"Documentary” as Inbound content.
What is a documentary? how to sell it.
A documentary is film where aspects of reality are documented or recorded. It is related to the Author’s point of view, since the latter decides the type of documentary. There are many different types, from documentaries that reflect a distanced perspective of reality, anonymous, without the author’s opinion (Nanuk, the eskimo 1992) to “Mokumentaries” where fiction and parodies take control of the story offering a distorted version of it. The connection with reality is naturally a basic aspect of the documentary genre but in the case that matter to us, we’ll talk about documentaries in a generic manner, as a way to register reality. “Documenting” through a story and narrative.
Documentaries on internet
Youtube has shown that the documentary content, in an era where TV is agonizing, has mutated into a new way of consuming thanks to the micro-segmentation. With the documentary content we can impact audiences on three different levels, depending on their relationship with the content:
- -The first level is as an audience, with a documentary content you can directly impact people that are linked to the story of such content (because the story hasn’t yet been lost in documentaries)
- -Second level is to impact an audience that is indirectly linked to the content of the documentary and to the people from the first group, but that have related interests with the film’s theme.
- -At last, in the third group are the people who are impacted by the documentary, but had no previous connection with the content and had no interests before watching the film, but that eventually find value in this content and could even not be related to the second group but are reached thanks to the interactions of the group with the content, either because is shared, mentioned or seen by someone in their group.
An important topic is the connection between this kind of distribution and copyrights. The great growth of the documentary genre and it’s adaptation for different platforms has allowed that the copyright laws become more flexible and we can find, today, content monetized by a third party where the authors keep their copyright and receive royalties for it.
Youtube RED, more and more income
Youtube RED is youtube’s attempt to flirt with Netflix, HBO and other content platforms’ users. It’s available in the US in the moment this article is being written but has worldwide interests. This platform offers the possibility to watch full-length content without commercial breaks or in-display advertisement. The benefits for the user are that the content can be accessed without commercial breaks, it can be watched offline (without internet connection), it can be downloaded and the user can interact with it from different devices without a time limit.
For the content creator is another monetizing option because in addition to the incomes from the youtube videos advertisements, there’s a subscription fee for the Youtube RED service.
The engagement (unconditional love)
Consumers are tired of aggressive sells (read article “The magnet and the loudspeaker”). Content marketing is nothing more than generating content of value, aimed to the clients we want to reach without making a direct sales action in the process, but that in an indirect manner, this client leaves valuable information on the network, thanks to the interaction with our content.In the past, documentary films’ livelihood came from the incomes generated by displays in theaters, festivals and films’ distribution contracts, nowadays, beside those incomes, the ones generated by the sale of content as Inbound Marketing can be considered an addition or an alternative.
Inbound Marketing: What is Inbound Marketing? .
Inbound Marketing is to seduce your client with valuable content so that they come to you, instead of fighting against other players and against the clients to capture their attention. Is the functionality relation between “The loudspeaker and the magnet” (Full article here). While the loudspeaker is screaming at everybody, impacting them all with its noise without any real segmentation, the magnet stablishes an attraction with the entire ecosystem. A recruitment channel, until, little by little, the different elements of the ecosystem give in to the attraction.
- 1-Context. We have to focus. Content is not for everyone. Content that’s too generic will dilute because it lacks strength, we have to identify our target. Which is the context of each one of our users? And based on these answers create relevant content for their challenges and needs.
- 2-Micro-segmentation. The more segmented our content is, the more affinity we will accomplish with our target audience. What are their tastes, their behaviors, the key words that active their searches, etc. A god micro-segmenting strategy can save us a lot of time and really a lot of money.
- 3-Frequency. The frequency in which the user is impacted by content is key for a good Inbound Marketing strategy. According to the type of user is important to set an impact frequency. If a user is impacted or reached many times by the same content, the user will lose interest in it (saturated because of excess) but if on the contraire is reached just once (depending on the type of content) the interest is not sparked (indifference). In any case the amount of impacts will be given by the micro-segmenting process previously done. It is important regarding frequency to stablish a clear posting pace so that it generates in the clients the habit to create a space for the interaction with our content in their lives.
The documentary as Inbound content.
Every documentary is aimed to an ideal audience, it’s need, it’s history, it’s challenges are the references that connect the content of the documentary and the people from this group of the first level, (mentioned before) people who have a connection with the content might not be interested in it but the relationship is enough to be attracted to it, because it actives meaningful links between content and emotion. So, if you (the blog, the airline, the hotel, the youtube channel, the brand, the company) active that emotion correctly, the bond that is stablished is an emotional one between you and your possible user.
Every documentary talks about a topic that can spark our interest if it’s aligned with our needs or if it reaches us through direct reference from somebody we know. These are the ones from the second group, people who aren’t connected to the content but are maybe interested in the topic (Cuban music, Colombian culture, 50´s art, experimental cinema, vegan diets, etc.) and that through someone in the first group or through personal searches have accessed the content. These people can be more constant and given their interest, inclined to share, via social media.
Here’s where the third group of people comes in, the ones that have not real connection with the content and that hadn’t gotten the slightest interest in it until they were exposed to it (via social media or any kind of interaction with any kind of individual from the second group) and that discover the projection of the blog, the airline, the brand, the foundation, etc., making the association with elements that spark their interest and curiosity.
To this point we haven’t sold anything but we have planted the seed of that “engagement”, between our documentary content and our blog, brand, etc., on the way we have given traction to the different channels through which the content was distributed since the time of exposure + the transit + the interaction + repetition, are the factors that determine our online relevance.
At the end, content marketing is an essential tool (not the only one, but the most relevant one) of any Inbound Marketing campaign and the solution for feeding fresh content to the company’s marketing departments with the goal of attracting online traffic and generating loyalty.
Google has the last word.
Google’s main goal (with a market share of almost 95%, not less important data) is to give the users the best content possible from an ocean of posts that sail through the internet. That’s why, in a way, every company is obligated to follow the rules of this game and create relevant content with the goal of maintaining their online presence.
The worldwide known phrase “Content is King” is a “necessity”, today more than ever. Specially with the current development of Google’s search ecosystem and the creation of algorithms like Hummingbird, launched in 2013, where the search engine is able to “semantically interpret” the search content so that a lot of the irrelevant content that used to generate traffic before is obsolete today.
Another important trend are the voice searches and the smart softwares such as Google Now, where the software learns the behaviors of the users to offer contextualized contents of great value.
Emotional bonds communities. Our own music.
To have full-length intercultural content linked to specific interests of particular communities all around the world is a real advantage against our competitors. Our documentary content can feed hours of video display, hundreds of blog’s articles, key words positioning, relevancy improvement and website positioning, “long Tail” keywords positioning linked to our target, redefinition of organic traffic, generation of hours of conversations in social media, Backlinks generation, improvement of our domain authority, etc., etc., but the most important is that all of this generates communities that are emotionally connected to our brands. It is time to start generating valuable content for our captive audiences and for the new ones.
It is time to start playing our own music and stop dancing the one played by others.
Adwords & Youtube Specialist.
Digital Media 365.
Translated from Spanish by Victoria G.
Digital Marketing and Translation