Table of Contents
- How Netflix Became the Original Creator
- Key Principles of Netflix’s Marketing
- 6 Best Video Content Marketing Examples from Netflix
- 7 Key Marketing Lessons from Netflix
- Netflix’s Digital Marketing Model
- Key Takeaways
With groundbreaking popularity, Netflix is now a household name. It was established by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California, in 1997. A streaming television sensation and the world’s leading on-demand video provider, it has captured viewers’ attention across borders, ages, viewing interests, and more. Netflix has evolved as a solid original content machine in the past few years. By 2020, Netflix had crossed 200 million paid subscribers. And its growth has not stopped there.
One can call its success staggering. And the proof of this is that despite the availability of several online video and film platforms (like Amazon, Hotstar, Hulu), there is not one competitor that can compete nose-to-nose with Netflix. There is so much to learn from Netflix’s marketing strategy, and some of those crucial lessons lie in its best video content marketing examples. Let’s take a look at what’s noteworthy about their marketing strategy.
It might come off as a little surprising that Netflix heavily relies on content marketing. And its key brand engagement strategies are simple enough to be implemented easily yet powerfully modern that they have a universal appeal. Making the best use of innovation, the latest technology, creative advertising, and real-time data analytics, one important aspect of Netflix marketing is customer relationship management. An adaptable marketing strategy allows Netflix to stay afloat with the changes in the market.
Netflix treats its customers as a cohesive audience, more like a community. It refers to these groups as “taste communities” based on their TV shows and film preferences. At the core of its successful marketing strategy lie efficient marketing tools that are data-driven, personalized, omnipresent, and customer-centric.
How Netflix Became the Original Creator
Before we break down the strategy behind the best video content marketing examples from Netflix, let’s take a look at its early beginnings as a platform and an original creator.
A large share of Netflix’s success goes to its original content. Earlier Netflix used to offer a buffet of films and TV shows created by others. But they understood well in time that simply showing films in HD quality would not give customers reason enough to buy Netflix’s paid plans, for streaming films that they could watch anywhere else as well. They needed an edge over the several other platforms available for streaming shows and movies to sustain their business. With this need emerged the first Netflix original – Lilyhammer, in 2012.
This original was canceled owing to some internal reasons, but it led to the next original, which we all have heard of or even watched, House of Cards. This was a breakout hit for Netflix. House of Cards is what led Netflix from a mere on-demand video platform to a full-blown production house that had its own original content, making it an unparalleled streaming choice.
Now, as we all know, there are two reasons to which Netflix owes its success—the shows and the streaming platform itself. While customers pay for Netlfix’s subscription plans so that they can relish a great entertainment experience, it is also significant how more than half of the content available on Netflix today is its own original content. If Netflix did not have a unique content collection, it would have very well become another redundant streaming platform with time.
Netflix’s original content helps it
- In creating constant engagement on the platform as Netflix subscribers purchase plans primarily to view its original series and films
- To retain active users by giving them new content to watch each week/month
- Build content credibility
- Creates exclusive custom content that can only be accessed on Netflix and nowhere else
You can successfully replicate Netflix’s content marketing strategy by understanding your niche and analyzing your customers and their problems, and devising methods so that your brand can solve them by offering unique and exclusive solutions. Netflix’s content is why users pay attention to their service, which is one of the core lessons from Netflix’s marketing practices.
Key Principles of Netflix’s Marketing
Apart from the best video content marketing examples by Netflix, there is a lot to learn from the key principles of Netflix marketing.
1. It is customer-centric
Netflix puts customer experience at the forefront. Before its several other business objectives and partnerships lies the customer experience. It collects, analyses, and applies data insights across the different stages of the customer journey.
2. It is integrated
Netflix uses both traditional and modern marketing strategies. With its digital marketing strategy, it aims at capturing the attention of its audience across a wide range of channels, where it promotes its content. The seamless integration of marketing tools and channels creates a better customer experience.
Most of us have come across ads from Netflix on our cellphones, although we preferably access its content mostly on a bigger or wider screen. One of the essential lessons to learn from Netflix’s marketing strategy is that though their product/service is best accessed and experienced on a large screen, their promotional content is highly mobile optimized. This helps them easily reach their customers and even potential subscribers via the cellphone.
3. It is innovative
One of the key factors for the success of Netflix’s marketing strategy is its agility. Netflix’s marketing techniques are modern and move with the times. Netflix uses data analytics and creates personalized customer experiences by viewing recommendations and recommendation emails delivered to its customers’ inboxes. It reacts to the needs of the customers and surprises them. Moreover, it ensures that it gets the content recommendations right.
