Why Your Online Auction is Like a Summer Blockbuster

Summer blockbusterChances are you’ve heard about the new Jurassic Park movie: Jurassic World. What you may not know is that it grossed $200 million domestically in its first weekend alone. So, why are so many people going to see this movie?

  • They’re a fan of the original Jurassic Park movie.
  • They are friends with, dating, married to, or related to a Jurassic Park fan.
  • They enjoyed the other Jurassic Park movies. So, why not see this one?
  • They’ve heard so much about it they just have to see what all the fuss is about.

There have been all kinds of teasers, interviews, mini-trailers, articles, blog posts, full trailers, and continuous coverage and updates on sites like Rottentomatoes, Moviefone about the film. It’s hard not to be a little curious by now.

So, what does this have to do with your online auction? The reasons for seeing Jurassic World aren’t that different from why your supporters would bid on your online auction. Why will they bid?

  • They are a major supporter of your organization.
  • They are friends with, dating, married to, or related to a major supporter of your organization.
  • They had fun bidding last year. Why not bid again?
  • They keep hearing about your online auction and awesome items via email, Facebook posts, Twitter, info on your organization’s website, friends, and family. They want to find out what this online auction stuff is all about.
biddingforgood blog summer blockbuster

Photo credit: Universal Studios, Universal Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment

What does this mean for your promotions? First, your supporters are your most important target. These are the people who are the equivalent of Jurassic Park fans. They just need to know the online auction is coming up, when it starts and ends, and what they will have a chance to bid on. Think of the first “coming soon items” you post on your homepage as your first production stills from a movie. Don’t give everything away at once, but put some items up that are exciting enough to get people talking.

Now what about all those other people who are connected to your supporters? How do you get them interested? Ask your supporters to spread the word. They can easily post a link to their Facebook page about your auction using the Share this Page buttons automatically built into your homepage and item pages. Jurassic Park fans have been posting on Facebook about ‘Jurassic World’ like mad. (Trust me, I’m friends with some.) Create fans of your auction out of your supporters. Let them help you create some serious buzz!

If you follow the box office results at all, you’ll notice almost all successful movies make most of their major money in the first weekend. So, the promotion has got to build up to that first weekend. With an online auction you are in the reverse situation. Most of your bids will happen in the final days of the auction. You still need to do a lot of promotion leading up to the online auction open date, but your promotions during the final days of the online auction are crucial. You’ll need to do a promotional push by sending email reminders before your auction closes and continuing your Facebook posts and tweets. Imagine that this is your movie that is leaving theaters forever. Make sure everyone knows this is one they won’t want to miss!

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