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Social Spotlight: How Netflix uses social to create a brand experience

Welcome to the Social Spotlight, where each week we’ll dive deep into what we love about a brand’s approach to a specific social campaign. From strategy through execution and results, we’ll examine what makes the best brands on social tick — and leave you with some key takeaways to consider for your own brand’s social strategy.

One of the first things I learned about getting–and keeping–an audience’s attention is that you have to give them something they can’t get anywhere else. And if you’re Netflix, well–you’ve got a lot to offer.

Overview

Netflix has gotten a lot right in its 22 years in ebusiness, from knowing when to go all-in on a digital platform, to building the gold standard of recommendation algorithms. Not to mention scores of hit original series and a brand name drop in one of the more ubiquitous memes of the 2010s. 

And the same savvy that’s served Netflix well on the product side extends to marketing, especially social. There the brand has leaned hard into a “fan’s fan” persona by hiring movie and TV buffs to man its accounts and eschewing a multi-layered content approval process in favor of well-documented social guidelines that apply to the company as a whole. The resulting brand voice is approachable, clever without trying and authentic to the reason Netflix is beloved in the first place: people love to talk about what they’re watching.

But perhaps the biggest coup of all for Netflix on social is the ability to capitalize on the brand’s unique value propositions. You can’t get Stranger Things anywhere other than Netflix’s service, and you definitely can’t get Stranger Things behind-the-scenes content anywhere other than Netflix’s social handles. 

Analysis

Netflix drive a lot of social conversation–to the tune of 1.7 million brand mentions and 30 million engagements in the first two weeks of September alone, according to Sprout’s Listening data. Let’s take a look at what all of that volume is designed to do for the brand, both online and offline:

  • Goals: Similar to last week’s Spotlight brand, Marshalls,  Netflix’s strategy seems to focus on the key objectives of brand loyalty and awareness, with brand loyalty doing the heavy lifting to drive awareness. Because they’re so epically good at leaning into their unique value prop – namely, awesome content you can’t get anywhere else – loyalty is built into their social approach. If you love Riverdale, you want to go beyond the content in the show itself–to BTS peeks, star profiles, fan predictions–and following Netflix on social is the easiest way to do it.But driving awareness of its offerings is not far behind as a goal, and Netflix is at the enviable stage in its development where its product is part of the fabric of our social culture. Take, for instance, turning fan favorite moments from its original content into shareable gifs to arm followers with the perfect, oh-so-relevant social sentiment for any situation.
  • Offline connection: Most B2C brands face the challenge of bringing a physical product to life in the digital and social space. Netflix, on the other hand, has wisely gone all-in to extend its online product to the IRL experiences of its audience in order to keep the brand top of mind. One great example is bringing to reality a key element of its Black Mirror series: the cultural kryptonite “people rating” app RateMe from the show’s third season. But lest the brand leave your physical body craving more Netflix, it’s also gone so far as to produce accelerometer-powered socks that will pause your binge session if you fall asleep, so you don’t miss a single minute of Mindhunter.
  • Key channels: Netflix’s channel strategy has evolved in the past few years, as the popularity of its service has made it the leader in content streaming. Instagram in particular has emerged as a key channel for “extra” content – behind-the scenes peeks, selfies from stars and a look at what life on set is like. The brand is also highly active on Twitter, where it takes advantage of being able to listen in on what its fans are talking to and create reasons for Netflix to join the conversation (You’s awkward silences, anyone?).

    But my favorite move in Netflix’s considerable repertoire is not being afraid to segment its audience by interest across multiple social profiles and personas. The relatively recent launches of dedicated Twitter handles for Strong Black Lead (African-American pop culture), Netflix is a Joke (comedy) and Netflix Family (G-rated fun) have broadened the idea of Netflix’s “brand voice” and created a more inclusive, authentic and relevant social experience for its diverse fan base. There are even Netflix-moderated Facebook groups that bring super fans of specific shows together to debate plot twists and share theories.
  • Hot take: One thing I’d love for Netflix to consider more thoughtfully is hashtags usage on Twitter and Instagram. Netflix shares a TON of content of varying purposes, and hashtags would serve as a way-finding device for followers to find the information, entertainment or content they’re looking for from Netflix.

Takeaways

No hyperbole here, Netflix is simply killing it. From an authentic and diverse brand voice to leaning hard on unique, ownable value props in social, Netflix is making the most of their position as a content leader and extending the pleasure their product provides to the social experience for their fans.

TL;DR:

  1. I said it last week and I’ll say it again: Find something that is specific and unique about your brand, product or service experience and lean into it. YOU own your products or services, YOU own your brand assets and voice, YOU own your customer experience. It’s the ultimate competitive advantage it will immediately elevate your social strategy.
  2. Real authenticity in brand voice requires bravery, which includes knowing when you don’t have the depth of knowledge, interest or resources to keep up with your fans–and being willing to turn the keys to your social voice over to someone who does.
  3. Take your relationship with data to the next level. Social is the Rosetta Stone for unlocking your audience’s true needs and desires, and you can answer those desires on a personal level if you’re listening and paying attention to your customer data.

This post Social Spotlight: How Netflix uses social to create a brand experience originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

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10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild

Hey, friend, have you heard the good news about podcasts? 

Given the most recent stats, it’s highly likely you have. Over half of all Americans over 12 years of age have listened to at least one. Podcasts have well and truly hit the mainstream. In other words, the gold rush is on for brands looking to connect with a highly-engaged, long-attention-span audience.

However, getting a podcast up and running isn’t as simple as publishing a blog. We recently published an entire B2B podcasting webinar to walk you through the entire process, from conception to publication. This post will zero in on the choices you need to make and the steps you need to take to release your podcast into the wild.

