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Superhero Sized Content Strategy: Marvel’s Winning Strategy

They have snazzy getups, sassy one-liners, and incredible strength — they are Marvel’s superheroes.

Stan Lee is often credited with making Marvel into the superhero powerhouse we all know and love, and it has grown significantly in recent years. The content is all over the map with different formats and incredible strategies that all copywriters can learn from. Kick back, grab a bowl of popcorn and see how you can learn content strategy from the company that brought you radioactive spiders and egotistical superheroes.

Gigantic Cinematic Universe

Something we all know about Marvel is that it has a gigantic cinematic universe and it might just be more popular than its comics. You have Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and they all appear together in the Avengers. Everyone is pretty sure each Avenger will get his or her own film, which is wonderful for many fans. This strategy is perfect for Marvel because it gets the franchise out to a wide audience and sticks with familiar stories.

Marvel has many different universes and oftentimes these universes collide with each other. This is an expert move on Marvel’s part because it is getting tons of viewers by making multi-million dollar films and releasing them worldwide. How does this help? There are plenty of newbie comic readers out there who would never have started had they not gone to see The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, and any other Marvel films. These newbies are buying up as many comic books as they can and are paying Marvel lots of money.

How can you learn from this? Easy. Marvel makes several different formats for viewers: TV shows, films, comic books, graphic novels, toys and games as well as clothing, bedding and other fabrics. People will be introduced to the Marvel realm through one of these methods and will then buy more merchandise. Start making your content in different formats to get your company out there and you’ll see more clients than ever before signing up with you. Different formats are perfect because some people like blogs whereas others like videos or infographics. You need to reach out to as many people as possible to have a successful product and business.

Strategic Pre-planning

One element that Marvel has implemented is putting strategic pre-planning in many of its comics. This pre-planning led to some awesome revenue and also opened the door to those incredibly beautiful films we have all seen. They started by releasing a series of comic books titled “Ultimate” and revamped all of the characters, making them more fan-friendly and, eventually, blockbuster film-friendly. They then re-imagined several key characters such as Iron Man or Black Widow who are now a huge part of the Avengers series many moviegoers know. This was a great move on Marvel’s part — it brought its stories to a larger market and brought in a wider audience over time.

Marvel really is a great example of planning strategically. Your company should start thinking about what you want and the results you expect to see; then it is time begin the process of “pre-planning” for these results. If you have a strategic content marketing plan worked out, you are going to see some incredible content results.

Listening to the Masses: Women In Marvel

A big thing Marvel does is listening to its fan base. If you spend any time in the comic or nerd world, you know of the constant fight for DC to make a solo Wonder Woman film. Several excuses keep being made and it still looks like nothing is going to happen. There are other concerns many female fans have in regards to comics, and Marvel is doing what none of its competitors are; they’re listening. They’ve made Black Widow into a kick butt superhero by following much of what female fans have suggested. Sure, Marvel is still a bit behind in the game, but it is much further ahead than anyone else. In fact, Marvel just announced it is releasing a TV show about Agent Carter. This is a big deal to Marvel fans and is a huge step in the industry. The show is bound to be a huge success for the simple fact that Marvel listened to its fans.

The lesson to learn from this is, yet again, an easy one. If you listen to your client base, you will have happy, lifelong customers. You may even start winning new customers away from your competitors. This is exactly what is happening with Marvel. Even some of the most diehard DC fans are slowly getting rid of the DC brand in their lives and picking up Marvel. This is an unprecedented switch in the comics industry and it shows just how powerful listening to clients is for any company. The more you listen and evolve, the more business you will make.

Comics Can Teach Us A Thing Or Two

Regardless of what some people say, we can actually learn a few things from the comics industry. When crafting content and running a shop, you need to consider the tactics used by Marvel and implement them into your content strategy. Start publishing content in multiple formats, start to strategically pre-plan different content ideas, and always listen to your client base. These will all help your company grow and will eventually start bringing in great revenue.

About the author


Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.


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