4 Inbound Marketing Lessons From This Fall's Season Premieres

It used to be that people eagerly awaited TV Guide to see what they should tune into for fall, but now major networks compete for attention with on-demand TV, Netflix binging, and of course, the internet, so cutting through the clutter to attract an audience is harder than ever. With just one chance to make a first impression, fall TV shows are a great case study for how to run your marketing today: you have to think about capturing attention quickly and inspiring action.

Marketing is in my DNA, so for me, a show isn’t just entertainment, it’s a campaign. Viewers are tuning out traditional media and finding content they want to consume online. That means networks like ABC and NBC need to follow suit and take an inbound marketing approach to growing their viewership. Series like “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Parenthood, and “How To Get Away With Murder” air on cable television but they have taken on a life of their own across social media, websites, and blogs. Here are four inbound marketing lessons all businesses, and brands can learn from last week’s slew of series kick-offs:



Take Social Cues

Every marketer should know by now that social media should be taken seriously. In case you didn’t, “How To Get Away With Murder” made the case last week when the official Twitter account (@HowToGetAwayABC) reached over 72,000 followers just hours after the show aired for the first time ever. People were following the brand online before they even knew whether or not they actually liked the show. Not only did having an engaging Twitter account help build buzz for the premiere, but it provided a built-in audience that had the kick-off on its radar ready to tune in.

Get Visual

Another reason brands should spend more time on social media is that it’s become easier than ever to share visual content. Your audience is more likely to click on and consume visuals than they are plain text so take a cue from Parenthood’s Facebook page and start sharing images, videos, and graphics. Luckily, you don’t need a graphic designer or Adobe skills to create engaging content. Check out tools like Canva and PicMonkey to quickly craft your own visuals.  

Build a Community

Companies today need to build more than a customer base, they need to build a community. With more and more buyers distrusting marketing, they’re turning to their friends, colleagues, and networks to learn about brands first-hand. Scandal has an active fan base that’s churning out content, and word-of-mouth buzz through blogs like Scandal Moments; that’s more powerful than any network-backed commercial or print ad. Start thinking about how you can create an experience with your product or service that your audience won’t just enjoy, but advocate for.

Test Your Content

There are so many digital marketing platforms out there that it can sometimes get overwhelming for marketers. Do I have to post to every social media channel every day? How many blogs should I have? The best way to map out your marketing strategy is to test, learn, and apply. Figure out which type of content works best for your business and double down on creating more of it instead of worrying about being present on every platform. For example, “Grey’s Anatomy” has extensive content on its ABC profile including blog posts, contests, and video clips. By offering various types of media, you can decide which perform best and which to cut from your plan.

You may not tune into “Scandal” or “Grey’s Anatomy” next week (guilty), but you should consider how these shows are connecting with potential viewers today in ways that weren’t possible 10 or 15 years ago. Take advantage of the inbound marketing tools at your fingertips and start engaging online--your audience will thank you for it.

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