Break the Mold: 6 Pro Tips To Elevate Your Entertainment Marketing and Captivate Your Audience

Get our 6 tips to make your entertainment marketing soar with audience- and talent-focused strategies on digital and social channels.

Actress in blue dress with clapboard for entertainment marketing

“In a world…”

Do you also hear an omniscient voice teeing up a slickly edited trailer when you see that phrase?

For years, entertainment marketing for feature films and television shows was about sexy trailers, big billboards, and a heavy dose of ad buys. While those elements still play a role today, the most effective levers entertainment marketers can pull are those within digital and social platforms, where fan communities develop and thrive. And the tactics that are winning in this era are much different than what prevailed in the first century of marketing moving pictures.

The new best practices for entertainment marketing involve more efficient relationship-driven approaches:

  • Audience-specific dialogues (less spray and pray)
  • More authenticity and behind-the-scenes views (not everything’s polished and produced)
  • Collaboration with talent (mutually beneficial relationships)
  • Fostering relationships with communities (forming genuine connections)

It’s more fun and creative to produce more lasting audience engagement and activation.

Fans are passionate about their favorite shows and films. The engagement on these accounts — the official show accounts and that of the talent and even the directors, writers and producers — is consistently impressive. The talent accounts outperform the official brands. But that’s also because the platforms favor individual person accounts in the algorithms. Often, even the key art or season premiere clips elicit excitement and engagement. 

Based on industry interviews and our own work with several major entertainment networks, here are six actionable insights to keep in mind to help entertainment break through the old-school mold and succeed in the new era of television and movie marketing.

clapboard with "Tell Your Story" on it, on orange wall background, for entertainment marketing

1) Scripts Are Good for Shows, Not for Social Media

When your talent speak in their own words and voice about their storylines and roles, their content performs better and goes further. This is why personalized short-form video clips and photos are so crucial — and not only because talent prefer content tailored just for them. It allows them to add their personal commentary, injecting some of their personality into the post. 

That authenticity matters and results in better outcomes for the fan, the brand and the talent.

2) It Pays to Not Overproduce

The best content is often the least difficult to produce. Production polish, snappy effects and transitions are cool. But the content that looks like it was captured on a smartphone (or actually is captured on a smartphone) cuts through because it feels ‘real.’ One of the best-performing social posts we’ve seen through Greenfly was capturing a show’s star actor getting a surprise FaceTime from another entertainer.

As another example, one of the country’s biggest networks requested (and received) selfie videos from a marquee show’s headliners on set after a shoot expressing their excitement about the new season. It was so good that the network used it on a linear TV promotional spot. 

The era of ‘less is more’ production value is still going strong. So take advantage of it.

3) Empowering Talent With Autonomy Results in Better Outcomes

Talent want to feel in control. At Greenfly, some entertainment customers use our ‘share request’ feature, enabling their staff to send a pre-selected media asset to post to social media, along with prescribed (or strongly suggested) copy. And that works great for some. 

However, we also see talent appreciate and enjoy receiving a personal gallery of content where they can choose from a selection of options and personalize their post copy. Many then end up posting more content (to Stories, in Carousels) and more often. 

4) Activate Your Full Ecosystem for Entertainment Marketing

The stakeholders with audiences go beyond individuals with a call time. Have a thoughtful strategy to carry throughout your production and promotional period that everyone can feel good about, and that doesn’t feel like checking a box.

The best collaborative relationships with talent begin with a discussion about social promotion during the early stages of your project. Note: 

  • Remember that every talent or creator you work with is not the same in terms of their interest, comfort and skill level with social media
  • Your talent pool includes those in front of and behind the camera — writers, producers, staff and even your executives 
  • With more demands on their time, your stars are not always your most prolific promoters
  • Some of the most active social creators are up-and-coming talent, eager to build their own public profiles, followings and careers
Director on set with mobile phone for entertainment marketing

5) Highlight the Magic of How It’s Made

Behind-the-scenes content is often the most valuable. Some of the best-performing social content, on TikTok especially, has been the ‘how it’s made’ content. Audiences love the exclusive “all-access pass” to how teams put together their favorite shows and movies, from script to screen. 

Everybody on a film or TV set is doing their job, and it can feel difficult to capture content while not disrupting the movie magic. But everybody on that set also wants the project to succeed: big ratings, massive audiences and engagement.

Get buy-in and earn trust by making sure the leaders on set know how valuable grabbing just a few seconds of iPhone footage can be, when you’re in pre-production or when there’s downtime for the cast or crew on set. 

Two minutes of time with talent or crews can mean millions of views and droves of excited fans waiting for the project’s release or celebrating an award win or series renewal. That’s true for the property’s social channels and your talent and crew’s individual channels as well. 

“Fans really love the BTS, the behind the scenes of how it’s made. Keanu [Reeves] training for how to become John Wick. We had a post on our Lionsgate TikTok for John Wick Chapter Four that was showing the stunt team falling down an elevator. And we were on set capturing this kind of stuff with an iPhone and [posted] that footage on TikTok [and it earned] something crazy, like 130 million views.

Which was, we found out later from TikTok, the number one movie TikTok of 2023. Which just goes to show that fans appreciate that authenticity, the peek behind the curtain of how a movie is made.”

— Eric Dachman, Executive Director of Digital Marketing, Lionsgate, The Business of Social Podcast

6) Drink From the Fount of Fans

Sometimes the most valuable content creators are fans. Even the best-laid promotional plans can be outdone by a call for content from fans. Such an activation enhances the community as fans provide not just incredible content but also reveal to fans that there are others out there as passionate as they are. 

There are tons of invaluable talent activation strategies, but don’t forget to co-create with fans, too.

There are a lot more insights to impart. But hopefully, your wheels are turning with these, and the takeaways inform and inspire. A promotional strategy that feels like checking a box and a philosophy of ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’ doesn’t serve anybody.

Adapt to the changing era, and embrace paradigms in which talent feels served, fan attention is earned not interrupted, and the promotional undertones feel organic. Because this is entertainment, driving tune-in is a side effect of enjoyable social content.

It’s a dream job to market entertainment properties. You get to bring some of the most exciting titles to the masses, work with incredible artists with huge followings, and reach fans eager to engage their passions. Take that excitement into the marketing of these films and TV shows because there are more avenues than ever to find fans, one post at a time.

Reach out to us today for more insights and strategies to transform your entertainment marketing strategies with short-form content. 

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