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  • Writer's pictureBen Tonak

The Most Expensive Marketing Is the Best Marketing Plan For Your Business

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


Have you ever wondered if content marketing actually works?

Spoiler alert: It does.

I may have thought like you a few years back. Then, 2 years ago, Netflix featured the Drive to Survive series on my homepage. The trailer was interesting enough so I decided to dive into a few episodes. By the end of the 2nd episode, I was hooked. I binged all three seasons and couldn't get enough of Formula 1.


Formula 1 needed a way to break into the American market. By partnering with Netflix and creating a show that told the story of the teams (read content marketing) they were able to do just that.

I had no interest in F1 before watching. I had actually been to a race before because I got free tickets and I still didn't really care. It wasn't until I understood what goes into the sport that I fell in love with it. Netflix brought me the context I needed to build that relationship.

It's also important to remember that content marketing is a long-term play. I didn't even discover the show until Season 3!

Let's walk through the sales journey:

  1. F1/Netflix invests in content.

  2. I see the content 3 years later.

  3. I purchase a subscription to F1TV for the 2021 season and watch every single race.

  4. I get so invested that I buy tickets to the race in Austin, TX for 2021.

  5. I buy gear and merch at the race.

  6. I repeat this purchase process and event attendance for 2022.

  7. I'm about to again in 2023.

  8. I'm writing to you all about my experience.

If you told me five years ago that I would be a massive Formula One fan, I would've laughed at you. Content marketing led me here. I understand that three years may be too long for your company to have to wait to see a significant ROI. I get it. But we're here to tell you that the best brands do this and don't have to worry about long-term ROI. If you don't, you will always chase the next ROAS hack desperately needing more instead of letting your customers spread the message for you.

Formula 1 has seen a ton of success in the states since the show originally aired. Several fans I've spoken with at the races mention the show as a reason for their fandom. They've even added 2 more races in the U.S. (Miami and Las Vegas) as a result of the surge in demand.

What can you and your business learn from a couple of billion-dollar brands?

  1. Check out Drive to Survive on Netflix. There is a ton to learn about the way they build drama and tell stories that you could apply to your Instagram Reels, Blogs, and more.

  2. Stop underestimating content marketing. It's 2023. We are so far beyond wondering if these platforms are here to stay that it isn't even funny anymore. Tell stories that draw people in and turn them into raving fans.

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