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Likitha A
Likitha A February 29, 2024

Tu-dummm! The sound that sets the tone for your long, binge-worthy entertainment sessions. Be it movies, shows, documentaries, original productions, or anime, the list just goes on. This OTT giant has it all for you. Yes, we are talking about none other than the pioneer of streaming services and the indisputable *drum roll* NETFLIX!

The global entertainment powerhouse that has over 231 Million Subscribers and is available in over 190 countries worldwide.

But what did Netflix do so differently than its competitors to become the G.O.A.T? Well, they have achieved this not only with great content but also a Sensational Marketing Strategy.

If you are thinking what so sensational about it, we have you covered. Let’s get right into it.

Netflix is NOT a Joke: All you need to know about Netflix’s Marketing Strategy!

Netflix was founded in 1997 by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. It simply means “internet movies,” translated literally; “net” is short for internet, and “flix” is a lazy way to spell “flicks,” which was slang for movies back then. However, it was not until 2007 that they actually rolled out a streaming service. 

They effectively expanded services globally and generated $33.7 billion in revenue in 2023, a 6.6% increase year-on-year, which is ten times higher than their annual revenue a decade ago.

Why does Netflix have the largest number of subscribers, though? The simple answer is diversity. Because it caters to everyone, irrespective of age or language. From movies to shows, documentaries to anime, and originals to K-dramas. THEY HAVE IT ALL!

But having diverse content isn’t only their greatest suit. It also has a strategy that is:

  • Data-driven 
  • Innovative
  • Customer-centric 
  • Hyper-personalized 
  • Omnipresent 

Let us now look at how they engage their users and what strategies they stick to. 

Cracking the Code: How Netflix Slays Marketing

Although Netflix pioneered streaming services and changed the way we watch television, it has enticed others to copy its success formula. Amazon started its video streaming platform around 2016, as did Disney and other cable services. This was a significant challenge to Netflix in 2022, yet they are still at the top of the charts. 

And how did they do that? Let’s look at what they got right!

➤ Hyper-Personalized Content: Knows what you want before you!

The moment you open your Netflix account, voilà, there’s everything you need right before you! A personalized home page made just for you with the shows/movies you started but never finished, a separate section for the content you might like to watch based on your previous watch history, a curated list of new releases, and so on. Oh, and it also has a number suggesting how closely your taste aligns with specific content.

All of this leads to one thing we all dread, but we do it anyway – Binge-watching. We have all been there and done that. And that’s another essential factor that Netflix capitalized on!

➤ Consistent Brand Voice: Just think of Red and Black!

Think of ‘N,’ or the red and black color scheme, or the iconic Tu-dumm intro music. Most importantly, it has a layout that’s clean, modern, and readable, which helps you browse through its catalog in a jiffy. These minimalistic design elements helped Netflix stand out and achieve its brand recognition. 

But how did such a simple and minimalistic approach help them? The answer is consistency. It’s not an overnight leap. It was years of hard work and consistent promotions.

It is not just the design but also their fantastic content strategy that differentiates it from the rest. The high-quality original content is the reason for recurring customers and increased subscribers, resulting in their streaming content obligations amounting to USD 21.7 billion.

➤ Social Media Marketing: Memes, Celebs, and everything in between!

Beyond delivering top-quality content, they have also become popular on social media. 

Adapting and moving with the world as it changes helps Netflix stay fresh and relatable.

They have done this through a mix of behind-the-scenes content, interactive polls, celebrity posts, memes, fan engagement, etc., leading to millions of followers on various channels.

  • Instagram: 33 million
  • Facebook: 92 million
  • Twitter: 22.6 million
  • LinkedIn: 10 million
  • YouTube: 27.8 million

Netflix also has other social media accounts that have millions of followers collectively!

Besides churning out content that’s relevant and viral, Netflix also tries to stay as human, interactive, and engaging as possible. 

Netflix Social Media Marketing

They share clips of their movies & shows, post interactive polls that their followers can engage in, and encourage conversations and feedback

Netflix Social Media Marketing

#1 Meme Marketing

They have also jumped on the bandwagon of meme marketing for their millennial and genZ followers and come up with some hilarious and relatable memes. 

Like these!

Netflix Meme

You see how they love interacting with their followers, and it’s just on point. 

Netflix Meme

They posted more such trendy and cool memes, which made us fall in love with the platform all over again. 

Netflix Meme Marketing

They posted famous lines from their popular show (Bridgerton) and newly released show (The Recruit) and got thousands of likes and comments. 

#2 Celeb and Influencer Collabs

To increase their reach and visibility, they have been leveraging the power of collabs with celebrities and influencers. 

They have featured celebrities like Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams, Millie Bobby Brown, Lindsay Lohan, etc. 

Netflix Celebrity Marketing

Not just us, but many celebrities love their content, too. As a result, they’ve got a substantial following from celebrities on their accounts.  

➤ Guerrilla Marketing: Some shocks and surprises you’ll love!

Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that uses unconventional tactics to drive publicity and brand awareness. It was derived from Guerrilla warfare, where an element of surprise, or shock, takes the target by surprise.  

If you have given into the online buzz surrounding a Netflix show and ended up loving it, then you, my friend, have experienced the thrill of guerrilla marketing!

