How to cook content the Breaking Bad way


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Breaking Bad has taught us a lot of things throughout its plot twists and turns, character introduction and development – things we can (somewhat surprisingly) apply to content marketing, the current ‘hot topic’ with a huge range of often-contradictory approaches.
Our extended (you have been warned) metaphor concentrates on the distribution of your meth content. You’ll need to already have some kind of content-creation system, whether that’s giving a backstage pass to show how your business, product or passion is created or by showing how the most boring jobs can actually be fascinating to people when packaged up well, you need to start using the content that’s already available to you, in various states of completeness, but is often overlooked on a day-to-day basis.
Once you’ve got a few ideas for your content, these tips can help you get it out there. It’s not enough now to just put something up on your YouTube channel and hope people watch it -sadly it’s not that easy. These tips are by no means exhaustive or gospel, but they are written from practical experience and hopefully you’ll find them useful too. If you think we’ve missed something, or you disagree with anything (or maybe everything?) we’ve put out here, or you just want to give us your honest praise, feel free to get in touch with us on Twitter:

Bought to you by @themarkcarroll @imjustmike @alexwillimott

All images belong to HBO. This is a prime example of what NOT to do (steal other people's content).

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  • Dialling up to 11… some of this we have done but perhaps in campaign others are new.
  • The gap between light touch and bigger campaign… Quick ideas, no full creative team – see how it goes. AGILE.
  • The gap between light touch and bigger campaign… Quick ideas, no full creative team – see how it goes. AGILE.
  • Not on the triangle… Like us, appreciate, interested, buying… get them involved.
  • Not on the triangle… Like us, appreciate, interested, buying… get them involved.
  • How to cook content the Breaking Bad way

    2. 2. The more we create the morewe learn. Keep adapting andexpanding the operation…Find other people whocan compliment yourskills and start workingtogether.There are different way to get yourproduct out there, from friends to otherdistributorsReward those who arehonest and loyal – go outand find new people.Start trading fame for favoursand continue to become morefamous in the process.CreateCollaborateDistributionRewardReceiveContentIs
    3. 3. • Walt’s journey begins in arickety old camper van. It’sthe first meth lab, rundownbut mobile.• Starting here they beginproduction and testing, slowlyevolving their art andeventually changing andupgrading where theyproduce.CreateMaking &
    4. 4. • Reacting to the changinglandscape whether it betechnological or behavioural•• Try new things• Quick and tight turn around• Embracing beta launchesCreateMaking &
    5. 5.• Unique style•• Low quality• Built around knowledge• WOW factorNardwuar’s YouTube ChannelNardwuar the Human Serviette
    6. 6. • Walt – a school chemistry teacher• Jesse – a want to be street smartyoung drop out• Individually they lack the full rangeof skills required to run theoperation. But together theycompliment and compensate oneanother.CollaborateFinding the right
    7. 7. Connect with specialists who can helpus create content Artists Film makers Photographers MusiciansLook for grass routes contacts. Thosewho make a living from their passion,give them a platform.CollaborateFinding the right
    8. 8. Looking in the right places for newtalent and collaborations. Also,being aware of trends in content.CollaborateFinding the right
    9. 9. Building our own network Distribution partners Product hypeDistributeGetting it out there
    10. 10. Neither Walt or Jesse are drugdealers, they needs help when itcomes to hitting the street andgetting their product out there.DistributeGetting it out thereBuilding our own
    11. 11. From content collaborations,photo-shoots to social out reach.Having a group of the right go topeople who will help us get ourcontent out there.DistributeGetting it out thereBuilding our own
    12. 12. • Independent•• Turned to the experts• Leveraged and rewarded• Quick and easy, room foreveryoneJamie Oliver FoodTube
    13. 13. DistributeGetting it out therePartnersContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comWalt and Jesse realisethey’re going to struggle tosell their product on a smallscale on the street, andthere are very few optionson the territory they can sellin.
    14. 14. Sometimes you’ll need to roll inthe big guns if you want to beseen on on a large scale, it canreally help speed things up.Make sure you’ve got yourproduct right first.DistributeGetting it out
    15. 15. • Be seen in the moment thatcounts• Reach mass quickly• Content has to be rightOREO Superbowl
    16. 16. DistributionGetting it out thereContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comProduct quality and hypeFrom season to season Walter’sunique Meth with the blue huebecomes more and morepopular, not just by those using itbut by those wanting to sell it andalso those looking to stop thesales of it
    17. 17. Best in class content will instantlybecome more appealing andhave more buzz whenever it isreleased.DistributionGetting it out thereProduct quality and
    18. 18. • Low quality, but simple andentertaining•• Easy to learn, easy to replicate• 30 seconds for anyone tocreate• Can get it wrong if you thinktoo muchHarlem Shake
    19. 19. RewardExisting fansContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comIn season 5, Mike stresses theimportance of staying loyal tothose employees who are now inprison, by continuing to pay them,despite the fact they areobviously not working. Thisloyalty comes at a large price, butwithout it everything could be lost.
    20. 20. • Create more than the visualcontent based on fanbehaviour or feedback• Offline to feed back into online– focus groups meet ups• Don’t stand still - even if fanslike what we do, don’t just domore of the sameContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comRewardExisting fans
    21. 21. RewardFinding new fansContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comSkyler (Walt’s wife) is oblivious toWalt’s drug-producing alter-ego‘Heisenberg’ for the majority of theearly series, but when she does findout, Walt has to win her over.
    22. 22. RewardFinding new fans• Talking to new people:• Influencers• Bloggers• Potential fans• ‘Cool by association’ groups• Identify new networks through:• Focus groups• Brand advocates• Online tools (Sysomos etc)• Culture infest• Using social platforms like fans
    23. 23. ReceiveLeveraging fameContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comGustavo Fring is a respectedAlbuquerquerestaurateur/philanthropist whoowns a successful chain ofchicken restaurants, Los PollosHermanos. However, behind thispopular and friendly front is anotorious drug-dealing King Pin.
    24. 24. • How?• Outreach to niche publishers• Build authority in smallernetworks• Use niche/indie premieres asbase• Sell-in over-indexed fan base– value exchange• Raise profile via wider socialchannelsContentIsLikeCrystalMeth.comReceiveLeveraging fame
    25. 25. • Hopefully more than justmoney.• Cool by association• Mutual respect and funding togrow• Clothing brands are very goodat this kind of collaborationFame can go both ways
    26. 26. The piggy bankPlanning for the unexpected isimpossible, but we can prepare.We will put aside budget to allow usto be more reactive, responsive andrelevant, and when something isworking, to really give it
    27. 27. • React to change and try new things• Collaborate – with the right people• Get better at organic distribution• Reward the loyal• Leverage fameSaul GoodmanTop 5 tips… (recap)
    28. 28. Mark Carroll | @themarkcarrollThingsisee.meTHANK YOU! Get in touch:Mike Phillips |