The Business of Content Strategy


Building a successful content strategy is at the center of growth and opportunity. Without compelling content, our stories and messages will not reach our intended audiences. Over recent weeks, we have been hearing a lot about Netflix’s cancellations of two of its original series. This comes on the heels of the company canceling five series between 2013-2017, which was reportedly because they needed a better return on investment. It’s no secret creating successful, original content can be costly and hit-or-miss, so what do Netflix’s cancellations tell us about the shift in its content strategy? What’s more, what lessons can we take away from Netflix’s recent decisions when we evaluate our own content strategies?

Business Agility

Constant market shifts requires adaptability and agility on behalf of the company. In the case of Netflix, a company that bills itself as a “focused passion brand, not a do-everything brand: Starbucks, not 7-Eleven; Southwest, not United; HBO, not Dish”, they are adapting their content to suit the needs of their audience and removing the redundancies. Business is more dynamic than ever, so companies need to embrace change and embed it within their corporate culture and strategic planning in order to stay on top and achieve competitive advantage.

Quality over Quantity

Netflix creates a wide variety of content to satisfy the diverse tastes of its global audience. It focus is “on-demand commercial free viewing rather than live, ad-supported programming,” a model which has served itself well. Piloting shows for a season and then continuing those which become popular, will give the company more room to introduce different kinds of shows without the need to continue them for several seasons. Having a higher cancellation rate would allow the company to take more risks and discontinue shows if they don’t perform well. This strategy retains its competitive edge and allows the spend of more budget on shows which are more likely to generate higher profit.

Know Your Audience

Creating and producing content your audience actually wants is what sets the best brands apart from the others. We all have an idea as to what people are looking for, but do you have a true understanding of what your audience wants and needs? Market research is a vital part of this, to which Entrepreneur defines as:

“The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”


The more in-depth market research and analysis you do, the more you will know your audience. In turn, the better you know your audience, the more you will connect with them via appealing content. From here you can adjust your strategy, become more agile and create compelling content for your audience. These points are the framework around which you can follow to excel in creating a successful content strategy for your business.