Social Media Strategy for Entertainment Marketing Strategy

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  • The Script

    The story of how Entertainment & Content

    companies deliver blockbuster social media

    marketing success.

    Written by


  • Contents

    [FOREWORD] 1.


    Setting the Stage and Setting Objectives 4.

    [ACT 1:]

    Know the Audience 8.

    [ACT 2:]

    Filling the Back Rows 10.

    [ACT 3:]

    Filling the Front Rows 22.

    [ACT 4:]

    Opening Night Driving Tune-In and Monetization 30.


    Infographic of Entertainment Benchmarks 35.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 1.


    SETTING: The not-too-distant future. Interior apart-

    ment. A video plays on an open laptop. A man using

    a remote control pages through TV listings on a big

    screen on the wall while a woman seated next to him on

    the couch looks at her smartphone.


    Imagine a not-too-distant future where channel surf-

    ing and surfing the internet have merged. Instead of

    searching with Google or Netflix, users will find

    content such as articles and videos through a recom-

    mendation engine like Facebooks Newsfeed. Clicking

    on content will launch a separate viewing experience,

    where your favorite Funny or Die clips live right next

    to the latest episode of Game of Thrones or an arti-

    cle on your industry from the Wall Street Journal.

    Comments, Tags, and Likes from your social network

    will surface within the content or even a real-time

    chat with friends currently watching the same thing.

    Authentication brings all your subscriptions together.

    This viewing window may have an app that lives in your

    OTT device, or you could simply share from your smart-

    phone to the bigscreen on the living room wall.

    More people already discover more new content that mat-

    ters to them via Social than any other channel1. As

    the world evolves to a scenario like this, marketers of

    content, be they YouTube stars, TV Networks, Publishers

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 2.

    of Articles, or Movie Studios, must adapt. This guide

    provides current best practices, benchmarks, and rec-

    ommended strategies that have propelled CitizenNet

    to be the world leader in social media marketing for

    Entertainment Brands. Whether your objective is driv-

    ing tune-in for an ad supported channel (online or of-

    fline), or increasing engagement with branded content

    within Social -- this guide is for you. Enjoy!

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 3.

    S ocial media is the perfect venue for marketing entertainment properties and other types of content. This is where people go to talk about what they like, and to learn what their friends like that they may also be interested in. What better place to suggest a

    new show or movie? Combined with the fact that marketers can target

    specific, expressed interests and deliver video natively hosted right in the

    middle of the content and social media becomes a powerful channel for

    entertainment and content marketers.

    However, to make the most of the opportunity, marketers still need a

    strategic approach that leverages all of the available tools. Over the past

    five years, CitizenNet has built deep expertise in the Entertainment ver-

    tical, working with a wide range of marketers covering a wide range of

    objectives. In the first half of 2015 CitizenNet marketed 15 Top Earning

    Box Office Movies - more than half of all weekends. This guide distills

    this expertise and shares our strategies in a practical and applicable way.

    When people ask me if i went to film school, I tell them, No. I went to films.

    -Quentin Tarantino Oscar-winning screenwriter

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 4.

    [BEFORE THE CURTAIN:] Setting the Stage and Setting


    With any marketing campaign, properly defining objectives is essential

    for success. For publishers of content, the ultimate objective is mone-

    tization, which is typically achieved by driving viewership. Where the

    content is consumed, however, can range from offline viewing, views on

    owned platforms, or views on network platforms like YouTube.

    Branded Content and Online Viewing

    For publishers creating content with integrated sponsor branding, any

    view that can be verified has monetary value. The value increases as

    publishers are able to provide additional insights and ongoing engage-

    ment with viewers. Because the content is itself the promotional vehicle

    these publishers do not need to drive views on a separate ad supported

    platform to make revenue. Often, these creators rely on online channels

    for wide reach and frictionless sharing, and objectives typically focus on

    efficient reach (a large number of impressions, often targeting unique

    reach with a large number of individuals) and completed video views.

