There’s a place online where scream queens and creature-feature lovers feel at home. It’s called Shudder. If you’re a fan of horror, you have likely heard of this over-the-top streaming service that specializes in horror movies & TV shows. Think of Shudder as a scream-streaming service catering to a niche audience who basks in being scared.
The company’s business activity as of late has focused on a rapid expansion of content. Over the past few years, Shudder has rolled out exclusive and original films and television shows. This includes an array of horror films produced across the globe in various languages.
In addition, Shudder works with actors like Kumail Nanjiani (the guy who got ripped for Eternals not too long ago), Barbara Crampton (from Re-Animator, 1985) and horror screenwriters like Nick Antosca. They act as guest curators developing their favourite movie lists for audiences.
I’m a horror lover through and through. It’s why I decided to subscribe to Shudder several years ago. But the reason I ended up keeping my subscription is because Shudder does a wonderful job of curating horror content like no other horror streaming service out there.
In addition to having guest curators offer their horror film favs, Shudder further organizes content based on the sub-genres of horror: supernatural, creature feature, killer, and many more.
A few years back, the streaming service created a Halloween hotline for subscribers where people could call in on Oct. 31st and get personalized recommendations for horror films to stream from the platform.
Shudder is catering to the individual tastes of horror viewers and its strategy is working; the streaming service surpassed one million subscribers in September 2020.
This offers all content marketers a valuable lesson: personalizing content experiences is a powerful tool to help you grow your audience. This is true in any industry, not just horror.
People want content that speaks to their sensibilities and their needs. Even if you’re in the B2B space, think about ways you can personalize content for your various personas and organize it so that it’s directly aimed at them through your marketing campaigns, especially those personas who are being underserved.
Horror fans have long been underserved with limited streaming options to satiate their lust for fear. Shudder offers horror fans a place to stream a wide range of quality horror content, all for a small cost. Prior to Shudder, horror fans had limited options to stream horror content.
Netflix, Amazon Prime and others have their share of horror films and TV shows. Too often, however, horror is relegated to the dark corners of these mega streaming services. Shudder brings horror to the forefront.
Shudder knows what its niche audience wants and it is delivering content accordingly. Therein lies a valuable lesson for any B2B niche business looking to serve its audience.
My favourite time of the year is around Halloween.
In the weeks leading up to the holiday, I watch more horror movies than usual, I read more horror, and I go to every haunted attraction near me in a 60 km radius, if possible.
Halloween is more than a holiday for me. It’s a celebration of horror, a genre I’ve appreciate since I was a kid. The changing of the leaves, the pumpkin-spice everything, and the fire pit in my backyard all help to create the right aesthetic for this time of the year— a time the ancient Celts believed is when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest.
When I watch a horror movie in late September or October, it’s a more holistic experience. It’s no wonder so many horror-related tv shows and movies are released as soon as the air begins to cool.
It just makes sense.
In the world of marketing, the value of ‘place’ is key when you’re trying to share a message with your audience.
Think about it this way: if you’re into horror movies, watching a horror flick in early spring doesn’t feel the same as watching one in early fall. The experience of watching a horror movie is a lot more enjoyable and timelier in the fall.
I’m sure the horror movie’s content is great either way, but there’s something about watching a horror when pumpkins are ripe for picking that adds to the experience.
And you don’t have to be in the business of horror to appreciate this.
Producing great content is important for your business, but it’s just as important to offer your audience a content experience that gives them all the feels when they’re digesting that content.
The idea of ‘place’ is a key consideration when creating content. Think about how your readers or viewers digest content.
Are they on their phones? On their tablet, or computer? Is the design around your content making the experience more enjoyable for the reader?
Co-founder of Uberflip, Randy Frisch, talks about the value of content experience in his cheeky-titled book, F#CK Content Marketing. He defines content experience as the environment in which your content exists—from how it’s structured to how it compels customers to engage with your brand.
Frisch argues that while some companies are great at producing valuable content, they fall behind on delivering a valuable content experience.
“A positive experience bonds you to your prospective customer and helps you build trust and loyalty in your company. A negative experience can have the opposite effect, with 65 percent of buyers coming away from the buyer journey frustrated by inconsistent experiences,” Frisch writes.
Before a potential customer purchases your product or service, they’ll conduct quite a bit of online research ahead of making a purchase. Frisch notes that 75 percent of buyers conduct half of their research online before making a purchase.
It’s why delivering a content experience that hits it out of the park is important.
While you might not need glowing orange pumpkins to make your respective content experience ideal, consider ways you can make your content experience as rewarding and enjoyable as a pumpkin spice latte on a crisp fall walk through the woods.
Both you and your new customers will be glad you did.
I help companies grow by telling their stories.