6 Video Content Marketing Examples from Netflix
Netflix undoubtedly has the best video content marketing examples to take notes from. Here are some of them.
1. Offer your audience an uninterrupted viewing experience
One of the most important aspects of Netflix’s marketing strategy is providing a seamless viewing experience to their customers. There are no advertising breaks or any other pop-up interruptions when watching a film or a series on Netflix. Your viewing experience is uninterrupted and continuous.
This uninterrupted viewing factor is highly suitable for a long-form, story-driven content format, like on Netflix. Even when the viewer has finished watching a series or a film, Netflix prompts you to watch next through suggestions based on what you have already watched. It also reminds you of the episodes or movies you have not finished watching in the “Continue watching” section.
2. Create a visual impression
Netflix changed its content recommendation strategy in 2017. Its new algorithm predicts what the subscriber wants to watch based on the recent watch history. This algorithm applies a unique image that appeals to your viewing interest as a user. For example: if you have lately watched a lot of sitcoms and comedies, you are more inclined to see images of characters laughing. Netflix then incorporates this information into designing appropriate thumbnails and titles for the content it displays.
The optimized titles and thumbnails used by Netflix inform the subscriber right away what the content would likely be about in terms of the genre or trope; at the same time, it withholds important information, which leaves the user curious to know more.
3. Define your target audience
If you notice carefully enough, you will observe that Netflix shows have a bit of a reappearing pattern. They are not producing original content for all age groups and genres. They have their audience well cornered. Their shows are targeted to the age bracket of eighteen to forty-nine. There are, of course, a few exceptions at times, like Stranger Things, Godless, etc. Netflix knows their audience really close and exceptionally well and uses this information to churn successful video content.
4. Make use of strategic release dates
Netflix does not release its content sporadically and randomly now and then. There is a well-planned strategy that Netflix uses to release the new seasons of its shows. For the second season of Stranger Things, Netflix dropped all the episodes on a Friday, which complements the spooky supernatural theme of the show, plus a weekend release has guaranteed success.
According to data analysis, binge-watching is a highly prevalent phenomenon on the weekends. This is one of the best video content marketing examples to learn from.
5. On-demand versus live-streaming
Another excellent content strategy used by Netflix is staying true to its commitment to providing ad-free, on-demand streaming to the users. While several other streaming platforms have been trying to explain their efforts into live-streaming, Netflix has firmly decided to stay away from that territory. The decision to commit to quality than quantity via expansion into other video formats is what makes Netflix an unparalleled choice. It refuses to change its core service for the sake of mindless competition.
6. Engaging and interesting content promotion
While almost every platform promotes its content to the best of its ability, Netflix is known for its unique and compelling content promotion. They post videos to Facebook, release mini trailers on Youtube related to their upcoming shows and movies, post interesting Instagram pictures, short videos related to the cast and crew, and even the making of some of its shows. There are also video post recommendations for choosing your next series to watch. Such posts yield high engagement.
And Netflix does not leave it at that; they engage back on their socials. They tweet and retweet, reply to comments, and poll their followers. This helps retain their brand voice.
7 Key Marketing Lessons from Netflix Marketing
Along with the best video content marketing examples, Netflix’s marketing strategy offers us 7 key lessons for a successful marketing strategy, which are as follows:
- Use multi-channel marketing: Netflix tries to reach out to its audience wherever and whenever possible. This includes the option of accessing Netflix on smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets. Netflix aims to connect with the viewers through offline and online mediums. It offers its users an augmented reality experience on Snapchat, alongside interactions on Twitter and word-of-mouth marketing efforts. It is highly active as a brand on social media.
- Tapping into the potential of emails: While a lot of brands consider email marketing redundant, Netflix is constantly tapping into the present-day potential of emails. Via emails, Netflix introduces new users to their subscription plans and streaming services.
They email the existing users relevant updates based on their viewing preferences. A number of their emails have GIFs inspired by shows and films incorporated within. With valuable, skimmable, and imaginative emails, Netflix has proved that email marketing is highly effective.
- Personalization of content: An essential feature that makes Netflix unique in its services is its focus on personalization. Modern marketing success relies on personalization. Every Netflix user has a different homepage, based entirely on their watch history, preferences, most-watched genres, etc. Netflix’s algorithm continuously keeps changing and updating the programs on your homepage and rearranges them as per your preference. The streaming giant does not rely on generic guesswork. It utilizes the power of customization. Providing tailor-made viewing experiences and recommendations is one of the key lessons to be learned from Netflix.
