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How Does Disney Use Digital Marketing Successfully? Bonus: Disney+ Strategies

Since the birth of Mickey Mouse in 1928, the Walt Disney Company has become one of the biggest companies in the world. Founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997, Netflix is now a household name getting more and more popular among people from all around the world. Of course, it is not a coincidence, but rather it is the outcome of the intelligent digital marketing strategies practiced by Netflix.

The mission of the company is to be one of the leading producers of entertainment, information, and inspiration for people all around the world through innovative technologies and the power of storytelling by creative minds. 

The corporation of Walt Disney owns massive sub-companies including MarvelPixar, and Star Wars, allowing the company to acquire great brand value and make a killing rate of return in recent years. 

Of course, it does not happen by chance. To be the world’s premier entertainment company, executives and directors at Disney put much effort into digital marketing that will help them grow their business to be one of the most powerful brands ever. 

The roadmap of Disney’s digital marketing strategy is paved by plans and hard work over many years. In this article, our purpose is to inform you about Disney’s digital marketing strategy for roaring success in the entertainment industry.

Disney Digital Marketing Strategies 

In digital marketing, Disney stands out not with fairy tales, but with a strategic approach that has propelled them to the forefront of the industry. With over 164 million subscribers glued to their streaming service, Disney+, the company’s digital prowess is undeniable. 

And, yes, from social media campaigns to interactive web experiences & mobile apps, Disney’s digital marketing efforts extend far beyond mere promotion. However, it’s important to acknowledge that replicating Disney’s level of success often requires the combined expertise of both brands and agencies. By learning from Disney’s success and collaborating with experienced media and entertainment marketing agencies, brands can empower themselves and their clients.

Now, we can go on. 

Customer Loyalty through Nostalgia

Since it was first founded in the 1920s, Disney has been increasing the number of its audience all around the world by creating an emotional impression on them. 

To use this impression as a digital marketing strategy, Disney shares old content long after its first release. Disney revived old classics such as Winnie the PoohAladdinThe Lion King, and The Jungle Book to maintain customer loyalty. 

While remaking the old content, Disney uses the power of nostalgia in a well-planned and effective way. As an example, Disney’s movie makers worked hard on the new version to remake The Lion King with the same characters and story.

Its trailer was also similar to the previous version as another Disney ad and marketing strategy. The new version of The Lion King grossed more than 1.5 billion dollars when it was released in 2019. A great number of parents took their children to the cinema to show them their favorite movies when they were the same age. So, it can be concluded that Disney’s marketing strategy through the power of nostalgia worked well. 

Collaborations & Partnerships 

Undoubtedly, teaming up with well-known brands is part of Disney’s digital marketing strategy. By collaborating with famous brands such as Levi’s or The North Face, Disney exposes its characters to a segment interested in fashion and potentially increases brand awareness among those demographics.

On the other hand, partnering with relevant brands can open doors to influencer marketing opportunities. By collaborating with brands that have relationships with specific influencers, Disney can gain access to an influencer network and optimize their reach and credibility to promote their products and services. 

This can be a powerful tool for driving engagement and brand advocacy.

Disney & Disney+ PPC Ads 

Besides creating engaging content, Disney also benefits from other aspects of the digital marketing world. For example, the company recognizes the value of digital advertising:

We know that Disney uses sophisticated targeting techniques to ensure their PPC ads reach individuals searching for relevant keywords. Fortunately, this laser focus minimizes wasted ad spending while maximizing campaign effectiveness.

The second thing Disney is good at is investing in a smooth user experience. Their landing pages are optimized for conversions – and it ensures a seamless transition from ad click to subscription, maximizing the return on their ad spend.

Disney Social Media Strategies

There is no doubt that Disney uses social media to connect with its audience very effectively. Sharing posts on various social media platforms allows the company to interact with its audience through a multi-channel strategy.

Not only the main Disney account but also PixarMickey Mouse, Disney+Star WarsMarvel Studios, and other accounts of the company constantly share photos, videos, quizzes, and surveys on topics that will attract the people who are likely to be interested in their content.

Disney Content Marketing: Power of Storytelling

Disney, no need to say, is known for its effective use of storytelling in marketing. So much so that, they excel at creating emotional connections through universal themes like love and bravery. With a diverse range of content, from animated tales to action-packed superhero films, Disney reaches a broad audience and sells stories & products at the end of the day. 

As Will Burns states in his article on Forbes:

Disney tells stories first, develops and sells products second.

So, Disney has mastered the art of captivating its audience in a way that fosters long-term loyalty and emotional connections by prioritizing narratives over sales pitches. Disney’s content marketing strategy revolves around the creation of captivating and diverse content across multiple platforms. Rather than solely focusing on selling products, the company understands the importance of providing meaningful experiences for its audience.

