Stranger Things. Ozark. Dead to Me. These are three of the most bingeworthy shows I know on Netflix. And they helped me understand how to create content employees can’t wait to receive.
You’ve heard of the term: bingeworthy. It’s when a series is so exciting or captivating that you end up consuming all of the episodes in one or two viewings, usually into the wee hours of the night.
While watching Netflix may sound unproductive, it helped me identify three tips that internal communicators can use to dramatically improve their content, leaving employees wanting more.
1. Catch attention early. Hit series like Lost or Manifest get viewers hooked right from the get-go. There’s no need to watch a few episodes to see if you will enjoy the series. That’s because the first episode ends with a cliff hanger, and you HAVE to keep watching to see what will happen next.
How to apply it: Don’t give it all away in the headline or email subject line. Instead, spark curiosity to draw employees in. Give the reader an intriguing idea of what they will be getting by posing a question or making a direct connection with employees.
2. Nurture a continuous story. When a show has an ongoing narrative, viewers are more compelled to follow through—and it makes it easy to follow along. For example, The Witcher’s plot jumps around with its use of flashbacks and flash-forwards, but the story continues to follow the main character from the beginning, so you want to see him complete his quest in the end.
How to apply it: Many companies communicate strategic goals twice a year: when the CEO launches them in January and when the CEO shows progress in December. Instead, engage employees in yearly goals through a regular cadence of content that brings the goals to life. Use stakeholder interviews to create articles or videos that capture helpful insights like lessons learned about achieving the goals.
3. Develop characters people care about. You don’t always like every character in a show, but successful shows get viewers invested in all its characters. Orange is the New Black does this by revealing character motivations and background stories to help viewers empathize with each character’s situation.
How to apply it: Launching a new program or product? Show the people behind the work. During a town hall, ask the team members to recall conversations and share personal perspectives that influenced key decisions that led to the creation of the new program or product. Employees prefer inspiring and sincere dialogue.
Apply these three lessons from bingeworthy shows to your next internal communication to create content that employees want to engage with.