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How to Cut Through Unlimited Choice: Promote Shows, Movies to Receptive Audiences with These Four Best Practices

"When it comes to promoting content and cutting through the clutter of titles and all the choices out there, a deliberate media strategy is vital to drive viewership." -Nora Shimmel, Comcast Spotlight

Entertainment choices have never been greater. We estimate it would take a viewer a whole year of 24/7 TV watching to see all of the original programming produced in 2018. And with other viewing channels like SVOD services investing more heavily in original content, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.

When it comes to promoting content and cutting through the clutter of titles and all the choices out there, a deliberate media strategy is vital to drive viewership. You could make a strong argument that you don’t have to go too far to reach the most captive audiences—those that are already in front of their TVs.

Comcast Spotlight works with media companies and programmers to drive tune-in and viewership volume, using insights from data to find audience segments more likely to respond to media and entertainment advertising.

Based on an analysis of 36 media and entertainment campaigns that Comcast Spotlight ran in 2018, ad exposure was tied to viewing data, deriving exposed, unexposed and converted viewers. The result was four key best practices to running a successful advertising campaign in this category:

· Take a Sustaining Media Approach

· Multi-Platform Touch Drives Superior Tune-In

· Invest in Platforms Strategically

· Build Target Audience Segments Wisely

Note: The charts below are based on Comcast viewership data and 2018 campaignspromoting a variety of broadcast programs, cable shows, and Movies on Demand releases. Conversions are defined as households viewing promoted content and Conversion Lift Rate is the difference in conversions between exposed and unexposed households.Viewership of Program is defined as 5 minutes cumulative, made up of 30 seconds consecutive viewing.

Take a Sustaining Media Approach

Episodic programming will benefit greatly from a campaign flight that utilizes a five- to- seven week window to help build viewership over time. As awareness and frequency increases over time, this programming sees a steady climb in conversion rate lift as both linear and VOD drive viewers to tune in and catch up.

Multi-Platform Touch Drives Superior Tune-In

Using multiple platforms to extend reach to viewers who have had different exposure to programming and messaging helps drive lift in tune-in. A campaign spanning 3+ platforms drives significantly higher results than campaigns running on just one or two platforms.

Invest in Platforms Strategically

We know multiple platforms work, but how they are used in combination is key. A mix of platforms that provide both broad and narrow targets helps to build awareness and drive conversions by increasing reach and frequency of campaign exposure. For example, when using a mix of full footprint and local linear TV, VOD and addressable campaigns, Comcast Spotlight clients saw significant lifts in conversion rates over those unexposed to the campaign.

By combining only linear and VOD, only 29% of reached households were exposed to both platforms, demonstrating the value of multi-platform incremental reach.

Build Target Audience Segments Wisely

Narrowing target audiences to only previous season viewers, for example, is limiting in terms of total potential viewers. Instead, creating thoughtful, customized segments to reach and conquest similar content viewers is an important strategy for media and entertainment marketers.

Also worth highlighting is the group labeled “households outside of targets” which, although it yielded a low conversion lift rate, still netted out to a large number of conversions. Sometimes the desired audience is broader than expected, and there is always the potential to find new, unexpected viewers to convert.

There is no question that TV, in all of its forms, can use advanced tactics to find and convert viewers into loyal watchers of quality programming. By reaching viewers and refining messaging within the television environment, media and entertainment marketers can expand their audiences and create fans through sustained, careful multi-platform campaigns. If done correctly, those campaigns truly can influence tune-in and programming selection in a world of almost limitless choice.

Bio: Nora Shimmel is a senior research manager specializing in media and entertainment at Comcast Spotlight.