Remember when Netflix only mailed DVDs to your house? It’s come a long way since then—from streaming movies and other networks’ shows to creating original series and films.
I recently watched Wine Country, a new Netflix Original movie and Amy Poehler’s directorial debut, starring Saturday Night Live alums, Poehler, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Paula Pell and Emily Spivey. I was surprised to see this all-star cast in a direct-to-streaming film but realized this isn’t the only Netflix Original I would expect to be in theaters. Adam Sandler produced Murder Mystery, which he co-starred in with Jennifer Aniston; Roma won three Oscars and a Golden Globe award in 2018, among many other nominations and awards; and The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, had a $175 million budget and is already generating awards buzz.
Heated debates rage on about how Netflix’s business model is affecting the overall film industry, but I see a company understanding their audience’s preferences. In the age of streaming, many consumers prefer having media at their fingertips whenever it is convenient for them to view it with the option to avoid crowds and pricey concessions in exchange for the comfort of their own couch.
Netflix shifted its focus from mail-order DVDs when streaming became more accessible and, when they saw an increase in interest in original content, they began producing it. We should have the same mindset as Netflix when creating marketing content. Our audience isn’t going to adapt to our preferences—we must adapt to theirs.
Creating content for a variety of mediums—social, email, editorial, print—and evaluating audience engagement is a great starting point. Pay attention to feedback and data, as audiences’ preferences will change over time based on current trends, familiarity with your brand, etc.
Metric benchmarks will depend on your end goal. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, you may categorize customers as engaged who visit five or more pages on your website in 30 days. If you’re launching a new product, you could categorize anyone who has downloaded a whitepaper as sales leads. Looking at traffic sources will tell you where your audience is engaging with your topic. If you’re getting more blog article click throughs on Facebook and more whitepaper downloads from LinkedIn, you can adjust your posting strategy to these preferences.
For example, a Babcox marketing client recently launched a new product and purchased various email lists from our brands for a custom email e-blast. Based on clicks, we learned that the largest audience engagement demographic was heavy duty fleet owners. Our own data also showed this audience consumes a high amount of content similar to what was in this campaign. We then helped the client focus their strategy to this audience by using facility targeting, custom e-blasts, and native advertising, which resulted in higher engagement, more leads, and a great pipeline for sales conversions.
Another marketing client at Babcox recently launched an email campaign linking to sponsored content in one of our publications in order to increase brand awareness. Those that clicked to read the article were identified as having a deeper interest in learning more about the featured topic, signaling their content preference has shifted. Now more detailed, specific content can be provided to keep them engaged.
With various print and online publications and direct marketing solutions, Babcox Innovation Group is uniquely positioned to deliver your message to your targeted audience. Let us help you create and test the content your customers want.
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