Earlier this week I meandered through Hogsmeade and took ‘The Forbidden Journey’ and my thoughts were far removed from social media or Web marketing. But I am back in the muggle world now and as I sift and sort and find links, I am registering that there are some interesting connections between social media marketing and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Deliver on Expectations: Universal Studios has done justice to J.K. Rowling’s fantasy world and done a great job with delivering on the expectations of Harry Potter fans. From the cobbled stone streets to Ollivanders, where the wand chooses the wizard, from Butterbeer to Chocolate Frogs with wizard trading cards, this is really a chance to live in Harry Potter’s magical world. Your Web presence should similarly deliver the information a customer expects and seeks. If you are targeting some keywords to rank high on Google with your website, make sure that your website contains what the client will expect.
Expand the Experience: The Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge are rides that link the Harry Potter world to the essential Universal theme park experience. It is a great way to expand the brand and create a segue to additional thrills and excitement. In terms of web marketing this means that once people come to your website for one kind of information, figure out a way to introduce them to all else that you offer. A powerful home page or a enticing video link can be good ways of ensuring that your potential customers learn more about you from one visit.
Create those Connections: This happens at multiple levels in Orlando. One great example is the way Hogwarts looms larger than life at the end of the enchanting walk through Hogsmeade. This is the school we have read about and seen in the movies and here we get a chance to actually enter it. But entering it is only the half of it. There are the talking pictures and the Daily Prophet, the magical newspaper with the video images. Projected images of Dumbledore in his office and of Harry, Ron and Hermione in the DDA classroom are all instances that make a point of connecting each of us with the world of Harry Potter. A good Web marketing effort should find ways to connect with each potential customer. There should be hooks to make visitors not just browse and leave but connect and engage. Facebook and blogs with the potential for comments and Likes allow for this kind of participation at an individual level.
Always Offer Options: Given that multi-age children, teenagers, parents and grandparents visit The Wizarding World, this is a place that caters to different kinds of people. While the children who grew up on Harry Potter may be the hook, the success of the theme park lies in its ability to offer choices. If the Dragon Challenge is too scary for the youngest in the group, try the Flight of the Hippogriff. If the robe is too expensive at Dervish and Banges, consider the key chain! A good Web marketing initiative should communicate this idea of choices to the customer. Customers appreciate the right to make their own choices. Whether it comes to participating in a poll or signing up for an email newsletter, it is critical that people do so voluntarily. Any black hat efforts to surreptitiously collect information is only going to back fire.
While it is almost all about the conversion rate and the final sale, it is necessary to approach Web marketing with finesse and creativity. The idea is to create an exciting image and an engrossing experience which will help the customer remember and return. There is little doubt in an adult’s mind that the Wizarding World is one big commercial enterprise – but when the selling is packaged with care and delivered with enchantment, it is possible to willingly suspend cynicism! And this is the ultimate trick of any marketing wizard!