Top Marketing Lessons from Comedians
Comedians and marketers have a lot in common. Making it in the entertainment industry goes beyond getting people to laugh. On top of humor and talent, you’ll also need to know how to market yourself. From content marketing to social media marketing and collabs, here are four well-known comedians and their strategies.
Kevin Hart has a reputation for being a funny guy and an extremely hard worker. He thinks it’s an excellent reputation to have. Having been in the industry for over two decades and working relentlessly since 1999, his career only took off over the last few years.
According to Forbes, Hart rakes in approximately $87 million per year. Not only does he feature in box-office hit movies and develop his own comedy shows, but he also has multimillion-dollar endorsement deals with major retail brands such as Nike and H&M. His success goes beyond the movie industry.
In 2018, he went on tour for his stand-up comedy show Kevin Hart: The Irresponsible. He managed to sell more than 1 million tickets, making it the most successful comedy tour of 2018. Selling 1 million tickets is a considerable feat, and many experts believe he was able to pull it off partially due to his fan base of over 62 million followers on Instagram and 24 million on Facebook!
With major collaborations with A-List celebrities such as Will Ferrell and Ice Cube, he is widely considered to be a mainstream success. He’s the type of comedian you either hate or love. What you might not know is that this Philadelphian native used to hustle as a shoe salesman before landing major acting roles in Hollywood. Love him or hate him, Kevin Hart is a businessman and marketer. When you look closely at what he’s achieved over the years, you’ll notice that he approaches everything strategically. From his business ventures to marketing strategies, Hart puts in the hours to ensure that his brand is recognized by millions of people.
Here are some of his marketing strategies:
He Markets Himself
When you visit his Twitter profile and check out his description, you’ll read “My name is Kevin Hart and I WORK HARD!!! That pretty much sums me up!!! Everybody Wants To Be Famous But Nobody Wants To Do The Work”. This is an indication that he considers himself a brand. While other entertainers regard themselves as talents, he has identified himself as a brand. He understands that his name “Kevin Hart” is a business that he has to lay out marketing plans for. Like all other businesses, an integrated marketing plan is necessary to build long-term success.
Another example is when you visit his website. It contains all the essential information such as how to contact him, make bookings, merchandise for sales, press, and media, as well as links to other businesses in his empire.
Branching Out Through Social Media
Kevin Hart knows the ins and outs of social media marketing. Hart’s production company, ‘Hartbeat Production’ manages all his social media channels, and it does a ton of branching out. Hart utilizes Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Webstagram, Vine, Google+, and so many more. His social media presence is like an octopus with many tentacles.
When you further study his social media content, you’ll notice that his channels work together. Different media reach different audiences and prospective fans. The content may also be the same across all channels, but not the message. For each post, messages are personalized, which is good for a business that uses various channels. At the end of the day, the audience for each channel is unique, and so you have to cater to them.
These are some of the things he does really well on social media:
- Whether it’s good press or bad press, he keeps it personal, so his audience knows who he is
- He collaborates with other stars that have millions of followers on social media: Ice Cube (11M Instagram followers) and The Rock (96M Instagram followers) are two good examples.
- He keeps production cheap: as you scroll through his social media channels, you’ll see that most of his videos are not well-produced. It’s just him and the camera. This “cheap” production helps to keep it real. The same goes for his tours. He doesn’t need to go the extra mile with expensive equipment to sell a million tickets.
When it comes to promoting, Kevin Hart makes sure to do it wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself. While he was on his stand-up comedy tour, he used the opportunity to promote his latest movies. He showed videos and previews to the audience.
Going cross-platform is an excellent strategy. It’s a fundamental principle of integrated marketing for businesses. This gets you thinking about seizing every opportunity that comes your way as you never know where and when you might reach your audience or prospective fans.
Some questions to think about:
- Do you use email marketing?
- Are you blogging regularly?
- Do you post articles on social media channels or send them to your mailing list?
If you are running a business, Kevin Hart’s cross-platform approach shows us that we need to be looking out for missed opportunities when it comes to reaching the relevant people. Get out there with a broader marketing vision.
Video, video, video
With smartphones equipped with good quality video cameras and how easy it is to shoot content and edit them, it’s no surprise that video marketing is taking over the industry. Many marketing experts foresee that video content will be the most-watched, the most absorbed. If you take a look at Kevin Hart’s Facebook and Twitter, you’ll see how often he uses video. Businesses shouldn’t get left behind either. It’s time to jump on board the video wagon.
Produce video content that explains who you are and promotes your products and/or services. The quality doesn’t have to be superb or an expensive production. You can even use your phone. Just make sure that it’s digestible and easily understood. Leveraging video will help you to reach more customers as well as groups of people you never reached before.
Awesome Content Creation
I’m going to go and become the greatest, biggest comedian in the world, and then Hollywood will start calling me up and not making me audition.
