The Netflix Mentality: Casting a Wide Net With Content and Winning
Before you dive into this article, we’re assuming you’re on the same page with the following:
1. Brands who want to win know that content is king.
2. Brands who put out content know that providing unbiased value is king.
What do we mean by unbiased value?
1. Has no direct pitch or call to action (anywhere).
2. Serves the intended user entirely (no hidden motives or “join our list to see more” jargon).
3. May not directly relate to what you sell but is still 100% relevant to your customer.
Now, you might be asking: how do I make money if I don’t talk about what I sell?
This value-forward strategy should make up to 80% of the content your business puts out. That leaves 20% to straight up make the hard sell. The concept is simple: gives so much that your audience feels guilty not buying from you.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, we introduce you to our personal content strategy for 2020 and beyond:
The Netflix Mentality
How to Cast a Wider Net with Your Content and Win
When it comes to providing as much value to your audience as humanly possible, there’s a mental shift that all brands (product or service-based) need to understand:
You are no longer a business selling your business.
Example: You are no longer a mattress store selling mattresses.
You are now an editorial business talking about any single thing that your business’ audience is interested in.
Example: You are now “Good Sleep Times” discussing bedtime meditations, proper posture, and interior design.
Two rules apply to make this work:
1. Any content is passable as long as your targeted customer is interested / finds value in it.
2. You cannot (under any circumstance) mention your business and/or the thing you sell. Ever.
To put it plainly: You’re not the magazine advertisement; you’re the magazine.
And to bring it back to the title of this article: You aren’t ’Orange is the New Black’. You are Netflix.
Netflix isn’t putting out a show called “Netflix”. They’re putting out thousands of pieces of content (for now: tv shows or movies) intended for all sorts of audiences. They’ve casted a wide net. Now, Netflix is for literally every person on the planet. Their target customer is the globe. If the inventors of Netflix would have sat down in a room and said “what is the Netflix show” it would’ve been a bust. Think wider.
Diversifying Your Brand’s Content
Now that you understand the strategy, let’s break down how you can diversify your brand’s content regardless of industry or offering.
Step 1: Identify your audience.
The key to nailing this strategy is truly understanding your current audience and potential audience. Let’s say you sell soap. You may currently be marketing to Boomer moms for thoughtful gift ideas, but your potential audience can also include:
- Eco warrior moms
- Crunchy millennials
- Middle America Boomers
- Dads in need of a thoughtful gift
- Hotels that want local products
- Other soap makers looking for advice
- Other small businesses looking for advice
Step 2: Craft your net.
Decide how wide of a net you want to cast by brainstorming a list of topics that could in some way be tied back to your product or service.
Your promotional video that says “Hey, Buy My Soap!” becomes something else entirely; something that your viewers would choose to voluntarily watch (and share):
- Soapmaking for Beginners
Targets: Eco warrior moms, Crunchy millennials, Middle America boomers, Other (aspiring) soap makers
- Navigating the DIY Industry: My first year in business
Targets: Other soap makers, Other small businesses
- Can Soap Be Profitable? A Soap Company’s 2019 P+L Report
Targets: Other soap makers, Other small businesses
- 10 Gifts that say “Sorry I Finished That Netflix Show Without You”
Targets: Dads in need of a thoughtful gift, Crunchy millennials
- Your Complete At-Home Spa Guide
Targets: Eco warrior moms, Crunchy millennials, Middle America boomers
- Zero Waste Products for Your Tiny Home
Targets: Eco warrior moms, Crunchy millennials
- Soap Test: We Tried 10 Homemade Bars
Targets: Eco warrior moms, Crunchy millennials, Middle America boomers, Other soap makers
Each piece of content speaks to a different type of customer, but they all point back to your website (and shop).
Because we gave the mattress store and soap examples earlier, let’s use a service-based business now and assume you’re a Social Media Strategist. Instead of a Pinterest ad that says, “Instagram Management Starting at $500/mo”, you could use the Netflix Mentality to produce a wider range of relevant content:
- Your Favorite Disney Classics in 3 Emojis or Less
- Dating on Twitter: Do’s and Don’ts
- State of Social Media: 2020
- Marketing to Boomers using Linkedin
- Facebook Advertising: How Far $10 Will Get You
- What Myspace Taught Us About Personal Branding
- DIY Website Quiz: Which Platform Should I Use?
The above content could be targeted towards Disney fans, Millennials in Tech, Other creative agencies, etc. As long as you know who your audience is and what they’re interests are, it’s simply a matter of cross pollinating those interests until you make a new form of content.
Step 3: Collaborate
This step is perhaps the most crucial of all if the above ideas make your head spin. Producing high-value content takes time, and the easiest workaround is to collaborate with others who can also provide value to your audience. Maybe you’re a Social Media Strategist and your audience is also really interested in legal practices for small businesses - collaborate with a friend who can speak to that topic have them as a guest on your blog (or podcast, or in-person workshop).
Another way to “collaborate” in a sense is to create content that “rounds up” scattered information across the internet. Let’s say you’re that soap maker again… maybe a big portion of your audience is other Etsy sellers. A blog idea would be to catalog every single handmade soap shop on Etsy, link to their name, number of sales, average sales per day, and number of types of products, titled “The Definitive Guide to Buying Soap on Etsy”. Because you’re creating healthy backlinks for those shops, they then share the content and bring more eyes to your website or blog.
The Netflix Mentality when broken down is simple:
Create content that casts a wide net > Draw the attention of a large number of people > Bring their eyes to your site or shop.
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