Star Wars: The Force Awakens Digital Presence

By | November 23, 2015 | General Marketing Insights

I am a huge Star Wars fan. The original trilogy has been a staple of my life—after all, you do need immersive hobbies when you grow up in a small town outside of Erie, Pennsylvania (the perfect town for Hoth or Tauntaun jokes during winter months). At this point, you may be wondering how The Force Awakens has any connection to digital marketing.

Well, that’s a question answered by diving into some of the ridiculous metrics this new film has garnered over the last year (and, honestly, well before this last year). But before we do that, I want to make it clear that I will not be dressed as Chewbacca on opening night.

That’s just ridiculous.

I will be adorning the understated fashion of Wicket (an Ewok) from Return of the Jedi.

Matt Triana as Wicket

Okay, everyone. Let’s focus … I want to review engagement through Youtube to demonstrate how important video is in 2015 (and how much more important it’ll be in coming years) by looking at some best practices of VSEO.

Posting nearly anything officially branded with Star Wars on Youtube will get engagement, but the latest trailers caught my attention along with millions of others.

  • Trailer #1: Released on November 28th, 2014—21,000,000 views.

This first trailer was our first glimpse at the new movie, creating international buzz. In a similar feat of incredible engagement, the Transformers: Age of Extinction trailer has more than 20,000,000 views. It’s important to compare these two movies in how they execute optimizing each video.

Now, let’s be very clear about this. I don’t believe it’s fair to compare these two movies based on quality or fan base, but given they have the same amount of views, you will see pretty stark differences between how each video is optimized and offers click-through opportunities.

A Call-to-Action (CTA)

Star Wars' Call-to-Action

Transformers Lack of Call-to-Action

The first difference you’ll notice between the two trailers is the use (or lack) of a call-to-action in the description as well as the annotations at the end of the video. You’ll notice in the screenshots above that one attempts to get you to stay on the channel and browse more content.

And the other … Well, I’m assuming Michael Bay couldn’t get the call-to-action buttons to explode for no reason other than looking cool.

The Use of Playlists

Playlists are another line of defense in case a user doesn’t interact with the annotations at the end of the video. Think of this as your Jedi Mind Trick in case your Force Push doesn’t work: These are the playlists you’re looking for. Move along.

A playlist will allow the next video to begin playing without the user having to take any action. Here is what it should look like if you do it properly (I’m sure you can guess who gets this right too).

Playlists of Both Movies

Establish a Sound YouTube Strategy

Establishing a solid strategy for YouTube means much more than uploading high-quality videos. There are many elements that are not glamorous, but they need to be done. The amount of video people consume on a daily basis has increased dramatically over the years, and it is not slowing down anytime soon.

The latest Star Wars trailer was released on October 19th, and it already has more than 61,000,000 views.

Video is such a powerful tool that can be extremely influential, so I encourage companies to take the step and come up with a video strategy. Once you have the video produced, you can then dive deeper into VSEO. My advice is to look at what other companies who are really successful are doing and try to replicate this.

And, as always, if you have any questions on VSEO or producing videos, please let us know by leaving a comment below or contacting us directly at Reunion Marketing.