From Blockbuster films and animated series to theme park adventures and merchandise, Disney’s content is carefully crafted to resonate with audiences of all ages. What’s more, The company integrates its narratives across various platforms and ensures a consistent brand experience. That brand consistency is obviously reinforced through engaging campaigns, community events, and interactive experiences. The creation of franchises through sequels and merchandise contributes to their long-term success.   

This multi-channel approach enables Disney to maintain a strong presence and build enduring relationships with its fans, nurturing brand loyalty and sustained engagement.

Cross-promotion Tactics of Disney & Disney+

In terms of digital marketing, Disney’s storytelling technique is on point. The company uses various mediums like television, print, outdoor, and digital advertising to create emotional connections with its audience. Regarding this aspect, it is similar to Amazon Prime Video, as it benefits from the power of storytelling in its marketing content a lot.

As you may have encountered before, especially Disney+ content is mainly promoted within other Disney properties like movies, TV shows, and theme parks. Trailers for new Disney+ shows or movies are often played on social media channels. 

What’s more, as a very common cross-promotion tactic, well-known characters from different Disney franchises might appear in each other’s content, creating a sense of interconnectedness and encouraging fans to explore new offerings on Disney+.

Remember Captain Marvel’s cameo on The Marvels series? 

Moreover, the brand (both Disney & Disney+) offers exclusive interviews, featurettes, and documentaries related to its shows and movies.

Celebrating Special Days

Disney never forgets to celebrate special days with heartwarming content on its social media accounts!

As you already know, special days such as holidays, anniversaries, or cultural events provide a natural opportunity to connect with audiences. By tailoring content or promotions to these occasions, the entertainment giant makes its offerings more relevant and engaging to specific segments of its audience.

As a great content marketing approach, celebrating special occasions is a great way to evoke strong emotions and nostalgia. By associating Disney+ content and characters with these positive feelings, Disney can strengthen brand loyalty and encourage subscriptions.

Star Wars, Marvel & The Simpsons by Disney+ 

Heretofore, we can totally say that the company perfectly engages with its audience and successfully generates new memorable moments for them across multiple digital platforms. By doing so, Disney’s key is focusing on creating clever and heartfelt content that captures the audience’s attention.

For example, to celebrate Star Wars Day, Disney+ made a mashup of its two universes and created a new and sincere place to meet fans of Star Wars and the Simpsons

Selecting the cutest character in the Simpsons universe and using her to promote Star Wars films as the new versions are made by Disney and streamed on Disney+ is a super logical step to take.

Disney Branding Strategies

While Disney is synonymous with captivating cartoons and storytelling as a brand, their success actually stems from a much deeper understanding of brand building.

As a part of its branding efforts, Disney does not hesitate to place itself as a company supporting gender equality. Let us remind you of its recent campaign: 

Dream Big Princess Campaign

The #DreamBigPrincess initiative, developed by the Walt Disney Company, aims to encourage kids around the world to dream big and follow their dreams. The company challenged a group of photographers all around the world to take powerful photos of real-life female role models, including an aspiring Paralympian from the USA. 

Every role model in this campaign was a source of inspiration for girls with their magical stories and competed against negative stereotyping. It aimed to draw attention to the strong and feisty characters of Disney princesses such as Moana and Merida to inspire all the girls and support their empowerment. 

Besides, Disney announced that they would donate $1 to the Girl Up campaign of the UN for any public post of a photo using #DreamBigPrincess on social media platforms.

Among the Disney digital campaigns, this one attracted great attention around the globe and contributed to both the movement of girl power and the company’s branding.

Andy Night with 50 Female/Male Andys

For another campaign created by Disney, an event called “Andy Night” was organized in Toy Story Land located in Walt Disney Studios. Inspired by Andy, the imaginative character of Toy Story, 50 people named Andy were invited by Walt Disney and welcomed with several surprises. 

In Toy Story Land, guests entered a world created by Andy and celebrated his creativity with an exclusive event. Both female and male Andys attended the organization and had an amazing night at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Guests had a terrific experience during the event, designed as a part of the campaign to demonstrate the multi-generational appeal of Disney’s newest expansion. You can watch the branded film about the event on YouTube.

Doing Corporate Social Responsibility

As a global vision of social responsibility, the Disney company supports those in need and creates various opportunities for them to improve their world with inspiration. The main purpose is to make a difference through the power of their storytelling and brand identity. 

The company organizes charitable programs in collaboration with others to deliver comfort and inspiration together. For instance, Disney Germany built a partnership with Kinderträume to grant a 4-year-old girl, a Frozen fan, who was suffering from a serious illness. She was unable to leave the hospital to see her favorite movie in the cinema and Disney Germany provided her with a special bed with a DVD player and screen as well as several Elsa products. In this way, it can be inferred that the company is always ready to support its audience and it helps gain more followers to join its charity organizations. 

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