How 5 Small Business Owners Capitalized on Viral Ideas
Small business owners are always looking for ways to stretch their marketing budget while increasing their bottom line. With internet buzz at the time centered around the Olympics, Harry Potter and Pokemon Go, here are five business owners who have been able to capitalize on these trends.
1. Host a themed book launch party
Harry Potter fans have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the script-turned-book that features their favorite Harry Potter characters. As a result, one Denver bookstore took advantage of this by hosting a wizard-themed launch party, transforming this quaint bookstore into Diagon Alley.
To entertain attendees, the book store featured games, drinks, snacks, a photo booth and a costume contest. In addition, attendees were offered the chance to get an exclusive 15% discount on any purchase of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Surprisingly, over 200 people attended with a good portion of them pre-ordering the book ahead of time, or purchasing it at midnight.
2. Stock best-sellers from popular movies
The movie Interstellar, featuring Matthew McConaughey, hit theaters in 2014. It was critically acclaimed and well-received by moviegoers. The fashion world took notice of the jacket worn by McConaughey throughout the film, and one company decided to capitalize on the interest. “We stocked the jacket and were quickly inundated with orders from all over the world,” explains Max Robinson, who works at Ace Work Gear.
“Although the film came out almost 2 years ago, we’ve managed to maintain that business by implementing viral campaigns. We associate ourselves with the film as much as possible. Last year we held a 1-year anniversary screening of the film at our store. Over 50 people attended the event. Of those 50 people, 26 walked away as customers. This year we’re planning something special for the 2 year anniversary of the film. Hopefully we can sell even more jackets this time!”
3. Sell merchandise that references TV shows
Much like stocking up on a piece of clothing featured in a popular movie, some business owners can boost business sales by updating their merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats or other clothing items, to feature quotes or sayings from trending TV shows.
One example of this is entrepreneur Michelle Money, who sells custom t-shirts and other merchandise with references to ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchises. She offers these items for a limited time during the 8-10 weeks that the show airs. The timeliness of her merchandise is a big driver in increasing sales and profitability.
4. Spend $10 on a video game
Pokemon Go has captivated old and new fans since its launch this summer. Its popularity means that many small business owners took notice and capitalized on the trend.
For example, according to an article by Bloomberg, the owner of L’inizio’s Pizza Bar in Queens, NY spent $10 on Pokemon Lures. The Lures helped to increased L’inizio’s sales on food and drink by 30% in one day. Pokemon Lures are attached to a Pokestop. Pokestops are near stores and other popular attractions within cities. Pokemon Go players are attracted to the area since the lures are designed to increase the amount of Pokemon for them to catch.
This local pizza bar isn’t the only one taking advantage of this craze, however. Local eateries, small retail stores and big city corporations are taking advantage of this trend as a way to increase sales.
5. Capitalize on popular sporting events
The Olympics are one example of a popular event that’s watched all over the world. However, this same idea can be applied to other popular sports and seasonal events for your business. In preparation for the added news coverage, David Tabor, Content Digital Marketer at Joosr, started implementing strategies to help boost business for his digital app.
“After we wrote a blog post about the Olympics, linking it to our books and tips on how to be Olympic ready, we sent the piece to a large fitness blogger for publishing. Our following exploded,” says Tabor. “Our company, Joosr, publishes summaries of the world’s best non-fiction books for a neat mobile app. This strategy boosted traffic and conversions to our both our website and app!”
Cashing in on viral ideas is not only possible but can be very beneficial when planned out properly. With just a bit of prep work, and staying updated on trending topics, you can boost your business’ bottom line.
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