- Utilizing the power of data: Netflix understands well that data is the foundation of solid modern marketing. The power of marketing automation allows Netflix to create highly personalized services. Their algorithm predicts customer ratings based on data. An improved method of data analysis helps Netflix closely understand and address the demands of the users.
- Embracing machine learning: Netflix has put to good use the remarkable technology known as machine learning. It has several landing cards for each of its shows. The company runs about 250 A/B tests each year. With the help of the varied landing cards, Netflix can see which version of the artwork for a specific show or movie draws more attention and receives more engagement. If one version gets more people to click on the “Play” option, then Netflix incorporates that version across the whole service.
- Making interactive products: Netflix focuses on the word “experienced” more than the term “watched.” Netflix series and shows are more of an experience. Some of the shows, especially “Black Mirror” make brilliant use of warped possibilities of technology by providing a simulation experience, which is way more elevated than normal viewing. Viewers can take part in the story of this show.
They can even make key decisions for the shows’ characters at each crucial turning point. This is a daring effort by Netflix, thereby breaking the rules of the formulaic content marketing practices. Shows like Black Mirror are standalone products that offer a unique experience to the audience/ viewers.
- Focusing on customer service: We all know that Netflix is one of the most risk-taking and risk-loving brands. They never hesitate to try out something new, no matter how challenging the results could be.
One of the examples of this was Netflix’s launch of a video inspired by the photo “A Great Day In Harlem” on the occasion of Juneteenth. The mentioned photograph was a collection of black jazz musicians; Netflix’s video had 47 leading black characters from shows, films, and documentaries. This displayed Netflix’s take on diversity in gender, age, and ethnicities. This Juneteenth video helped bolster the brand’s image.
Netflix’s Digital Marketing Model
Netflix’s digital marketing model is unique, as mentioned above. Some of the impressive elements of Netflix’s digital marketing model are a variety of campaigns, social media posts, mobile-optimized content, personalization, and humor used in advertising. Even if you are not part of the entertainment industry, the elements being used by Netflix can be emulated into almost any niche. It created an alliance with Smart TV manufacturers, and PlayStation and Xbox are its gaming partners.
- Netflix is a streaming television sensation and the world’s leading on-demand video provider.
- It heavily relies on content marketing combining the best use of innovation, the latest technology, creative advertising, and real-time data analytics.
- Netflix’s key marketing principles include agility, innovation, integration, and placing the customer experience at the forefront.
- Netflix’s unique content collection in the form of “Netflix Originals” is what helps them sustain the business.
- One of the crucial lessons to learn from Netflix’s marketing strategy is that though their product/service is best accessed and experienced on a large screen, their promotional content is highly mobile optimized.
- One of the most important aspects of Netflix’s marketing strategy is providing a seamless viewing experience to their customers. There are no advertising breaks or any other pop-up interruptions when watching a film or a series on Netflix.
- Netflix knows their audience really close and exceptionally well, and they use this information to churn successful video content.
- Some of the impressive elements of Netflix’s digital marketing model are various campaigns, social media posts, mobile-optimized content, personalization, and humor used in advertising.
All of Netflix’s successful modern marketing strategies have one shared element. The brand dares to be different. It constantly tries to explore unorthodox and imaginative ways of marketing and promoting its content and services.
Bandersnatch, Black Mirror, Stranger Things are all fine examples of how Netflix mixed a little bit of its promotional creativity into the content of the shows it offers to its users. It makes an effort to form a connection with its users. Netflix’s will to push boundaries and churn endlessly unique content is one of the greatest marketing lessons of this era.
Netflix aims to provide the best customer experience by deploying valuable propositions.
Netflix uses a generic competitive advantage strategy to generate new content for its existing subscribers efficiently. This intensive growth strategy aims to grow the business through new operations outside the current online streaming business of the company.
Netflix effectively uses social listening. Video marketing is at the core of its social media strategy. It produces more video content than any other content type on social media. These videos promote the upcoming films and series, giving the audience a sneak peek into their expectations.
Brand recognition, personalization algorithms, and an increasing number of production studios for original content on Netflix are its main strength.
Some streaming platforms that pose a direct competition to Netflix include Amazon Prime Video, Disney + Hotstar, Youtube TV, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount + Viacom CBS.