How Binge Watching Netflix Can Help Improve Social Media Content
Unlike social media, which is on the go 24/7, marketers need some time out. After a day creating content, analyzing posts and inventing campaigns, there’s nothing you need more than relaxing with a good book, dinner with friends, or stretched out on the couch in front of the TV. In our opinion, that time doesn’t have to be wasted, because an evening of binge watching can actually provide you with some inspiration for your social media content. Next time, try looking at your Netflix series from this perspective...
The Best Way to Tell a Story
Storytelling has been a hot item in marketing and communication for at least a decade. Compared to standard posts, lists, or even blog posts like this one, stories are more entertaining, easier to remember, and stimulate deeper emotions. The problem is that few marketers and communication consultants really understand the technique of telling a good story,
which is why it’s a good idea to see how the professionals in the entertainment industry do it. Netflix is home to hundreds of documentaries that move us, make us laugh, or grasp our attention in some other way, and have little in common with monotonous videos crammed with information. Netflix teaches us that it’s often the story behind the news that attracts our attention, not the dry facts.
It’s a trick that lots of media companies have already copied. The greatest example of storytelling I ever came across was an article in Dutch newspaper Het Parool about a mysterious Japanese who wrote letters to a hotel in Volendam over a period of 40 years. The story was incredibly long: no less than 5,971 words, but apparently that’s not an obstacle if the content’s good enough. It was shared more than 500 times on Twitter.
It’s now time for social media marketers to follow in the footsteps of Hollywood and get their storytelling skills out there. So copy Netflix, and steal the show on social media by telling gripping stories.
The 80/20 Rule
Why has everyone, or almost everyone, heard of Netflix series such as Breaking Bad, La Casa de Papel and Narcos, but are much less aware of films such as Luka Chuppi, Les Goûts et Les Couleurs and Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Larga?
For every successful series on Netflix that goes viral, there are at least 4 much less popular ones. Your media content probably follows the same pattern, with 20% of your posts scoring around 80% of your views. However, as Netflix shows, this doesn't have to be a problem, and in fact the broad array of content with the occasional viral success is one of the reasons Netflix appeals to a wide audience and has been so successful. It’s something you should consider when analyzing your content. Posts with fewer likes, clicks or comments may not be irrelevant after all, but useful for the more discerning.
A Blend of Your Own and Curated Content
What hits you when you open the Netflix app is the pride with which the company presents its own work: the Netflix Originals. Netflix is not just a streaming service for series and films, it has also been operating as a production company in its own right for a number of years. Although Netflix exploits its own unique productions to distinguish itself from other providers of video content,
the brand could never have achieved so much success by being solely dependent on its own shows. A large part of its content is therefore curated, shared content, sourced from other production companies.
The strength of Netflix is a result of this blend of in-house and curated content, and you could also use it as a success formula for your own social media content. Sometimes marketers are simply too reluctant to borrow content from others, or create links to this content. However, the very fact that you’re willing to share the good work of others, even if they are competitors, teaches people that you’re the person to follow for high-quality content in your domain, regardless of who creates it.
Formulas and Categories
It would be very impractical if you had to scroll randomly through every movie and series on Netflix to find something that interests you. Fortunately, the categories (such as movies with good reviews, comedy, thrillers) mean you can quickly find what you’re looking for, and if you like one episode of a series, you immediately binge watch the whole season.
A lot of marketing content is less well organized. Have a look (we did, and know there is plenty of room for improvement): are you already using content categories, formats or series? Can customers or prospects rely on you posting content at fixed times on fixed days? Is there an easy way for your target group to only follow your content? If you organize all these aspects properly, your content will match the personal wishes of your followers.
Sit Back and Relax
Do you know how to make better content? By letting go from time to time. Creative minds benefit from some downtime, and there’s nothing like doing nothing to get the creative juices flowing. So, if you suffer a bout of writer's block, chill on the sofa with some soda and snacks, and lose yourself in Netflix. Even though your employer is unlikely to approve your evenings in front of the TV as working hours, you’ll still be an unstoppable content engine the next day. Enjoy it!