What Content Marketing Can Learn from the Movie Industry


There’s a certain glamour involved when it comes to the movie industry, isn’t there? Silver screens projecting another life back to us, actors and actresses moving from role to role.

And don’t forget about so many pieces–scenes–coming together to form a whole feature-length presentation.

The movie industry is pretty massive, to say the least, and there are countless lessons to be taken from it when it comes to content marketing. If you’re a movie lover who’s looking for some tips on content marketing, then you’re in luck because today I speak your language.

The Documentary

Documentary films can serve several different purposes, but one of the major ones is to educate. Whether these are film-length productions made for television or documentaries that make it to the big screen, someone spends a lot of time, money, and other resources doing research so that the information the viewer receives is as accurate as possible.

When you think of it like that, content marketing isn’t much different. When you’re creating a content strategy, one of your primary objectives is probably to educate your visitors in some way, as well. A documentary will educate through film, while content marketing will educate through a variety of channels and content.

What is it that you want to teach your visitors? How will you address their questions?

Avoid Typecasting

Actors and actresses sometimes play one role so well that they end up playing it more than once in different films (think Jennifer Aniston in romantic comedies). This is fine for some actors, at least for a while. But it’s always good to take a chance on a role that’s different from what you usually do to avoid being typecast.

For your content marketing, this means stepping out of your comfort zone. Consistency is an awesome thing, but if you feel yourself falling into a rut by doing the same thing day in and day out, it might be time to shake it up before you get too bored, otherwise you risk burning out and fading into oblivion. If you want your visitors to be interested in your content, you have to be interested in it, too. If that means trying out a video or a podcast, so be it. Do what you gotta do. You might discover that you’re actually really good at crafting a different kind of content.

Deep Focus

In the movie industry, deep focus refers to a cinematographic (boy, that word’s a mouthful!) technique in which a large depth of field is used. Instead of a lot of back and forth shots or slicing and dicing in the editing room, the scene is allowed to play out.

This can be risky, though. If you mess up, you have to go back and start all over again. If things start to drag, the scene can get away from you.

Think of deep focus a bit like using longer pieces as part of your content strategy. Instead of a lot of slicing and dicing and trying to keep your content below 800 words, let it play out.

Maybe this becomes a long blog post, a blog series, or an eBook. There is any number of ways to take on longer content. Understand that the risk is there, though. You don’t want to lose people in the middle, so you’ve got to really practice perfecting this technique.

And by the way, if you’ve heard that it’s unwise to use longer content, ignore what you’ve heard. When done well, it can be a major plus for your content marketing strategy.

These three ideas are really just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless lessons that content marketing can learn from the movie industry. What other ones can you think of?

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Renee is a writer currently living in Central Pennsylvania (whatever you've heard is probably true). In addition to writing for CEM, she serves as the Managing Editor for Business 2 Community and pursues her dream of once again renting her own apartment (preferably in Philadelphia), if only to house her ever-growing collection of books. She received a BA in English from Susquehanna University and an MA in English from George Mason. She's still waiting for someone to write a song about her life so she can just quote the lyrics for her author bios. Catch up with her on Twitter , LinkedIn, or reneedecoskey.com.

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Comments

  1. Here’s one for you: the infamous sequel.

    We see so many flops following terrific, unique films. I think oftentimes we nail our content with the first blog/article and it doesn’t need any further elucidation.

    On the other hand, some sequels offer unique content and strengthen the message of the original film!

    • Absolutely! That’s a great point, Ben. I think that when writers find success (sudden, unexpected, or otherwise) with their work, it’s easy to want to keep duplicating that effort — not realizing that the uniqueness is what made it so great to begin with.

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂
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