Promoting Your Show
Promoting your show doesn’t have to be a one person job. MNN’s Marketing Department is here to help! Follow these tips to get the most eyes on your shows.
Build your audience and engage with viewers on a new level.
You completed MNN’s production training and conceptualized your show, and you’ve been working hard to perfect each and every episode before you broadcast it to the world. Now it’s time to tell people about it! We want you to be successful at building your audience so that your views and opinions reach as far and wide as you could have hoped. Check out this step-by-step guide to promoting your MNN show through social media, MNN.org and more.
We are constantly featuring and promoting YOU, our Community Producers, and the great programs you produce! Feel free to share our content with your social media fans and followers.
Steps to Promote Your Show
Step 1: Create a YouTube or Vimeo profile (or both!)
These days, viewers expect to be able to find TV shows online and watch at their own convenience. Millions of people all over the world use YouTube and Vimeo to discover videos that interest them. These websites can be used to store episodes of your show and share them with your followers online. Which one should you choose? YouTube is more widely used than Vimeo, meaning you may be more likely to be discovered by viewers who didn’t know about your show before, and sharing videos may be easier since people (and software) are more familiar with YouTube. On the other hand, Vimeo’s smaller user pool has the reputation of being more engaged and professional, so it’s possible that your show would receive deeper (if more limited) appreciation there, including truly useful comments from fellow digital media enthusiasts. Also note that YouTube is blocked in school settings, so if that’s an audience you’re targeting then Vimeo may be the better choice. Once you’ve chosen the best sharing site for you, here’s what to do:
Create an account. Make sure to link it to an email address you actively use, so that you’re sure to receive notifications about policy and user comments. Personalize your profile with a photo, artwork and information about your show. People want to know whose work they’re viewing. Don’t be afraid to talk it up and encourage people to watch!
Upload videos. Populate your YouTube or Vimeo page with as many episodes of your show as possible. Include a clear title and description for each video.
Spread the word. Tell everyone you know about your YouTube or Vimeo profile. Send your Facebook friends and Twitter followers (see steps 2 and 6 below) a link to your profile, and include the link and/or your user name in every episode of your show (either verbally or on the screen). Tell people you see or meet in person about your profile.
Stay active. Update your channel with new videos regularly to encourage viewers to subscribe (and maintain a subscription). Every time you upload a new video, share the link on Facebook and Twitter. Find other YouTube or Vimeo users whose work you like, and connect with them. Leave them a comment telling them you like what they’re doing, and share a link to your profile or one of your videos.
Step 2: Create a Facebook page for your show
More than any other website, people depend on Facebook to find online content to read or watch. If you want to reach more viewers, we highly recommend that you create a Facebook page for your show. Log in to Facebook (or create a personal profile if you don’t already have one) and click on the white gear icon in the upper-right corner of the page. When the drop-down list appears, click on “Create Page.” Click on “Entertainment” and select “TV Show” from the list of categories. Type in the name of your show and voila! Information to include on your show’s Facebook page:
- Day, time and MNN channel on which viewers can tune in
- Show description (really sell it!)
- Names of hosts and producers
- Links to your show’s YouTube, Vimeo and/or Twitter profiles
- Link to your show’s website
- Frequent updates about upcoming episodes or recently uploaded videos
- Behind-the-scenes photos from your show (guests, events, studio, etc.)
- Select episodes or promo videos of your show
Be sure to “like” MNN’s Facebook page to stay up-to-date on our content. When we post something about your show to our page, you should share the post with your Facebook friends.
Step 3: Make a promo
A short video promo gets people excited to watch your show and tells them when and where they can watch it. These promos get aired on MNN's five cable channels. We can't recommend it enough! Here's what to do:
Create a 30 second promo that includes the name of your show along with the time, day and MNN channel(s) on which it airs. Also consider including your show's website url, Twitter handle, Facebook page and email address. Please note that you must have a regular series in order to have a promo on MNN. If you have a single you cannot submit a promo on MNN. MNN will not air promos that contain adult material; see our Programming Policies for reference.
Once your promo is produced simply upload it to MNN and select promo in the drop down menu of the upload page.
Step 4: Use Livestream to air your show on your Facebook page
Livestream is an online platform that allows you to broadcast videos on a variety of websites (it’s the software the allows you to watch our livestreams). You can use Livestream to broadcast your show on your Facebook page at the same time as it’s cablecast on an MNN channel. Broadcasting your show on your Facebook page using Livestream allows you to reach a bigger, wider viewing audience. Unlike the experience of watching episodes of your show on YouTube or Vimeo, Livestream lets viewers see the episode the moment it debuts instead of after the fact. This service is also great for encouraging viewers to engage while your show is airing. They can chat online about what they’re seeing or, if your show is live, interact with your host via social media or by calling in. Using Livestream on your Facebook page is easy.
In a recent installment of "A Closer Look" Livestream expert Ben Nathan led an in-depth discussion on how to use Livestream to promote your show. Click here to watch the webcast and get a step-by-step guide to using this platform.
Step 5: Join Twitter
Millions of people use Twitter to communicate about current events and online content throughout the day. Creating your own Twitter following is an excellent way to share your show, grow your audience, engage viewers and gather ideas for future episodes. Here’s what to do:
- Create an account and add a link to your profile to any existing social media profiles you have.
- Use Twitter’s “Discover” tool to find people you know, and send them tweets telling them you’re there and asking them to follow you. For more ideas on developing your Twitter community, check out these tips from Backstage.com.
- Find other people to follow via your colleagues’ tweets and by searching for topics that interest you.
- Tweet regularly, including links to episodes of your show and mentioning your followers to get them engaged. For an excellent how-to on mastering Twitter language, take a look at this recent New York Times piece.
Step 6: Hand out flyers
Yes, seriously! We live in New York City, the most dynamic city in the world, and densely packed with creative, community-minded people just like you. Handing out a flyer with information about your show and online profiles can do wonders to increase your show’s exposure and broadcast your voice. How to do it:
- Download the free flyer template we created for MNN producers.
- Fill in your show’s name, broadcast day/time and MNN channel.
- Add a catchy description, including the web url for any website or social media profile you’ve created for your show (note that the MNN logo and web url at the bottom of the flyer cannot be removed)
- Save, print and hand the flyer out wherever you go!
Step 7: Connect with each other and other filmmakers
Networking with people who share the same interests can help you spread the word about your show and get ideas for topics and techniques to put out an excellent product. Find other MNN producers and digital media creators by following each other online, sharing links to your work and attending MNN’s frequent events, like Studio Production Lab, A Closer Look and more (stay informed on upcoming gatherings on the MNN.org’s Blog and Producer Resources page).
Step 8: Streamline your efforts
Staying connected to your audience via all the modes above takes work, there’s no doubt about it. But keeping your social media profiles updated is key to developing a loyal and growing audience. Thankfully, there are ways to streamline your efforts and save time.
Link your social media accounts: Use the Settings section of your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and/or Vimeo accounts to automatically share posts. For example, when MNN adds a video to our Vimeo page, the link automatically gets Tweeted out to our Twitter followers. Be strategic: Decide which site you’ll give the most energy, and link those posts to your other accounts. Linking all of your accounts could cause your followers to get sick of you!
Try a social media manager: Apps like HootSuite and TweetDeck create “dashboards” for your computer-- an all-in-one view of your various social media accounts so you can monitor all of them at the same time.
Schedule your posts:You don’t have to be sitting at your computer or clutching your phone the minute you want your post to go up (say, five minutes before your show starts to remind people to tune in). Facebook lets you schedule a post for any date and time in the future. A social media manager can help, too.