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It’s not just about Netflix and Bridgerton anymore.

In fact, 80% of smartphone users check their device within 15 minutes of waking up every morning. This may sound like your parents asking you to cut back on screen time, but it’s not. It’s just a reality check to how invested we are in other people’s lives, sometimes even fictional people’s lives. (Harry Potter fanfiction is a thing y’all)

Great question.

So if it’s all that bad, it must be horrible for us, right? No, it’s not that simple.

Binging is a feel-good fix.

Most people binge to get rid of distressing and unpleasant emotions - often anxiety, anger, hatred, jealousy, boredom, or self pity. (Ever heard of revenge bedtime procrastination?) Not too surprising is it then, that higher screen time is also linked to higher depression rates?

Bingeable Content for Sales and Marketing

Why do people binge?

As soon as we hear binging, we see bright red text screaming Netflix. Even though the thought is our own, it feels intrusive. That’s how deeply Netflix has associated themselves with the word. Binge has always been a word, but 2012 gave it new meaning when Netflix started using the word binge-watching in their marketing campaigns.

Binge-watching facts

The book Hooked by Nir Eyal (interesting read) talks extensively of external and internal triggers. The red button that goes off and screams ‘Amazon!’ everytime you need to buy something online is a perfect example of being hooked.

And no, it’s not just you who does this, it’s a lot of us. (By a lot, we mean all of us).

Over time, binging has come to mean a lot of things. It’s not just about Netflix and Bridgerton anymore. It’s also 5 hours on YouTube watching cat videos or when you find yourself too deeply invested in some celebrity’s love story (by some, we mean Justin and Selena) or knowing embarrassingly intimate details about the British Monarchy or even BTS. And you can judge yourself later, but you’ve got to admit - once you know a little, you HAVE to know the rest.

And then you try to reason with yourself, hey, Amazon is a capitalistic giant that exploits labour, doesn’t pay its workers, has horrible carbon footprint, and that you can probably buy your stuff from a local store. Several internal arguments later, you have a stocked up cupboard, a few hundred dollars spent on stuff you don’t need, and a massive storage problem.

‘Just one last time, I promise’ - Thought every addict, cheater, and binge watcher, ever.

Binging produces dopamine (the happy hormone) that stimulates your brain and makes it go jiggly. A survey by Netflix says, 73% of respondents had a good feeling about bingeing and felt that it was a reward for their hard work. Turns out, binging isn’t all that bad!

But binging isn’t just your mind trying to procrastinate working or rewarding you for working, there’s science behind it all

Young adults most likely to skip social and personal habits to binge

8.4 Million people binge race

Binge racing - Finishing a series 24 hours after it's release for social gratification and bragging rights

27-year-old Brooklyn resident Alejandro "AJ" Fragoso has the longest record of binge watching session - 94 hours

Zeigarnik effect

No one likes unsolicited advice, even if it’s well meant. And it’s almost a surprise you haven’t become a violent person around those glib, clueless individuals.

So what does it mean for you?

But sometimes, your business itself is unsolicited advice. The consumer doesn’t trust you, they don’t know what you do, all they know is you want them to buy something. It’s sketchy.

Ever missed one episode of Game of Thrones and had to avoid conversation in every elevator you entered, every call you made, and every single time you checked social media? You really didn’t want a spoiler about who died this time around. It is during times like this it feels like the universe is conspiring against you to make your life hell. It’s FOMO that Netflix capitalises on.

A psychological phenomenon that makes us remember interrupted tasks better than uninterrupted ones.

  And  If your customers don’t have confidence in you, they obviously would not consider buying from you. So how do you make your consumers trust you before even trying your product? 

Simple - through bingeable content.

The science behind binging

The human race in general does not agree upon a lot of things, be it pineapple on pizza or politics. We’re literally paying those who make these movies to tell us! There is a special place in hell reserved for those of them who don’t. 

Anything that makes us think, “what’s next” or “what did this even mean?!” is a trick to make us remember the incident.

But, open endings work. So do cliffhangers. And it’s all because of the Zeigarnik effect, the psychological phenomenon that makes us remember interrupted tasks better than uninterrupted ones. Basically, anything that makes us think, “what’s next” or “what did this even mean?!” is a trick to make us remember the incident.

For obvious reasons, no sane person reads blogs about random things they aren’t very interested in. If you wanted to buy a washing machine, you’d probably Google ‘Top 10 washing machines’, pick your top 3, watch their reviews on YouTube and just buy one. It would be absolute madness to read an industry report about washing machines and blogs on how they really work. 

Why brands need bingeable content

So how do you build interest and convert? The key is to make relevant, binge-worthy content that is specific to the sales cycle stage your customer is in and the sort of industry your product belongs to. 
But if you really dig into what makes something interesting and bingeable, you'll realize that most times when you find yourself binging, it's because of how easy it is to. In fact, it's harder to stop! This is how brands manufacture habits.
So when your customers land on your website following that ad you invested all those resources into, where do you direct them? Sadly, oftentimes, to a dead end.
When they finally read your blog, you want them to read the next one. You have to make your consumers not just crave more, but also give them exactly what they'd want to look at next, because the last thing you'd want them to leave with is a gnawing sense of ennui

This is how

How do you make content binge-worthy?

Pick engaging relevant content

If your brand sells cookies and you're out there writing blogs on plants, that's a bad idea. Worse yet, if you're writing diet tips and about how bad sugar is for you, you're digging yourself a pit. Honesty is one thing, self-sabotaging is another.

