Tentpole Marketing: How to Captivate, Engage and Leave a Lasting Impact on Your Audience

superbowl field

Tentpole marketing is a dynamic approach that includes strategically centering your promotional activities around significant events that capture public attention. The term originated in Hollywood, where it was used to describe the palpable excitement and anticipation surrounding movie releases, especially during their opening weekend. Today, this approach extends beyond the movie industry to encompass various other sectors. Marketers saw the potential of capitalizing on these moments of heightened interest and invested significant resources to create a metaphorical tentpole that supports the canvas of anticipation. 

Tentpole marketing involves strategically planning marketing efforts based on the trajectory of the “buzz curve,” including the conversations happening before, during, and after the event. When taking advantage of tentpole events for your digital campaigns, consider the following strategies: 

Tailored Content

One of the key strategies in tentpole marketing is to align your content with upcoming events. By tailoring your videos, blog posts, and social media content to resonate with the event theme or context, you can capture the attention and interest of your target audience. The digital landscape is heavily influenced by trending topics, pictures, and videos on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which tend to gain popularity through the use of relevant hashtags and tailored posts. 

For example, if you’re a fashion brand, consider creating social media content that showcases outfit ideas for holiday parties during Christmas or Halloween. It’s important to strike a balance between incorporating event-related elements and maintaining your brand’s identity and voice. 

Take Advantage of Videos

Videos are an effective medium for tentpole marketing as they can engage and captivate audiences. Use the buzz surrounding major events to create competing video content that’s relevant and appealing to your target audience. We mentioned TikTok, but consider optimizing your videos on other video platforms like Youtube by still utilizing relevant tags, descriptive titles, and compelling descriptions. This will help your content appear in search results and attract viewers as interest in the upcoming event builds. 

For instance, if you’re a tech company attending a big conference, you can create videos showcasing product demonstrations, interviews with industry experts, or highlights from the event itself. These videos can become valuable assets that will continue to generate interest even after the event has ended. 

Look Ahead

Successful tentpole marketing requires careful planning and anticipation of upcoming events. Create a comprehensive marketing strategy that outlines which events align with your business objectives and target audience. Consider major holidays, industry events, product launches, and other significant occasions that provide opportunities for increased visibility and engagement. 

By planning ahead, you can allocate resources, develop relevant content, and implement marketing campaigns in a timely manner. Think Coca-Cola, for instance, whose annual release of holiday-themed ads became a highly anticipated event on its own, making them a leader in the strategic planning process.

Be Able to Pivot

Capitalizing on moment marketing involves leveraging special occasions such as the Super Bowl, Awards Shows, and New Year’s, which are already marked on the calendar and have a set date. However, you never know when an unexpected moment could occur that requires a fast turnaround and quick thinking. Oreo is a great example of this. When the 2013 Super Bowl experienced a near 30-minute power outage, Oreo’s social media team, with their quick thinking and readiness to respond to the unexpected, capitalized on the situation and sent out an instantly viral tweet that topped any commercial that aired during the game – and at a much lower cost. 

So while proactive planning is important, being reactive to unexpected news, stories or trends can certainly amplify your marketing efforts. Stay up-to-date with current events and industry news, and be ready to adapt your content and messaging to align with emerging topics or conversations. This agility allows you to join relevant discussions, share insights or simply provide commentary that resonates with your target audience. Plus by remaining responsive, you can position your brand as relevant and timely in the eyes of your audience. 

Learn More

Overall, a successful tentpole marketing strategy combines proactive planning, creative content creation, and adaptability to both scheduled events and unexpected opportunities. By aligning your marketing efforts with significant events, you can generate excitement, increase engagement and create a lasting impact for your brand.

Get started with BRIDGE today and see how we can help you embrace the power of tentpole marketing to captivate your audience and establish meaningful connections that will extend beyond stand-alone events. 

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