Tom Schmitz // Mar 8 2010
Did you watch The Oscars last night? It occurred to me that motion pictures are a lot like websites primed for organic search and social media.
Think about the meticulous attention to detail that goes into an Academy Awards caliber movie. It requires a compelling
story – well written, skillfully performed, lovingly filmed and expertly directed. Likewise, a good website showcases its own
products or services or solutions with wonderful copy, images and design.
Movies are designed to sell tickets, rentals and DVDs. That’s where the revenue comes from. Naturally, most of the marketing, promotion and publicity go into selling tickets too. It’s the same with websites. They come with an objective, to sell or promote a product, brand, service or solution.
Great movies are about more than the story. It’s the same with websites.
In a movie the stars, costumes, sets, effects, score and hundreds of other things support the story. At the same time,
the movie showcases these parts. At the Academy Awards there is one Best Picture, one Best Actor and Best Actress, one Best
Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. The other awards honor things like the best song, score, sound mixing, sound
editing, costumes, make-up, set design, writing and directing. None of these categories sell tickets by themselves, not the
way that the stories and the stars sell tickets. Yet, each part has the ability to create conversations and build buzz. How did the special effects
wizards create Avatar’s Pandora? Is The Hurt Locker technically accurate? Why did Star Trek’s sound editors make the vacuum
of space silent in some scenes but fill it up with scrapes, groans and explosions in other scenes?
Stories and stars make up the high tale of motion pictures. Sets, costumes, special effects…these are movies’ long tail.
They give movie promoters dozens of new stories to tell and empower them to touch new audiences. Renaissance costumes may not
sell tickets by themselves, but a story about their design or how they were made might result in a magazine article or a spot
on NPR. A good story can catch the eyes or ears of thousands. When a movie gets enough stories out there it creates buzz.
Apply this to your website.
Take a look at your website. Break down everything that goes into your product, service or solution. Can you write stories
How was your offering conceived? How was it built and designed? What technology do you use? What challenges did
you have to overcome?
What stories can you tell?