The premise of your entire piece cannot be summed up in 2 words. If this article gave you the conclusion that content good/ content bad or binge yes/ binge no, this would not be different. Make sure your prospects take more away from your article than just an opinion.

Spice it up

What's next?

No one’s asking you to write the plot of
Inception. The goal is to interest your readers, not confuse them. Your thoughts may run wild, but learn to hold your horses. Alternatively, don't write dry articles.

Make it impossible for your consumers to not find out about you. Be everywhere and be so addictive that they just want to read you, hear you, watch you. Be omnipresent.

Easy  of access

Leave your readers thinking, “oh, this was insightful” or, “wow, great piece of  writing” and if nothing, “sounds funny,  need to read more.” 

Insightful Growth

Time is precious y all. Our sanity, more so.

A ‘curated for you' Spotify playlist will tell you how much your device knows you and so will a Netflix recommendation. Sadly, Spotify now knows you only listen to 2000's rock punk and Netflix knows you only watch soappy rom-coms.

Spending anything between fifteen minutes to an hour looking for that one movie you want to watch across all those websites because the first didn't have English subs and the other had horrible grainy video quality is not a great way to go about it.

Because by the time you end up finding the movie with the perfect sound, video and subtitles and no pop up ads that open in new tabs, your brain has tricked you into thinking that finding the movie itself was the reward. Imagine coming home at 7 in the evening, making dinner, putting your kids to sleep and then having to go through all that to watch one movie that you're going to fall asleep in the middle of anyway!

People don't just pay for content. They pay for organized content.

If this could translate to brands and how they market, the sort of high quality brand experiences our customers would have, is unimaginable. It'd be like adult Christmas with Santa knowing exactly what you want! (But you'll have to pay for it. Adulting is hard.)

It's the accessibility, the ease. It makes your brain go, “mmmn one more won't do any harm!”, and by the time you make that decision, the next episode has started and you're too lazy to stop.

And that is why when your inbound marketing manager tells you to link the right blogs at the bottom of the page and your underpaid copywriter tells you to invest in your copy and content, you sit down and listen. Thank you for coming to our Ted talk.

But if you wanted to buy a more complex product, like software, you’d probably read those blogs. If you didn’t find any (or if they were all superficial and sales-y), you’d be disappointed. And that is how you ‘lose a sale in 10 days’.

How does binging
translate to Sales
and Marketing?

In our post about Intercom’s story, we talked about brand experiences and how brands compete to provide the best experiences to their customers through continuous experimentation and growth. Scalability  would mean a new product and a thousand resources (read expensive & time consuming resources and uncertain results). But, what if you could just invest in your content instead?

Take Ziffy for example. Ziffy is a fictional dog food-producing company that records podcasts about what different dog behaviors mean and posts videos of shelter dogs and cute puppies. They also publish blogs titled, ‘Common things we feed our pets that are harmful to them’ and ‘Dog facts you've never heard about. They engage with their target audience on social media, have a pet party event every year and donate food to your local pet shelter.
Basically, you see it everywhere your pet goes. On your next trip to the mart, you're bound to pick it up. Maybe your dog will like it, maybe it won't. Maybe you bought it for the sole reason that your dog looked like the dog in the video. But they got you to buy their product without a single advertisement. Basically, Ziffy is smart. Be like Ziffy. Ziffy may be fictional, but real brands have had this realization long ago. AT&T came up with a series called ‘Guilty Party’ that revolves around social issues that concern the Youth, featuring 9 famous social media influencers. In the next 10 weeks, 42 Million people had watched it with 38 Million engagements (5.7x the industry standard)!
If you've ever known someone who likes Star Wars, you'd know that liking Star Wars is now a part of their personality (sometimes all of it). All fans have at least one piece of merchandise or have seen at least one spin off. Capitalising on this, IBM released a 10 episode series talking about the technology behind Star Wars and managed to reach Star War fans + Tech geeks (often colliding). Turns out, Star wars had more to offer than fluorescent glow in the dark swords!

Turns out, Star wars had more to offer than 
fluorescent glow in the dark swords! 

Giving your prospects

a binge-worthy experience

It is a bright new day and you are in an extremely chirpy mood. You know deep down that the well-crafted and informative content piece you shared is going to win your prospect’s heart. 

Your fingers cannot stop doing the tippity tappity happy dance as they open the dashboard to see how well your prospect has engaged with the  content, and BAM!
Your enthusiasm and the engagement graph on the screen both race to the bottom. You know the pain is real, and we're here to tell you it doesn't have to be this way.
Keep reading to see how you can create a content experience that your prospects deserve.

When you have a collection of content pieces that can be consumed in any order

The old way 

The new way 

The new way 

The old way 

When you have to run campaigns with ONE or
multiple content pieces

Post-sales content consumption is key to having return customers and increasing the adoption of your product. The teams at Cisco have been producing engaging content to keep their customers updated with new product changes and launches. They noticed a staggering 74% increase in content consumption and a 3.5x increase in adoption.

Content is often an investment you make for returns in the  long run. For companies that are far-sighted and ambitious,  content should be their next product line. 
Content enthusiasts will have you believe that bingeable content is the best thing you can invest in right now, and content’s hyper critics will have you believe content is dead. It all feels like a bad game of stock market skepticism, but content, essentially, is just a tool.
How you use it, if you use it at all, is always on you.
You can unlock unlimited possibilities with bingeable content. Try Cleverstory today to see it yourself!

But remember that content consumption doesn’t stop at selling.

Unlock unlimited possibilities with bingeable content.

Try Cleverstory
today to see it


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