By Guest Contributor Carlijn Postma
Author of Binge Marketing, Carlijn Postma, gives us an overview of her original binge marketing methodology to make your Christmas campaign binge-worthy to your clients and customers.
So far, I’ve explained that you can look at your brand as if it was a television series. Every piece of content is an episode of that same series in order to create serial content. Because, only with serial content you are able to build an audience. In this episode I will help you make your Christmas campaign part of, or the start of your brand series.
First of all, I would like to explain that a campaign is not my favourite word here. Campaigns are mostly used as ‘a period the sender has content and budget to establish short term goals. In itself there is no problem with that. But what actually happens in most cases, is that we pick a period on the calendar, spend our budget in creating a campaign and distribute it through different media. Once the time is up, the budget is gone, or the short-term targets have been met, we stop communicating and start working on the next campaign. That is not a long-term sustainable marketing strategy.
To illustrate that, I like to compare campaigns to cinema movies. You put all your assets in content and distribution, to have people watch your single piece of content once, and then they all go home again. Still, nothing wrong with that, at least if you’ve established your sales targets. But, for your next movie you have to start building your audience all over again. That is comparable to a campaign. We put all our effort in creating the campaign and distribution. Once people have seen the content, we let go again. It is disposable, single-use content. If we want to create more sustainable content, campaigns should be part of our series. So, that is also why your Christmas campaign should be part of, or maybe the start of, your brand series.
CREATE YOUR BRAND’S PLOT SUMMARY
As I’ve explained earlier, with binge marketing, you translate your brand into the scenario of a brilliant TV series. Every piece of content is an episode of that same series. In order to guide and to guard that, you have to start with creating your brand’s plot summary. What is the series of you brand about? If I want to tell others about your series, what do you want me to say about it. You can also compare it to the back flap of a DVD or look it up on your favourite series on IMDB.
A PLOT SUMMARY CONTAINS FOUR INGREDIENTS:
- Who are your main characters?
- What is your arena?
- What themes can we discover?
- What is your genre?
1. WHO IS YOUR MAIN CHARACTER?
Who can tell your story best? What character, or group of characters, would be best to play the main parts in your series? Is that your client? A group of clients? Your employees? Influencers? This choice mostly connects to your Job to be done. If your main goal is to become thought leader, it is very wise to work with experts. Within your organization or, if they are not there (yet), you can work with external experts. If you need a bigger audience, it is possible to choose influencers. I’ve noticed that brands tend to choose a main character that fits best to the single piece of content. The main character is usually the one that’s been interviewed. Sometimes it’s a client, sometimes an employee, then again it is just a narrator. If you are creating a series, think about this upfront. If you go with ‘employees’ as your main character, you can still add clients into the story, but they will be your guest appearance. Maybe your main character can review on what they say, or it is a dialogue between them. It’s all up to you. The most important thing is that you look ahead to multiple episodes. And choose your characters wisely as I also elaborated on in the previous episode of this blog series.
2. WHAT IS YOUR ARENA?
What is the scenery of your series? Is it, quite clearly ‘in a hospital’? Or is it ‘in the system of medical health care’? You can feel the difference already. We can add even more to it: ‘in a hospital with a global pandemic going around’. You have to think about the scenery in terms of; place, time, and circumstances (PTC). This all adds up to creating a fundamental basis for your episodes.
3. WHAT ARE YOUR THEMES?
What is the series about? Mostly 3 to 5 themes close to the values of your brand. For example: innovation in health care, the human side of health care and ethics in health care. If you are writing down more than 5 themes you are probably writing down subjects for your episodes, instead of themes for your series.
4. WHAT IS YOUR GENRE?
In what kind of style will you create your episodes? Documentary? Human interest? Humour? Science fiction? It may sound like we are only talking about video, but a genre can also be applied to your podcasts and even your articles.
THE PLOT SUMMARY IS THE BRIEFING FOR ALL EPISODES
Once you’ve decided on the ingredients you can write down your plot summary. A short text, written from the third person; you are explaining to someone else what this series is about. This plot summary serves as a briefing to all creators of episodes.
It might feel like a narrow structure, but it gives you space and opportunity to change one or two ingredients every season. For example, your arena, one of the themes, or maybe even characters. But try to do that as smooth as the creators of television series do. You’re not creating a completely new strategy or brand (or series) but you are adding up to an existing storyline.
MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS CONTENT PART OF OR THE START OF YOUR SERIES
Now back to your Christmas campaign. Or can I say your Christmas episodes of your brand series already? Make sure your Christmas episodes fit into your plot summary. Use the characters, arena, themes and genre of your regular episodes and create special Christmas episodes. If you haven’t worked with your plot summary before, then this would be a great time to start and look at your Christmas content as the pilot for your series. And if you really think you can’t get it all within your storyline, you can always create a Christmas Special. Just like BBC’s hit series Doctor Who does every year: A short story, usually about 2 episodes, in the spirit of Christmas. Same characters, same themes, same genre and same universe, but a special short story the audience is waiting for every Christmas.
If you have any questions about your plot summary, or if you want to share your Christmas episodes with me, feel free to contact me via: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CARLIJN POSTMA is a Dutch content marketing strategist. As founder of The Post, a leading content marketing agency in the Netherlands, she translated her unique binge marketing methodology into practice. Her efforts for the content marketing profession have not gone unnoticed. Carlijn Postma is a much sought-after speaker on international stages. In 2014, she was ranked 27th in the international list of most influential people in the field of content marketing. And in 2017, she was awarded with the title ‘Content Marketing Woman of the Year’ in the Netherlands.
How do you build a brand in a time of information overload where the media are so fragmented that you can barely get the attention of your audience? And how do you ensure that everyone tells the same story on all those channels? Carlijn Postma takes you to the place where content is the product and where people know how to attract and retain an audience: Hollywood.
Binge Marketing is not another stuffy marketing book, but a refreshing look at modern marketing so you can be sure that people will want to listen to your story. Not just one episode, but as a loyal and committed reader, viewer or listener. Compare your brand with the scenario of a very good television series and consider every single statement and marketing activity you put out there as an episode of that series. As a true show-runner you can build on your own loyal and involved audience.
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