As mentioned earlier, Kevin Hart is a trooper. One of the things that motivated him was the fact that he wanted to become a star. His ability and drive to continually improve helped him to get to where he’s at today. With each new comedy show, he made his audience laugh even more. His materials were funnier, attracting more and more people to his shows.
What did he do with the money he earned? He re-invested the money back to his shows and judging from his success now, it was definitely the right move. His audiences grew bigger. He had repeat fans who brought their friends along. His movies brought in more and more money as well. By 2016, he had become a very successful comedian and entrepreneur.
Getting Your Audience to Ride Along With You
This was an early realization for Kevin Hart. Early in his career as a stand-up comedian, he knew that his growth would heavily depend on his audience and fan base. Completely aware of this, he decided to take this matter into his own hands. After every show, he’d make it a point to collect his fans’ email addresses. He directly marketed to his fans. He communicated with them, letting them know his latest stand-up venues or cities where he was touring. Year after year, his attendance rates grew higher, indicating that this strategy worked perfectly well for him.
Another thing he’s excelled at is giving fans access to him. It’s a known fact that he takes his fans seriously. On his Facebook biography, it reads “I Love All My Fans”. On Twitter, fans who tag him will get retweeted. Clearly, he encourages engagement with his fans. On both accounts, you don’t only notice fan interaction; there’s two-way communication going on. And this is one of the reasons his fans remain loyal.
What is brand awareness? It is defined as the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, history, reputation, and advertised image.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. – Jeff Bezos
According to Bezos, our efforts can only influence people to a certain extent. Besides various elements, a brand must also deliver on its quality and value to a consumer. When it comes to the hardworking comedian, Hart practices brand awareness by being constantly active across his social media channels. As a marketer and entrepreneur, he is leveraging on the impact social media can have on a business, leading to business growth. On a recent episode of Oprah Prime, Hart sat down with the American talk show host to talk about the importance of social media. Check out the video:
“Being able to talk back and forth with your fans goes a long way”. -Kevin Hart
With the rise in digital marketing, Kevin Hart has mastered the art of engagement with his fans. In this day and age, things are entirely different from how they were back then. Older stars didn’t have the same tools, but they didn’t have to. Back then, they were more focused on campaigns and talkshows.
Part of his brand is about keeping it real. He claims that he’s shown everything to his fans and that he’s an open book. From happy moments in his life to a divorce, he’s revealed every aspect. There are also times when Hart uses social media to ask his fans to watch his latest movie or go see his latest show.
This social media and branding strategy combined has taken his business to a level that no paid advertising ever could. Hart continues to grow his following on social media, and people around the world love him for being who he is.
As a comedian, he’s sold out NFL stadiums, starred in hit movies, and has appeared on TV too many times. If there’s anything he understands well, it’s building an empire with integrated marketing strategies.
Key Takeaways from his social media mistakes
Apart from his marketing mastery, Hart has also made mistakes along the way. Although he seldom does, mistakes are often remembered for longer periods of time and might affect your career. For the famous comedian, he landed the gig of hosting the 2019 Academy Awards, but had it stripped away from him due to some ugly history.
Benjamin Lee, an editor at the Guardian, shed light on Hart’s old tweets following the Oscars announcement.
“I wonder when Kevin Hart is gonna start deleting all his old tweets,” Lee tweeted, adding screenshots from some of Hart’s since-deleted tweets in which he said someone looked like “a gay bill board for AIDS” and called another person a “FAT FAG.”
Social media is such an effective communication tool, but you should always control and monitor what you put out there. Many people like to use these platforms to vent out anger and disappointment. You’ve got keyboard warriors who are not afraid to voice out their opinions that they would never say in person. You’ve got hate comments written by people hiding behind their computers and phone screens. But these negative posts will stay online and may be permanent. What you say online may affect your business and career.
Stay away from controversy
Because social media is instant, situations may quickly escalate. People rapidly fall deep into the moment and become trapped in drama. The unfortunate thing is that it’s visible for anyone online to see.
Expressing a controversial opinion is often pointless. You’ll gain a lot of haters, and you put yourself at risk. Don’t leave a trail of negative posts for people to dig up. It might hurt you in the future.
Think before you hit on send
Whether it’s an email, a text message, or a social media post, responding without thinking may also put you at risk. If you’re not emotionally stable, take some time to cool down before you hit on send. If you’re angry or upset, you might feel the wrath and be tempted to send a message, but it’s definitely a better idea to think about what you’re about to send. You can’t take these messages back once they’re out.
Unless it’s urgent, take your time to formulate a strategy for crafting messages. It could be hours or days but take your time. Being patient allows you only to send messages you want to send out. This strategy will help you to protect yourself from saying something you might regret in the future.
