In this age of big data, analytics, and highly engaged SocialTV fans, there are many opportunities for networks, showrunners, and content creators to amplify the traditional fan experience. Today though we’re only going to cover three ways in which social data can be used to inform creative decisions, grow audiences, and better monetize socialized programming.
Don’t have a Don Draper? No problem. Social data can inform you on who’s your real star.
It’s incredibly common with TV shows, particularly comedies, to have one of the supporting characters be more popular than the lead. A classic example of this would be Kramer (Michael Richards) from Seinfeld, and a contemporary example would be Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) from How I Met Your Mother. Using social data we can see that on average every episode Barney has 20-30% more social conversations about him than the lead character Ted (played by Josh Radner). Insights like that can help direct creative decisions to highlight which stars to bring out and which ones to possibly bury in order to please fans. These insights would also traditionally be costly and slow to gather (through focus groups and surveys), and the decisions were often times made upon gut feelings. Through a product we call Content Sync, we’re able to inform in real-time using social data how to better align with your show’s audiences in order to better retain and grow them. In the meantime Don Draper needs to watch out for Roger Sterling, because in the recent premiere of the fifth season of Mad Men, Roger was considered by many as the humorous anchor of the episode.
Got Community? NBC does, and social data can help better monetize SocialTV fans.
Recently ending its forced hiatus, NBC’s Community is back on the air and social fans could not be more excited. A lot of the buzz can be attributed to the cast and crew (particularly Alison Brie) actively participating in social channels in order to galvanize fans in to action with the message “#6SeasonsAndAMovie.” Now while Community might not last as long as fans would love it to there are many current opportunities to use real-time data to better leverage the socialness of these fans. With Audience Sync we’re able to inform networks on what other content those fans are engaging with and what kind of content is resonating with them. For example fans of Alison Brie trends towards being predominately male and are also primarily comprised of gamers, comic book collectors, UFC and NCAA fans, and anti-SOPA supporters. Some of the brands important to them are Bioware, Image Comics, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Real-time social data and a product we call Audience Sync also allow for opportunities to unlock audiences on more ad/brand restricted programming like Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones by allowing marketers to reach those fans through other overlapping content (hint: like Community).
New show with a small budget? How social data can get you HBO quality marketing without HBO’s budget.
Not every program has the advantage of a big marketing budget like Game of Thrones does behind its launch, but every program does have the opportunity to make their marketing spend more efficient and their launch just as successful. Through Media Sync we’re able to tap into real-time consumer data to evaluate and validate current media buys, brand integrations, celebrity endorsements, and digital ad placement. In regards to launching a new program, a product we call Media Sync is able to identify the programming that best syncs with your target audience and can discern between programming that may have the same baseline GRPs, but have much higher social value. On the digital side, social data can also provide insights into communities and can inform, for example, whether gamifying exclusive access to a show’s pilot (like the “Decryption Lab” for Showtime’s Homeland) will be more successful than just distributing it early to a digital content distributor like Hulu (recent examples of this would be NBC’s early release of Smash and Awake). Bottom-line is if your budget is small use social data to pre-inform decisions to avoid spending money on mass-marketed content that doesn’t resonate with your target audience.