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In 2011, Netflix doubled down on their investment outbidding HBO and AMC for House of Cards at a staggering bid of $4 million-$6 million per episode. In total, this invested netted out to be more than $100 million for the first two seasons in production & promotion.

Studies found that Netflix needed about 520,834 new users — in two years — to break even on their House of Cards investment. With more than 5 million views on the trailer for Season 3 and 2 million new U.S. subscribers in the first quarter during the year of its release - it's safe to say that Netflix made the right decision with this investment.

But House of Cards isn't a successful TV series because of luck or a magical cast. It's the most successful Netflix original for the same reasons that some pieces of content stand out while others blend in. It's successful because Netflix leveraged content intelligence to determine whether or not House of Cards was the right show to invest in.

Here's how you can apply this approach to content marketing..

1. Research First. Content Second. (Moz, FollowerWonk, BuzzSumo, etc..)

ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
What Type Of Content Is Popular In Your Industry?
Where Is Your Audience Spending Time?
What Content Stirs Up The Most Conversation?
Who Influences Their Content Consumption Habits?

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