If you grew up in the 90s, you’d remember the Seinfeld TV show. To this day, episodes are available on various streaming services so you can revisit your past. Or for the younger generation to experience a completely different era.
The hit comedy show starred Jerry Seinfeld playing himself as the main character. The semi-fiction story, created by Seinfeld and Larry David, aired on NBC from 1989 to 1998. It became one of the most popular and successful sitcoms of all time. Although the last episode aired 22 years ago, the creators of the show are still making bank to this very day.
It has been estimated that syndication royalties have amounted to $3.1 billion, which continues to grow every year. A few years ago, Hulu bought streaming rights to the show for $180 million – a substantial sum for a show that dates back to the 90s.
When it comes to the TV show, Seinfeld has treated it as a franchise. It’s still paying him decades later. The way he’s branded it means that he’ll be putting money in his pockets for a very long time. As you take a closer look, the success of the show is attributed to its content. As co-creators, Seinfeld and David knew how to create entertaining and informative content about “nothing”. There was no storyline. The show revolved around the smallest things.
After a long hiatus, one of the world’s best comedians chose to make a comeback. In 2012, after being out of action for 14 years, he surprised everyone with a new show. Many thought it wouldn’t live up to the standards set by his popular sitcom Seinfeld. However, he proved everyone wrong and showed that he was a video marketing and content marketing wizard.
With the new show, the idea was to involve antique cars and drive them while hanging out with other comedians. Every episode revolves around a drive and enjoying a coffee while breaking a few jokes. As the creator of one of the most successful TV shows of all time, any major television network would have produced his new show. But Seinfeld elected not to take this route. He chose to be original and created the internet series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Video marketing experts said it would fail. They all told Seinfeld that online audiences wouldn’t be able to pay attention for longer than 5 minutes. With no support from the big guys, Starbucks also rejected his sponsorship proposal. But Seinfeld didn’t stop there. He was optimistic in bringing his idea to life, proving everyone wrong.
Shocking everyone in the entertainment industry, he chose to team up with Crackle – a small streaming service. Why did he do this? He wanted full creative control over his latest project. It was his passion, and he wasn’t going to let big networks modify his content.
The small streaming service gave him all the freedom and he took advantage of it. He created a hit internet series with fancy cars and awesome jokes from the world’s funniest people. Let’s take a look at how he pulled it off with video marketing and content marketing.
Since it launched in 2012, “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” has amassed over 70 million views, won several awards and received two Emmy nominations. And he did it through streaming on the internet, passing on national television. Here are some of the secrets to his video marketing success:
1. Be Human
Sitcoms in the 50s to 90s were way too scripted. There was no sense of honesty. After years of fake media, today’s online viewers want to watch what’s going on in real life. Real stories about real people.
Being human is powerful. When you’re honest and vulnerable, as well as show your humor and interest in telling stories, you’ll stand out from others. That’s why Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is getting a ton of attention. It’s diverted from the conventional methods of video marketing with planned scripts and plots. It’s in line with the new era, which is telling your story and being authentic.
In his latest internet series, Seinfeld often talks about his own relationships. Throughout the show, you’ll see Jerry doing this. In an episode with Ali Wentworth, he spoke about marriage and having arguments with your spouse. He also openly talks about one of his biggest fears – when people don’t think he’s funny when he’s on stage.
When he tells true stories about himself and not the part the whole world knows about, it reveals a compassionate side. It reveals humanity. Everyone knows he is a major success, but what we often miss out on is that successful people struggle too. There are dreams, doubts, passions, and fears.
If you’re planning to use video for your marketing campaign, think about honesty and transparency. Tell a story about your life, your company, your vision, and your team. Show your audience the tough times you’ve been through as well as milestones you’ve reached. Don’t forget to BE HUMAN!
2. Constant Movement
During an interview with David Letterman, Seinfeld sat down with him and revealed one of his secrets. Using this technique, he’s able to keep his online audience engaged. What was the secret? Having constant movement.
“Part of what makes the show watchable is that it’s always moving. There’s no narrative [to] drive the story. We know what happens. We know they’re going to get coffee. You need a kinetic energy to move it along,” Seinfeld said. “Moving people around keeps them awake.”
The show centers around conversations taking place during a drive or while enjoying a cup of coffee. There are no special effects, nothing fancy.
Here’s a compilation of the best of Season 11. Notice the constant movement in every single frame:
If you’re not sure about what movement is, it covers any physical movement, movement in frames due to changing camera angles, and so on. With constant movement, your audience’s eyes continue to stay alert as there’s something to always take note of. Whether it’s a change in scenery, a shot getting zoomed in; these movements capture your audience’s attention.
3. Do What You Want To Do
When you hear the title “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”, it sounds too long. Moreover, it doesn’t sound interesting at all. Even the video marketing experts disagreed with the length of the episode claiming that audiences wouldn’t be engaged. But they were all wrong. What you might not be aware of is that most people are usually wrong. It’s people with courage and a vision who will find success.
