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The “Black Panther” Formula: Driving Traffic to Content Like Marvel at the Movies

Black Panther pounced on the box office and clawed its way to the top immediately after Marvel unleashed it in mid-February. It made history for Marvel by topping its first-week U.S. record with $292 million in ticket sales, which boosted the worldwide total to $520 million. The film earned another $108 million in North America ticket sales the second weekend after its debut – grossing $242 over a 4-day holiday weekend.

King T’Challa made it clear that he belongs seated at the throne of the box-office! He and the people of Wakanda have done wonders for Marvel – drawing more traffic and attention to this underappreciated Marvel superhero than ever before! Applying the “Black Panther Formula” that Marvel applied to draw fans to theaters can also be applied to your online marketing strategy – allowing you to drive traffic to your content. How so?

Below is an overview of the 3 key principles that Marvel used when creating and promoting Black Panther that undoubtedly boosted its success and can lead you to a royal victory of your own.

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Dig to Find the Treasure, Don’t Settle for the Surface

A cornerstone theme of Black Panther was the value of going beneath the surface to find treasures – realizing there is much more than you may think buried there. Marvel did just that when the decision was made to go beneath the surface of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to explore more stories and superheroes than just the familiar faces found within the Avengers. With each new phase, they have dug deeper and deeper into the comic book world to pull out heroes and heroic ensembles that may not have had the same level of recognition as Captain America and Iron Man… but are on well on their way to that point now!

For instance, Phase 2 introduced Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy the same way that Phase 3 has introduced Doctor Strange and Black Panther. Marvel understood the need to not become too comfortable with the “surface-level” treasures of this comic universe.

*Marvel focused more on what fans wanted to see more than what they had already seen. *

If you want to drive traffic to your content, then you must have the same approach. When searching for trending topics that apply to your market, it is easy just to rehash or revamp what has already been done. It will generate views and may even generate a decent amount of traffic to your website and social media pages. However, if you really want to obtain the real “treasure” from your content, you must dig beneath the surface of SEO to find the “vibranium” that Black Panther vowed to protect: the content that everyone needs but not very many people knew existed!

That is how you can build engagement and draw massive traffic to your content – leading to your customers and prospects searching for your website as if your brand was Wakanda.

Focus More on Content, Less on “Visual Effects”

There were several key scenes that focused on visual effects throughout the film – especially when it comes to a lot of the advanced technology and costumes used. However, the core of the film was the story. Moviegoers were driven to the theaters, captivated by the film and even compelled to see it multiple times in some cases because of the content. Unfortunately, that is not always the case with big-budget blockbusters – especially superhero movies. Black Panther provides moviegoers and MCU fans with a breath of fresh air because of the beautiful blend of content and visual effects, but thoroughly appreciated that the focus was on the content itself.

When it comes to your online presence, is the focus more on the content or the “visual effects?” For instance, are you focused more on the way that your website looks or the content that is posted and published within it? Images, color themes, fancy menus and other premium features may draw attention. As Black Panther has proven week after week since its theatrical debut, it is the content that will keep it!

Connect to Other Content, But Do Not Overdo It

The art of backlinks and linking to other expert content related to your niche and market is a beautiful concept. However, as is the case with any type of art, there is thin line between quality and questionable or creative and chaotic. Studies have proven that using 1-2 high-quality links within an article or blog post, for instance, will reap far more benefits in the areas of optimization and engagement than if you were to cram a vast number of links into the same article – hoping that the law of large numbers and saying like “the more the merrier” will play in your favor.

Once again, you can reflect on how Marvel applied the Black Panther formula in this regard. It could have been a movie that was overflowing with cameo appearances, connecting sub-plots and “Easter eggs” that linked to an overwhelming number of other franchises. Fortunately, Marvel focused on the art of moderation while still ensuring that every connection made was essential, efficient and effective.

Can you say that about the links, images and other elements posted or embedded within your content? If your answer is “yes,” then you can take pride in knowing that you have applied the Black Panther formula. However, if your answer was anything other than a resounding “yes,” perhaps its time for you to head back to Wakanda and develop a Marvel-ous content marketing strategy that will allow you to change that answer.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has over 20 years of  experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

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