January 19, 2021
How to promote a video series that attracts audiences and generates leads.
Welcome back to How to Create and Crush a Video Series, our 3-part series on planning, producing and producing a video series that gets your audience buzzing and drive results for your business. We talked about the benefits of hosting a video series, then gave you a roadmap for producing your own.
Now it's time for the fun part: giving it to your audience, then generating excitement, leads and sales. Let's get started:
Apple and Spotify are the most popular podcast services, but they’re not your only options. Lots of podcast listeners use Stitcher, SoundCloud, Overcast, YouTube and even LinkedIn to discover new and interesting podcasts.
Besides attracting more people, these platforms each come with their own marketing benefits. Hosting on Youtube can benefit your SEO, since the company is owned by Google. Youtube also comes with easy social media sharing functions, letting you easily tap into your pre-existing network.
You can do the same by posting your episode to LinkedIn directly. There, you’re able to reach your entire professional and business network at little to no cost, encourage others to share, and contribute to an evolving thought leadership ecosystem.
But for every service you choose, review its submission guidelines and approval guidelines before committing to an episode release schedule, since getting onto a podcast service isn’t as quick as uploading your video.
For instance, to get your podcast on iTunes, you need to validate it by going through Podcasts Connect. There, your podcast submission will be reviewed for originality and the absence of any racist, homophobic or misogynistic content, as well as references to illegal drugs, profanity or sex. Google Play Music has similar pre-publishing restrictions.
Once you’ve decided on your distribution service, create cover art to display on each one. Since it’s the first thing prospective listeners will see when shopping new podcasts on Google, Apple or Spotify, the image should communicate the subject of your podcast and logo in an appealing and clear format.
Use simple fonts and high-quality images suitable for a thumbnail sized image (For instance, your cover should be 1400 x 1400 pixels, in JPG or PNG form, and under 500KB to meet iTunes' specifications.)
Podcast artwork should visually communicate the subject of your podcast, include your logo (if you have one), and use simple fonts and high-quality images. Remember, your listeners will see the image in a much smaller format, so keep it clean and uncomplicated.
Ideally, your episode will attract lots of listeners and potential leads. But you’ll need to capitalize on that interest right away if you want to convert that new audience. So go into your first episodes with a follow up strategy that includes the following:
With the plan in place, start promoting across your marketing channels. The month before your launch date, your social media, content creation, digital, events and customer service team members should meet to coordinate their promotional efforts and ensure that everyone has both the information and branding guidelines they need to promote the event completely, accurately and uniformly.
From here, we’ll lay out marketing tactics and strategies by discipline:
Every marketing effort begins and ends with copy. If you can't convince people to click the link, nothing else matters. So craft enticing event copy for your episode's description using these tips from Eventbrite.
First up is your title: think short and searchable. Your title should be short enough to fit fully in any format (mobile, desktop) on any screen. Keep it between three to six words, and under 65 characters if possible. Then ensure it’ll show it up in searches. Look up keywords related to your topic (Google “free keyword search” for free search engines) and incorporate the most relevant or compelling ones into your title.
Boost your keyword score further by sprinkling them sparingly throughout your episode copy. (Key word: sparingly. There’s no consensus on how much SEO optimization is too much, but you’ll know it when it stops sounding human.) A lot of thought for a few words, but for the potential attendees rifling through their feeds, the title will be what stops them mid-scroll to learn more.
From there, write the copy itself. Include all of the need-to-know information. In addition to the usual date/time, clearly communicate any login or technical information, as some of your attendees have never attended virtual events and each platform is slightly idiosyncratic. Also add the names of your biggest speakers, since your speakers are your event’s biggest draw and sign of value.
The easiest way to promote your video series? Start with the subscribers you already have. If people care about your company enough to open your emails, they'll probably consider watching your episodes, so send an initial email promoting your launch one month out, then send a reminder email for each episode an hour to one day before its release.
Here are some other ways to optimize your email strategy in support of your video series:
For more information, check out our best practices on email marketing here.
Blog posts aren’t as obvious or direct a marketing tactic as invitation emails and social media posts, but they’re useful tools in their own right.
Today, consumers are driving 70% of their buying journey on their own. That means they’re turning to online content—blog posts, white papers, ebooks and more—for the product/service information they used to learn from salespeople.
So if you incorporate content into your event promotion strategy, all of those educational pieces can double as an organic marketing lever. You can establish thought leadership and authority on your topic, but leave just enough unsaid to encourage them to learn more at your event.
Not only does this offer a natural opportunity to promote your video series, but the traffic on certain articles can give you a hint about which topics in future episodes.
Since content is more easily accessible than email and more educational than social media posts, they also possess a broader appeal to people outside your existing follower base. Especially if your content is SEO optimized and highly visible through search, your content could be a gateway to an entirely new source of attendees.
You’ll want to publish 2-6 posts in the weeks leading up to the video series. Start with these ideas:
Social media, both from your company and your guests, is another essential component to your promotion, especially if you’ve signed some big-name guests with active followings.
Although there’s a place for static posts with the event logo and date, supplement them with some other ideas:
Seems presumptuous at first: You’re new to the video podcast space, now you’re asking audiences to spend three or five hours with your content.
But this is actually the best launch strategy, according to Pat Flynn, host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Because if you’ve created excellent content, your audience will be craving more, now, and you want to capitalize on that interest right away. There's a reason that Netflix releases entire seasons on the same day: It works.
“I once launched a podcast with a single episode and actually received negative reviews from people who had listened to the first episode and were upset that there was only one,” Flynn says.
There’s a strategic argument for this, too: Podcast rankings are determined by the gross number of subscriptions, downloads, reviews and ratings, which favors a high-volume strategy. Releasing multiple episodes generates a higher volume of traffic, which can make your new video podcast more visible right away.
Bonus: Close these episodes by encouraging guests to sign up for your email list—where they can receive notifications for new episode releases—so you can convert that launch day excitement into consistent viewership.
Especially as you’re onboarding your video podcast, partnerships can help you convince new audiences to give you a try. You’re leveraging the reputation of your co-hosts to attract new audiences, and once they’re in the room, you can use your content to keep them coming back.
This is most effective when your partner’s in a different but related industry, so you’re marketing to people who haven’t heard of you… but would probably become interested once they hear from you.
Both before and after the episode goes live, make it easy for them to share by giving them quotes or graphics to share about the episode. Buffer has some great examples of assets to provide your partners, including pull quotes, images, links and pre-written tweets and status updates.
And once you’ve launched, give your audience a predictable schedule of new episodes and mention it regularly, so they know a) that you’re serious and b) exactly when to come back. To prevent unforeseen technical or staffing issues to disrupt your posting cadence, have your first “season” of content filmed and edited before you announce your posting schedule. That way, you’re meeting your audience’s expectations while they’re still on the fence about you.
New listeners will also be able to binge on your full store of episodes—and turn from strangers to advocates in an afternoon.
As you’ve learned, creating a video series is a big logistical effort. So once you’ve invested in filming an episode, leverage it to its fullest ability… by repurposing it. You can easily extract the video to convert it to a Spotify or Apple podcast, split the full episode into 30-second social media videos, condense the biggest points into a blog post or white paper, etc.
Once you’ve published your video series, compare performance and engagement across episodes, then use it to plan for your next season!
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