This is it! The moment you and your fans have been waiting for. It’s time to launch your show!
You spent a ton of time, money, and effort creating your show. But you’re not quite done yet. Now, you need to have a plan in place for your show’s launch and promotion.
In this post, we’ll break down what goes into promoting a video series or podcast from launch and beyond. Let’s go!
On a scale of pencil dive to cannonball, how big of a splash are you trying to make with your show’s launch? Analogies aside, the scale of your launch is the first thing you’ll want to nail down before you get into the specifics of your show’s promotion strategy. You’ll want to consider things like your budget, resources, and bandwidth and how those will impact the goal of your launch.
Speaking of goals — what are you trying to achieve right out of the gate? A large launch designed to reach as many relevant eyeballs as possible to drive leads will require a different approach than a soft launch intended to test the waters and gather feedback.
Here are a few things to keep in mind ahead of launch day:
- Assets: What will you need right out of the gate on launch day? This might include your show’s trailer, creative assets for social media or email, a dedicated page or Channel to host your content, and a segmented list of contacts in your database.
- Format: Is your show a reality docu-series with gripping hooks at the end of each episode? Or maybe an interview show featuring industry leaders? The format will shape how you promote and talk about your show.
- Release: Are you dropping all of your episodes at once? Or will you keep folks coming back each week for new content? An ongoing cadence could require more effort over time to keep viewers engaged.
“Your release cadence will impact how you promote your show. If you launch your entire series at once, then you’re going to want to promote the entire series. Think about the broad messages and what you’ll be talking about to get people excited to watch all of it. If you’re doing an ongoing release, you’ll want to promote the series as a whole but also the specific episode that’s available now and also tease what’s coming next.”Dan Mills
Head of Wistia Studios
When you launch your series, it’s time to flip on all the switches, set the phasers to blast, and go all-in on your show. So, how are you going to do that? Start with your owned properties.
When someone visits your website, they should immediately know that you’re launching a show. You should give your show top-level placement, marquee billing across your website. This might include a banner or pop-up on the homepage, launching a dedicated webpage for your content, and adding the show to your navigation so folks can easily find it.
Next up is your blog. If you run an active blog, you should create posts that support the launch of your series. Introduce the series with an announcement post, interview guests about their experience, go behind the scenes, and share content that will initiate a conversation with your audience. And don’t forget to add video to your blog posts! This can be a great place to repurpose existing clips and snippets to introduce readers to your show.
Finally, email. You’ve got to let your existing customers and fans know that your show exists. Send an announcement to relevant email lists while also building a dedicated list of subscribers. You can reach out to this new list when you have new episodes or sweeten the pot with exclusive content. Whatever you do, make sure you provide value and put a smile on their face with the content you’re sending them.
Now that your show is out into the world, it’s time to focus on ongoing promotion and audience engagement. Here are a few of our favorite channels to promote show content.
Social media is a natural place to promote your show content. Social platforms are highly engaging, which pairs nicely with video and audio content. And many platforms offer advanced targeting capabilities, which make it easy to get your content in front of a niche audience.
But, you’ll want to be mindful of how much you give away on social. Take a note from the Netflix promotion playbook and stick to leveraging social to create awareness and drive viewers back to your website for the full experience.
“The way to get the best of both worlds and really leverage your social media accounts is to use platforms like YouTube and Instagram for clips and trailers and then drive your audience to your website. By not requiring a huge attention span on social media, you’re not losing audiences who might otherwise drop off, but you’re getting the full value of a long engagement in an environment that you control on your website.”Phil Nottingham
Be sure to go big on launch day. We recommend making your channels all about your new show on launch day and even for a few days after to keep the momentum going.
After your initial announcement, focus on building and nurturing a dedicated subscriber list. You can reach out to them when you have new episodes, but you also want to make sure that you provide value and put a smile on their face with the content you’re sending them.
“Behavior-based drip campaigns are especially helpful if you drop all of your episodes at once. Automation helps you to keep track of where viewers are in the series to ensure you’re sending relevant and timely content.”Evanna Payen
Senior Growth Marketer, Wistia
If you have a marketing automation solution, you can take promotion a step further by feeding your video data into your contact database. This will allow you to set up behavior-based drip campaigns to nurture viewers to finish your show. For example, you could set up a workflow that emails people to complete an episode if they watched less than 75%. Or, you could set up a workflow that nudges people to watch the next episode if they finished an episode and dropped off.
Set your team up for success with dedicated sales enablement materials. This could be as simple as a one-pager with high-level messaging, top takeaways, and sample copy for folks to easily share the show across their own channels.
To prepare for Show Business, we held a virtual training session with our entire sales team to walk everyone through our full promotion plan. This helped them understand the customer journey and better understand what their prospects and customers would be experiencing. We also answered questions they had upfront to better prepare them for conversations.
If you’ve got a little bit of budget to play with, experiment with paid campaigns to drive folks into your show experience. Advertising can be a great way to reach net-new audiences or to re-engage existing viewers through retargeting.
“One of the best ways to leverage advertising is through hyper-targeted display ads. We did this when we developed our show Rev Ops and Hops. By using display and social ads, we were able to target a very specific niche. As a result, we were able build entirely new audience that we could sell our products to but also who could consume our content, and we never would have been able to do that without a show that was specifically targeted for them.”Patrick Campbell
Guest promo kits are a surefire way to expand your reach beyond your own audiences. At Wistia, we create custom promo kits for any guest we have on our shows. This kit contains custom artwork, pull quotes, and sample copy for social media. If a guest feels included, all they have to do is copy and paste our suggestions and voila, a whole new audience.
Here’s an example of a promo asset we created for our podcast Talking Too Loud.
Urchin tracking module codes (or UTM for short) are custom strings of text that you can add to the end of a link to track things like source, medium, campaign name, and more.
Here’s an example of a UTM code for this post:
For Show Business, we created custom links for different promotional channels including social media, email, our internal sales team, external show talent, and public relations.
If you’re sharing your show on multiple channels and through multiple campaigns, UTM codes can help you easily segment your data in Google Analytics to track show performance. The key to making the most of UTM codes is to be consistent. You’ll want your entire team to use the same naming convention and letter case for the various fields.
We highly recommend building a dedicated analytics dashboard to track show performance from launch and beyond. This can be a dashboard in a free solution like Google Analytics or something more robust like Databox that pulls in data from multiple sources. Talk to the teams involved with the launch and figure out what metrics are important. Then, figure out a way to pull all of this data together into one place for easy monitoring and greater transparency.
The best marketing campaigns include multiple touch points to keep your content top-of-mind. Think through all of your marketing channels and take the time to plan meaningful and engaging communications from launch day and beyond.
“People have to hear something over and over again before they actually pay attention to it, so don’t be afraid to cross-promote things. Your content should really be 20% creation, 80% promotion. 80% of your energy should be on how you promote it.”David Cancel
There you have it — our complete guide to show promotion. Hungry for more? Be sure to watch Show Business for access to our stand-alone show promotion checklist. Register for free!