What is it? Let us look at examples that would make you go, “damn!”

1. Wednesday Takes New York by Storm

Netflix Guerrilla Marketing

You’re strolling through the streets of New York, and there’s a lone hand running down the sidewalk all by itself. Yes, Netflix brought “Thing” from Wednesday into the real world, causing quite a stir. 

This clever stunt not only grabbed the attention of passersby but also became a hot topic of conversation, showcasing their knack for blending such elements of their shows with our everyday reality​​.

2. Emily in Paris & McDonald’s McBaguette Affair

Netflix Marketing

Netflix knows a thing or two about mixing delicious with the delightful. In a tasteful collaboration with McDonald’s, they brought the charm of Emily in Paris right into the fast-food giant’s menu. 

The McBaguette promotion, inspired by the show, was a masterstroke in cross-brand synergy, offering fans a taste of their favorite series both literally and figuratively. This partnership didn’t just spice up the menu, but it also created a buzz that was très magnifique​​.

3. Stranger Things and Lyft’s Spooky Rides 

Netflix Marketing Strategy

Imagine hopping into your Lyft and suddenly finding yourself on a detour through Hawkins, Indiana. Netflix and Lyft teamed up to give riders a “Strange Mode” option, transforming ordinary rides into an immersive Stranger Things experience. 

This campaign was timed perfectly around Halloween, proving that Netflix’s marketing magic isn’t just about what’s on-screen but also about creating unforgettable real-world experiences.​

➤ Invoking a Sense of Community: Being responsible always helps!

Netflix’s ability to blend entertainment with social consciousness has positioned it as a leader not only in streaming but also in impactful storytelling. 

Here are some examples of their socially responsible efforts!

1. ‘13 Reasons Why’ Awareness Campaigns

Netflix Marketing Strategy

The controversial yet eye-opening series “13 Reasons Why” sparked intense conversations around mental health, bullying, and suicide. Recognizing its impact, Netflix launched a comprehensive awareness campaign alongside the series release. 

This included the creation of a website offering resources for those affected by the themes of the show, as well as discussion guides for educators and parents. 

2. ‘Our Planet’ and Environmental Consciousness

Netflix Marketing Strategy

In a majestic showcase of Earth’s natural beauty, “Our Planet,” a documentary series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, highlights the urgent need for conservation. 

Netflix used this series as a springboard for a global environmental campaign, partnering with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create an interactive website that offers viewers insight into the series’ filming locations and the conservation efforts underway. 

3. ‘The Crown’ and Historical Engagement

Netflix Marketing Strategy

While not shocking in the traditional sense, “The Crown” has engaged audiences worldwide with its meticulous portrayal of the British monarchy. Netflix cleverly used the series to foster a sense of community among history buffs and royal watchers, launching a companion podcast that delves deeper into the historical context of each episode. 

This approach augmented the viewing experience and sparked interest in historical research and discussion, creating a community of learners and enthusiasts united by their fascination with royal history.

Through these campaigns, Netflix demonstrates how content can transcend the screen and impact viewers’ lives, fostering a global community connected by shared experiences and values.

How do you implement Netflix’s Marketing Strategy into your Business?

Be the Master of Personalization

Netflix knows you better than your best friend, recommending just what you’re in the mood for. It’s like having a personal butler for your binge-watching needs. So, how do you roll out the red carpet for your customers? Start with data analytics. Understand your audience’s preferences, behaviors, and purchasing patterns. 

Then, tailor your marketing messages so they hit home every single time. Whether email marketing, product recommendations, or personalized offers, make your customers feel like VIPs at an exclusive premiere.

Content is King, but Diversity is the Queen

Netflix’s library is a mixed bag of genres, languages, and cultures. It’s like the United Nations of entertainment. To replicate this, diversify your content strategy. Don’t just stick to the vanilla blog posts or the same old sales pitches. Mix it up with videos, podcasts, webinars, and infographics. 

Cater to different tastes, preferences, and even languages if your audience is global. Show them that, just like Netflix, you’ve got something for everyone.

Create Buzz with Shock Value

Remember when “Stranger Things” dropped and the world went upside down? Netflix excels at creating moments that get everyone talking. Find your “Demogorgon” by launching campaigns that stand out for being bold, innovative, or controversial. 

It could be a groundbreaking product, a daring ad, or a unique customer experience. The goal? Make it so shockingly good that people can’t help but share it.

Foster a Sense of Community

Netflix isn’t just selling subscriptions; it’s creating a global fan club. Whether through interactive polls on Instagram, fan theories on Twitter, or meme contests on Facebook, they know how to keep the conversation going. For your business, think about how you can build your tribe. 

Engage with your audience on social media, create forums to share their experiences, and encourage user-generated content. Make them feel part of an exclusive club, united by their love (or obsession) for your brand.

Be Relentlessly Innovative

If Netflix were a person, it’d be that friend who’s always got a crazy new idea. From interactive episodes to virtual watch parties, they’re all about pushing the envelope. Keep your business on the cutting edge by embracing innovation. 

Stay updated with the latest trends, experiment with new technologies, and always be on the lookout for creative ways to engage your audience.

Luckily, achieving this needs no superpowers, and your brand can do this too. Check out how Upshot.ai can transform your marketing ROI and boost your engagement. 

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