An integral part of Brand Affinity Marketing is how you distribute and promote your content. Media companies are already in the business of aggregating, creating, and distributing content to the masses that helps them build audiences, and now B2B and B2C businesses can get in on the action too.
The essence of a media company strategy is about driving audiences to a central, controlled location to consume content. Social media platforms are used to promote and advertise content, but all with the long-term goal of driving users to a platform where you can drive sustained engagement. In the case of a media company, that means selling more ads or content subscriptions.
For businesses, the benefit is slightly different. While you may not be selling ads or subscriptions to your content, you still want to move audiences to an environment where you can capture as much engagement as possible, rather than constantly battling for attention against the latest amusing cat videos. Brand affinity increases with time spent, not the number of touch points.
People will typically spend way more time with content on your site than with your content on social media. At Wistia, users spend an average of 64% longer watching videos when they’re viewed on Wistia.com vs. our YouTube Channel (data from comparing 2 million most recent views across YouTube.com vs Wistia.com).
That’s why it’s important to create amazing content and then use your marketing to drive people to it. With Brand Affinity Marketing, it’s all about pulling in an audience, as opposed to simply churning out more and more blog posts and content.
Create a destination for your video series
The context, framing, and design all matter a great deal in ensuring consistent and lasting engagement. Your goal is to offer a lean-back viewing experience, similar to the experience offered by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which encourages your audience to keep watching video after video. This is best achieved by creating a dedicated home for your show on your own website, as part of your overall brand and customer experience.
Just like Netflix celebrates its original content by ensuring each show has a stand-out, distinct visual brand, businesses get the opportunity to brand their own binge-worthy content with a home base on their site. Eye-catching visuals, colors, fonts, and more all serve your content in a way that supports them and lifts them up. You should still use social media to promote your content, of course, so long as you’re driving viewers back to your site where you have control over the entire viewing experience.
To put it simply, you should create a highly curated experience on your site, establish a sub-brand for your binge-worthy video series, and then use social media to help drive viewers back to your content where they can consume it distraction-free.
Promote your video series
One of the main reasons why companies tend to use social media as the go-to spot for sharing all video content is the misunderstanding that the content needs to be available in full on social media in order for it to be discovered. Instead, promoting trailers and snippets from your shows works well for driving folks back to the home base on your own site. Doing so ensures that users can find your content through search and recommendations, but that if they’re intrigued and engaged enough by your offering, they’ll move from a social channel to an owned channel.
The best approach to promoting your video series on social media is to replicate the approach taken by broadcasters and media companies like Netflix.
Netflix uses YouTube liberally, but only to publish search-optimized video clips and trailers from their full-length content, in order to pique the interest of potential subscribers. Similarly, Facebook and Instagram are actively used by Netflix to make potential audiences aware of new content during a launch phase.
When you set about promoting your show to new and existing members of your niche audience on social media, with email, and beyond, there are many tactics to consider. Most importantly, give your content an official “launch” with an announcement of the release of your content—whether you put out every episode of your show all at once, or release on a different cadence, like weekly or bi-weekly.
Here are some ideas for how you can promote your video series:
- Find out where your target audience likes to spend time online and share your trailer on those channels
- Use what you know about the niche audience that exists within your customer base to create a lookalike audience
- Encourage viewers to subscribe to receive notifications and updates about your video series
- Build anticipation by publishing supporting, related content on your blog and on your social media channels
- Do co-marketing with any special guests or influencers you may have featured on your show
- Email your existing audience base to announce your new show, with a link to the trailer in the email
Communicate with subscribers
The success of binge-worthy shows almost always rests on the power of word of mouth, but you don't have to wait until launch to get things started. Build up demand ahead of launching a new show by creating a trailer to communicate what's coming. Establish a distinct brand for your show that goes along with the trailer and launch a “coming soon” page on your site that features both the trailer and the name of your show. Be sure to allow interested users to subscribe and receive alerts when the show launches too.
Subscriptions secured via email submission on an owned platform are worth far more than followers or subscribers on YouTube, Facebook, and more, because:
- You can email these subscribers every time you publish new content
- You can integrate these subscribers into your CRM and lead nurturing campaigns
- You can track their engagement and behavior on your site, which lets you offer more personalized communications
- You can advertise to these subscribers across the web, not just on the platforms they’re already subscribed to
One of the best parts about creating your first video series is that it becomes even easier to drive viewers to your content and build your audience over time once you have one show under your belt. Give your viewers the ability to opt-in for updates about the show by adding a subscribe feature to your home base. When you have that email address in hand, you’re able to track how much viewers are watching, craft personalized communication based on where they are in the series, and even cross-promote additional shows you create.
You can send them things like notifications when a new episode launches, access to extended cuts of episodes, behind-the-scenes content, bonus episodes, and more.
Build an engaged audience
As we mentioned before, when it comes to marketing like a media company, this strategy is all about driving audiences to an owned location to consume your content—in this case, your website. Driving people to your site gives you the opportunity to create a more curated experience, speak directly with your viewers, and re-engage with them on your own terms. When viewers visit your site to watch your video series, you control the brand experience and have more influence over what action they take next. For example, you can encourage viewers to fill out an email form and opt-in to receive notifications about when new episodes come out, when behind the scenes extras are available, and more.
Plus, once you create a number of video series, the opportunities for engagement multiply, just like they do for traditional media companies. With a few series under your belt, you’re able to repeat the promotional process for each video series—promoting and cross-promoting your content to folks who have opted-in for communication. Not only are you able to re-engage with existing fans, but the relationship you’re working so hard to build with viewers often inspires fans to go out and find new fans for you via word of mouth. All of this work serves to bolster your brand and help you grow an engaged audience of super fans.