The best shows are unapologetically formulaic, with predictable storylines and characters that stick to their roots. They’re also highly bingeable—the perfect recipe for a hit show on TV. While they may seem lazy or simplistic in concept, these formulas have allowed certain series to become massive worldwide successes.
The “marketing communications discovery, creation and conversations pdf” is a blog post about bingeable series. The blog post talks about why content formulas are not lazy and are actually hallmarks of bingeable series.
Imagine 31 films with stories that are all quite similar. Some of the main actors are the same (with a different character name and job). Members of the cast appear in supporting parts throughout the film. Every premiere takes happen over the course of two months on the same cable channel.
That monotony seems like a recipe for failure, right?
Wrong. It’s the Hallmark Channel’s remarkable success formula that other platforms (including Netflix) are studying and copying.
It also provides a cause for content marketers to rethink the notion that if they want to attract and retain viewers, they must generate unique or wholly original material.
Isn’t it true that unique content is required to attract audiences? According to @AnnGynn (via @SagaReach Marketingcontent), the success of the @HallmarkChannel formula may cause you to reconsider this in #ContentMarketing. To Tweet, just click here.
You’re undoubtedly acquainted with Hallmark movies, whether you like them, dislike them, or don’t care. To refresh your memory, here’s how the formula works:
- A lady undergoes a life shift and relocates to a new location that is only meant to be temporary. It’s usually a journey to see relatives or a temporary move for a job.
- She runs into a problem while she’s there: the family company is collapsing, or the owner of a property her employer wants to buy refuses to sell.
- She also meets a guy with whom she had a disagreement – a former classmate who she no longer likes and who works for a rival of her job.
- As she strives to fix her problem, she realizes that the man is really helpful and not the terrible person she had assumed.
- The pair learns they are attracted to one another.
- She opts to remain, and the film concludes with a kiss.
Why does it work to repeat the same narrative every day for months, if not the whole year (Hallmark has extended their storytelling strategy beyond Christmas to include all four seasons)? Is the Hallmark strategy applicable to content marketing?
Let’s have a look.
1. Original material isn’t necessary (always).
Spend less time attempting to come up with innovative ideas and distinctive material by taking a leaf from Hallmark’s script. Remixed familiar material in new packaging works just as well, if not better, at attracting and growing audiences. Material signals that are easily recognized make it simpler to absorb the content and build expectations for simple to comprehend and gratifying results. (Hallmark movies are great for multitasking since you can quickly catch up if you don’t pay attention for a few minutes.)
I’m not implying that none of your stuff is unique or thought-provoking. To the common aspects in your content, you must nonetheless add your brand’s own twist and a fresh approach. Include a few unique ideas to appeal to individuals who are constantly looking for something new while also maintaining those who depend on the familiar to help them warm up to new ideas and methods.
Original ideas should be sprinkled throughout your #ContentMarketing, but familiar aspects should also be repeated. According to @AnnGynn of @SagaReach Marketingcontent, you’ll assist viewers warm up to the new concepts. To Tweet, just click here.
2. A single narrative isn’t always worthy of a marathon.
Repetition of a known tone, style, and narrative arc will not ensure quick content success. Hallmark began screening a few films a year before launching the full-fledged Countdown to Christmas movie marathon. The countdown, now in its 12th year, lasted from October 22 to December 19, with new films (including some double features) debuting every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (plus Thanksgiving).
After you’ve published or broadcast a few pieces of content with recognizable features, take a step back and see how your audience reacts. Analyze your data: During the first week or month, how many impressions or views did the material receive? How long do readers or viewers spend reading or watching it? How often do they respond to the call to action?
Your analytics queries should be directly related to your content marketing strategy’s objectives. Double down on the formula after you’ve figured out which content kind, topics, or narrative arc resonates the most.
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3. There’s no need for spoilers — it’s OK for the audience to know how the tale finishes.
Every Hallmark film has a happy ending. They may not be as popular if they didn’t. The security of knowing how things will come out is appealing to audiences. They don’t have to be concerned that the characters’ fates would be bleak.
Case studies have a similar function in marketing. A company would not publicize a customer tale that went wrong and was never resolved. Even though they know the conclusion will be favorable, audiences absorb them. They want to know what happened to lead to the customer’s successful result. What was the issue they needed to solve? How did they go about finding a solution? What made them choose yours? What advantages did they get from the solution?
