Looking for an inexpensive way to advertise BET +, the subscription video-on-demand service launched by BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios in September 2019, BET TV network reached out to its most ardent proponents: its Talents and fans.
Crystal Johnson, director of social media at BET +, said in an email, “Social media advertising is the main part of our marketing plans these days and we are taking a talent driven approach there. In the future, the social will be more important than before. Brands show the power of it to other brands who don’t believe in the social that much. “
BET worked with media sharing platform Greenfly on the brand advocacy program, collecting, sorting and curating authentic content so their talents could be shared through their social channels.
Daniel Kirschner, CEO of Greenfly, told Adweek: “Every organization has a community of lawyers. Greenfly needs to connect with these advocates and provide them with a platform to share. “
Greenfly has worked with other television networks such as Canal +, ESPN and Showtime on similar branding initiatives.
TJ Barber, director of social media marketing at BET Networks, told Adweek, “We had a pretty solid relationship with Greenfly during my tenure here. So during the shelter-in-place is not much different, but due to social distancing mandates we have definitely increased frequency. With the shows coming off hiatus, especially Tyler Perry’s, and with a general need for bridging content between shows, we’ve requested everything from fan videos to talent chases and social resources that our shelter-in Support Place initiative #AloneTogether. “
The impact of the pandemic on the production process was not lost on Kirschner either, pointing out that it is much more difficult to send camera teams to work with people in person, and the branding initiative helps reduce the impact on filming and filming to compensate for longer than usual delays between seasons of the shows.
Disclosing details of how the three main characters of the 1920s accessed the Greenfly platform, Barber said, “That way we can ensure that all members of the cast have every commercial, character card and episodic trailer at the same time Moment of the clap of thunder when published on social media at the same time. “
Another benefit of this strategy, according to Kirschner, is that while social platforms tend to devalue organizational content, BET + “can connect to fans through talent and the relationships that talents have built with audiences. Individual advocacy on social media is an incredible driving force when it comes to viewership and engagement. “
Not only do brand promotion initiatives help connect and motivate fans, but the most passionate fans also become part of the mix by re-sharing content from the shows talent and bringing in their own ideas.
“Since Twenties is a show aimed at a younger audience with younger, lesser-known stars than BET audiences are used to, we had to rely on their individual fan bases to build a base for the show,” said Barber . “The ability to easily repeat the strategy for the show among its diverse audiences made it easier for fans to connect with the cast as a whole, and ultimately established and strengthened the foundation of (show artist) Lena Waithe and Twenties supporters in the network. “
One final benefit of similar initiatives such as BET + through Greenfly: “It strengthens the relationships between the network, the PR staff and the talent,” said Kirschner. “It creates a really nice dynamic in which everyone feels they benefit from it.”