His new show was unique. There was nothing out there like it, which was typical for Seinfeld. He never wanted to be like everyone else.
At the time when Seinfeld was a hit sitcom, there was no other show like it. If you’re going to market a new brand, it should be original and have its own personality. Looking at the greatest success stories, they are not copycats. They are original ideas that take the world by a storm.
1. Jokes are supposed to be funny, not insulting
“If it’s offensive and not funny, it’s not a joke.” – Jerry Seinfeld
His video marketing prowess is no doubt, but let’s also take a look at his content marketing. Many brands and companies often go too far with their jokes. In the end, they have to stop campaigns and issue apologies. According to Seinfeld, you’ve got to be careful with how you formulate your jokes and present them. The main objective is to make people laugh, not hurt their feelings.
If you’re looking to inject humor into your campaign, all content must be thoughtfully planned. The target audience and your one key fan should be taken into account. If you know who your product is for, there’s a smaller possibility of offending them. On top of that, you should also get feedback from a diverse group of people. Everyone has their own opinion, so it would help to hear their voices before you put your joke out there.
2. Nothing works forever
You turned down an offer from NBC of $5 million an episode to do one more season of “Seinfeld.” Nobody in TV has ever made even close to that money before or since. Did you ever second-guess that decision?
No. It was the perfect moment, and the proof that it was the right moment is the number of questions you’re still asking me about it. The most important word in art is “proportion.” How much? How long is this joke going to be? How many words? How many minutes? And getting that right is what makes it art or what makes it mediocre.
Seinfeld refused to do another season of his hit sitcom. As he realized that no one could stay on top forever, he decided to take a break from the scene and wait for his next big idea. He could have easily accepted the money and done another season, but his decision was not motivated by the millions. The passionate person in him wanted to walk away while he was still on top. He didn’t want to risk stretching the show on and on until it became too draggy to watch.
When it comes to content marketing, just because something worked before, it doesn’t mean it will again. Always try to look for new methodologies and be innovative. People are constantly changing, so should your content.
3. Structure is key
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is an extremely random show. It involves driving in cars, drinking coffee, and real-life conversations with famous comedians. For every episode, there’s a structure that Seinfeld follows. And he follows this structure strictly. This is how an episode unfolds:
- Jerry introduces the car that he’ll be driving
- He calls his guest and asks him or her out for coffee
- He gives a background story of the guest
- He picks up the guest
- They go for a drive while talking comedy
- They stop for coffee and food
- They enjoy a short stroll
- They drive back
With a strict structure, it’s easier to for all production stages. It makes things more simple for planning, shooting, and editing. In terms of content marketing, consistency helps with branding as audiences know what to expect.
4. Repurpose content
In Seinfeld’s latest passion project, the episodes often combine clips from various episodes. The clips would center around the same subject. The topics are usually very random, from car breakdowns to kids, to crafting jokes, all the way to their opinion on David Letterman.
Because of the way the episodes are shot, his team can repurpose content. From time to time, the same themes will come up in other episodes, and you’ll see a clip from earlier seasons.
When producing content for your marketing, don’t throw away the parts that you don’t end up using for the latest campaign. You might be able to recycle them in the future. Not only does it save time and effort, you never know that it might be relevant to a future project.
5. Work with influential people
Seinfeld’s hit sitcom went off the air in 1998. He decided to take a break and only made a comeback in 2012. When he resurfaced, he might have lost the influence he once had. Moreover, he was catering to a new generation, which is why working with influential people has been a huge part of his success.
His selection of comedians to guest star in his show is extremely crucial. Essentially, it is influencer marketing. He joins forces with the most popular and influential comedians. Not to mention, he also invites politicians with a good sense of humor. He’s had Barack Obama in one of his episodes!
His guests include more senior and established talk show hosts such as David Letterman and Jay Leno. But they are not only limited to them. He also invites newcomers such as Amy Schumer and YouTuber Miranda Sings.
6. Market your passion
It’s obvious that Seinfeld loves the 3 C’s – cars, coffee, and comedy. Audiences can clearly see that he enjoys what he’s doing with this show. When it comes to content marketing, you can’t fake passion. When you’re passionate about something, people are more interested in hearing about what you have to say. And they’d also be more interested in buying from you.
As you’re planning your content, think about what led you here in the first place. Share that story with the world!
Amy Schumer is a charismatic comedian known for breaking down boundaries and gender stereotypes. You probably know her for Inside Amy Schumer, which debuted in 2013.
Her success didn’t come easy. She struggled during the early years while actively taking part in stand-up competitions. In 2007, she came in 4th place in the fifth season of Last Comic Standing. She also participated in Comedy Central’s Reality Bites Back in 2008, where she was the runner up.
