The story of how Entertainment & Content
companies deliver blockbuster social media
[BEFORE THE CURTAIN:]
Setting the Stage and Setting Objectives 4.
Know the Audience 8.
Filling the Back Rows 10.
Filling the Front Rows 22.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...