Where were you the night you discovered Netflix’s most significant show ever, Making a Murderer?
Perhaps a friend texted you about a wonderfully weird series that you should start watching right. now. at. this. very. moment. Maybe you encountered a cluster of wide-eyed co-workers gazing at a shared monitor, swapping conspiracy theories. You might have even overheard a group of strangers passionately arguing about misplaced car keys and innocence.
At some point, you got tired of being left in the dark and decided to take matters into your own hands. Before you could even finish typing m-a-k-i-n-g into the Netflix search bar, you were being invited into a community of viewers that trudged through the same unexpected yet effective path of discovery via word-of-mouth marketing. In one 24-hour period, #MakingAMurderer drove 8.46 million Twitter impressions and 412 unique tweets per hour.
According to Marketshare, word-of-mouth has been shown to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54%. In true word-of-mouth fashion, Making a Murderer provides marketers with important lessons about crafting a campaign that is easy to find and hard to stop following.
Here are three key takeaways from Making a Murderer's newfound popularity to help you develop a killer word-of-mouth marketing strategy of your own:
1) Prioritize continued engagement over one-time page views to measure success.
Netflix users create a stream of traffic across various channels while tuning in on multiple devices and sharing their emotions in real time. A quick look at social media engagement will give a detailed glimpse at who is watching and engaging with Making a Murderer. Plus, Netflix users can swiftly travel through the traditional buyer’s journey from pre-awareness to preference in no time thanks to binge-watching.
The key takeaway for marketers: Focus on creating content that allows audiences to interact with the same information in multiple ways. Leaving a trail of crucial information not only encourages brand awareness, but also helps audience develop a clear brand preference along the way.
2) Don't be afraid to dig into data to understand your audience.
Although Netflix is hesitant to share their viewership data, the streaming service leverages customer relationships and incorporates user data to decide which new shows should be added to the lineup, resulting in original shows like House of Cards. It’s no coincidence that Making a Murderer is growing into such a viral success.
The key takeaway for marketers: Mirror Making a Murderer’s coveted combination of viral traffic and face-to-face interactions to ignite a loyal following. It’s not a crime for marketers to reach their target audience through cohesively crafted and strategically placed content that can live online and in-person.
3) Make digital campaigns that are people-focused.
The Netflix debut of Making a Murderer and YouTube’s one-episode upload occurred simultaneously to set the tone for a highly interactive and social media-driven dialogue. Strong emotional responses are baked into the recipe for the perfect murder mystery, but when these reactions can be captured in real time from real people on highly publicized networks, the conversation is amplified.
The key takeaway for marketers: Making a Murderer viewers aren’t just passively watching, they’re making an event out of strategically designed content. The series is reaching more potential viewers than any native Netflix marketing strategies could have provided. Target content to your audience that will excite and inform them while they forge a relationship with your brand. Static campaigns focus on attracting buyers, but successful referral marketing campaigns are dedicated to creating loyal customers.
The Final Verdict
Whether you’re preparing to watch your first Making a Murderer episode or wondering how you buzzed through the season so quickly, consider how you got there. A persuasive outside force must have informed your decision, right?
Only someone who you know and trust could lure you away from that other bunch of orange-clad convicts, pry you from the manipulative hands of the Underwoods and plant you in front of the utterly mundane, questionably insane happenings on Avery Road in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Now that you’re totally enamored with your new favorite Netflix series (and have sent out an embarrassing number of texts to your close inner circle questioning Avery’s innocence), you’ve also become another link in the age-old chain of word-of-mouth marketing. So go ahead, tell someone else about this Netflix binge gold mine, we need more people to discuss with.