Having had stints here and there on Comedy Central, she eventually got her own show in April 2013. And she has never looked back. The second season of Inside Amy Schumer was a major success, as were the subsequent seasons. High-profile guests such as Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have guest-starred in her show.
She’s no stranger to accolades either. In 2015, the comedian accepted the Peabody Award – the most prestigious award in television – and she was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards.
In the world of comedy, a major part of success always comes down to marketing. Through content, comedians can market themselves and gain a ton of followers. Content plays a huge role, but there are other collaborative efforts where Schumer has shown she’s marketing savvy.
Let’s dig deeper into her marketing strategies.
Content Marketing Guru
1. Being her true authentic self
This is what her fans love her for. She’s not afraid to show who she really is – her bold, outspoken, and somewhat awkward personality. She’s so comfortable with herself and doesn’t care about the way others think she should be.
In recent years, you may have heard the words “You have to be authentic” way too often. But what does it exactly mean?
For your company’s brand and marketing, being authentic is about being comfortable with who you are and not being afraid to express it. All the content you publish in each and every marketing campaign should reflect your voice and style. It should also be very consistent with your company’s values. For example, you can’t be telling your customers that you love the environment if you’re using products that harm them. There’s just no consistency there.
When planning your content, give it careful thought to make sure it’s on point. Here are some tips:
- Be clear about your values
- Be consistent with your brand (style and tone of your writing)
- Be responsible for your own actions
2. She produces her own content
Many actors and actresses often engage the help of producers and writers to create content. However, for Schumer, she prefers to write and produce her own content. This relates to point number 1, which is being her true authentic self. When you create your own content, your audience gets to see the real you, which is why they came in the first place.
So how do you create content like Schumer? Here are some ideas:
- Write a list: Every time an idea pops up for your content, list it down.
- Just do it: You might hesitate at times, but there’s no harm trying and testing it out. Don’t waste too much time, though. If you want to see if the content idea resonates with your audience, test it out through writing a blog or something that isn’t too time-consuming.
- Add something new and valuable: Your content should provide new information and be different from any content in the past. For example, with every new blog you publish, it should be centering around a different idea.
3. Her fans love her!
By connecting with the public and surprising them, you’ll be able to create a lot of buzz for your brand. Marketing is not just about closing your customers. It’s not about getting the sale. It’s about consistently offering them things that they love.
Check out some content marketing tips:
- Prioritize your customer: Your content should focus on your customers, not on you. Avoid creating content that only talks about your business goals. Create content that is beneficial to your customers.
- Do the unexpected: A nice surprise is often delightful. Sometimes, it’s not about creating buzz. It’s about putting a smile on someone’s face and expecting nothing in return. It’s simply goodwill. Some examples could be sending your customers random thank you cards for being loyal or sending small gifts for a contract renewal. These actions are small gestures but very personal. If done with genuine intentions, it could bring your business relationship to a personal level.
4. She’s not afraid of being bold
In much of her content, Schumer often portrays her feminist side. Her content tackles tough topics, such as gender inequality and taboos. Through her comedy shows, she uses humor to shed light on these controversies. She educates her audience with her courage.
If she thinks that something is important, she’ll cover it in her show. Even if she faces some opposition, she doesn’t care. She rolls along with it. From the beginning, she’s been extremely bold, fearless, and provocative. For example, in her Netflix show The Leather Special, the comedian talks about how men and women act during sex.
What can we learn from here in terms of content marketing? If you what to put content out there that might face opposition, don’t hesitate. If you believe in it, go for it. But do it in a way that doesn’t piss off your audience. Here are some tips:
- Use facts: if you state the facts, there’s not much for people to say.
- Be open-minded: you shouldn’t be afraid to present your views and state your opinion and allow your audience to provide feedback. It can’t just be one-way communication.
- Being bold, fearless, and provocative doesn’t mean you have to go to the extreme: your content shouldn’t be over the top, but do something different from your past. Be brave, but not too brave.
5. She knows who to collaborate with and when
Most of the time, she chooses to work alone, but she’s also a team player. Her end goal is always to produce the best product, and if it means teaming up with other people, so be it. In general, these are the main ingredients for putting a show together: writers, producers, and actors. They all work together to produce a show. Schumer often collaborates with others to make her content better. She understands that others might be more talented than her in a certain area.
Diversity is important when it comes to TEAM. When you work with someone who has different skills and talents from yours, you’re able to produce better content. It will end up being different and more exciting. When you’re planning content marketing for your brand, here are some ideas for collaborations:
- Webinars and courses
Collaborating with Youtube Stars
Reaching Millennials through Youtube Stars
In July 2015, the action movie Ant-Man and comedy Trainwreck were released on the same day. On top of the usual advertising and promotion efforts, Marvel and Universal also looked to Youtube stars to expand their reach. Also, to create buzz and engagement.
