Have you heard about that movie,
The Hunger Games

Judging by the grossed $68.2 million on opening day alone,
I’m guessing you have.

But, I’m also willing to bet you heard about the movie long before it hit theaters either on Facebook or Twitter. The Hunger Games took on social media by storm!

But what made Lionsgate’s marketing such a success (on such a small budget nonetheless)?

Social Media Marketing with a Content Strategy

Most major film studios follow the same approach to social media where they use inexpensive content (i.e. a still photo of a gorgeous actress), post it on Facebook and Twitter, and rely on a viral marketing strategy where fans get excited, and amplify the buzz by liking and retweeting.

So what was different about Lionsgate’s social media marketing approach with The Hunger Games?

Lionsgate actually created valuable content that went far beyond a photo or video clip. For example, they created an interactive tour of the Capitol where fans were able to register as citizens by connecting to their Facebook or Twitter accounts and providing their email addresses. Once a citizen, fans can gain access to tour different areas of the Capitol as seen in the movie.

Lionsgate didn’t just create another movie advertisement; they created an interactive experience sparking fan engagement before and after they watched the movie in packed theaters. They also didn’t rely on viral marketing. They clearly planned out how they were going to promote their content across multiple social media platforms.

The Bonus: Lionsgate was operating on a promotion budget HALF the normal block buster movie.

What Associations Can Learn About Content From The Hunger Games

Social media marketing is very powerful in combination with a solid content strategy.

You shouldn’t need to create a social buzz for your content. Your content should create a social buzz for you. Here’s how:

  1. Create Engaging Content. Of course it’s a good idea to look at what other associations are doing with their content, but don’t be afraid to take it one step farther. For example, if you want to create a webinar series for members, try incorporating live polling or interactive gaming to keep them engaged. Also, when creating content, always consider what will keep members engaged before and after the content as well. For the webinar example, gain momentum ahead of time with social media sites, and make sure your recorded webinars are made available to share with friends after the series has ended.
  2. Allow Access and Make Your Association Found. Don’t be afraid to share content with non-members to entice them to join your association. Stake out where your members are hanging out… are they on Twitter? LinkedIn? That’s where you should be promoting your content because where there are members you will find your future members. Marketing across several social media platforms, as seen in the tweet above (where you promote access to exclusive video content on Twitter for playing a game on Facebook), also helps extend your association’s reach.
  3. Be a Baller on a Budget. Be conscious of your budget. Creativity doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. As an association, you naturally have tons of archived content from annual meetings and publications, so all you need to do is repurpose it in a fun way for your members and non-members.

What are some creative ways you are engaging members with content?

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