WEB & TECH / DEC. 26, 2014
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Things Bloggers Can Learn From Watching the New Hunger Games

Popular media has always been an excellent research tool for content producers. It shows what is considered popular, and gives basic insights into the public mood and direction. Few people are unaware of the way the Zombie/Vampire cycle can be used to map political trends, but fewer are aware of the power of dystopia in the public eye.

A dystopia is a world in which something has gone catastrophically wrong, usually centered on the greatest fears of the current generation. Nuclear weaponry, pandemics, overpopulation, food shortages… All have played a role in creating stories that have cultivated the public imagination. Modern marketers have noticed this, and have positioned themselves to achieve the greatest potential for their clients in these movies. Here are some things bloggers need to bear in mind when watching the New Hunger Games.

Branding is vital for commercial success

There are two revenue streams for any successful public work. The first is common sense, the amount garnered by the people that pay to see it. For movie goers, this translated to exceptionally high ticket sales, and eventually DVD sales.

For bloggers, this can be equated to pay walls. Special content that is only available to paid subscribers can be hidden away, until readers buy a ‘ticket.’

The second stream is through product placement within the movie, and surrounding it. While the Hunger Games only had a small amount of direct product placement (a bottle of water in the control room,) outside there is a thriving sense of collaboration between manufacturers and the movie owners. This translates to posters, figurines, games…

For a blogger, the closest analog is the humble advertisement. We are all familiar with web advertisements. There is even a couple on this page, unless you have ad blocking software installed (please remove, we need the revenue!)

Much like a movie, this source of revenue guarantees that the product can be made, since more people are willing to just get the content for free.

Be aware of what the consumer wants

People who watched the movie wanted to see certain facets of the book brought to life. The trilogy that the movies are based off of has grabbed the imagination of the public, and they wanted to see the story of a young woman overcoming exceptional obstacles to create a better life for her and her family.

The story was published at the right time in current history. The public is feeling depressed, with the real economy still shrinking on a per capita basis and a dysfunctional political system. This story shows a more extreme version of that, and shows the heroine rising up and fighting the system.

As a blogger, it is your job to understand the public mood and craft content that they will want to read. Identify your target audience and reach out to them. If you run a political blog, make sure that the readers know your own beliefs, and craft unique content that they will enjoy. Specialize, so that people will recognize your site as a source of specific types of information.

Doing so will enable you to craft better content that is guaranteed to bring readers back for more. 

Knowledge and revenue streams are the two vital components to running a successful blog. By maximizing both, you will create a welcoming environment that is guaranteed to please advertisers and your readers. Just remember to study those you wish to reach carefully, in order to understand what they want to learn.

The Hunger Games is a perfect study as to the current public mood, and how to integrate product placement without becoming blatant about it.

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