More and more brands hope to lure the subscribers of top YouTube stars, often in the millions. They have massive followings. In doing so, these major brands created sponsored content to fit this platform. The stars are sought after for collaboration to produce creative content and distribute information to their fan base.
Instead of showing the same content on TV and on YouTube, which was the case in the past, brands customize specifically for the streaming platform. As for movies, the themes and characters are mixed into storylines and tailored especially for YouTube users.
For Schumer’s comedy Trainwreck, she decided to team up with YouTuber Flula. Check out the content here:
Trainwreck Marketing With Flula
In the YouTube video “Not Sex Questions”, Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, and Flula sit down for a Q&A session. They discuss some topics related to the movie casually and humorously. The content is tailored according to Flula’s existing theme as well as his fan base. And it also matches the type of humor generated from the comedy Trainwreck. This YouTube video was carefully thought out to spark interest for his 600k followers (at the time) to watch the movie at the cinema.
Getting the MTV Movie Awards to Hand Over Social Media Control
In 2015, the MTV Movie Awards was hosted by Anna Kendrick and Amy Schumer. Over the years, it can be said that MTV typically engages two hosts for the annual event. You’ll notice that one host is the joke and the other one is quite serious. Take Justin Timberlake and Sean William Scott, for example.
In this case, Schumer is the one popping jokes, while Kendrick always keeps a straight face. Check out the trailer for the MTV Movie Awards here:
“We’re gonna be friends forever. Can you, like, feel it?” Schumer says as she strokes Kendrick’s hair and asks if she’s related to Kendrick Lamar.
She jokes around in the video and asks such ridiculous questions. About Kendrick’s last name, she wonders if Anna is related to rapper Kendrick Lamar. Anna responds with her eyes rolling.
Tom Fishman, Vice President of Connected Marketing & Fan Engagement at MTV, talked about its decision to bring Schumer on as a host. He also shares that MTV started collaborating with her across multiple platforms as soon as she got the gig.
As of 2015, Schumer had close to 1 million Twitter followers (4.5 million today). Therefore, MTV’s strategy was to work with Schumer’s strongest platforms and their own and build their outreach from there.
For the first time ever in history, MTV gave ultimate control of their social media to a host. They handed everything to her so she could announce herself as the 2015 host. All of their social media existence was in the hands of a single person.
The bold and fearless comedian has been known to post outrageous and controversial content. Some love her, and some feel offended. When many brands would be very cautious about handing over social media control to Schumer, MTV was not afraid. And their strategy worked!
As the social media boom becomes more apparent, MTV hopes to focus on its “social first” philosophy. They hope to be able to create buzz and engage with fans across multiple social media platforms. With Schumer on board, MTV’s objective was to attract a large viewership and be the talk of town.
“It’s in our DNA to always be reaching out to new audiences as new generations take over,” says Fishman. “With social media we’re seeing different generations of apps and app users, and Facebook and Twitter have [users] from eight to eighty.”
MTV didn’t only focus on the largest platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Schumer also graced other audiences with her presence as she looked to Tumblr, Instagram, and Snapchat.
“Something like Snapchat is a little younger,” Fishman says. “That’s a place where we’re looking to make a statement. With her star shining as bright as it is right now, that’s somebody you want to give a general idea of what we want to do and then hand over the reins and let her do what she does best which is: be hilarious,” says Fishman.
Adopting the element of surprise on Netflix
According to the research conducted by Ampere Analysis, 19% of Netflix’s original TV shows are announced and then released two months after the initial announcement. However, recently, we’ve seen the adoption of the ‘surprise drop’ marketing strategy. From blockbusters to A-list comedies such as Amy Schumer and Trevor Noah’s shows, audiences are not made aware of releases until the day itself!
It’s definitely a huge change and a completely different approach. In the past, Netflix has always employed the slow-burn release strategy. The streaming service usually makes the announcement ahead of time and informs audiences of the release date.
Fred Black, an analyst at Ampere, believes that Netflix has decided to use the quick-release strategy for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it gives the service an edge over its competitors. Secondly, it means that their content cannot be copied before it is even released.
There is no doubt that Amy Schumer is a hilarious lady. It is in the comedy world that she found huge success. Despite being a funny entertainer, she also possesses a deep knowledge of marketing. Her strategies mainly center around content marketing, social media marketing, and collaborations. She’s also not afraid to implement new strategies such as the surprise drop strategy with Netflix.
Ultimately, she believes in being herself off-screen and on-screen. She believes in educating people and fighting for causes, which she communicates through her content. And what better way to spread her messages through various social media platforms and collabs. Don’t forget that her social media expertise convinced MTV to hand over all of their social media accounts to her in 2015. How do you get a powerhouse to even do that?!
