Just one more episode …..
We’ve all been there. You know you should be going to bed, doing laundry, hitting the gym, or engaging in something more constructive that gluing your eyeballs to a screen. But we can’t help ourselves. We’re in the age of binging on some new television series everyone is buzzing about, or some old show you happened to stumble upon.
Building Audience Engagement with Your Brand
What makes us binge? As I considered this question, I realized that it comes down to the same things that draw you in to binge on a TV show. Here are some points that could provide clues into how you might approach engaging your audience.
Step 1: Start with the Murder
I don’t mean a literal murder. I mean something catchy, big, or exciting. Think of a television show that hooks you in right away. They grab your attention in the first couple of minutes, and have you thinking “holy cow, where is this going?” At that point, they’ve got you. You’re going dedicate your time and attention to finding out what happens, and you’ll keep coming back as long as they’re dishing out episodes.
- When it comes to your brand, what is your hook?
- What is the immediate experience that you’re going to provide that will have your audience coming back for more?
Step 2: Follow a Compelling Storyline
Every good show follows a logical storyline at all times, in every episode. While there are surprises along the way, they’re aligned with the story and add to the excitement of the plot. It’s always obvious when a show has jumped the shark, with events and characters that are so outlandish they’re only there for shock value and veer the story off course. This typically signals the end.
- What is your brand’s storyline, and how are you telling that story?
- Is every customer experience telling the story you want to tell?
- Are you consistent with how and when you’re telling the story?
- Do your “surprises” delight and excite the audience?
- Are you making any “jump the shark” moves?
Step 3: Have the Right Cast of Characters
The cast, and the characters they play, bring a story to life. They know how to tell the story, they have great chemistry with other characters on the show, and they form a connection with the audience. They make us want to tune in for countless hours to see how their lives, situations and challenges unfold. We care about these characters, and in some cases, relate to what they’re going through.
- Who is playing the lead and supporting roles in your brand story?
- Are they making an emotional connection with your audience that’s in line with your brand story?
- Are your characters creating an excellent experience for your audience?
Step 4: It’s OK if Not Everyone is a Fan
Even the biggest, most popular shows don’t appeal to everyone. And that’s OK. Everyone tried to get me to watch Breaking Bad, probably one of the most binged-upon shows in recent memory. I just couldn’t do it. Whatever the “murder” was that took place in the first episode just didn’t grab me. But it grabbed millions of others, and I don’t think the show’s producers were too concerned about me not watching. They knew their audience, and knew they were beloved in that space.
- Do you know who your REAL target audience is? (Please don’t say everyone!)
- How is your brand story speaking to that audience?
- Are your storylines meaningful and engaging for your audience?
The Best Brands Keep You Engaged and Coming Back for More
Think of the brands you love. Chances are, you binge on them just like you do with your favorite television series. The best brands (large and small), get you hooked, draw you in to be a part of the experience, deliver surprises that are enjoyable and meaningful to you, and tell a story that resonates with you. Be authentic, craft your story, and build a brand that’s binge-worthy. Oh, and pass the popcorn while you’re at it.