If you saw “Inception”, the 2010 thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio then you know it was a kick-ass movie. And you probably also know about all the buzz on the Internet, both before and after the release. Some of the greatest Internet memes of all time – in my own humble opinion – came out of this classic. And Leonardo DiCaprio played the perfect role to illustrate some lessons we can learn about Internet Marketing.
Define your goal: At the beginning of the movie, DiCaprio’s character is offered a mission and at first he turns it down. But when he’s told that if he accepts, and succeeds, he’ll get to see his children again, he changes his mind.
Before you set up that website, decide what it is that’s motivating you. Are you trying to make money with your site or are you using it to promote your online or offline business?
Have a plan: DiCaprio and his team worked for weeks perfecting their plan of attack. You need to have a plan, too. Remember, this is a business you’re setting up and no business in the history of mankind has succeeded without having some type of plan.
What are your short-term and long-term goals? How do you hope to achieve them? What skills do you have to help you reach those goals? Will you have to learn more or hire some help?
Be prepared for obstacles: Naturally, just as they near completion of their mission, DiCaprio and his team come up against an obstacle that seems too large to overcome. They could give up but if they he wouldn’t get to see his kids.
You, too, are going to meet up with some obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Trust me, I know. It happens to everyone. When you do, you need to keep your goals in focus so you’ll be motivated to march on.
Making money online isn’t as easy as some of those marketers make it seem. And if you’ve never worked online before then you’ve got quite a bit you’re going to need to learn. When you hit those bumps in the road, don’t give up. Coming up against an obstacle doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you need to find another path.
Create viral content: The promotion team that took care of advertising “Inception” before it hit the theaters was brilliant. Smartphone apps, posters and even websites were created and quickly went viral all over the web. But it’s the Internet memes that popped up after the movie hit theaters that really did the trick.
In one memorable scene in the movie DeCaprio is shown staring off into space while he’s working within a dream. That one scene was used by thousands of people all over the world to create multi-panel fan art, comics, and Internet jokes that spread like wildfire.
A publicity shot of DiCaprio strutting across the film set became a major Internet sensation when people started extracting his image from the background and creating new images of DiCaprio walking on the Moon or standing on the deck of the Titanic or parting the Red Sea.
The point is they promoters of Inception were relentless and they used DiCaprio as an iconic image to represent their brand.
Not only that, they were relentless. They started promoting the movie well before it was released and they continued long after the movie had even left the theaters.
To make a splash on the Internet you’ve got to be just as relentless and creative. There are millions of other marketers all competing for the same traffic you are and, in order to rise above, you’ve got to give the reader something entertaining that grabs and holds their attention. Something that stays in their mind even after they’ve left your page. Something that makes them talk about you when they’re sitting in pubs or talking over the water cooler at work.
Think about your own Internet presence and how it relates to what the makers of ‘Inception’ and DiCaprio did to promote their product. It’s important to have a marketing goal and a plan. But remember, most viral content doesn’t just happen. You have to plan for it, too, and start generating a buzz to build up to it.
And it’s well worth the effort. If there’s one Internet Marketing lesson to learn from Leonardo DiCaprio and the makers of ‘Inception’ it’s that anything you dream is possible. As long as you have a plan.