4. Familiar faces are beneficial.
In most Hallmark movies, a recognizable face appears (or two). Candace Cameron Bure (Full House), Lacey Chabert (Party of Five), Tamera Mowry-Housley (Sister, Sister), and Danica McKellar (Sister, Sister) are among the performers who began their careers as youngsters (The Wonder Years).
In a single season, Hallmark also utilizes the same main performers — men and women – in many movies. They just move the pairings around so that the same actress and actor do not appear in the same season. Lacey Chabert, for example, appeared in Christmas Waltz, which premiered on Nov. 28 and Time for Us to Come Home at Christmas, which premiered on Dec. 5.
Audiences like seeing familiar faces. Consider include known people in your brand messages, such as sources or storytellers.
If you perform a photoshoot for a customer profile that appears in a digital magazine, for example, make sure that the client appears on your corporate website as one of the faces. This method allows your readers to see someone they may know from prior material, and it conveys an authenticity that stock pictures cannot.
Create a video series in which each episode has a different thought leader as the host or presenter.
Note: Improve on Hallmark’s diversity formula. Here’s where I don’t advise you to imitate Hallmark. The network’s lack of diversity in casting, particularly for main characters, was criticized a few years ago, leading to this 2019 Saturday Night Live skit:
Since then, Hallmark has progressed (though it still has a long way to go.)
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5. Consider making sequels to well-known tales.
Some Hallmark movies are so successful that they are remade every year. Is there anything in your box that screams for a sequel or perhaps a spinoff series?
You may conduct a follow-up content piece if you’ve featured individuals or companies to see what’s changed and what hasn’t since you last shared their story. If a podcast episode generates a lot of downloads or listens, consider “what’s next” subjects and put them to the editorial schedule.
Consider giving someone a video or podcast show if you discover someone who shines in front of an audience.
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6. Having a larger audience does not need a larger expense.
For a single Christmas season, Hallmark holiday movies get roughly 80 million viewers, somewhat more than Netflix shows like The Crown or The Witcher, which cost far more to create.
Hallmark movies recycle filming locations (as well as narrative ideas) and whatever else they can. When performers’ contracts encompass many films, they may be eligible for a package deal discount.
As you consider how to get the most out of your content marketing budget, keep this technique in mind. Examine the material you’re planned and the resources you’ll need to put it together. Then seek for methods to save money on packaging. Could you, for example, save time and money by writing all the screenplays and filming them all at once if you’re aiming to release a monthly video? (You’ll have to decide if your on-camera talent should all wear the same attire or switch it up.)
Alternatively, if you know you’ll need freelancers to write many articles over the next six months, you may save time by hiring one skilled writer and writing a single contract that covers all of them. You may even ask for a discount if you buy in quantity.
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7. Be prepared for imitators.
The huge popularity of Hallmark movies generated a slew of imitators. This Christmas season, Lifetime will screen over 35 comparable films. It aired 30 episodes last year, featuring the first same-sex main narrative. (Later that season, Hallmark broadcast its first film starring a homosexual couple, with a sequel planned for 2021.) There are also romantic Christmas movies available on Netflix, Peacock, and other streaming services.
Be gratified when other businesses copy your work, but don’t rest on your (not-so) unique narrative laurels. Even if your formula still works for your audience, consider what changes you may make to maintain your material current, relevant, and recognizable to them.
Don’t rest on your laurels as a storyteller. Consider tiny changes to your formula to keep your #content seeming current, relevant, and (yet) familiar, advises @AnnGynn of @SagaReach Marketingcontent. To Tweet, just click here.
I’ll follow the Hallmark approach and provide you exactly what you want — a clear resolution. By observing the Hallmark model’s success, fans, non-fans, and even detractors may learn a lot about what to do – and what not to do.
The lesson of the tale is that audiences want to ingest known content. You can produce comfy content that works for them and your company with a little forethought.
Are you looking for additional content marketing advice, ideas, and examples? Subscribe to SagaReach Marketing’s daily or weekly newsletters.
Joseph Kalinowski/SagaReach Marketing/SagaReach Marketing/SagaReach Marketing/SagaReach Marketing/SagaReach
“The “top binge-worthy” shows are the ones that you can’t stop watching. They’re addictive, they’re compelling, and they make you want to watch more.” Reference: top binge worthy shows.
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