There was a time when entertainment for us was to sit in front of our idiot boxes and wait for our favorite shows and movies. But OTT changed the game, and today streaming our favorite movies and series online is a thing. People love the internet more than ever because we got to see the best content online.
So discussing OTT and not mentioning Netflix is just not done, right?
Netflix is the most successful streaming platform, and in this article, we are going to find out the reason for its success. The marketing strategy of Netflix is what makes users stream on the platform.
Netflix journey and stats of success
Netflix started in 1998 and provided services physical copies of movie shows and video games through mailing systems. In 2007 it transformed from a mail order service to an online streaming platform. In 2013 Netflix’s subscriber base was 34 million users, and today, in 2021, it has 207.64 million subscribers worldwide.
But reaching over 200 million customers is not easy. Netflix spends a whopping 17 million U.S. dollars on creating its video content. Also, Netflix spends 2.23 billion U.S. dollars on its marketing to build its subscriber base.
So, what are these marketing strategies that Netflix spends on and how does it attracts millions of users, binge on this article to find out the answer.
Marketing Strategy of Netflix
Netflix follows multi-channel marketing and utilizes social media, print media, website, Youtube, billboards, and various other channels for promotions. Netflix does not only spends a huge budget on campaigns but also utilizes the cost-effective tactics of marketing. So stream on the most successful marketing strategies of Netflix.
Nowadays, marketers use personalization in their marketing strategies to make better relationships with customers. But Netflix is one step forward in personalization. Hyper-personalization is a tactic that Netflix uses to build relationships with customers.
If you are a Netflix user, you must’ve got a push message from Netflix suggesting any movie or series you might like. Also, in their application, they prepare a list of “top picks for (your name).” Using the user’s name instead of using “top picks for you” makes a big difference. After all, we got a name, and we would love to hear it from Netflix.
In addition to this, in Netflix’s email marketing, they follow personalization as a key to communicate better.
Personalization gives the users a sense of attachment with the brand, and it builds a strong connection with them. So never forget your customers’ name and their preferences.
Pure content (no ads)
Selling a product by creating an ad is fine, but how would you create an ad for an OTT platform?
Learn from the “Ad Guru” how to use your OTT platform’s content for promotions. Netflix has the original best series and movies that are enough to attract the audience to their streaming platform. The content they offer is movies and series, and they know how to use them to create advertisements. Netflix uses snippets from their movies/series or popular scenes to form their advertisements.
Netflix’s social media adverts, youtube ads, and other digital are purely based on their content.
One can confuse Netflix’s social media page for a meme page. The OTT platform knows well that Millenials and the Gen Z generation love memes, so they use meme marketing strategy to target the audience.
Moreover, most of the memes they create are based on their content to draw the audience’s attention to their streaming platform.
But why would the audience subscribe to their streaming platform after watching one of their memes?
Here’s the reason why. Today’s audience wants to know everything, and when it comes to memes, they wanna know it all. Imagine your friend shares a meme, and you don’t get it. Well, that’s a bummer. So when Netflix shares a meme that you don’t understand, you would want to watch the series/movie it is related to. And you subscribe because you want to have a good laugh.
If you think that big brands like Netflix make a huge investment in their marketing campaign, then you are wrong. The marketing strategy of Netflix includes guerilla marketing which is a non-conventional and low-cost practice to promote a brand. But the results guerilla marketing brings are big in numbers.
For the promotions of Narcos’s third season, Netflix created a guerilla marketing campaign and recreated a LA drug scene from the mid-’90s when Cali Cartel was operating to a great extent. They put transparent stickers with images of rolled-up dollar bills with coke residue in nightclubs in areas where the use of cocaine was rising during the ’90s. The stickers had Netflix and Narcos banding and read “Herein the 90s? There’s an 80% the powder came from Cali Cartel.”
In another guerilla campaign for Gilmore Girls, Netflix transformed more than 200 coffee shops in the US and Canada into “Luke’s Diner,” featured in the series.
