The other day I took great delight in watching Beyonce's latest documentary Homecoming, which recently premiered on Netflix. The artist made history last year when she was the first black woman to headline Coachella. The film fuses together her two performances from the festival, along with backstage footage that highlights all that went into bringing the record-breaking performance to life.
Variety reports that Netflix inked a deal with Beyonce for $60 million, for three projects, of which Homecoming is the first. These kinds of deals further highlight a growing trend in marketing that brands of all sizes need to embrace: behind the scenes content.
When you give them this kind of material in a remarkable way, you set the stage to enhance the customer experience you deliver.
And if you're unsure what kind of behind the scenes content your customers will be interested in, take notes from the four elements Beyonce incorporated that helped make her new documentary a hit.
The Coachella performance was an epic celebration of culture at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). I attended an HBCU for both undergrad and graduate school and was gleefully transported back to my university days while watching the documentary.
Beyonce didn't attend college but talked about how she was influenced heavily by attending homecomings at an HBCU in Texas while growing up. Given the magnitude of her platform, and the new audiences she'd be reaching while at Coachella, Beyonce seized the opportunity to bring an important part of her culture to a mainstream audience.
As you work to tell stories about your brand, showcase your inspiration for taking certain paths or for the decisions you make. Give your customers a glimpse of the defining moments and cultural norms that have shaped you, that have an impact on the way you work.
Beyonce's Coachella performance came just 10 months after giving birth to twins. As she started to get back into work mode, there were a few moments where she opened up to share about struggles many women can relate to.
There was one clip where she showed herself finally fitting back into one of her pre-pregnancy costumes, and calling her husband to share her excitement. She also talked candidly about how her struggle to balance motherhood with her busy career, noting that her mind, in the beginning, was focused on home rather than work. She discussed having to take breaks to breastfeed the twins before going back to rehearsals.
Your customers want to know you are human. They want to see the ups and downs you struggle with as you build your business, inclusive of the tradeoffs you have to make in your personal life as a result.
Don't feel like you always have to present the most polished version of yourself to your customers. When you show them that you have highs and lows just like them, they can connect with you at a deeper, more emotional level.
3. Preparation Process.
I've always known Beyonce had an intense work ethic. So for me, it was cool to get more insight into what that looked like in practice. During the documentary, Knowles-Carter talked about the months it took to script the show, and how involved she was in even the tiniest of details.
She chronicled the four months she spent working with the musicians to get the sound just right, and the four subsequent months working with all the dancers and other performers to ensure everyone was well rehearsed and prepared for the live performances.
As tempting as it can be to let your audience think you woke up being fabulous, pull back the curtain to showcase your preparation and planning process. Show your customers all the work and care that goes into ensuring you deliver remarkable experiences for them that help them achieve the transformation they desire.
4. Other voices.
There were more than 200 dancers and artists in Beyonce's Coachella performance last year. And in the documentary, some of their voices were featured. They talked about what being a part of the show meant to them, as well as what their preparation process was, and all the emotions they were feeling as they got closer to the concert.
Your team plays a big role in the experiences you deliver to your customers. Take some time to push the spotlight on them and let their voices be heard. They can talk about their role on the team, the different challenges they experience as part of their day to day, or even share elements of their own personal story.
Give your customers the kind of content they crave. Take a note from Beyonce and plan out ways you can include more behind the scenes material in what you produce.