I have been curious recently about the ins and outs of how networks go about creating a marketing strategy for their shows. For example, ABC has a multitude of shows from their TGIT lineup, to Blackish, Castle, Dancing with the Stars, Nashville, Modern Family, and the Bachelor series. And that’s just to name a few. So I decided to do some research.
It is extremely important to draw people into that first hour. If you can get them to watch for the first hour, they are more likely to stay in front of their TV for the following hours. On Wednesday, ABC’s lineup consists of Modern Family, Black-ish, and Nashville back to back, beginning at 8:00pm. On Thursday, ABC’s TGIT lineup begins with Greys Anatomy and goes to Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. I looked back at ABC’s twitter feed and saw that Modern Family and Greys Anatomy were the two Wednesday/Thursday shows advertised last week.
Analyze your audience. If your audience is mostly young people, you are more likely going to find TV show promos on mediums where young people frequent, such as Instagram and Twitter. In a world of Hulu and Netflix, it is important to get your audience to the TV screen. Networks get ratings from those who watch their shows live. Networks must find a way to generate that live audience when DVR, on-demand, and other streaming services often seem like a more time effective option. One thing that I have witnessed networks doing is making TV show watching more of an experience. They secure viewers in that first hour and encourage them to stay for the following hours through “viewing parties”. Some networks will even send “viewing party kits” for their night of TV. This exponentially increases their chance of maintaining the live audience for an entire night of television.
All in all, marketing for a TV show is no longer an easy game. It requires strategy, careful thought, and collaboration. Networks have to choose wisely which shows they heavily promote. It is much easier to maintain an already gained audience, than to secure a brand new audience. So, do you market new shows or preexisting ones? Is it possible to do both?