Shark Week’s Mega(lodon) Marketing Strategy

Shark Week’s Mega(lodon) Marketing Strategy

Shark Week. It’s a summer phenomenon that seems impossible to avoid. Social media went crazy over the promos and the fact that Michael Phelps planned to race a great white shark (a simulated shark of course). Your friends and coworkers couldn’t stop talking about it. In celebration, the Kraus team even dedicated an entire office whiteboard this year to a collaborative drawing about sharks. Whether Shark Week excites you or not, we can all admit that they do something right – and that is their marketing strategy over the years. After all, the annual event has been around since 1988, making it the longest running cable TV program in history. So what exactly have they been doing?

They Hype You Up

Shark Week produces Discovery Channel’s highest weekly ratings of the year and they are not going to let it pass by quietly. They don’t release last minute advertisements, but instead begin teasing the year’s event months in advance. By early summer, audiences are already hyped and talking about the highly anticipated week. In 2014, they promoted the tagline “Shark Week. It’s a Bad Week to Be a Seal.” for months to garner a theme that audiences could wrap their attention around. The fact that they host Shark Week in July is also key, since many people are spending their time at the beach and sharks are already on their minds. It’s hard to imagine the hype if the show was broadcasted during the winter.

A huge platform they use to advertise Shark Week and share sneak peaks of what is to come that summer, is through social media campaigns. Not only does Discovery tweet about it on their account, but a separate account, @SharkWeek, is focused solely on the event. They continuously use the hashtag #SharkWeek to raise awareness and track popularity.

They Understand Their Audience

A fatal mistake in marketing is attempting to reach everyone and failing to narrow down a target audience. Discovery made note that adults aged 18-49 were their main viewers and focused their promotions and advertising around them. 

Discovery chooses their sponsors wisely. They partner with companies like Southwest Airlines and MillerCoors, as these brands are themselves targeting a like audience. Commercials with any significance to the viewers can improve their overall experience. It only takes a few seconds for someone to determine if they will continue viewing your content, so make sure you grab their attention in every aspect. 

They Use Analytics

It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but over half of businesses out there fail to take advantage of analytics. With so many platforms and tools for tracking analytics that are offered in the digital world, it is foolish to ignore what they can do for your promotional efforts. In fact, the reason Shark Week came to be was because of analytics. The Discovery Channel was tracking viewership and noticed that whenever they aired a shark related program, ratings spiked.

Now Shark Week takes advantage of analytics to help determine the strength of their efforts. They track the actual number of cable viewers, as well as the traffic on their other digital platforms. They use their findings to better themselves year after year, figuring out what worked and what didn’t.

They Cross Promote

There are a number of popular shows on the Discovery Channel, including Myth Busters and Dirty Jobs. So, what they do is use the hosts from those shows to then host Shark Week, promoting several of their programs at once. Plus, people will tune into Shark Week just to see some of their favorite TV personalities. This cross promotion is similar to their method of sponsorship for Shark Week. The brands they partner with gain high exposure from one of the most watched programs of the year, while Shark Week benefits from any type of marketing the partners do in mentioning their sponsorship.

In need of marketing assistance for your business that encompasses tactics used by Shark Week? Kraus Marketing is a full service marketing agency based in the heart of Morristown, NJ. Kraus Marketing’s full range of services includes responsive websites, branding, social media marketing, SEO & PPC and everything in between. With a talented team and a lot of hard work, Kraus Marketing produces high-end marketing projects that produce the best ROI for you and your business. Contact us today to find out more about our core services and how we can help take your marketing to the next level. Call our agency at (973) 998-5742.