The fall TV season is nearly upon us, and with it a slate of new TV shows looking to create audiences and build buzz. But promoting a TV show in the digital age is more complicated than ever before. Although older generations still reliably tune into TV, millennials watch 2.5 times more internet video than television. To build TV buzz in today’s increasingly digital, multi-screen and multi-platform environment, marketers should leverage influencers to ensure a successful TV show promotional campaign. How can marketers harness the potential of influencers to drive TV show success? Here are a few approaches to consider:

  1. Get an influencer “superfan” to share their excitement for an upcoming show premiere: For many of TV’s most popular shows, the anticipation of waiting for the next episode is a big part of the fun. Superfans love to speculate about how the story will develop, discuss their favorite characters, and share in the excitement with other eager viewers. Savvy marketers can use this excitement to their advantage by having influencers post about their favorite shows. TV Land’s “Younger” used this to great effect in a post by social media creator Daniella Monet.
  2. Ask the influencer to interact with fans during the show premiere or live broadcasts: Online conversation is a big part of the success of many of today’s most popular TV shows. Influencers can play an important role in this process, serving to help moderate and centralize online conversation about a show. Consider having an influencer partner moderate a live discussion on social media during the show broadcast. This approach can also work well during live TV events where influencers serve as on-air hosts and moderators, much like NBC did with influencers Flula Borg and Jerry Purpdrank during the 2016 Rio Olympics.
  3. Invite an influencer to the premiere party: The red carpet used to be reserved exclusively for on-camera TV talent and the biggest Hollywood celebrities. But as we’ve seen at this year’s Cannes premieres and elsewhere, inviting influencers to attend red-carpet premiere parties can help build awareness and tune-in for new shows.
  4. Create an asset that influencers can share: Even if a show’s potential viewers aren’t already excited for an upcoming show debut, savvy TV marketers can use digital and physical assets to help build up the anticipation. A great example of this was the recent Game of Thrones Snapchat lenses, which let social users share clips of themselves looking like the show’s menacing White Walkers. Another opportunity to get influencers to share content related to TV shows is by hosting trivia contests where participants can win “swag bags” of show-related merchandise. The prize packages are often great fodder for social media posts once they’ve been received by winners.
  5. Make the influencers part of the action: As the popular expression suggests, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” This is particularly true when it comes to incorporating social media influencers into show content itself. Popular social stars like Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley, Kandee Johnson and Logan Paul have been recruited to help provide a social media boost to TV shows and film audiences.

Consumers’ TV habits are rapidly evolving, thanks to a growing range of screen and platform viewing choices. That’s why it’s all the more important that TV marketers think outside the box when it comes time to promote their next fall show debut. With the right influencer approach and the right social content strategy, TV programming can still have just as much impact.

Contact the Captiv8 team today to start brainstorming your next marketing strategy for the upcoming fall TV season!