netflix marketing strategy
Digital & Marketing Strategy

Netflix’s Nearly Flawless Marketing Strategy – How Can You Apply It?

4.75/5(4)

Before we were all pulled into the Netflix marketing strategy we all know, the company was founded in 1997 as a DVD rental service where you could order a movie to watch at home and receive it through the mail.

The company could easily have gone the same way as competitors like Blockbuster, but the Netflix marketing efforts were based on innovation and embracing new technology.

Now it’s the single biggest streaming platform in the world. But what does this streaming giant do differently?

The 1st Marketing Strategy Netflix Got Right

When Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings started their business, it was a traditional DVD sales and rental company. Even then, there was something different to the marketing strategy of Netflix that they used which propelled them to the top of the video on demand industry.

Early Innovation

From the very beginning, they based their model on innovation. Netflix was the first online DVD rental that operated through the U.S. Postal Services. In the year 2000, Netflix introduced an advanced algorithm to predict user choices. The first personalized movie recommendation system.

This allowed the platform to provide accurate suggestions to its users, something they still do today to provide personalized content.

In the mid-2000s, the company could start streaming movies as the bandwidth and internet costs improved. The team had been planning this for many years and waited for technology to catch up.

From there, the company started showing original content (such as Netflix original movies) through its online streaming service.

The platform now has almost 200 million paid subscribers and operates globally

Since Netflix is an entertainment business, they have to deliver content that is relevant and popular. Considering the service operates in different countries, that means original content that will speak to each target audience individually.

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What Marketing Strategy Does Netflix Use?

You can see from the Netflix story that they’ve had innovation at the core of their services since the very beginning. It’s no wonder that the company uses a digital marketing strategy as its main form of marketing.

Netflix’s marketing strategy is based on the modern marketing approach, which means that the service involves various communication channels and focuses on the customer experience.

To have effective contact with users, marketing strategies include constant feedback and analysis to ensure that they have the right metrics. The marketing is completely data-driven.

The Netflix team also ensures that they use integration across various channels and social media platforms. They even use traditional marketing channels in their mix, like email marketing, in a unique and effective manner.

When social distancing started being implemented in many places around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Netflix jumped at the opportunity to expand, knowing that if people were stuck at home, they’ll need something to watch.

Netflix changed its pricing plans in some areas, offered original Netflix shows, and made sure they had quality content across the board.


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How Does Netflix Advertise?

So what is the secret to the ever-so-successful Netflix advertising strategy?

Every company dreams about creating an advertising campaign that draws in as many consumers as Netflix does on a daily basis. The online streaming platform has always gambled on a marketing strategy that involved (surprise surprise) innovative advertising that would engage audiences beyond their product.

Social Media

There’s no doubt about it, in the age of social media and entertainment at our fingertips, a company has to be different. Humor attracts people to a brand more than ever and has shown to be the most engaging form of marketing if done correctly.

While it may not seem like it, marketing on social media is strategically focused to create engagement.  (Remember when I said that Netflix’s advertising strategy engages audiences beyond their product?). This is why so many businesses now hire experts in social media growth agencies in the United States or around the world to help them with their marketing efforts.

The Netflix marketing strategy includes engagement on different social media platforms, where they encourage interaction from their users by asking questions. Their posts are often funny, and this creates a brand image that suits the entertainment business.

On Netflix’s Twitter account, you’ll see funny tweets and they often create polls. For instance, when season two of Stranger Things became a conversation point for many users, Netflix created a poll on their account to ask if they should make a third season.

netflix twitter

Not only did this give them user interaction, but it also collect customer data analytics. How many people are excited about the show? How many people are going to watch the 3rd season?

They use their Twitter more like a meme account and regularly share funny memes but during all that time, they are also using it as a business model.

There are also casual discussions on Netflix’s Facebook page, and they often share memes here. They often ask engaging questions.

Not only does this create brand awareness for new users, when they encourage interaction, but their name is also in people’s minds.

Instagram and Snapchat

Netflix saw that filters became popular, especially among teens, on Instagram and Snapchat. They made a partnership with these companies and created filters specific to their brand.

stranger things snapchat netflix
VR Scout

Good old SEO

Netflix doesn’t have a marketing strategy that relies solely on spending ad funds, however. They also use the oldest trick in the digital marketing strategy book: search engine optimization.

According to Ahrefs, Netflix has organic traffic of over 220 million per month and is ranking for almost 7 million keywords…

So how have they managed to generate these kinds of numbers without spending any money?

They’ve done so by creating a flawless semantic cocoon and ranking for keywords that have incredibly high volume. With those high volumes and their killer 92 domain authority, it’s no wonder they have almost 1 million top 10 ranking keywords.

