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March is a very encouraging month for binge activities. It is still mostly winter and cold in many places, so Netflix remains a favorite go-to, especially with new seasons of House of Cards typically released around this time.
On top of that, there’s of course March Madness, where millions of people fill out tournament brackets and watch hours of basketball a day. There’s also spring cleaning that can take hold of anyone, even non-neat freaks.
But binge experiences are not just seasonal phenomenons. From online shopping to TV streaming to Spotify to “getting lost” in Wikipedia, interest in any subject can become voluntarily intense. The compound verb “binge-watch” has even been officially added to the Oxford Dictionary.
I’m definitely no exception. When I get hot on something whether it’s a new author, band, or filmmaker, I deep dive to learn and experience as much as possible on the person or thing in a very short period of time – I want to know everything immediately.
This is a crucial concept for all marketers to understand – when you’ve grabbed someone’s interest, everything needs to be shiny and ready for their binge experience into your brand and product.
To be prepared for this, let’s look at 3 key ways marketers can ensure that their content is aligned for a binge experience.
It seems like a simple point, but there’s a lot of content out there and not all your customers are going to be looking in the same place or for the same thing. Browse around the web from the perspective of one of your buyers and see what you can find. Are your answers to their questions showing up? And are they in the right places?
Your content should be spread out and promoted across multiple channels, but also be appropriate for each.
If you’re promoting an ebook on social media like Twitter or LinkedIn, consider creating a short infographic of the ebook that can hook people in quick, and then lead to the ebook – a path to start a binge experience. If you just link straight to the ebook, the time investment may be too much for the browser, and they’ll move on.
YouTube has taken over the second-place spot as the most popular search engine. Do you have a YouTube presence? Does it aim to drive interest and lead to more content? If you don’t have any overview videos currently, try posting a broad webinar or demo video.
Once you have someone on your website or even in an email nurture stream, do your different content pieces offer a basic introduction-body-conclusion? Again, put yourself in the shoes of a prospect or lead - what would they firstneed to know, and then what would they next want to know?
Typically, prospects would want to know at a high level what the problem your organization is solving. These would be the introduction pieces that identify situations prospects might find themselves in and how you can help them, without going too far into product details.
These pieces need strong CTAs that continue the narrative on to more in depth pieces of content with increasing specifics.
The more bottom-of-the-funnel conclusion pieces can really talk in detail about your products and services – which ones are right for each individual and how to actually get them rolling with your organizations.
All these pieces should be easy to navigate in the resource areas on your site.
Of course, every buyer’s path will be different, and rarely will it be discovery, then 1-2-3 sale! Buyer’s will come and go at different places in the funnel, with different knowledge backgrounds, and at different speeds. But when you have someone on a content binge, ready to spend hours of focus on your product, you want to be able to feed that interest without any roadblocks.
Subjects aside, content is not one size fits all. You could have a great variety in subject across the usual mediums like blog, ebook, and whitepapers, but what if parts of your audience are totally sick of blogs and don’t have time for a lengthy white paper?
By offering an assortment of content formats, you allow visitors to choose their own preference. Take the example of turning an ebook into an infographic that we went over in the first question, by diversifying larger piecesof content into smaller, more snackable pieces you create both an alternative experience and an additional asset.
Some people respond better to video, some to infographics, some to blogs, and some to 30-page white papers. Hitting on the right format will keep visitors that much more engaged and coming back for more.
Consider turning slideshares into webinars or vice versa to make two different experiences available. You can also tease longer-form pieces by turning aspects of them into interactive content. For example, turning a white paper chapter into a “How Much Do You Know?” quiz, or taking a case study’s stats and making a calculator where buyers can apply the results to their own situation.
To circle back to Netflix’s House of Cards, at the 2013 MacTaggart Lecture Kevin Spacey spoke directly to a room full of television executives telling them to go with the flow and give audiences "what they want, when they want it. If they want to binge then we should let them binge."
As audiences become more accustomed to that freedom of consumption, your content needs keep pace. Creating a variety of formats that are easily available and lead to further content lets you meet those binge seekers at their level. When someone is excited about your product, sometimes it’s best to just give them the keys and get out of the way.