The “Netflix is a joke” guerilla campaign by the streaming platform was a success. It gave a message that Netflix is creating some of the best content, and it definitely is not a joke (and we all agree).
To promote a brand, you have to be responsive to the current events and occasions happening around you. If we talk about Netflix, they are well aware of the going events and use them perfectly in their marketing strategy.
It was father’s day on June 20, and Netflix made a post featuring some of the characters that played the role of the father in their movies/series.
When ‘Friends Reunion’ was announced, Netflix used it as an opportunity to promote their platform and attract audiences who never watched friends or the ones who already watched it.
Also, Netflix shared IGTVs, content creator’s Friends-themed reels, and posts to increase their viewership. Friends Reunion was hyped, and Netflix used this hype to attract audiences. Marketing in the moment is what they did here.
Staying in Trend
Trends are meant to be followed, and if you are promoting a brand, the best way to promote it is by being trendy. Netflix keeps up with the trend to create its marketing strategy. Well, we have already discussed how it uses memes and moment marketing to promote its brand. But Netflix also makes perfect use of social media trends like launching filters for Snapchat and Instagram.
On Instagram, the filter for reels and story are in trend. Netflix has launched various filter media on its famous original series like Bojack Horsemen, Stranger things, and Money Heist.
Netflix also launched “Stranger things world Lens” on Snapchat, which was a tactic to promote Stranger Things which is one of the biggest hit series by Netflix.
So that’s how they follow trends and attract their trendy customers.
What makes the people talk about something more?
Well, if the people know less about something, they will talk more about it. Netflix sells itself using this tactic. Netflix releases snippets and drops hints for their upcoming releases. It forms an urge in the audience to know what the brand is planning, and it creates a lot of excitement in the audience. All this becomes a topic of all the chatters.
Bird Box was one the most successful Original film by Netflix, and the reason was the buzz surrounding it. Internet was the main reason behind its success. Its viral content and memes mocking movie scenes created a lot of buzz and garnered huge viewership. The irony is that the movie made such a success with terrible reviews and ratings.
In March, Netflix India shared a video that included small glimpses of all the upcoming series and movies on the streaming platform. The video was a powerful buzz marketing tactic. Also, Netflix stated that they are offering everything on the menu for fans of different genres like drama, horror, suspense, family, comedy, and just everything.
Well, this obviously made the Indian audience rush for Netflix subscriptions.
Netflix’s streaming platform has faced heat for its bold content. Moreover, the brand has created a lot many controversies for its series and movies. But there is a thing about marketing, if you are selling something controversial, people are going to purchase it cause that’s human nature, and we love things that surround controversies.
The hashtag #CancelNetflix was trending when a French Film Cuties was accused of sexualizing young girls.
Another controversial film by Netflix is 365 days which people accused of eroticizing Stockholm syndrome and called the series softcore porn. Also, a petition was signed for the removal of the movie because it glamorizes rape culture. Despite these controversies, it was among the top 10 watches in many countries.
13 Reasons Why is also one of the series that came in light of controversies as it depicted teen suicide and was caused for doing “more harm than good”
Now, these are some controversies that did more good than harm to Netflix.
Search Engine Optimization
Do you know what is a strong SEO strategy, well it’s the one that takes you to the top in just a week? Yes, and we are referring to Netflix when it regained its top position on search results in 2017. It was like a comeback of Netflix on SERPs.
Netflix uses simple and catchy keywords like watch movies, watch movies online, TV online, and TV shows, to appear in search results. Also, if you search for a specific movie available on Netflix you will find it in search results. Netflix has a domain authority of 90 out of 100, which justifies its strong SEO.
One key takeaway from the marketing strategy is that you don’t need to incur huge costs for marketing your brand. The strategies that Netflix uses prominently are buzz marketing, marketing on social media, guerilla campaigns.
If you have limited funds, then you can use these strategies to reach your customers. It’s just that if your brand is good enough, you only need to focus on creating a great marketing strategy, and by great, we do not mean costly. If you want to create a low-cost strategy for your brand, then you can get a lesson from the marketing strategy of Netflix.