It's rare to associate specific brands with TV programs or movies. No one hears the word "marketing" and thinks, "Oh yeah! Like 'Breaking Bad'!" Most television programs and movies are standalone items which exist purely for the purpose of our entertainment.
But there are a few smart brands who are using entertainment as a form of content marketing.
This post explores one style of content marketing videos: Entertainment!
Why do entertainment videos work?
Last year, casual dining chain Chipotle released it's Farmed & Dangerous mini-series on Hulu. It was a standalone show, following fake agricultural company Animoil and their sketchy farming practices. Since it was technically tied to Chipotle and indirectly promoted their push for healthier food, it was a form of content marketing.
This video series worked because it functioned like a standalone show and a funny one at that. You can watch the trailer online to understand.
Then there is Purina's Dear Kitten web video series, featuring a house cat explaining the ropes to a recent furry addition to the family. The videos are comical because they're narrated from the perspective of a catand if you've ever owned a cat, you'll understand how funny that is.
Video series like these work because they're engaging. They draw you in and keep you hungering for the next episode, because they're that enjoyable to watch. Not only that, but there is limited brand promotion in these videos, so viewers don't feel like they're being beaten over the head by a brand trying to convince them to purchase products.
How do these kind of videos help the business?
Even though there's not a big emphasis on the brand itself, companies are relying on the power of sharing. Because the content is so engaging, viewers are more likely to share with others on social mediaand effectively becoming the brand's outsourced PR team.
It works. The Dear Kitten episodes on YouTube have earned somewhere between 2 to 6 million views and tens of thousands of shares, and the series was started just this year!
Potential issues with this type of video?
Since videos like these don't aggressively promote the brand, there is the risk that viewers may not remember the company behind the content. Have you ever seen a TV ad and then found yourself wondering what product the ad was actually promoting?
If you have a small audience, then entertainment style content may not be the best decision for your business. The cost to produce a fully engaging, purely entertaining video might be prohibitive for a small audience. This tactic purely entertaining videos work best with a large general audience, rather than a small, target niche.
Entertainment videos for content marketing can be a great way to engage your audience if you do it right. You can create fun, enjoyable video content, without pushing your brand too hard.
So what do you think? Are entertainment marketing videos effective? Is the risk of viewers forgetting the product or company associated with the content too high?