Content marketers, take note of Netflix

Thu, 22/11/2018 - 09:00

No, I don’t mean spend hours binge-watching Netflix. Although with the argument I’m about to make, you could make an excuse to click on your favourite series in the name of research. 

When it comes to Netflix, there are many lessons to be learned by marketers, especially those working in content.  

Netflix knows what its consumers want
The streaming service famous for keeping its audience in their pyjamas for longer than necessary listens to their paying subscribers (and those who mooch off their parents’ or ex’s accounts) and gives them what they want. What do they want? Classic shows at the click of a button, like Friends. Reboots on demand, like Fuller House. Remakes of classics to suit the audiences of today, like Sabrina the Teenage Witch, now known as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And, of course, award-winning original content, like Stranger Things.  

You can’t deny that Netflix really gives us what we’ve been wanting from television since the very beginning: the ability to be able to consume content when we want to. Immediate gratification never feels as good as when Netflix drops a whole new series on us. How many times have you told someone about a series and they’ve immediately asked if it’s on Netflix? That’s because the best way to watch a show is all at once. Netflix saw that gap in the market and filled it.  

Complete authenticity
Probably the best thing about Netflix is that it never tries to be something it’s not. Just take one look at the Netflix US Twitter account and you’ll see that the streaming service is always on brand. It never falters. If Netflix says it, Netflix means it. This is a big accomplishment because everyone from my nephew to my mom uses Netflix and they cover all types of taste, which means that their target audience is every person with internet access who likes to be entertained. Doesn’t exactly conform to the old LSM measurement that many marketers still use to define their target audience, does it?    

Authenticity is key to content marketing. If you want to truly connect with your audience, you need to take a leaf from Netflix’s marketing book and create content which is authentic and speaks honestly to consumers. This, of course, relates to knowing what your consumers want through relevant data and the effective use of AI and giving it to them. Because if you’re giving your consumers what they want, your content marketing becomes more like communication between old friends and less like a sales pitch. And successful content marketing is definitely never a sales pitch. 

They know how to build hype 
Things go viral for the strangest reasons these days. Going viral doesn’t mean for brands what it used to. When creating content, marketers shouldn’t be focussing on going viral, but instead building up hype for their product. And that’s exactly what Netflix does. Leading up to the release of the third season of Black Mirror, Netflix released the app “Rate Me”. The previously fictional app from the popular television show is now a reality and it got people excited about bingeing even more of their favourite series. Later, they released another app, this one was a dating app released just in time for Valentine’s Day. And it’s not just any dating app, it tells you when your relationship with your match will end. Now, that’s content that’s engaging and builds hype. 

One thing’s for sure, Netflix knows what it’s doing when it comes to content marketing. So, it’s time you sit back and do a little binge-watching… wait, I mean research.

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