Modern Marketing Alone is Not Enough

Many companies follow this same approach but haven’t gained quite the same level of success as the Netflix marketing plan.

That’s because marketing goes hand-in-hand with the product on offer.

While Netflix is a streaming platform, the team recognized early on that they won’t be able to compete in the market by just streaming high-quality movies.

A large portion of the company’s success comes from its original content, something that other competitors struggle with.

The Netflix marketing strategy was able to build relationships with big names in entertainment, even Academy Awards nominees and winners, to authentic content for the streaming services in the form of Netflix Originals, which are both original movies and shows.

Remember: CONTENT IS KING!

The fact that Netflix can deliver their own content that’s original allows the company to reach more users with their movies and series, giving Netflix a clear competitive edge.

The video recommendation algorithm that Netflix uses is in constant analysis and works with machine learning. It looks at your viewing history and suggests movies and shows to watch that are similar to your interests. This is just another way that Netflix gains a competitive advantage, with personalized content.

If you wish to follow something similar to the Netflix marketing strategy, the key takeaway is that your company has to be innovative and find ways to stand out above its competitors.

Your marketing should be a combination of a strategic and creative approach.

Adding value to your customers in a unique way will allow your business to grow exponentially. Your marketing team members should come up with new ideas on how to get your business to stand out.

Authentic content beyond their platform

The way the company interacts shows us that Netflix believes in being authentic and using this authenticity to communicate to their users.

Instead of being formal, a smart Netflix advertising strategy is to communicate to their fans, as fans themselves.

The key takeaways from social media engagement are to be true to your brand and talk to your customers.

Instead of following overly formal, outdated protocols for marketing communication, be authentic. Make the most of your social media following.

Build Alliances

Netflix decided to build alliances with Apple, Android, Microsoft, Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi, and other companies to ensure that users can access their services easily, regardless of which brand smart TV, phone, or tablet the user has.

A user doesn’t need to get a single TV to access the content. This is another value-add to the customers.

Delivering your product to your customer is an essential part of your success. You should ensure that customers have easy access to your product, regardless of where they are.

Email marketing

Emails are part of a traditional marketing channel. Many companies use this channel, often in the form of a newsletter sign-up. The click-through rate on emails depends on how you use them. The marketing strategy of Netflix incorporate ingenius methods of email marketing to communicate with their target audience.

Instead of sending out mass, generic content, their algorithm can send original content to every user. They create interesting subject lines to encourage you to open the email, and the content is unique to you.

They also have the CTA button strategically placed, with a clear call to action as part of the experience design, which increases the Click-Through Conversion Rate.

The design of the emails is clean and modern, made in HTML. They often run segmented campaigns to improve their targeting.

How Much Does Netflix Spend on Marketing?

In 2021, Netflix spent 2.55 billion dollars on marketing. Although, most companies in the world do not have this kind of money to invest in their digital marketing strategies, this can provide them with an overview of what it takes to have a worldwide presence and be a reference brand in their industry.

Netflix’s marketing strategies may seem fun, intuitive and borderline easy to recreate, but all of these strategies require complex marketing research, in depth study of the entertainment industry and a large group of working professionals for all of this to make Netflix the success story it has become today.

Netflix Also Made Mistakes

When looking at the success that the Netflix marketing strategy has achieved, it’s easy to assume that it’s been smooth sailing. However, the company has made its fair share of mistakes, and has controversies behind its name.

The key takeaways from the mistakes that you make are to apologize and learn from them. Adjust your marketing strategies according to the feedback you get.

When Netflix apologized for its controversial mistakes, it created even more engagement from its users. Amidst controversy and price increases, the platform grew, with many new users opening accounts.

Can You Have Your Own Netflix Marketing Strategy?

Because of the sheer volume of subscribers to Netflix, the wide user base lets you think that the company has deep pockets and the level of advertising they do isn’t attainable for smaller businesses. While this is true in certain aspects, in others it’s not.

The key is to be smart about your marekting strategies. You need to stay relevant to your audience and communicate with them in a personalized manner.

Your budget doesn’t have to be gigantic to get the same level of engagement from your customers. If you use social media correctly, and you focus on your customer experience through digital marketing, you can achieve similar results.

In the extremely competitive environment businesses operate in, it’s becoming more and more important to use marketing tactics in a smart, fun, and unique way. If you think your team isn’t up to the challenge, you can get the service of an agency in your area such as a digital marketing agency in Melbourne.

Netflix offers a unique insight into how you can be smart about your branding and advertising. To see successful growth and longevity in your company, you have to focus your strategies creatively to keep up with new trends and demands.

Hopefully the Netflix marketing strategy we have outlined for you in this article will give you the proper guidance to apply it to your own business

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