Rising to fame in April 2020, Sarah Cooper’s success came from her TikTok popularity. Earlier this year, Cooper posted videos of herself lipsyncing to Trump’s interviews, and they went viral. One of her videos based on an audio recording of Trump discussing disinfectants to treat the coronavirus has been viewed more than 20 million times.
So who is Sarah Cooper?
She’s a bit older than other new faces, but when it comes to entertainment, age is not a factor. In her early 40s, Cooper is an American author and comedian. She formerly worked as a UX designer at Google for many years before quitting in 2014 to focus full time on writing and comedy.
During the lockdown this year, Cooper was at home playing around with TikTok. She continued posting videos of Trump impersonations, and after raking in millions of views, she signed with WME, appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and hosted an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Her recent accomplishments don’t stop here. Netflix has also given her her very own comedy special due to air this month. CBS is currently developing a TV series featuring her as well.
TikTok has been the perfect platform for her, having opened many doors for her comedy career. The widely popular video-sharing social networking service has close to a billion users and has surpassed Instagram, WhatsApp, and Youtube in monthly downloads. But why is it so popular? Take a look at this brand expert’s take on the trending app:
TikTok’s success can simply be attributed to how it flips what we think of as social media on its head, while at the same time returning us all to roots of the original appeal–the ability to go viral. We’ve all gotten so caught up in maximizing reach by growing a massive fan base through subscribers or followers, so it’s refreshing to have a platform with an algorithm that rewards content above all else. – John Holdridge, the GM of Fullscreen
If you’re looking to market your brand or yourself, TikTok is definitely a platform worth trying. In a matter of months, Cooper has found tremendous success. Let’s take a look at how she did it and how your brand could learn a few things from her.
6 Effective TikTok Marketing Tips
1. Experiment, experiment experiment
Don’t be afraid to try new things when it comes to marketing. You never really know what the market likes. Since TikTok is a video-sharing service, an excellent strategy would be to test the waters with three different videos. Also, check out what’s trending at the moment, with each video following a different trend.
Trends matter and they quickly come and go. According to influencers, TikTok usually has eight popular trends per month, and all you have to do is choose three for your experiment. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t do anything that is oversaturated. As with Cooper, when she first started using TikTok, she tried to follow what others were doing – dancing.
There was and still is this whole dance craze going on. However, after trying it, she found that it wasn’t for her and moved on to try another activity – lipsyncing. At the time, Trump was also trending heavily with his daily press briefings. And it all started when Cooper found herself frustrated by the president and the words that came out of his mouth.
“He reminds me of these guys in meetings that I would see who would come in and just kind of bullshit their way through the meeting, but somehow make people think that they were paying attention and knew what they were talking about.”
And so she began her journey lipsyncing on TikTok, combining two trends.
2. Use analytics to measure success
As you continue to experiment, you’ll finally figure out what works for you. Based on certain metrics, you’ll be able to measure how successful your marketing campaign is. Track the right metrics, and you’ll be able to tell a lot about your campaign. If you’re new to TikTok, analytics will help you to stop guessing and strengthen your content strategy.
Here are the key metrics you should be measuring:
- Video views
- Profile views
- Likes, comments, shares
- Followers activity
- Videos your followers watched
- Sounds your followers listened to
Numbers won’t lie to you. Knowing your statistics will help improve your campaign’s performance. After multiple experiments, you’ll get to narrow down and focus on the things that work for you. In the comedian’s case, she began impersonating Trump just for the fun of it. Little did she know that her impersonation of Trump suggesting absurd treatment methods for Covid-19 would skyrocket her to fame.
It was her husband that urged her to do a video on this ridiculous Trump statement. In the clip, she’s dressed in a suit at home using props such as her living room lamp and household cleaner. Although it wasn’t a fancy production, people loved her for teasing the president, and the clip went viral. It now has more than 750,000 views on TikTok and more than 21 million on Twitter! Check it out here:
3. Post content that reflects your beliefs and values
A brand’s values could be anything that positively pushes the company into taking morally correct actions. It could cover feminism, sustainability, accessibility, equity, and so much more. There is no limit to brand values. Integrating these values into your marketing campaign will add creativity and personality to your brand.
Consumer behavior is more complex these days, and so should our marketing be. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of a company’s social impact, citing it as one of the reasons they would buy from you. This is very obvious in the millennial demographic. According to a 2017 Cone study, 87% of people preferred to buy products based on a brand’s values.
What we can learn from Sarah Cooper is how she channeled her frustration with Trump into her clips. She got so sick of people like Trump who talk their way through things and how everyone around them seems to accept the situation.
“I’m not trying to do an impression of Trump,” she says. “When I do these videos, I’m trying to say, like, what if Sarah Cooper was this person who could get away with talking like this?”
As a woman, she believed that she wouldn’t be able to get away saying the same things as Trump, which led her to impersonate him. She had to play this character to prove her point and draw attention to the amount of negligence out there in the world.
