Netflix marketers introduced us to a new concept, a few years ago: binge-watching.
It was not a new thing entirely since we were all able already to buy entire series or franchises and binge watch with friends and family but it was made popular by the giant streaming platform as a marketing strategy.
And it was mostly their task to introduce this new term to us as a daily possibility.
It didn’t take long for other content producers and platforms to figure out the benefits of binge-worthy content and it was just a matter of time until we saw it everywhere.
I am going to talk today therefore about the importance of binge-worthy content from a marketer’s point of view, the beauty of it, and of course, I will try and give you some tips to get you started with this new marketing strategy.
What is binge-worthy content?
If you are completely bored, I guess, you can binge on almost anything. However, this doesn’t make the content binge-worthy. It’s not enough to have your content in a series, and it is not enough to end your episodic pieces with a cliffhanger.
So, what makes content binge-able?
As I have already said in the previous paragraphs, content becomes binge-worthy when people get themselves trapped in watching it. They cannot stop and if they do, they are left with a feeling of incompleteness, a feeling that something is missing from their lives until or unless they come back for more. In other words, binge-worthy content is highly addictive.
But what makes it addictive and content marketing worthy?
Let’s just start by admitting that people are different. They want different things, have different aspirations in life, dream about different things. They just don’t binge on anything just because the content is available. They do it should the content be pleasing their senses and entertainment styles.
According to your business profile and marketing strategy, you address a niche audience that has specific needs in terms of content and entertainment.
Why should you create binge-worthy content?
Binge-worthy content is important because one big and undeniable reason: it keeps the audience “trapped” on your platform or trapped in your content. I know that you might think of the word trapped as a poor choice in this case since we’re talking about entertainment and not something negative. However, let’s try to ignore the negative connotations and use it because it describes the best way binge-worthy content works on the audience.
Being trapped in this case does not mean that something bad has happened, especially for the marketer who in the end, aims to get the audience’s full attention and dedication. It’s not bad for the audience either because they have a choice. They can watch or not. As a consequence, they binge-watch or read something because it is worthy and entertains them to the point they cannot stop until they have it all.
Tips to get you started with binge-able content creation
I think we have talked quite enough about binging and binge-worthy content to understand its meaning and importance in a marketing context.
Now, we should dig further and try to uncover the treasure of content marketing. How can we start? Where can we start? What’s the process here? Well, let’s see:
1. Create according to your customers’ needs
The first thing you need to figure out, and this is true regardless of the type of content you are creating, is the audience.
And, as you may already know, the audience expands way further than your actual customers or your social media followers. Your audience is made up of all the people that eventually can become your customers.
Studies have shown that approximately 92% of people would try or buy a new product if it was recommended by a friend or someone they know. You can do this with content as well, not just your products.
Thus, you can get to the expanded audience via the traditional word-of-mouth marketing strategy but in order to do that, you need to think about what your already established followers would want.
And, start by answering some basic but most effective questions:
What experiences are you trying to create and most of all, what needs are you trying to fulfill for the audience?
Their podcast series featured interviews with executives from all fields of interest for marketers and entrepreneurs, exactly the type of content they were expecting to get in order to keep track with the market and learn new and exciting things useful to their jobs.
This means they did not just publish one episode after another talking a lot about nothing.
They knew what their audience needed and acted accordingly, creating a binge-worthy series of interviews for B2B marketers from all around the world.
2. Respond to your customers’ content preferences
Remember how series were launched a few years ago with a new episode occurring once a week? Well, Netflix came with a huge breakthrough in the way they delivered their original content and it was with House of Cards when they decided to publish an entire season at once.
They knew their audience’s content preference because people already started to embrace the binging phenomenon on their platform. And, when they launched an original series, they acted according to this behavior. So, instead of making the audience come back for a new episode every 7 days, they let them keep on going until they were in a content consumption mindset.
What can we learn from this example?
Pay attention to them and try to deliver on a schedule that works for your clients. If it helps, try to walk in your audience’s shoes and imagine how you would like to receive the content if you were one of them.
3. Create a storyline and develop it into series
Try thinking about content as a series of little stories that make up the bigger one and make sure each one of your episodes leads to the next step.
Think about your goals and then, imagine attaching one of your goals to each one of your episodes. A good marketing strategy steers the audience in the desired direction.
They don’t want calls to action every minute. Instead, you can profit from the episodic content and create calls to action for each episode in order to reach your goals gradually and not bore your followers with adverts. Thus, each piece of content you get to publish can be made to lead to a subsequent step in your marketing plan.
If you need a good example for serialized themes, you can take a quick look at “The Growth Show”, a podcast series hosted by HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, Meghan Keaney.
Their show is based on not just one storyline but in fact, on a series of storylines that explore different marketing trends and the stories behind how people managed to build and grow their businesses.
4. Don’t forget to personalize your content
User experience. I will repeat again: USER EXPERIENCE. This is one of the most important concepts in today’s marketing sector.
People want to feel like they are part of the action but at the same time, they need to experience something good in order to follow you or take an active part in your marketing strategy.
You want that, right?
What can you do? Let’s take another quick look at how streaming platforms, including YouTube, do it because we know that in time, they became quite effective. They give their users the power to curate the content they want to see while in the meantime, they work on developing new and better algorithms that are able to learn the users’ behavior.
Learning what users want is a huge step in developing a truly binge-worthy content series.
And, it’s important because personalization works best when it is working both ways. YouTube, Netflix, Prime, and other platforms are now able to recommend new content to their users based on their viewing preferences and choices.
Thus, they became better at keeping them engaged and in a binge-watching disposition.
The best example that comes to my mind in this case is from the big Netflix as well. Even in the times when they were only a DVD rental company, they offered personalized recommendations to their customers, based on their previous purchases. They took this feature to a whole new level in this age of big-information but nevertheless, they did nothing else than continue on the line already set up in their pioneering days.
5. Always leave the audience wanting more
Providing episodic content is a great way to keep your audience engaged and close to your brand. However, this is not all you can do because every series has to eventually come to an end. It may be the end of a season, the end of your eBook series, or whatever other type of content you chose to create and publish.
What can you do?
Here, you have two choices and they are both effective in engaging the audience post/prior new releases:
- Follow up content
- Anticipative content
Follow-up content allows you to keep the audience engaged with the content long before you finished your season or theme and keep them coming back to your website for more. You will need original content which you can also use for other CTAs that you have already used throughout the series.
Anticipative content, on the other side, works similarly with the only difference that you use it in order to capture the audience’s attention before the big lunch and keep them engaged and interested in the content that follows.
When you engage in content marketing, anything that can draw in customers can be viewed as good from your perspective. Success depends on so many things and on so many factors, however, that you need to take a lot of facts and data into consideration in order to satisfy your audience’s needs, content-wise.
Making it binge-worthy, on the other hand, is a great way of making it fail-proof for marketing. This is why I chose this topic for today’s article and I tried to come up with some good examples and advice on why binge-worthy content is good for your strategy. We’ve also talked a little bit about how to address this topic and turn it into your miracle worker from a marketing perspective.
Do you create binge-worthy content or thought about doing it in the future? To what extent and with what results?