What the Marvel Universe Taught Me About Content Strategy

Marvel Universe and Content Strategy

A Lesson in Knowing, Understanding and Growing your Audiences

Show of hands – how many of you saw Spiderman: No Way Home and thought “Wow, that movie taught me so much about content strategy!”  

Just me? Well ok, hear me out.

As I sat in the theater, I couldn’t help but marvel (see what I did there?) at how the filmmakers told a compelling story its loyal fanbase would appreciate and love and at the same time, engage with an audience that perhaps wasn’t as familiar with the Spiderman Multi-verse, but willing to go along for the ride.

Who is This Story for and Why Should I Care?

By telling a story that SPOILER ALERT brought together villains and Spidermen (Spidermans?) from past movies, the filmmakers not only knew their target audience, but they understood them. They knew that their fans, or key audience for our content strategy purposes, would connect with the story and be excited to share their enthusiasm with peers. That’s exactly what happened with Spiderman’s audience.

BuzzFeed posted 21 Fan Reactions To “Spiderman: No Way Home” That’ll Make You Buy a Movie Ticket Immediately. Let me tell you, the reactions were exactly what a content strategist wants after putting in hours and hours of time creating the content they hope will connect with their audience. And sharing those positive thoughts and feelings online with their peer group? Well, when that happens, you become an undisputed Content Strategy Superhero. In my small universe alone, I heard from a fellow Marvel fan, my 18-year-old goddaughter, who texted me right after she saw “No Way Home.”

“It is probably one of, if not the best made, Marvel movie. 9.89/10. I would watch it again right now if I could,” she texted.

Talk about knowing, growing, and understanding your audience! If I hadn’t already been planning on seeing the movie, you can bet I was not going to miss it now! Marvel told a compelling story and served it up on a platter for its loyal fanbase who were more than happy to share their happiness with the results. So now what about the other audience? The one that thinks they’re just along for the ride but could potentially grow into a loyal follower?

Growing My Audience – How Do I Bring More into the Fold?

Never in a million years did I think I would go to the theater to see a Spiderman movie. I vaguely remember watching the Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield versions, but I was definitely not in the key audience demographic. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, those were the loved movies of my childhood. But I was never a comic book movie fan. So, what changed for me? When I finally sat down to watch one of those ‘superhero’ movies (I couldn’t tell you which one), I recall the story being compelling. The characters were empathetic and interesting, I was rooting for them and wanted them to succeed. I was hooked. I had to watch all of them. Eventually, I knew I was a card-carrying member of the Marvel audience when I truly cared about what would become of a baby tree kidnapped by a bunch of space pirates.

I was hooked and I wanted more. Rarely would I watch one of the many Marvel movies without searching for more content about that movie. For instance, did you know the line Thor excitedly yells when he sees the Hulk in Thor: Ragnarök, “I know him! He’s a friend from work!” was suggested by a Make a Wish child visiting the set? Stories like that further cemented my loyalty for the MCU brand and made me crave more content, which they happily provided.

Compelling storytelling, emotional engagement, a seemingly endless stream of new content – all the ingredients to make your audience feel something and keep them coming back for more. That, my friends, is successful content strategy. Taking the time to truly understand what your audience wants and needs from you ensures your content strategy is effective. That, and making sure the bad guy pays dearly for his misdeeds.

At Chartwell Agency, we like to think of ourselves as content strategy superheroes. To borrow and tweak a line from Captain America, “We can do content strategy all day.” If you need a content strategy superhero, all you have to do is shout “help!” and we’ll assemble!