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Got A Weekly Show? Keep Your Fans Engaged Between Episodes

As VP of Client Marketing at Gunner Technology (my other “job”) I get to work with some big clients. One such current client is launching a television network.

As part of our research for this client, we discovered how people currently interact with television. Bottom line: it’s no longer a one-way medium. Today, while watching their favorite show, someone will sit with tablet in hand or laptop by their side. They’ll talk about a show with friends on Twitter and Facebook while they view it.

This trend behooves television networks to provide a place for these fans to discuss the show, and get others involved. However that’s only one part of the equation. With shows being a weekly occurrence, what about all that time in-between?

This is where prepping fans for upcoming content using additional content comes into play. Let’s look at an example.

One of the shows I watch on a weekly basis is Fareed Zakaria GPS, a show we’ve talked about before. While looking for a book recommended by Fareed (I tend to purchase a read a lot of books he recommends), I happened upon an excellent example of this concept, which I want to share with you today.

Here it is:

Keep Your Fans Engaged Between Episodes

Let’s break this down.

#1: A Call To Action In The Headline

The first thing you’ll notice is the headline of the post: “Watch GPS: An unlikely defense of the 1%.” This headline has a lot going for it. It has a clear call to action right in the beginning, it hints at what you’ll be seeing on Fareed’s show, and it ties into a known conversation in the United States.

But why leave action up to chance? This is where the next item comes into play.

#2: Supporting Details For The Call To Action

After the attention getting headline there are a few paragraphs of summary content, complete with a link to external content. Before getting to the juicy details the headline is supported by details – the date and time to watch Fareed’s show. If you didn’t know what time to tune in, you do now.

The rest of the post is the good stuff – a small, teaser portion of Fareed’s interview with former Bain Capital Managing Director Ed Conard, about his book: Unintended Consequences (which I bought and will am currently reading).

Now the question you may be asking is this – does it work? Let’s look at #3 for the answer.

#3: Comments And Facebook Shares

This single post garnered 47 comments and 666 Facebook recommendations. Now we cannot know at this point how many of the Facebook recommendations came before or after the show aired (two days after the post was published) but regardless it got them. We can see though that the response was quite swift with a majority of the comments being posted between the publish date and the time the show aired.

Does This Work? Yes!

If you have a television show (or web show, or podcast) this is a great model for keeping fans engaged between episodes. Remember, out of sight out of mind. A little content repurposing goes a long way here.

Comments

  1. EricaRoberts says:

    Great tips! I’ll definitely keep these in mind for clients who have weekly shows. Constant engagement is key – always looking for new approaches. Thanks for the ideas! 

  2. These are some great tips, Robert! I agree, it’s a lot more fun to be invested in a series when there is something happening between episodes that keep the fans talking and engaged. There’s nothing I love more than a great discussion about what’s going to happen next in a series I love. Thanks! 

    •  @annedreshfield I agree with you, Anne. If I have to wait an entire week for another episode, I still want to be involved (especially if I’m a really big fan of the show.) Since I don’t watch a lot of live TV, on-screen hashtags do little to engage me, and sometimes I even find people who overtweet during a show annoying. I’m still pretty avid on some forums that relate to my favorite television shows, even though that’s probably pretty “old school” at this point.

      •  @AdamBritten I’m guilty of live-tweeting episodes, particularly if I know that my friends who follow me are watching, too. I’m sure most of my other followers hate it, though! :) AMC and Mad Men do a great job of engaging their audience before, during, and after each episode, and make sure to keep the dialogue going during the week. I suppose that may be because they have the resources to do so, though — the show’s been incredibly popular, so they can do that (or at least justify it). I’m not sure that’s true for other shows…

        •  @annedreshfield  @AdamBritten do the weekly shows you all watch provide any method of engagement during the show other than tweeting? For instance, do they have any on-site discussion stuff?

        •  @RobertDempsey  @annedreshfield I watch most of my TV on Hulu or some other streaming service, so I don’t really notice anything during the show. And as far as on-site stuff, I guess I’ve never really looked. I follow a couple of my favorite shows on Twitter (like The Office) but other than that, I’d rather discuss my shows with my friends, so I generally just turn to Facebook chat in order to discuss a recent episodes. TV shows need to find a way to insert themselves into that conversation without looking like they are prodding – perhaps GetGlue could be a possible solution, although I still think that site needs to figure out what they want to be.

        •  @AdamBritten  @RobertDempsey I agree with you, Adam. I don’t watch a lot of the shows on-site, so any discussion or engagement I have usually happens with friends on other channels. I have a lot of friends who use GetGlue to broadcast what they’re watching and when, but that usually doesn’t lead to much. Personally, I’d find a live chat/stream with all of the other people who are watching the show too distracting, but that may just be me. 

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