Inbound Marketing Lessons from Marvel Superhero Movies

I am a huge comic book geek. Seriously. I have well over 2,400 comics and trades as well as a life size Superman in my office. I’m a huge Superman fan (see: photo), but I love all comic books, and comic book movies. I promise to try and not let my geek flag fly too often in this post.

Comic book movies have been around for a long time. In 1978, Superman: The Movie kicked off the studios attempt at a feature superhero movie directed at an adult audience. In 2000, the modern world of comic book movies launched with X-Men, followed by Spider-Man in 2002.

Those movies have made a ton of money and because of that, the movie studios have been cranking out comic book movie after comic book movie. Most of these movies were self contained, and only existed in their own small universe. Then, in 2008 Marvel did something really gutsy with Iron Man.

Before the movie came out, Iron Man was a second or third level character (at best), so giving him his own movie and Marvel betting their cinematic future on him was a little risky.

That risky bet ended up paying off in the billions ( and billions) of dollars that Marvel has raked in on their Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies since 2008.

So, how did they do it (besides making totally kickass movies, that is)?

Through Great Foundational Content

Let’s face it. It all started with the great content (and pictures) in the comic books. Without legions of dedicated readers there would be no audience for the ‘advanced content’ (i.e. the movies). Maybe we should consider comic books as our very first versions of infographics.

Through Great Serialized Advanced Content

Marvel has promoted and marketed their movies in a way that no other movie series has in the past. Their plan was to launch a series of movies that would culminate with 2012’s Avengers, and it started with a scene that took place after the credits of Iron Man.

In the later movies, Tony Stark appeared at the end of The Incredible Hulk. The end scene in Iron Man 2 set up Thor. Nick Fury showed up at the end of Captain America which led to, well, you get the point. These after-the-credits scenes planted the seed that would grow and blossom into The Avengers and beyond. Marvel was regular nurturing its leads (audience) with snippets of additional advanced content.

Marvel was stitching their narrative together, and the hype and promotion for the next movie began as soon as the current movie ended. Naturally, this effort took Marvel a few years and many millions of dollars to get rolling but it’s easy to employ many of these tactitcs with any sized marketing budget.

Do your marketing campaigns and lead nurturing tell the story of who you are, and what your products are while building anticipation for the next update or release?

They Continuously Built Their Brand Through Content

The Avengers wasn’t just The Avengers, it was Marvel’s The Avengers. Iron Man 3 was Marvel’s Iron Man 3. There is no question who is making these movies.

Your products and services should also have consistent, well thought out branding. You will have an advantage over products and services from competitors with a lesser known or less trusted brand.

Do you need help building your brand or marketing your super powered products and services? Well don’t fret, true believers! Reach out to our HubSpot Inbound Certified team!


Thor: The Dark World opens this Friday!

This article originally appeared on LyntonWeb.