Storytelling Inspiration

Oh My God Becky, Look at That Blog

Katy Haas By Katy Haas October 28, 2014

Nicki Minaj’s music video, Anaconda, has been on repeat for the past few months.  It’s got twerking, a juice-stand-gone-wild, and Drake… but, if you take a closer look, there might be a bit more to it than the posterior.

Here are 4 things Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda can teach us about content marketing.

1. Reuse and Retell

Sir Mix-A-Lot made waves in the music industry with his 1992 hit “Baby Got Back.”  Since then, his rear-end anthem has spawned tons of bootylicious hits by some of the most successful artists of our time – but what no one has done (until Miss Minaj) was take the OG-booty track and remake it into an even more explicit and beat-filled modern hit.

Nicki Minaj has succeeded in what many brands are trying to do/should be doing: taking a classic piece of content and adding a modern twist to make it relevant again.  This is a trend we would love to see much more of; brands should be taking worn static/print content and revamping it as an interactive and digital experience to 1) extend the reach of their existing content and 2) save precious time and resources.

2. Kinetic Content

Let’s look at some numbers. Marketing Tech Blog found that videos are 4 times more engaging than static content, driving people toward conversion faster. Visual information, specifically video, is retained in 60 seconds, the equivalent of 1.8 million words. Flat, text-heavy digital content is over.

There’s no question that visuals are powerful.  When Anaconda was first released, it had already been playing on the radio for months, quickly climbing the charts and giving Miss Minaj yet another hit. It wasn’t until she released the racey, seductive, and very NSFW music video for Anaconda, that that infamous track evolved into the pop culture hit it is today. It now has well over quarter of a billion views on Youtube. Needless to say it’s made a lasting impression.

Although I can’t be certain that twerking throughout the jungle in a pink thong will help you sell that new set of stationery you just got in, every brand should leverage video content to help better contextualize their products.

3. Product Placement

Unbeknownst to many viewers, the Anaconda music video is one big advertisement. Matefit, Beats Pill, VSX workout clothes, Myx & Air Jordans are all brands linked to Minaj and her persona.

Product placement has been infiltrating social media channels for years now. But is there a way to do it without shoving products down the audience’s throat? It’s a fine line.

With the growth of Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms, the days of ‘under the radar’ product placement seem numbered, while blatant paid advertisements are on the rise.  All content marketers aim to entertain and engage their prospects while leading them down the path to purchase.  Nicki shows us it can be done subtly (even if nothing else in the video is).

You don’t watch Anaconda and think: “wow that was a walking billboard” – a too common theme these days. Instead, the lingering thoughts are more of “wow that was crazy…also what was that they were drinking?”

4. More is MORE

You know the saying “less is more” – well in some cases that’s just not true.  Had Minaj been low key and fully clothed, the song and the video would not have gotten the notoriety that it has. This tendency holds true in the content marketing world as well.

The more innovative, surprising, and entertaining your content, the better results it will yield.  Monsoon recently started producing a monthly Swoon for Monsoon magazine packed with GIFS, videos, imagery, products, interactivity – you name it, they got it.  This piece has not only proved to be a success across their conversions but has also helped get them listed as one of the top 50 retail power brands.

The Bottom Line

Nicki showed us something we never expected to see from a pop star – a brilliant content marketing strategy that leverages re-usable content and customer engagement through video to push the boundaries and sell more of the Minaj brand.  If hindsight is 20/20, then we all have a lot to learn here.

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