B2B Podcasting Launch Checklist: 10 Steps

Sure, you could just upload your audio to your web server, add an RSS feed, and call it good. But if you want people to actually find and listen to your podcast, there are a few extra steps you should take. This checklist will help your podcast find an audience and start building a subscriber base.

via GIPHY

#1: Choose Your Hosting Platform

A podcast syndication platform makes it easy to publish your podcast and get listed in directories. Think of it like WordPress is for your blog — it hosts the files, makes them look pretty, and makes it so people can find them.

Most platforms will also give you embed codes for embedding episodes in blog posts or on a landing page. You’ll also get stats on how many people are downloading episodes, and on what program they’re listening.

We prefer Libsyn as our hosting platform. Podbean, buzzsprout, and Blubrry are also solid options. They all have a free tier of hosting, but you’ll want to pay a few bucks a month for bandwidth and analytics.

#2: Upload Your First Three Episodes

Podcasting is all about establishing a regular cadence (more on that later). But for launch, you’ll want to have at least three episodes ready to go. There are a few reasons for publishing multiple episodes for your debut:

  1. One episode may not be enough to convince people to subscribe. 
  2. Multiple episodes show you’re committed to keeping the content coming.
  3. Most importantly, Apple podcasts requires at least three episodes to qualify for their “New and Noteworthy” section. 

So before you publish, have at least three episodes completed, and be ready to follow up with more at your promised publishing cadence.

#3:  Register with Podcast Directories

Podcasts are peculiar in terms of content delivery. Your hosting platform makes the files available, but most people will listen to your podcast on their chosen podcast app. Each app maintains its own directory — think of it as a search engine for podcasts. 

Your podcast needs to be listed in their directory, or people won’t be able to find you. I recommend registering with at least these six:

  1. Apple Podcasts
  2. Google Podcasts
  3. Stitcher
  4. Podbean
  5. Spotify
  6. TuneIn

Each of these sites will ask for the RSS feed of your podcast, which your hosting platform will generate for you.

I created a podcast tracker to keep track of all these directories — sign up for the webinar and you can download it for free.

B2B Podcast Tracker

#4: Promote Internally

Gaining visibility on a podcast directory is tricky business. Apple and Google are where the majority of your listeners will be, and each employs an algorithm to promote podcasts in search results and feature pages.

How do you get an algorithm’s attention? Engagement! Start by promoting your podcast to all of your employees. Encourage them to subscribe on Apple or Google, give a rating, and write a brief (and honest) review. What’s more, draft some social messages and encourage everyone to promote the podcast to their networks, too.

That base level of initial engagement will help your podcast start finding its audience.

#5: Activate Your Influencers

Most podcasts are Q&A-style interviews with influential guests. If your podcast includes influencers in your industry, make sure they know as soon as their episode goes live. Give them the tools to promote the podcast easily:

  • Sample social messages
  • Social media images in the correct sizes
  • Embed codes

If your podcast doesn’t feature influencers, it’s worth re-evaluating your strategy for your next season. Influencer content not only is more valuable to your audience, it’s an indispensable channel for promotion.

#6: Publish Blog Posts

The one downside of audio content: It’s not super crawlable for SEO purposes. Granted, Google has started to auto-transcribe episodes and add them to search results, but the technology is still in the early stages.

To truly get some SEO juice from your podcast, we recommend embedding each podcast in a blog post. This example from the Tech Unknown Podcast by SAP* shows how simple it can be. All you need is an introduction, a few pull quotes, some key takeaways, and a transcript.

#7: Add Paid Promotion

As with any content, you want to use every tactic available to make sure it gets seen by your target audience. That’s especially true with podcasts, since podcast search engines are incredibly competitive.

Targeted, paid social promotion can help establish your subscriber base and get your new podcast some much-needed visibility.

It’s also worth considering cross-promotion on other podcasts. Consider both paid advertising and trading guest spots with a podcast that shares your target audience. 

#8: Solicit Listener Feedback

Ratings and reviews are essential to your podcast’s success. They’ll help provide social proof for new listeners and boost your search visibility in podcast directories. 

The best way to get ratings and reviews? Ask for them. Make it part of each episode’s sign-off. You can even encourage thoughtful reviews by reading the best ones on future episodes. You will engage your listeners and solicit more reviews at the same time.

#9: Keep Up Your Cadence

As with blog content, there’s no single “right” frequency to publish a podcast. Some of my favorite podcasts publish weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. The best cadence for your podcast is “However frequently you can reliably, regularly publish quality content.”

Choose your cadence with an eye to long-term sustainability, and tell your listeners explicitly how frequently you’ll publish. Whether it’s “See you next week,” or “PodcastTitle is a monthly podcast that…” listeners will find it easier to make your podcast a habit if you stick to a schedule.

#10: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose

In my last post on the content marketing benefits of B2B podcasting, I mentioned that podcasts are a content machine, and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to finish an episode, publish it, then forget it and move on to the next thing. But don’t do that! 

Pull snippets of audio content for social media. Turn them into short videos, too: Add a still image or a simple looping GIF for visual interest.

Use your transcriptions as fodder for future blog posts, quotes for influencer marketing, or even a stand-alone asset. 

Any way you can reuse that content can help bring more listeners to your podcast. What’s more, putting the content in a different medium can reach an audience who might not be into podcasts (yet). 

Check, Check, One Two

Launching a podcast is a little trickier than launching a new blog, especially if you’re new to the format. But if you follow this checklist, you can make sure your podcast is available on all the right channels and is ready to start attracting an audience.

Need more podcasting help? Check out our B2B Podcasting Webinar. In addition to learning the Four P’s of podcasting success, you’ll see me make this face:

B2B Podcasting Face

*Disclosure: SAP is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post 10 Crucial Steps for Launching Your B2B Podcast Into the Wild appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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