Up late. Frantic. Staring at the television looking for something … anything … to hold my attention and keep it. Minute to minute. Episode to episode. Season to Season. A journey worthy of Binge Watching to get caught up, and the impulsive purchase of the newest DVD or singular episode online to keep the fix going.
Yeah, I am a mess, but thankfully … Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan’s recent visit to the Eloqua Experience stage in San Francisco did take a bit of the sting out with tidbits about characters that weren’t supposed to survive but did, and other salacious details about his Emmy-Winning program. Plus, he delivered a bonus reel of tips to marketing storytellers so they can use his tricks of the trade to be better and more believable.
It got me thinking about how we can create binge-worthy content for our prospects and customers. I’m under no illusion that Breaking Bad or other favorites of mine in the binge-worthy category like House of Cards or Orange is the New Black or Downton Abbey have a distinct advantage over us as marketers. Aside from the mediums of television or its Internet equivalent Netflix, they are specifically designed to suspend reality with phantasmagoric moments to lose ourselves in. It certainly doesn’t hurt that binge-worthy also have at their disposal superb actors and state-of-the-universe cinematography and writing. Marketing content, even with celebrity endorsements, is in the reality business.
So then, what would it take to give a heavy dose of reality to a person on a journey of self-discovery of a different sort? The “What do I need to do my job better so I can keep it or get a better one?” journey.
A Recipe for Binge Worthiness
If you put your prospect in the protagonist Walter White position with a well-mapped out sense of that person’s fears, desires, common quirks and short-comings, there is absolutely no reason you or I can’t create episodic marketing content that holds attention and encourages a healthy addiction for the next installment.
Here are a few reasons why content becomes binge worthy and how you can put a dose of that into your own marketing content.
1. It satisfies a craving
2. It often has the ending written first
3. It serve a community before its creators
4. It does the unexpected
5. It has an unyielding commitment to be true its characters, its story and its desired outcome
6. It knows when to shut up and leave ‘em wanting more
You can do that. I know you can. You know why?
I firmly believe your company exists and is successful because it satisfies a craving and serves a need. Your customers prove you have a story worth telling.
The landmines in this endeavor for most are staying true to the people they’re trying to help, knowing where to share that information and then being confident enough to put in a cliff-hanger in the online or offline conversation so prospects or customers have a chance to miss them a bit.
The rest of it is just a commitment to not be self-important, undisciplined, lazy or unimaginative. That stuff can be overcome with a plan, a process and people to help you so you don’t fail on the execution and distribution of content people will truly want to consume.
If you want to hear about how we’re tackling this at Digital C4 be sure to reach out.
Until then, here’s a binge-worthy nugget from the folks at Beutler Ink to put on your cube wall to see the brilliance of Vince Gilligan, his amazing team of scribes and the people who create believable characters.