Five New Rules for Entertainment Marketers

Marketing in today’s connected world is a challenge no matter what type of audience your brand is trying to reach. But for entertainment marketers, who are working to reach today’s Millennial audiences, this challenge is exceptionally difficult given the ever-changing ways they connect and share what they know and love. 

Some entertainment brands have become very good at reaching today’s Millennials because they’ve learned these five key lessons to apply when creating and executing marketing campaigns. These are:

1. Market to More Than Demo

Marketing content across social platforms offers more power than ever before to reach potential viewers and super fans. Take your targeting beyond demo breaks and think about the proxies that can help you get right to your super viewer and sharer. 

In addition to targeting individuals of like-minded shows, consider testing other interests such as media sites wherein the audience is already looking for great content to consume and share daily. For example, if the show were about people doing new and inspiring things, consider adding targeting people with an affinity for brands like TED or Upworthy in addition to shows that might be similar.



2. Give The Goods Away

It’s long been tempting to hold back key moments from a show or season in a promo or clip in order to drive people to tune -in and “see what happens next!” Content marketers should consider when it makes sense to reveal more of those precious “can’t-miss moments” in order to fuel sharing and visibility. A great example of this recently came from ABC Family around “Pretty Little Liars” in the form of “OMG Moments” captured and promoted in near-real time. 

In our binge-fueled, on-demand world, the approach should be designed to excite an existing fan in as much as well as hook a new one who will adopt your show on their own schedule. Put the “made to share” moments out there but always know the line between “can’t-miss moments” and spoilers.

3. Don’t Bait Without a Worm

Click bait is not only lame but it’s also a sure-fire way to frustrate your audience over time. This inevitably leads them to abandon your brand socially, which is an even bigger problem if you’re a marketer trying to reach Millennials in their native environments. You can (and should) still develop headlines with hook, but you should also be prepared to pay it off post-click.

4. Use Science To Perfect The Art

We’ve all read about the importance of A/B testing key elements including headlines and imagery, so you can optimize effectively. Take the rationale a step further. Your show isn’t what you tell your viewer it is, it’s what it means to them. The way it’s presented, talked about and touted could be the difference between a hit and a miss. 

Testing headlines and images with this in mind brings you closer to understanding what elements and approaches your audience can’t resist. Use data points and themes directionally to guide how your shape your next campaign, post, meme or promo.

5. Kill Your Press Site and Empower “The Collective”

Traditional press sites are walled gardens designed to control and restrict access to assets around shows. For writers, bloggers and super fans, this is frustrating if not useless. Content owners and marketers wishing to maximize reach and shares around their content — as well as shape the message and quality of the content — should instead think about how they can supply “the collective” with an open stream of content designed to share via their own platforms, in addition to platforms like Tumblr, Reddit and Giphy. 

An interesting move in this direction most recently came from Hulu via the launch of its GIF Engine. It’s a template for a model that could be valuable for show brands looking to bring more fans to their dotcom sites to grab great content to promote.

Following some of these lessons has been shown to amplify reach and engagement across Millennials today. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that you should never stop experimenting, as what’s working today may not be next year.

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