Marketing platform Mailchimp is producing its own original short-form video series, films and podcasts around themes that resonate with its users: entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
The content does not contain any Mailchimp advertising within the video and podcasts.
“We are probably best known for our podcast sponsorship… particularly of series like ‘Serial’” Mark DiCristina, head of brand and Mailchimp Studios, told Publishers Daily.
The company wanted to “create more value to our customers by making content, instead of just sponsoring it. We can own the media instead of renting space,” he said.
For the past 18 months, Mailchimp staffed up an in-house team of nine employees who have “significant industry experience in the entertainment world” and built out a slate of programming.
The platform, called Mailchimp Presents, is launching with over 50 pieces of content on its own landing hub. Dozens more are set to release this year.
Videos and podcasts focus on the journey of entreprenuership — whether related to the emotional experiences of small-business owners or more general themes, such as embracing failure and imposter syndrome.
The company has 11 million active customers.
For those who aren’t Mailchimp customers, the video and podcasts can expand brand awareness. It partnered with production companies like Vice, Pineapple Street Media, Scout Productions (the producers of “Queer Eye”), Caviar and Pop-Up Magazine to help produce a “high volume of content,” said Sarita Alami, production lead of Mailchimp Presents.
Mailchimp has “long relationships” with many of these companies, through previous sponsorships.
The marketing platform company also teamed with well-known directors and producers, like Jason Woliner and Hrishikesh Hirway, and talent like Jay Duplass, Samin Nosrat and Big Boi.
Mailchimp’s podcast “Going Through It,” created in partnership with Pineapple Street Media, features 14 women — from Hilary Clinton to Soledad O’Brien — “talking about the moment in their lives when they had to decide whether to quit or whether to keep going,” Alami said.
An original scripted series, called “Trade Show Show” is a comedic mockumentary about the quirky characters and businesses that attend trade shows, an experience many Mailchimp customers are familiar with, Alami added.
Content is distributed on Mailchimp’s owned-and-operated properties, including its dedicated hub, and email and social channels. Mailchimp Presents’ content is free, even for those who aren’t Mailchimp users.“We might do some sampling on YouTube and experiment with distribution, but we want to bring people to Mailchimp right now,” DiCristina said.
In the future, Mailchimp sees an opportunity in licensing content, especially short-form video. “73 Cows,” which follows a U.K. farmer pursuing organic vegan farming, is an example of a short that will be licensed by Mailchimp Presents. “73 Cows” was the winner of the 2019 BAFTA for Best British Short.
Mailchimp Presents has a rolling production schedule. It has completed enough content to release multiple series and films every month for the rest of this year and into 2020.