What is a documentary? How to sell it.

“Documentary” as Inbound content.


What is a documentary?
How to sell it.

A documentary is a film where aspects of reality are documented or recorded. It is related to the Author’s point of view, since the author/filmmaker decides the type of documentary.

A documentary is a film where aspects of reality are documented or recorded. It is related to the Author’s point of view, since the author/filmmaker decides the type of documentary. There are many different types, from documentaries that reflect an observational perspective of reality, distanced from the subject and without the author’s opinion (Flaherty’s Nanook of the North, 1922) to “Mokumentaries” (Mascots by C. Guest, 2016) where fiction and parodies take control of the story, offering a distorted version of reality. The connection with reality is a basic aspect of the documentary genre and we’ll talk about documentaries as a way of “Documenting Reality” through a story and narrative.

Documentaries on internet.

Youtube has shown that the documentary content, in an era where TV is agonizing, has mutated into a new way of consuming thanks to the micro-segmentation. Documentary content can impact audiences on three different levels, depending on their relationship to the content:

• The first level in audience reaction is when the content of a documentary directly affects the audience linked to the story within the documentary. (because the story has not yet been lost in the documentary).

• The second level of reaction is when the content of a documentary impacts an audience that is indirectly related to the story. It also impacts viewers in the first group who have similar interests with the subject addressed by the film.

• Finally, in a third level of reaction is an audience that is not related to the content and were not interested in it, but eventually are impacted by the story and found value in the content. They may not be related to the second group but they are impacted by the second group’s interaction with the subject, either because it is shared, mentioned or displayed.

An important topic is the connection between distribution and copyrights. The increasing growth of the documentary genre, and it’s adaptation for different platforms, has allowed copyright laws to become more flexible, and today we can find content monetized by a third party where the authors keep their copyright and receive royalties for it.

Youtube RED, more and more income

best documentaries

Youtube RED is youtube’s attempt to flirt with Netflix, HBO and other content platforms’ users. It’s available in the US at the moment this article is being written, but it has worldwide interests. This platform offers the possibility to watch full-length content without commercial breaks or in-display advertisement. The benefits for the user are that the content can be accessed without commercial interruptions, it can be watched offline (without internet connection), it can be downloaded and the user can interact with it from different devices without a time limit.

Youtube REDincome
, more and more

For the content creator it is another monetizing option because in addition to the income from the youtube videos’ advertisements, there’s a subscription fee for the Youtube RED service.

The engagement (unconditional love)

Consumers are tired of aggressive sells (read article “The magnet and the loudspeaker”). Content Marketing is nothing more than generating content of value. It is aimed, in an indirect manner, at the clients we want to reach without making a direct sales action in the process. The client’s interaction with our content leaves valuable information on the network. In the past, a documentary film’s profit came from incomes generated by screenings at theaters and festivals, and distribution contracts. Nowadays, additional or alternative incomes can be generated by the sale of content as Inbound Marketing.

Inbound Marketing: What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is to seduce your client with valuable content so that they come to you, instead of fighting against other players and against the clients to capture their attention. It is the functionality relation between “The loudspeaker and the magnet” (Full article here). While the loudspeaker is screaming at everybody, impacting them all with its noise without any real segmentation, the magnet establishes an attraction with the entire ecosystem. A recruitment channel, until, little by little, the different elements of the ecosystem give in to the attraction.

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There are some essential elements for a good Inbound Marketing  Video Strategy:

1 – Context. We must focus on the story. One particular subject is not for everyone. Content that is too generic is diluted by lack of strength. We must identify and focus on our target audience. What is the context of each of our viewers? Based on this premise, we need to create content to meet the viewers’ challenges and needs.

2 – Micro-segmentation. The more we segment our content, the more affinity we will achieve with our target audience. What are their tastes, their behaviors, the keywords that activate their searches. A good micro-segmentation strategy can save us time and much, much money.

3 – Frequency. The frequency with which a user is impacted by the content is the key to a successful inbound marketing strategy. Depending on the type of user, it is important to define an impact frequency. If a user is hit or impacted many times by the same content, the user will lose interest in it (saturation by excess). Instead, if the user is reached just once (depending on the type of content) and the user’s interest is not achieved (apathy), the amount of impacts within the micro-segmentation process previously performed, will awaken the user’s interest. In relation to the frequency, it is important to establish a clear posting pace so that it generates in the audience the habit of creating a space in their lives for the interaction with our content.

The documentary as Inbound Content.

Every documentary is aimed to an ideal audience. The audience’s needs, its history, its challenges are the references that connect the content of the documentary with the first level of audience reaction (mentioned earlier). Viewers who have a connection with the content might not be interested in it but the relationship with the subject is enough to be attracted to it. It activates meaningful links between content and emotion. So, if you (the blog, the airline, the hotel, the youtube channel, the brand, the company) activate that emotion correctly, the bond that is stablished is an emotional one between you and your possible user.

Every documentary talks about a topic that can spark our interest if it’s aligned with our needs or if it reaches us through direct reference from somebody we know. These are the ones from the second group, viewers who aren’t connected to the content but maybe are interested in the topic (Cuban music, Colombian culture, 50´s art, experimental cinema, vegan diets, etc). In addition, viewers who have accessed the content through someone in the first group or through personal searches can be more constant, and given their interest, inclined to share via social media.

Here’s where the third group of viewers comes in, the ones that do not have a real connection with the content and don’t have the slightest interest in it until they were exposed to it (via social media or any kind of interaction with any kind of individual from the second group).Or they discover the projection of the blog, the airline, the brand, the foundation, etc., making the association with elements that spark their interest and curiosity.

To this point we haven’t sold anything but we have planted the seed of “engagement”, between our documentary content and our blog, brand, etc. On the way we have given traction to the different channels through which the content was distributed since the time of exposure + the transit + the interaction + repetition, are the factors that determine our online relevance.
At the end, content marketing is an essential tool (not the only one, but the most relevant one) of any Inbound Marketing campaign, and the solution is feeding fresh content to the company’s marketing departments with the goal of attracting online traffic and generating loyalty.

Google has the last word.

Google’s main goal (with a market share of almost 95%, not a less important data) is to give the users the best content possible from an ocean of posts that sail through the internet. That’s why, in a way, every company is obligated to follow the rules of this game and create relevant content with the goal of maintaining their online presence.
The worldwide known phrase “Content is King” is a “necessity”, today more than ever. Specially with the current development of Google’s search ecosystem and the creation of algorithms like Hummingbird, launched in 2013, where the search engine is able to “semantically interpret” the search content so that a lot of the irrelevant content that used to generate traffic before is obsolete today.
Other important trends are the voice searches and the smart softwares such as Google Now, where the software learns the behaviors of the users to offer contextualized contents of great value.

youtube documentaries

Emotional bonds communities. Our own music.

To have full-length intercultural content linked to specific interests of particular communities all around the world is a real advantage against our competitors. Our documentary content can feed hours of video display, hundreds of blog articles, keywords positioning, relevancy improvement and website positioning, “long Tailkeywords positioning linked to our target, redefinition of organic traffic, generation of hours of conversations in social media, Backlinks generation, improvement of our domain authority, etc., etc., but the most important is that all of this generates communities that are emotionally connected to our brands. It is time to start generating valuable content for our captive audiences and for the new ones.
It is time to start playing our own music and stop dancing the one played by others.

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