If you’re not streaming movies – you may as well be stuck in the stone age. Digital has revolutionised the way video content is produced, viewed and distributed.

Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu are some of the top streaming services, they deliver a diverse mix of films and television shows for unlimited viewing.There’s something for everyone on online streaming video services making it very appealing to a wide audience; from foreign films, comedies, romance and more.

Streaming services have increased in popularity over the last 10 years and will continue to grow thanks to digital. Netflix recently reached 100 million subscribers, and the company shows no sign of slowing down as new members are added daily. The company launched as a mail DVD rental service, where customers would request a movie from their list and be sent it by post. The service had a small user base, but grew substantially after relaunching digitally. They have been praised for their use of A/B testing, retargeting, and targeting. Here are a few ways Netflix uses digital data to improve customer service.

Data Collection
It’s more than just aiming and hoping for the best. Netflix have found a way to use the data they collect to create a better user experience. They are able to streamline the viewing process, exploring scrolling habits, click rates for content and overall enjoyment. Through the use of digital analytics businesses are able to easily collect data –  Netflix have used this to their advantage to understand how their users are navigating their service and what content is performing best. Using a rating system to score content on the website, Netflix directly asks their customers if they liked the content they just viewed. This can help determine which content to remove or retarget using a new visual or rewritten summary. The platform is able to observe scroll habits, time of day and how long you watched the program before abandoning it.

What can businesses learn?
Listen to your customers! How they use your website or application can tell you a lot about what is working and what isn’t. Collecting as much information as possible can help your business adapt to the market and give you an idea of what marketing strategies to implement.

Targeting and Retargeting
Nothing is worse than having too much content with no way to sort through it. This can make users feel overwhelmed and lost within the platform, which is NOT what you want. Recommendations are simple way to solve a big issue within the Netflix platform. Users are presented content chosen specifically for them based on their watch history and liked programs. This has been a main selling factor on users interested in signing up to the service. How did Netflix do this before digital? They asked customers to rate movies when they returned it through the mail – this data was the first step in creating the Netflix platform we know today.

What can businesses learn?
Having a lot of content is great – having too much content can be overwhelming. Finding a way to organise your content and cater it to the preferences of your users will guide your users to where they want to be. Spotify is another company who have used targeting and retargeting within their digital strategy. They offer a weekly curated playlist of bands similar to the ones played recently – adding this personalised feature makes users feel connected to the brand.

A/B Testing
Try, try and try again until you find the best method for your marketing. A/B testing is important to any business interested in finding which content performs best. Netflix has grown content views through the use of A/B testing. The brand has had to experiment with what works best for them and what performs best in general. One way they do this is trying out a range of images for content promotion. This means creating multiple images and exploring how effective each were to encourage the user to click on the content. This has increased clicks significantly in some cases makes a video more visually appealing. For their Netflix original content, they have experimented with a variety of methods for increasing engagement. Adding large top of screen banners, notifications and recommendations are just a few of the ways they have tested engagement.

What can businesses learn?
You can’t rely on your current strategy to always work – as users adapt to a more digital based lifestyle, preferences adapt along side. Changing something as small as an image can sometimes have the biggest effect on engagement. When creating any piece of content think about a variety of visuals and markets to target using them. One image may perform best with one demographic – you’ve got to know who to target with each link.

Netflix originals – instead of focusing their effort strictly on external content the platform has become leaders in creating their own original content based around user interest. Shows like Orange Is the New Black, The Get Down, House of Card, 13 Reasons Why, are just a few examples of content created based on the interests of the user base. This has been extremely successful for Netflix, winning Emmys, Golden Globe, Sag and many more awards for their content. Have you ever wondered why Adam Sandler has had 3 Netflix original movies? It’s been noted recently that Netflix subscribers have watched over 500 million hours of Adam Sandler movies. Although the content doesn’t receive high ratings the content still receives engagement.

What can businesses learn?
Create your content around your user. Don’t only consider your needs, but instead look at what performs and engages with the people who use your products. This could mean adapting a campaign or adding thought leadership pieces around issues your customers are facing.

Want to refine your analytics strategy? Contact us at hello@yourfavouritestory.com to get started today.

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