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Content Marketing Lessons from This Year’s Emmy Nominees

by | Jul 16, 2014 | Content Marketing | 0 comments


Grammar Chic has a long and distinguished (humor us) history of gleaning content marketing lessons from popular TV entities; see previous entries on Mad Men, HBO, and Netflix for further evidence. It goes without saying, then, that, as TV approaches its biggest night—the Primetime Emmy Awards—we can’t help but make a few stray observations.

Certainly, there are several entries in this year’s list of nominees that illustrate key concepts in content marketing. Read on, and we’ll show you what we mean.

Content Marketing and This Year’s Hottest Shows

For your consideration…

  • First, this year’s Emmy nominations make it as clear as can be that it’s imperative to embrace new media. There was a time when all the major Emmy nominees came from major TV networks, with cable networks—to say nothing of services like Netflix—never even registering as serious contenders. This year, though, the changes to the media landscape seem to have solidified: The shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series include Breaking Bad and Mad Men (both on AMC), True Detective and Game of Thrones (both HBO), and Netflix’s House of Cards; PBS is represented with Downton Abbey, but none of the major networks have a foot in the door at all. Old media may not be dead—and shows like The Good Wife suggest that traditional television can still be amply rewarding—but content marketers need to recognize that the landscape is fundamentally shifting. People are consuming their content differently, and that’s not going to change.
  • Another thing this year’s Emmy nods teach us: Categories are only so useful. Would you consider Orange is the New Black to be a drama, or a comedy? What about Shameless? The latter show was nominated as a drama last year but comedy this year; the former is simply hard for any of us to pin down. Meanwhile, American Horror Story was submitted as a mini-series while True Detective was submitted as a regular series, despite both having the same basic structure. All of this is just to say that categories are only so useful, and shrewd content marketers are comfortable thinking beyond them—offering unique and compelling content that educates and informs but doesn’t necessarily fit into any readymade box.
  • We have said this before, but it’s worth repeating: Being provocative and controversial can be a good thing. Consider the nominations this year for Masters of Sex, which titillates with its very title, and for the shocking conclusion of Breaking Bad. We’re not saying content marketers should try to offend people, but being unorthodox is never a bad thing.
  • A final lesson: There is something to be said for nostalgia. An old adage about the Emmys is that the best way to get nominated for an award is to have been nominated before, and that certainly seems true from this year’s list, which suggests a lot of nostalgia votes for shows like Homeland, The Newsroom, and even for Margo Martindale’s turn on The Americans. Emmy voters like what they know, to some extent—and that’s true of your content consumers, as well. Shock value is great, but so is tapping into their sense of the familiar.

Have you noticed any content marketing principles exemplified in current shows? Let us know in the comments! Also feel free to contact Grammar Chic, Inc. with any content marketing inquiries: Visit www.grammarchic.net and call 803-831-7444.