closure storms in, we learn to adjust. However, adjusting doesn’t mean “stop engaging”. Rather the opposite, it becomes increasingly important to remain connected to your members. Take this opportunity to bond with your guests on a different level by delivering engaging content and getting them excited to come back into the theater when you reopen. Keep the campaigns going, but keep the right tone in mind – make sure you know the current status of the world and keep content relevant to the situation.
I want to stay top-of-mind… but where do I start?
Start off by defining your marketing plan with a marketing calendar for communications. This will allow you to map out engaging content to send to guests. It’s extremely important to share content that keeps you connected to guests so that you become their ‘go-to’ upon re-opening. We included a few dos and don’ts to consider when creating your marketing plan:
- Determine how often you will communicate with your guests
- Remain relevant and stay top-of-mind
- Be helpful and deliver entertaining content that resonates with the moviegoer
- Deliver content that the recipient can put to use now
- Stay true to your brand
- Pretend that it’s ‘business as usual’
- Appear unaware of current events
- Ignore customer questions and requests during closure
- Focus on generating revenue and selling products
- State personal opinions on the current situation in marketing materials
Let’s create an engaging campaign!
Let’s start sending engaging content! All content should feel actionable to a customer with some type of call to action. Although this CTA is different from ‘purchase tickets’, when creating a campaign you should be able to define the action you want them to take. Three types of campaigns to consider:
· Member updates
· Unique and fun content
· CTAs to earn revenue
1. Be proactive with member updates
When a closure or re-opening is announced, guests will be looking to the exhibitor for information on what happens with their membership. Be proactive. Craft an ‘FAQ’ campaign that can answer members’ questions before they bombard the customer service department. Address questions such as ‘What happens to my subscription?’, ‘Will I still get my birthday reward?,’ or ‘Are my tickets going to be refunded?’. It’s best to try to predict guests’ needs and have these prepared in advance. Ultimately, this creates more brand trust for the moviegoer.
2. Let’s get creative
This is a unique time to get creative and think outside the box. Maybe you identify moviegoers who mainly see kids’ films and provide them with printable coloring sheets and entertainment programming, or send recipes that go along with upcoming films. You can look to create a weekly trivia series featuring a film slated to release when you reopen. These types of communications keep members engaged with your brand and create excitement for getting back to the theater.
3. Earning revenue
While creating unique innovative content is great to keep members reading emails, there are also ways to incorporate revenue streams into communications. This includes gift card promotions or food delivery services. Run weekly ‘movie night’ campaigns choosing from several streaming films and promoting popcorn delivery and a candy pack to get the moviegoing experience at home. Maybe you run a trivia campaign and take it a step further by running a gift card promotion that they can use to see that film once it releases.
Lights! Camera! Send that campaign!
Now that we understand the types of campaigns to send, what are some best practices? Make sure that all content is relevant, and you check current events before sending each campaign to be sensitive to what’s happening in the world. Avoid ambiguous references and have campaigns include an end action that guests can take part in. Keep communications straightforward, fun, and appropriate with the current atmosphere.
With your new campaign ideas ready to go, make sure that your messaging is consistent and you have synergy across all member communications with an omni-channel marketing strategy.