(By Rieva Lesonsky)
“For your next business event, expansion or new product launch, plan your strategy in advance, then start talking up the big surprise on social media. Place ads that tease “something big is coming” but don’t say what. Encourage people to sign up for email updates… You get the idea. You may not attract the crowds that waited outside St. Mary’s Hospital as Kate’s due date came and went, but you can certainly grab your share of attention.”
George Alexander Louis, also known as His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, is about to teach his parents a thing or two. But his much-awaited birth earlier this week also holds plenty of marketing lessons for smart small-business owners.
1. Be authentic. Prince William and Duchess Kate have won hearts around the world with their down-to-earth and natural behavior, never more so than in thisvideo showing off their new son to the world. William in shirtsleeves and Kate in a casual dress, they sound like any other new parents as they laughingly discuss who the baby looks like, changing the first nappy and picking out a name. William even installs the carseat and drives the family home himself—no chauffeur here.
Marketing the royal way: Customers like to know there are real people behind the companies they do business with, so don’t hide. Share yourself and your business story in your marketing materials, on your website and on social media.
2. Keep ‘em in suspense. As if the innate anticipation of waiting for a baby to be born wasn’t enough, the Royal Family cleverly built even more suspense around the birth. William and Kate didn’t find out the baby’s sex in advance, meaning people could go crazy guessing and even place bets. After the baby was born, the same guessing and betting continued, but this time about the future king’s name. Heck, even placing the birth announcement on a stand outside Buckingham Palace took upwards of half an hour!
Marketing the royal way: For your next business event, expansion or new product launch, plan your strategy in advance, then start talking up the big surprise on social media. Place ads that tease “something big is coming” but don’t say what; encourage people to sign up for email updates … you get the idea. You may not attract the crowds that waited outside St. Mary’s Hospital as Kate’s due date came and went, but you can certainly grab your share of attention.
3. Mix old and new media. William and Kate are a modern couple, but they’re also part of a massive tradition, with all that entails. In keeping with the times, the royal baby’s birth was announced via an official Facebook post, official tweet and even official Instagram. In keeping with tradition, the news also went out the old-fashioned way, through an official proclamation placed on a ceremonial easel outside Buckingham Palace.
Marketing the royal way: As a small business, you’re not trying to attract the whole world, but even within your target market, drawing on a range of marketing and advertising channels will help you attract more of those customers. Even if you target seniors, plenty of them are online; even if you target teens, they still pay attention to print ads.
4. Ignore the haters. Not everyone cares about the royal baby; for instance,women tend to be far more fascinated than men, as confirmed by Facebook posts, CNN reports. Some people are so irritated by the hoopla that they’re sharing tips onhow to block royal baby news from your social media accounts. Who cares? Not the royal baby—he got 1 million Facebook mentions the first hour after his birth, so he’s not hurting for fans.
Marketing the royal way: Not everyone’s going to respond to your marketing efforts, and that’s okay. Don’t worry about them—just focus your attention on more interaction with those who do show interest.
5. Strike up a conversation. Using the hashtag #WelcometotheWorld, the Royal Family not only made it easy for fans to follow the latest about the royal baby, but also started a conversation. They encouraged followers to send good wishes to the new parents and also to share their own birth announcements.
Marketing the royal way: If the Royal Family can make social media a two-way street, surely your small business can. Don’t just post news and updates about your business and ignore what your customers say on your social media sites. Ask for customers’ input and opinions; respond to their posts and share their tweets too.
6. Make it fun. Everyone loves a baby, and while newscasters may not have been thrilled about standing outside St. Mary’s Hospital in an unusual heat wave for days, the weather didn’t seem to bother the crowds who gathered to wait, watch and celebrate, some dressed in crazy costumes. After the birth, the celebration continued with pageantry at Westminster Abbey, a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London and other official and unofficial festivities.
Marketing the royal way: In tough times, we can all use some happy news. Make your business’s marketing fun, and invite customers to be part of the fun—both on social media and in real life.
7. Piggyback on a bigger brand. Did you see pictures or video of this official-looking town crier announcing the birth off a scroll? He sure looked like part of the royal apparatus, but after he appeared in newspapers and newscasts worldwide, the media learned he was just a random town crier (only in England, right?) who thought it would be fun to make a trip to London and announce the royal birth.
Marketing the royal way: Why not hitch your wagon to a royal baby? For small businesses who sell anything child- or baby-related, there are obvious opportunities to benefit from the royal baby by selling the products he eats, wears, plays with or sleeps on. Just make sure your efforts aren’t too big a stretch, or you might get mocked like these brands did.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”