4. Keep posting and sharing
No one ever said success was going to be easy. You’ve got to be consistent in creating content and posting regularly. It’s another strategy that will aid you in your TikTok presence and growth. Regular posts will translate into higher engagement and giving your followers something to look forward to.
Besides regular posts, you should also be sharing them on any platform you can find. You might not think that going cross-platform will be very effective. Why share your TikTok videos on Facebook or Instagram? Well, every platform has its own audiences, and posting on as many as possible will maximize your visibility. Some audiences prefer to use a certain platform, and they may use others as well, but less often. This helps you to reach a wider audience.
In Cooper’s case, she continued posting and regularly sharing until she made it. Although Cooper films and edits her videos on TikTok, she shares them across different platforms and has the largest following on Twitter.
5. Be quick with trends
Trends move fast on TikTok, and they’re the heart and soul of the platform. Not only for individual content creators, but brands may also leverage trends to reach their audience. If you want your brand to be successful on TikTok, you’ll need to be quick to follow trends, interpret them, and create your own content.
Sarah Cooper has been latching onto the lipsyncing trend and benefitting from Trump’s spotlight. She is also quick to release fresh clips on the same day the words are uttered from the president’s mouth.
On 1 August 2020, Trump announced that the US government might be banning TikTok. Within a few hours, Cooper aired her new clips mocking Trump with her impersonation.
“We may be banning TikTok, we may be doing some other things or a couple of options, but a lot of things are happening so we’ll see what happens. We are looking at a lot of alternatives with respect to TikTok,” Trump’s voice can be heard saying.
6. Plan your content
As TikTok’s popularity continues to grow, more and more businesses are making the shift. It may not be for everyone, as the platform’s audience is young.
Creating creative content is essential to a successful TikTok campaign as well as understand what works on the video-sharing platform. Your planning efforts will guide you through creating a campaign that catches on with the users.
Before planning a TikTok Campaign, first, let’s understand the platform from a marketing perspective. Observe what is has to offer to see if your brand must have a presence on the platform. Here’s what TikTok has to offer in terms of marketing:
• Reaches a relatively young crowd: teens, tweens, millennials
• Niche audience
• Combines entertainment with information
• Organic growth
• Lowest saturation in the advertising industry
Here are some steps to planning your TikTok Marketing Campaign:
- Create a Competitor’s Analysis: Conduct a SWOT (Strenght, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis on your competitors. Observe what has worked for them and what has not. This will help take the guesswork out of your campaign.
- Create Content with High Engagement: Since TikTok combines entertainment with information, you’ve always got to think about entertaining ideas. Plan content that will entertain the audience and engage with them. At the end of the day, you also want to see their participation. For example, Clean & Clear’s #UnbottleApnaSwag and Flipkart’s #BigBillionStar are some of the most engaging campaigns run on TikTok which were able to attract 15.6 billion and over 8 billion views respectively.
- Boost Visibility with Advertising: There are three types of ads that you can run on TikTok
• In-feed Native Ads: Brands have to bid for a spot on the TikTok app for their ad to run
• Brand Takeover Ads: Brand’s ad will play as soon as a targeted TikTok user opens their app
• Hashtag Challenges: Official hashtag challenges that are paid for by brands
- Partner with an Influencer:
In addition to paid advertisements, you may also choose to partner with TikTok influencers that have high organic reach and engagement. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for:
• What is your influencer’s audience like? How do they behave?
• What kind of content does your influencer create (influencer’s niche)?
- Provide a Clear Call-to-action:
Through an Ad or even an Influencer marketing campaign, every brand has an objective. It may be that you want the audience to visit your website or to generate leads, which is why a clear CTA is critical.
The Jamaican-American comedian carefully planned her content on TikTok to market herself as an entertainer. Focusing on her expertise, which is to make people laugh, she scoured through Twitter to find clips of Trump. She then listened to them, imagined the setting and props, and brainstormed ways she could bring Trump’s words to life.
When she was on Jimmy Fallon’s show, she explained her process of shooting clips. She would shoot them in small segments so that she could retake them over and over again until she got it right. All her clips were compiled and edited on TikTok. Nothing fancy was used to do her clips as her main focus was on making impressions of Trump.
Tip #1: Use relevant hashtags (catchy and easy to say)
Tip #2: Post content at peak hours and when users are available
Tip #3: Relevance is key!
Tip #4: Speak the way your audience speaks
Tip #5: Acknowledge your users when they participate
Tip #6: Make emotional and personal connections
Content is key when it comes to marketing. So is how you promote yourself through various marketing channels. It’s a combination of presenting your audience with humorous content and keeping them engaged. It’s no easy task and as these four comedians have shown, it takes a lot of hard work.
Build your own identity by figuring out what works for you. And don’t be afraid to experiment until you hit the jackpot!
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