Online Marketing

What The Muppets Can Teach You About Online Marketing

What The Muppets Can Teach You About Online Marketing

Updated on December 1, 2017

After watching Muppets Most Wanted multiple times I started to notice that several scenes actually portrayed important marketing principles. I thought I’d share some of my favorite scenes from Muppets Most Wanted and what they can teach you about online marketing.

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t watched Muppets Most Wanted, watch it before finishing this article. There may be some spoilers.

Re-Purpose Your Top Performing Content

we're doing a sequel

After The Muppets have a popular and successful movie, what do they do? They have a sequel! They take advantage of the hype and popularity and they keep going with it.

You can apply this concept to your content. If you have a popular content piece, take advantage of that popularity and re-use it. If the popular content is a blog article try and re-purpose it as a video, webinar, infographic, or whitepaper.

Create Urgency Using the Principle Of Scarcity

i'm inundated with offers

When The Muppets were approached by Dominic Badguy to manage the tour they were hesitant. They weren’t sure if they should go on a tour and they didn’t know who Dominic was. He convinced them by using the principle of scarcity. He made it clear that he had limited time and the offer would expire fast. Additionally, he gained their trust by mentioning celebrities he had worked with previously. The Muppets didn’t know Dominic, but they did know the celebrities and the association helped increase their trust.

How can you use the principle of scarcity on your website to create a sense of urgency? Here are three simple ways.

  • Make it clear how many items you have in stock. Advertise your remaining stock with a statement such as only 4 left in stock.
  • Show how many other people are viewing this deal. Make it easy for users to see there is high demand for a product that has limited availability.
  • Offer a promo code for a limited time. Add a pop-up so when a user is about to exit the site they are offered a promo code. Add a sense of urgency to the promo code, either make it clear that there are a limited number of offers available or start a countdown and force the user to commit before time runs out.

Choose a Niche You Excel At and Focus On It

play to your strengths

When The Muppets start their tour they each have a different eccentric idea to make the show great. Kermit encourages them to play to their strengths so they have the best chance of selling out the show and being able to continue the tour.

Similarly, you should choose a specific niche to focus on for your website. The niche should be a topic you are very passionate and knowledgeable (or willing to learn) about. Staying focused and relevant to your niche will make your online marketing efforts more successful.

Brands Matter — Maintain Consistent Branding

i'm kermit the frog

When a mole is suddenly added to Kermit’s face he is no longer recognizable as Kermit the Frog. If you want people to recognize you, you need to maintain a consistent look and feel.

Your branding matters. Develop a branding guideline and enforce it. Keep your logo consistent on your website, e-mails, and offline marketing. When people come to your website you want to reassure them that they’ve reached the right spot.

Rankings Matter — Don’t Ignore SEO

i'm number one

Being number one was important to Constantine and it should be important to your business when looking at Google search rankings. Studies show that the number one position on Google receives about 30% of the clicks. Though being number two does also give you a decent amount of clicks, it drops down to about 15%.

Depending on your targeted keywords and competition, trying to obtain the number one rank in Google might not be a realistic goal. There may be higher priorities to focus on depending on your budget and business goals. However, if you do get number one Google rankings, you’ll likely see a nice increase in traffic and might even want to perform a celebratory song. But in the meantime, you’ve got to dance monkey dance.

Reviews Matter

don't believe what you read in online reviews

Your potential users will read and believe reviews about your company. You need to pay attention to what people are saying about your company. Sometimes reviews are inaccurate, the user actually used a competitor’s product or their side of the story doesn’t match your side. Respond to those users publicly. If you receive a bad review, thank them for their feedback and if there’s more to say, keep it public facing so everyone can see the response.

Having a small percentage of bad reviews can actually be helpful. If every single review is positive people start to wonder if they’re legitimate. When there’s a few bad reviews mixed in with tons of wonderful reviews people understand that you can’t make everyone happy and it just makes the positive reviews more credible. If a large percentage of your reviews are negative then you need to identify and resolve the underlying business issues causing negative reviews.

Don’t only focus on the negative reviews. You can thank positive reviewers for their feedback as well. When you get an exceptionally nice review consider sharing it on your social media channels for other users to see.

Offer Tiered Packages

i can give you what you want

Make the purchase decision an easy one. Create tiered pricing packages that make it clear that you provide the offerings and features they need. Make it a step simpler and highlight the right package for the user. Flag the most popular package and name the packages in a scheme that resonates with your desired demographic. Instead of naming the packages silver, gold, and platinum; try naming them entrepreneur, small business, and agency.

Study Your Competition

study your competitors

Keep a close eye on your largest competitors. Study what they do, try to reverse engineer how they do it, and identify what you can learn from it. Of course, you don’t want to copy them exactly and you certainly do not want to plagiarize. You can, however, find some valuable takeaways when you review your competition.

You can look at recent backlinks they’ve acquired. Are the backlinks on sites relevant to your business as well? Is there a guest blog opportunity or a directory you can contribute to? Are they outranking you on any particular keywords? What specific pages rank for those terms? Review each page to learn what content they are providing, what questions they are answering, and then improve on their methods. Create content on your site that is better looking, more informative, and easier to navigate than any of your competitors.

Look at Your Data

blinky lights data

Data is important, if you don’t already, learn to love dashboards. You’ll never know if your online marketing efforts are effective unless you set goals. And, you’ll never know if you’ve met your goals unless you decide on some key performance indicators (KPIs) and have a way to track them.

You should look at your data on a regular basis. This will not only help you decide which campaigns have had a positive impact on your goals but the data will also help you decide where you should focus your efforts. Is there a page on your site that gets a high number of unique visitors but no conversions? That might be a good page to optimize next.

Ask Questions

let's begin asking questions

Take every opportunity to ask questions from your users. You interact with your website every day, sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. Survey your site visitors to make data-driven decisions. User feedback tools (such as Hotjar and Qualaroo) allow you to easily add feedback surveys to any page of your website. Is there a page that isn’t converting well? As users are about to leave the page, ask them what prevented them from making a purchase today.

Understand Navigation Paths

give up frog

When Kermit tries to escape from the Russian Gulag, he learns that one of the guards, Nadya, knows every possible escape route. Like Nadya, you need to know where your visitors will go. Look at your top landing pages, what page do users typically visit next? Where do they go directly before exiting? Using this information, identify how you can improve their experience so they continue down the conversion funnel.

Make It Easy to Contact You

problem with that

Don’t hide your contact information. Make it clear that you’re available to help. Whether you choose to have a contact form, phone number, or e-mail address make it easy to find and access. If possible, provide a couple of different options so your visitors can contact you using their preferred method. You may even want to advertise on your contact page that you can be reached on your social media profiles.

Help People Find You

there it is

If people are looking for your brand online, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to find you. Run a branded campaign on Google AdWords and Bing AdCenter to capture potential users searching for your brand. Advertising for your brand on PPC is typically cheaper than other campaigns. Since your website is likely the most relevant result for users searching for your company name, your quality score is higher and your cost is lower than generic terms or competitor brand names.

Don’t Say Goodbye

final farewell

Goodbyes are hard — so don’t do them. Instead, stay in touch with e-mail marketing. Follow up with your prior customers and remind them that you’re still around. That way, when they need your service again or if they have a friend who they would want to refer, they can easily find your company information.

Have you learned any marketing tips from The Muppets? Did you notice any that I missed? Feel free to add your own marketing tips that The Muppets taught you in the comments.

About the Author

Jennifer Rogina has been a digital marketing specialist since 2008. During those years she has focused on Pay Per Click Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, and Conversion Rate Optimization.