    YouTube has a built in advertising mechanism that creators can use to

    drive traffic to their channel and views of their content. Most YouTube

    users are not logged-in however, so the insights about the viewers are

    not totally accurate and it is difficult to gain a complete understanding

    of unique reach / unique impressions as the same person may watch

    the video multiple times. YouTube does make it easy to refer viewers

    to other online platforms however, with typical strategies beginning

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 5.

    by targeting appropriate viewers on YouTube to drive a view there, and

    then using clickable links at the end of videos to direct users to another

    online destination or App download for ongoing engagement.

    Alternatively, Facebook and Instagram require login so utilizing native

    video on those platforms can provide better insights on the individuals

    who engage, as well as provide accurate data on unique reach / impres-

    sions. Facebook also offers publishers the opportunity to re-engage

    video viewers with subsequent videos in a series for example. Of course,

    both give marketers the opportunity to send viewers to other online

    destinations like streaming platforms or app downloads.

    Twitter does not offer native long-form video, so video views there are

    essentially ads for video content hosted elsewhere.

    Advertising / Ticket Sales Supported Content and Offline Viewing

    For most content creators, the goal is driving views of content on offline

    screens (TV, OTT, and Theatres) and monetization is through advertis-

    ing or ticket sales. For these content creators, driving online views is

    only the beginning.

    In working with these types of advertisers we have developed a full

    theater approach that has generated success in driving ticket sales and


  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 6.

    Filling the Back Rows: Wide Awareness

    Big budget movies hoping to win the weekend, or network TV shows

    hunting strong ratings, need to ensure that their target audience is

    aware of the movie/show. The key is identifying the widest relevant

    audience. Through the pre-planning research discussed in the next

    chapter, advertisers can identify broad categories of interests for use in

    creating wide awareness and generating insights that drive targeting

    for ongoing campaigns. Tools like Facebooks Reach and Frequency

    Buying make it easy for advertisers to focus on new, unique users within

    a target. Twitters Amplify and Publisher Network also make it easy for

    advertisers to extend their reach with relevant targets. Detailed strat-

    egies and tactics for achieving this Wide Awareness are discussed in

    subsequent sections of this guide.

    Through granular segmentation, even during this initial phase, adver-

    tisers can gain insights on which sub-segments are the most responsive.

    This insight is vital to success in ongoing phases for deepening engage-

    ment and efficient scaling.

    Filling the Front Rows: Deep Engagement

    Awareness is not enough, audiences must not only be aware of the

    release date, but also desire to see the content. Through refining cre-

    ative and focusing targeting based on analysis of campaigns in the initial

    phase, marketers can build deepening engagement with the most im-

    portant audiences. After identifying which audience sub-segments are

    most engaged, advertisers can predict those groups most likely to re-

    spond to subsequent messaging and target these specifically for ongoing

    Awareness is not enough, audiences must not only be aware of the release date, but also desire to see the content.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 7.

    campaigns. Those audiences that have already engaged can be re-tar-

    geted to deepen engagement and ensure that this show is top-of-mind.

    Channel specific tactics will be discussed at length.

    Balancing Reach and Response

    Through ongoing iterations in creative and ongoing refinement in tar-

    geting, for both Awareness and Engagement campaigns, advertisers can

    achieve wide awareness and deep engagement without wasting money

    creating awareness or overexposure with un-interested people. This

    delivers optimal results for any budget. It is important to remember the

    two separate objectives (Wide Awareness, and Deep Engagement) and to

    use different strategies and tactics for achieving these objectives. More

    details on the best tools and tricks are discussed later.

    With clear objectives in mind, lets move on to the strategies and tactics

    that deliver the awareness and engagement necessary to drive the action

    of tune-in and ticket sales.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 8.

    [ACT 1:] Know the Audience

    Understanding the target audience is the key to results with any adver-

    tising campaign. The same is true for Entertainment companies. Most

    content producers have a strong understanding of who they are creat-

    ing the content for and who they expect it to resonate with. While this

    knowledge is invaluable in developing targeting strategies, one must go

    beyond typical broad demographics to achieve blockbuster results.

    Beyond Demographics

    Although demographics like age and gender are widely used for de-

    fining an audience, there are other powerful ways to segment the

    audience. A Horror film should care more about finding people who

    like Horror films than they do about reaching a specific age range.

