In this fortnight’s VoiceBox blog, we’re going to explore:

  • the state of video content marketing 
  • the secrets you can steal from Netflix’s localisation strategy for your own company or brand

If you’re not already using video in your content marketing strategy, then chances are you’re a little late to the game. 

It’s estimated that, by 2021, people will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021 (That’s a 19% increase compared to 2019, when screen time stood at 84 minutes a day).

According to Hubspot, 99% of current video marketers said they’ll continue using video in 2020. What’s more. 95% of them plan to increase or maintain their spend. It’s clear that marketers are seeing a solid ROI from video content, and we should all be paying attention to the stats.

Strategy building: How does it work?

But if video is set to play a central role in content marketing from now on, how on earth do you go about building a successful video content marketing strategy? And what if you’re a global company that’s targeting international markets? Should you be adopting a tailored approach for each and every market you want to do business in?

Sketch of question mark with light bulb around planning video content marketing

These are huge questions, and the answers could be slightly different for every company and brand. But to get some real insight into a successful media marketing strategy and how to replicate it, we can turn to a streaming giant that’s not only talking the talk but walking the walk: Of course, it could only be Netflix.

Netflix and their world domination 

Netflix is the pinnacle of the modern media company. It’s on a journey to world domination and it’s not looking to slow down anytime soon. The company grows its number of subscribers at a rate of approximately 10% a year, and now boasts an estimated 59 million subscribers in the U.S. alone.

What’s more, these figures are based on growth before the global COVID-19 outbreak. Currently, sectors like retail and hospitality are unfortunately seeing huge decline due to nation-wide lockdowns. However, with many of us now spending almost all of our time at home, it has been suggested that Netflix is one of the companies set to majorly benefit.

man watching netflix on tablet

A recent survey by Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter found that 38% of adults who have subscribed to a streaming service since January 1 said that coronavirus was a reason they did so. What’s more, 35% percent of adults surveyed said that Netflix was the streaming platform they had watched most often since lockdown.

So… What is it about Netflix that makes it the streaming platform of choice for so many of us?

Netflix’s Localisation Strategy: The Basics

Brand-new research by Ampere Analysis has shone a light on exactly how Netflix has gone global.

The research discovered that Netflix tailors its localisation strategy for key markets. They “choose to prioritise dubbed content in territories such as Japan, France and Germany, while focusing on subtitle use in smaller markets.” 

Even though Netflix has recently pushed for the creation of more local content, in most non-English speaking territories, Netflix’s catalogue still consists of 90% foreign-language content. This means that localisation, either through audio dubbing or subtitles, becomes absolutely crucial. 

The Key Takeaway

The key takeaway from Ampere Analysis’ research is that Netflix chooses how exactly to go about localisation based on the very consumer preferences of that market.

Tingting Li, an Analyst at Ampere Analysis, explained, “For Netflix, the level of localisation of foreign language titles largely depends on the markets.”

“In English-speaking countries, Netflix’s strategy is to localise foreign titles via English subtitles, while in other key markets, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, the streaming giant makes certain that most foreign titles are either subtitled or dubbed – catering to local content preferences.  

‘For other markets, such as Russia and Turkey, which represent a smaller portion of Netflix’s subscriber base, and thus harder to justify extensive localisation investments, between 13 per cent and 28 per cent of content is localised – but we expect this to change as market penetration grows.”

Netflix on TV screen with remote

How to Apply the Netflix Strategy To Your Video Content Marketing

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small start-up or a growing global business… There are plenty of tips and tricks to steal from Netflix’s successful video content strategy. Here’s a couple:

Create local

According to Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s drive for local content has actually contributed to global growth.

“We had some great international breakouts where they really helped drive excitement… Kingdom in Korea that did phenomenal and is getting watched all over the world and throughout the region. So we think we’ve been able to work on a very local basis and very global basis with the content this year, this quarter.”

“We don’t try to water it down or make it travel any better inorganically and we found that the best way to make global stories is to make them incredibly authentically local.”

Although this may not strictly apply to video content marketing, it goes to show that, if your budget allows, creating authentic, entirely-local video content could have a massive impact on your market penetration. This may not be a feasible plan for every market you’re targeting. However, it could be an impactful way to win over a particular client or consumer demographic.

Woman filming a group of people for video content marketing

Be smart about your localisation

Video content can be expensive and time-consuming to create. Why, then, aren’t you making it work harder?

That very same video content can cross borders and see success in international markets with smart localisation. This can include subtitling, video translation and dubbing. But, just like Netflix, you need to ensure that you work with the preferences of that market. If you’re targeting India or Italy, the audience may expect to consume dubbed content, whereas Nordic countries prefer subtitling. It’s all about thoroughly researching your market.

In other words, you need to localise your localisation.

If you want to go global with your message and make your video content work harder, partner with VoiceBox.

We’re a multimedia agency with a difference, with bags of experience helping industry-leading clients reach international markets.

Get in touch with us today for a quote.

Sofia Ellen Lewis
Sofia Ellen Lewis

Since graduating from University of Bristol in 2018 with a First in Italian and Spanish BA, Sofia has gone on to become a skilled translator, content writer and digital marketer. Sofia has a passion for storytelling and has also recently dipped her toe into journalism. A self-proclaimed language nerd, she is always looking for suggestions on which language to learn next.