(UPDATED FOR 2020)
Right after the official “most wonderful time of the year” (the holidays) comes MY most wonderful time of the year: Awards Season. This time of year, which kicked off with Golden Globes at the start of January – this Sunday the 5th!), is marked by multiple entertainment awards and countless news stories and social media conversations about them.
If you’re savvy and strategic about it, some of these stories in the media and online can draw attention to your business – even if you are separated by countless degrees from Kevin Bacon or any celebrity name. Want to know how? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m going to teach you 5 ways to build buzz for your business over the next couple of months. But first, a quick background on Awards Season…
Awards Season: The What & Why (You Should Care)
We’re talking about the Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars), Grammys, Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, Independent Spirit Awards. Now that we’re “in it” it will be hard to turn on the television or your computer without being inundated with news about who won what, who wore what, how to get a red carpet body, how to mimic red carpet beauty, the true story behind this movie, the real story of the rise to fame about this actress, and so forth. EVERYONE will be talking about Awards Season and all things related to it. For months.
Now back to why I love this time of year. Sure, I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good red carpet event – from the interviews to the style, and I cannot resist an inspiring or moving acceptance speech, but that’s not the only reason I await this season with excitement and anticipation.
My business and buzz-building brain love this time of year because I know that if traditional media and social media will be creating endless stories and countless pieces of irresistible content rooted in all things Awards Season if YOU can find ways to tie your business, brand, or expertise to it (which I’m about to teach you how to do) you will get a bit of the Awards Season spotlight as well. It might not be an Oscar, but this type of visibility can be translated into followers, customers, sales, trust, and validation, and more!
If that sounds good to you, grab a bowl of popcorn or Junior Mints (my personal movie theater guilty pleasure) and dive into this list! Remember, you don’t have to make every idea work for you. Just select ideas (or a singular idea – one is better than none) that are a good fit for your brand and bandwidth.
Free, Easy, & Effective Awards Season Buzz Building Strategies
*Disclaimer: Remember, though most of these ideas are publicity-friendly and pitch-ready, their only “home” isn’t in the media. These ideas are also perfect for social media posts (including Facebook Live & InstaStory/IGTV), your blog, and your newsletter. The platforms you can share your value on and connect with your audience the better!
#1 Share Your Expertise with a Red Carpet Twist:
What expert advice can you make Awards Season-friendly? Ideas include: Fashion experts or style pros sharing: how to get the red carpet look for less or awards show looks for any body type, entertaining pros, and cooking experts can give tips on throwing the ultimate Oscars viewing party, health and fitness pros talking about red carpet body and health secrets and tips, beauty, skincare, and hair experts teaching people how to get a “red carpet look”, heck even experts like posture pros can talk about how to get perfect red carpet posture, and how it can take off the pounds in second!
Once you determine what you’ll share in terms of your expertise, share it in multiple places including the “short lead” press like local/regional/national television shows who regularly share expert advice, local/national newspapers, websites, your own blog, and social media.
No matter where you choose to share this insight I highly encourage you to post a quick video via Facebook Live, InstaStory, IGTV (or all three) share your tips as well. Video is where it’s at, people, and this is real estate you control! Don’t overthink sharing video, and don’t miss out on this powerful medium available to you (for free!) to connect with your audience as well as present and future customers and clients!
#2 As Seen on the Red Carpet:
Does your business offer something similar to what we all recently saw on the red carpet? Can you offer us the same look – or even the look for less? Perhaps you sell earrings similar to the statement earrings spotted all over the Golden Globe parties? Do you make beauty products that can help your customers achieve a luminous red carpet look similar to what Lady Gaga has been spotted wearing? Maybe you’re a fitness expert like Nadia Murdock, and you teach a barre class that will give you glutes and legs we all thought were only possible on celebrities like Nicole Kidman or Charlize Theron.
If you can offer us something similar to whatever we’re seeing celebrities rock on and off the red carpet this Awards Season, let us know! Let us know where to buy it, find it, get it for the same price, get it for less, just tell us how to get our hand on it! And don’t just tell us! Tell the media that you’ve been pitching (or dreaming about pitching) that you offer something that is somehow tied to Hollywood.
They may use it for an Awards-inspired story, or they’ll take note of it and you’ll be offering them some extra, high-value information when it comes to your business and offerings. Finally, don’t forget to include your Awards Season connection in your own blog, social media, or newsletter, and when appropriate, use the correct hashtags so this information reaches as many people as possible!
#3 Moves You Can Use with NO Awards Show Connection at All:
Perhaps you have no product, service, or expertise even remotely related to any of the upcoming awards, but you still want a piece of the buzz and excitement. I’ve got you covered with a few more of my favorite PR and marketing moves:
- Throw an Awards Show Viewing Party at Your Brick & Mortar Store/Restaurant or Host a Digital Viewing Party: Offer exclusive sale prices during the show and “door prizes” (whether in person or digitally hosting).
- Offer Winner-Dependent Discounts: For instance, if Roma takes the Oscar, you offer 25% your entire store for the next 24 hours, but if Green Book wins the Oscar you offer free shipping.
- Tag Us & Get Awarded: Invite your social media followers to tag you as they wear/eat/use your product while watching the awards, and “award them” with a special promotion. Add to this strategy by creating a special hashtag they can use so that they can see other posts like theirs such as #SabinaKnowsOscarsParty or #BrettLaurenOscarsBling.
#4 Kick it Up a Notch: Less Obvious, High Impact Moves:
This next tactic is less obvious yet has the chance to be high impact if you are an authentic fit for it. This strategy asks you, “Can you relate to and speak to any of the themes or stories that the nominated shows and movies are about?” If you can, it’s time to share that story with the media (and on your own platform) as well as share anecdotal advice or insight born from your experience or story.
For instance, maybe you are a marriage therapist or divorce expert who can weigh in on themes scene in A Marriage Story. Or perhaps you are a literary expert OR author and can speak to the timeless lure of Little Women – nominated for this iteration this year! You get it – try to dovetail into stories that already exist for which you can add another later or fresh insight!
The opportunities for this are as varied as the potential nominees this Awards Season, but your two keys to success will be whether you can truly relate to the story when it comes to tying in your own story and expertise and whether you can provide value to the specific audience you’re sharing it with. If done correctly, this sharing of your own personal story and connection can win you fans and customers for life!
Styling & Gifting Celebrities:
It wouldn’t be an Awards Season without the Press for Success team and me being inundated with asks when it comes to getting your products, accessories, fashion, food – you name it – to the nominees. Is it possible? You betcha? Is it hard? I’d say less hard, more requiring strategic action! If this is something you’re interested in, I encourage you to dive into my video class “How to Get Your Product to Celebrities” ASAP. Purchase it and stream it immediately, or join our (commitment-free) monthly All-Access membership and watch it for free + score all the other juicy benefits membership offers!
Show Us Your Strategies in Action + More Support!
If you decide to take action on one of the strategies I’ve taught you, I’d LOVE to see your PR and marketing moves and celebrate them with you. Be sure you share your story by commenting below this blog post, tagging me on social media (@sabinaknows, @pressforsuccess) and be sure to use hashtag #PressforSuccess in your posts, or emailing us your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need ongoing support, tools, PR opportunities, exclusive “how to pitch me” interviews with the press and more? Come see what our monthly membership has waiting for you and be sure you’re part of our (free) Facebook community!
I can’t wait to hear about the Awards Season buzz you’re getting!