Streaming Happiness: Lessons From Netflix About Content Marketing

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Yes, that's right. The online streaming guru really can teach us valuable lessons about how to improve your content marketing.

Ah, Netflix.

What began as a DVD rental company has now become one of the most popular streaming websites in the world.

Not only has Netflix dominated our homes, and the industry, it has dominated the internet. Netflix now reportedly uses almost 35 percent of internet downstream bandwidth.

This fast-growing company is the very embodiment of the content marketing mantra: Evolve or Die. So, it's no surprise that content marketers can learn a lot from the way Netflix works.

There are three best practices that Netflix can teach us about content marketing.

1. Balance Your Content

When Netflix first began streaming videos online, it was pretty much a content curation company. Presenting us with TV shows and movies it had licensed from other companies. Although, this period of simple content curation wasn't the peak of Netflix's success, we can still learn a valuable lesson here.

Curating amazing content is a great way to attract more people to your site, especially through social media. Social media channels are all about sharing—so by sharing valuable content that you know your fans will love, even if it's not your own, you'll present your company as a great brand to follow.

Having said that, content curation alone is not enough to prove your worth. In order to stand out from the crowd you need to create your own content—and, it needs to be good.

Netflix discovered this a few years ago, and now their original series (House of Cards, Daredevil) are some of the most anticipated shows in the world. This exclusivity is what heightens their popularity even more. You can't watch Orange is the New Black anywhere else.

When creating exclusive content for your company, like eBooks and Whitepapers, it needs to be of a high-quality to entice people to enter their email addresses, and ultimately download it. Like Netflix, you need to create amazing content that intrigues your buyer personas and gets them talking about your brand.

2. Make Life Easy for Your Customers

It's all too easy to spend your entire weekend binge watching your favorite Netflix series.

Why?

Because it's right there in front of you. The lesson from Netflix here is, break the boundaries. Most series are released on a weekly basis, episode by episode, but Netflix decided to give their customers the opportunity to watch shows at a pace that suits them.

There is always a way to break the boundaries and become more innovative in your content marketing so that you can stay at the top of your game, you just have to think outside the box.

Another factor that makes life easier for Netflix customers is that they can watch on practically any device. The list is as follows: Smart TVs, streaming media players, games consoles, set-top boxes, blu-ray players, smartphones, tablets, PCs and laptops. Netflix's comany blog states"Whether on a 30" screen or a 4" one, our customers are now provided with an experience that works well and looks great across a wide range of devices."

Netflix understand the vital importance of responsive design, and so should you. Sixty percent of all internet use is now on mobile devices, and 40 percent of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly—that's a lot of customers you could lose if your content is not responsive across all devices.

3. Keep it Fresh, Keep it Personalized

Creating new content and keeping your approach fresh is vital to retaining the attention of your customers (and gaining the attention of new ones). Netflix keeps their site up to date by constantly adding new content.

This same approach could be used to refresh your blog. Research has found that blogs that post daily get 5 times more traffic that those that post weekly or less!

Along with being current, Netflix is customizable each individual customer. Users can rate what they have watched to discover suggestions for new shows and movies. These suggestions appear under a 'Top Picks' section, and if you hover over any of the titles suggested for you, Netflix will tell you exactly what you watched to get that suggestion.

Customers love to be treated as individuals—it shows that your company cares enough to take an interest in them. A great way to keep your communications with customers personal is through your email marketing.

Some tips to customize your emails:

  • Address them by name
  • Send them personalized offers
  • Ask them about the products or services they bought from you.

Studies prove that personalized emails deliver a 6x higher transaction rate, but surprisingly, 70 percent of brands fail to use them. There are many valuable resources availble to help with your email campaign. If your business does not have an internal marketing position, you can hire a content marketing agency.

Next time you go on a Netflix binge, just remember how productive you are being. Netflix is an innovative company at the top of its game and it has something to teach all content marketers.

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