Strike Marketing: What We Can Learn from the Hollywood Strike

Think about the last time you saw a picket line in Hollywood. With actors and writers brandishing signs, the scene becomes an evocative display of labor fighting for its worth. Sure, strikes happen across different industries, but there’s an overarching lesson that we can apply from this specific strike to how we ought to capitalize on content marketing.

In this post, we’ll take a look at strike marketing as the term we use to describe the likelihood of content gaps and how you, the marketer or leader of your brand, can take content famines and turn them into opportunities to position your brand bigger and brighter than ever.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently

Leverage Strike Tactics

What Is the Hollywood Strike About Anyway?

The recent Hollywood strike revolves around fair compensation and working conditions:

Actors joined writers on the picket line in July in what has become the biggest Hollywood labor fight in years.

Actors and writers are protesting against large corporations and streaming platforms, demanding a bigger share of the pie and resisting the use of AI to recreate their likeness for perpetuity with a one-time fee.

Before you think, “Well, that’s Hollywood. They’re always in some sort of drama,” hang on a second.

This strike is an issue of control and visibility, something any marketer would benefit from dissecting a bit.

The 1% Paradox in Marketing

In any industry, whether it’s acting, writing or marketing, there’s a pyramid of talent. You have the crème de la crème, like Robert Downey Jr. or LeBron James. And then there are those who are still great but not quite superstars. The icons we know and love are pillars of the industry they’re in and, because of that, often carry a heavy influence on how things are steered.

With any dilemma involving a competitive industry like acting or screenwriting, there’s a degree of apathy and ignorance that can be afforded by high-level decision-makers regarding the actions of lesser-known individuals. But once someone of great repute, like Robert Downey Jr., firmly places themselves on the oppositional side of a crisis, it can cause heads to turn.

And the same is true in marketing.

We all want to be in that top 1%, but getting there? That’s a whole different game. To be part of the top echelon, you have to put in the top 1% of the work.

But here’s the twist: Merely protesting or going on strike might not get you what you want. Real progress often requires rolling up your sleeves and outsmarting the competition.

Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From the Strike

You know what they say: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Well, during a strike or a gap in the usual content your audience consumes — be it sports, movies or anything else — there’s a void that needs filling.

Remember during the pandemic when everyone was glued to ‘The Last Dance’ because there wasn’t much else to watch? Yep, that’s your window of opportunity.

For marketers, this means ramping up content production. 

When mainstream content takes a nosedive, people will start hunting for alternatives. And what better time to capture their attention than when they’re actively looking for something to sink their teeth into?

This is the essence of what we’ll dub “strike marketing” — an opportunistic approach to capturing attention when usual channels are barren. I.e. when there is a content gap:

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During such times, ad costs may also go down, giving you more bang for your buck. But remember, it’s not just about capturing attention, it’s about holding it. Quality, as always, is king.

Edutainment: The Spice of Marketing

In a digital arena awash with information, it’s no longer enough to just present facts and figures and call it marketing. Welcome to the era of “edutainment,” a blend of education and entertainment that elevates content from mere information to an engaging experience.

With the growing number of online outlets for consumers to engage with, standing out in the crowd calls for more than just a well-researched article or a well-executed video tutorial. You need a cocktail of substance and sizzle that not only speaks to the mind, but also resonates with the heart.

Why do we think edutainment is about to experience a big boom? Because we’re starting to enter a plateau period from Hollywood. Their content stores are drying up without any talent producing for them, which will very soon create a gaping desire for entertainment across the globe.

That’s where brands can step in with their own messaging and weave branding into their own bits of edutainment.

The Makings of Successful Edutainment Content

When we talk about edutainment, it’s important to break down the elements that contribute to its success:

  • Killer Idea: Every great content piece starts with an idea that can grab attention. This could be a unique take on a well-worn subject, an insider’s view into an industry or even a controversial standpoint that challenges popular opinion. The key here is to pick a topic or an angle that is not only relevant but also intriguing to your audience.
  • Engaging Headlines: Imagine browsing through a sea of YouTube videos or articles. What makes you click on one over the other? Often, it’s the headline. Crafting a compelling headline is like setting a baited hook for your audience. It should spark curiosity, promise value and be laser-focused on pulling them in.
  • Irresistible Thumbnails: For platforms like YouTube, thumbnails serve as the window dressing that attracts people to your content. Think of them as the cover of a book in a bookstore. A blurry, poorly composed thumbnail can lose you a click, but a vibrant, clear and relevant thumbnail can be a game changer.
  • Dynamic Storytelling: Once you’ve gotten the click, you need to keep the viewer or reader engaged. This is where storytelling comes into play. Use anecdotes, case studies or relatable scenarios to bring your content to life. Make the story unfold in a way that maintains a consistent narrative yet includes unexpected turns to keep the audience hooked.

The reason edutainment works so well is that it taps into our emotional brain as much as it does our logical brain. Facts and data can help people understand an issue, but stories and emotions make people care about it.

Ask yourself: “Does this content piece evoke laughter, empathy or inspiration?” If your content manages to pull on those emotional strings while conveying your message, you’ve hit the edutainment jackpot.

Last Thoughts on How to Apply the Hollywood Strikes to Marketing Today

A Hollywood strike that’s about more than just paychecks and screen time has lessons for us, especially in digital marketing. In the grand scheme of things, strikes or disruptions shake up the status quo, and guess what? That’s your cue.

Remember, in a world full of noise, sometimes the silence of others is your best chance to be heard. The concept of “strike marketing” isn’t just opportunistic, it’s a realization that sometimes the best opportunities come from the most unexpected places.

Isn’t it time you turned disruptions into opportunities? Your audience is waiting.

If you’re ready to strike while the content iron is hot, Single Grain’s content creation and marketing experts can help!👇

Leverage Strike Tactics

 

For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.

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