    Furthermore, fans of Vampire Movies can often be very different from

    fans of Slasher Films both of which are meaningful sub-genres within

    Horror. Creating rich, meaningful profiles of the target audience helps

    with targeting, which amplifies performance.

    Social media offers rich information on user interests more easily and at

    a lower cost than most traditional research methodologies. There are

    many options for social media listening / analysis / research tools (See

    Inset: CitizenNets Audience Analysis and Prediction). Regardless of

    what tools you use, even freebies like Facebooks Audience Insights Tool,

    it is vital for advertisers to conduct prior analysis of their target and to

    develop an understanding of relevant sub-segments.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 9.

    Identifying Sub-Segments of the Audience

    A major motion picture may find different response rates from differ-

    ent audience groups based on marketing the film using the stars of the

    movie / the actors, the director of the movie, the genre/sub-genre, the

    elements of the story-line, or the special effects. For example, The Fast

    and the Furious Seven (Furious Seven) focused on fans of Vin Diesel,

    Paul Walker, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson separately as ways to identify spe-

    cific areas of strong response. Additionally the film tested fans of other

    racing / action movies and video games, and Hispanic Audiences, not to

    mention fans of previous films in the franchise. Testing each of these

    areas led to valuable insights that improved performance. This segmen-

    tation also often results in ideas for different creative executions.

    Behavioral Segmentation

    In addition to the Interest-Based segments described above, there are a

    number of tools for behavioral segmentation. DataLogix provides in-

    sights on Facebook and Twitter Users who are heavy Movie-Goers, VOD

    Watchers, DVD Purchasers, Video Game Players etc. These audiences

    are based on DataLogix research into purchasing activity using credit

    card info. Additionally, advertisers can target users who visit local movie

    theaters, or target users who are specifically on a WiFi network in the

    evening (see inset on using Location Targeting for Activation).

    Researching different groups and developing strategies for segmenta-

    tion before campaigns begin allows advertisers to gather insights during

    initial campaigns that drive results in later campaigns.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 10.

    [ACT 2:] Filling the Back Rows

    As discussed above, Entertainment properties of all kinds have multiple

    objectives, but the first, and potentially the most important is creating

    awareness. No advertiser can afford to reach everyone in the world,

    much less with enough frequency to make an impact, so the key is

    defining how broad is broad. Typically this is driven more by budget

    restrictions rather than what is available within the targeting platforms.

    Facebook reaches 85% of most demographics every week. Instagram is

    the #1 mobile activity for young millennials, and Twitter reaches over

    300 million highly connected tastemakers every month, but which of

    these are those most important to create awareness with?3

    Early Testing

    How many people shoud you reach? The easy answer is, everyone who

    cares about the content you are promoting. As discussed in the previ-

    ous section on Audience Research, Social media offers rich information

    on users, and using this research, advertisers can make good projections

    on which segments matter most for the success of a campaign. Based

    on this research, best practice is to use very broad targeting across a

    wide number of segments to gauge which groups show the most en-

    gagement as an indication of which groups care the most about the

    content. Typically this is done with 10% or less of the total budget. This

    also represents an ideal opportunity to test multiple creative themes for

    identifying which audiences respond best to which creatives.

  • Patented technology for Social Media Advertising 11.

    Ongoing Expansion

    Based on the results of early testing, advertisers can identify

    which groups are the most responsive defining those groups with

    Demographic, Interest-based, and behavioral labels. For example,

    Young Males with interest in Science Fiction movies and accessing on

    Mobile. Additionally, advertisers should catalog each of these audienc-

    es including the Cost to Reach them (Cost Per Thousand Impressions

    [CPM]), the Engagement (either Engagement Rate or Click-Through-

    Rate [CTR]), Cost Per Engagement (either by calculating metrics using

    details above or other metrics like Cost Per Video View [CPVV]) and

    the total size of the audience available on the platforms (# of Facebook,

    Twitter, Instagram Users). If creative testing was executed this is an ide-

    al table to capture which creativ...


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