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Lessons from Lemonade for content marketers

Beyoncé broke the internet... AGAIN. What was her strategy? Visual content. What was the content? She told a story. A story that had people worldwide engaged and glued to their screens (TV, computer monitors and mobile devices). Every content marketer's dream.
As I was writing this, Lemonade was number 1 on iTunes in over 40 countries.

Good Morning America tweeted:

Beyoncé’s official account on Twitter announced the visual and that tweet alone got 80,000 retweets and 91,000 likes!

I didn’t watch Lemonade when everybody was watching it but followed the excitement and narrative via Twitter feeds. Everybody unpacking and adding their opinions on what the content she was delivering was about. Puzzles were being solved. From Jay-Z’s infidelity to tweeps finding the ‘Becky with the Good Hair’ and #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic and the forgiveness and healing. Beyoncé had her audience eating from her palms. Everybody had something to say from those who are loyal fans to those who don’t like her and wanted it to be known.

It was fantastic to watch. Beyoncé did say in Formation “You know you that b**** when you cause all this conversation”.

So what are the lessons we can learn from Lemonade:

1. Tell authentic stories

Heartbreak is real and many have experienced it. Beyoncé played on the rumours that have been doing the rounds since Solange beat Jay-Z up in the elevator. The story was there. She brought it to life, knowing very well that many women experience it. Even linked her father into it: “you remind me of my father” she says in one of her songs. The audience believe she is nursing a broken heart. Staying with a man that betrayed her. The visuals of her sad, angry, crazy, smashing car windows to prove her point.

2. Visuals

It’s 2016. We shouldn’t be reminded how important visuals are. Your visuals (stills/video) must support your story. Beyoncé could have released a string of videos that just supported her music but she chose not to do that. Michael Jackson didn’t become legendary by simply releasing a video which didn’t strongly support the music. Beyoncé has followed the steps of the legends before her. Worked with great producers and directed narratives to support the music.

3. Work with a great team

Take some time to read through the credits. Surround yourself with people on the same mission as you and you will be great. You might be great at coming up with the ideas or developing a story but someone else might be a better writer, director, music compiler etc. Beyoncé had choreographers, poets, designers, song writers – she knows she is not a magician.

Lemonade still has people writing opinion pieces, unpacking bits and pieces of the narrative. That’s what makes great content – it lives on after the fact. Beyoncé left it to her audience to interpret it how they best see it fit – no interview has been granted, she has tried to explain it and there are no hints on any of her owned channels that she will unpack it for us. I am excited to see what will unfold next. Will she drop a documentary unpacking the making of Lemonade? Or will the story end with the audience?

About Tokiso Molefe

Tokiso Molefe is an all-round communication professional as a digital strategist, content development manager, media trainer and fitness entrepreneur. She holds a BA degree in Languages: Political Science and Communication and Honours degree in Media Studies: Journalism...
Donald Clarke
Couldn't agree more with your insights. These are principals we follow at Lucky Bean and has helped us create award winning content for our clients.
Posted on 29 Apr 2016 13:29

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