What Content Marketing Can Learn From Sesame Street

sesame street

Renowned educational children’s show Sesame Street has now been running for 44 years – and it’s still going strong. While its excellent PR is certainly not the sole reason, it’s definitely part of Sesame Street’s continued success. Let’s take a closer look at the nonprofit’s content and use of social media to appeal to a wide audience.

Marketing Across a Wide Age Range

Sesame Street’s use of social media is designed to appeal to a huge range of people. Of course, its target audience is still that of young children, but then there are the rest of us: adults who grew up with the charming cast of characters and even parents who find themselves just as engaged as their children.

Beyond One Billion Views

CEM’s own Daniel noted in a blog post earlier this year that Sesame Street’s parodies of pop music and its cameos from stars like Will.i.am, Feist and India.Arie keep the show relevant across ages.

Last year, the nonprofit’s Tumblr blog was featured on Time as a “must-see.” Time noted that even though the show’s target audience is a little young for Tumblr, the blog remains relevant to adults. Sesame Street accomplishes this through distribution of current and classic videos and seasonal images of characters, from old favorites like Big Bird and Grover to characters released in the past 10 years, like Abby Cadabby the fairy-in-training. These posts garner thousands of notes – meaning they are being shared.

It’s not all fun and games, though. Sesame Street is an educational nonprofit, and so they make sure to deliver content such as PSAs about topics like education, with statistics about how Sesame Street can help kids learn (“Young children who watch Sesame Street have 16% higher GPAs in high school”). The blog also distributes resources for tough topics, such as in their recent segment on the incarceration of a parent.

Sesame Street certainly hasn’t stopped its efforts after reaching one billion views on YouTube. They continue to play on the nostalgia factor in their social media, and the parodies have branched out beyond pop music and into the literary. Cookie Monster’s tweet series from July is a testament – a brilliant little parody of William Carlos Williams’ famous poem “This is Just to Say.”

The Takeaway

Social media marketing isn’t just about repping your brand. Sesame Street manages to update consistently with content that is enjoyable to the viewer, interspersing it with content that is based on research and resources for adults. The brand stays fresh with consistent references to and parodies of pop culture, and also provides resources for young people and their parents. Sesame Street’s social media presence is a stellar example of content marketing gone right.

What Sesame Street tricks can you use to improve your social media marketing strategy?

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Tree is a somewhat nomadic graduate student pursuing an MFA in Poetry and Literary Translation from Drew University. A self-identified “diplobrat,” she spent over 16 years living as an expat in countries like Guatemala, Bolivia, and Tanzania. Tree graduated from Smith College in 2012 with a degree in Spanish Language and Literature, a minor in Studio Art, and a concentration in Landscape Studies. In between writing poetry for school and content for CEM, she dabbles in goat herding and freelancing. Other interests include reading, watercolor painting, gardening, and traveling.

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