Have you heard about The Writers’ Room on the Sundance Channel? It’s a half hour show co-produced by Entertainment Weekly where host Jim Rash interviews show runners and writers of popular television shows about the creative process. For nerds of both writing and pop culture (e.g. me), it’s really a can’t-miss.
Though you’re probably wondering how a show about TV writing applies to your brand or business. One of the reasons that I enjoy the show so much is because the show knows exactly who their target audience is, and has tailored all of their content to that specific audience.
Let’s explore how they do that.
The main content of the show is Jim Rash chatting with execs, writers, and occasionally stars of the show. They developed this show to appeal to writers, TV fans, and pop culture aficionados, so there is plenty of discussion that fans want to hear: How did you get the idea for the show? What was casting like? Where did the idea for [some huge plot twist] come from?
But then they delve a little deeper by asking writers about their creative process and how they collaborate with others. For hardcore writing nerds, these are the nuggets of information that we crave. All writers struggle with creating work, so hearing 1. We’re not alone and 2. There are ways to work past the block are both extremely encouraging.
But surprisingly enough, it’s the personalization of the commercials that really makes the show shine. The commercial breaks feature regular ads, but they also have two formats that appeal to the writing-centric audience.
1. Specialized interview segments with “brought to you by” messages
Instead of a general voice over that says, “The Writers’ Room is brought to you by Blue Moon,” these types of advertisements feature one-on-one interviews with show writers. They are immediately followed by a regular commercial for the sponsor, but first the viewer is treated to some writing advice.
For example, one of these sponsored ads features a writer from the show Breaking Bad discussing how writers can refine their craft. After giving advice like “just start writing” and “practice every day” you get the “brought to you by Blue Moon” voice over and text. However, you don’t really mind because you just gained insight from a working TV writer.
2. Commercials that are interviews with the creative teams behind memorable commercials
Yes, I know how meta that sounds. These commercials feature art directors, copywriters, and creative directors discussing how they came up with ideas for their memorable ad campaigns. Now, while these might not be terribly interesting to casual viewers, they’re awesome for creatives who work in ad agencies or as copywriters. Or heck, maybe the casual viewers have always enjoyed that funny Geico commercial.
So what’s the point I’m trying to make? Personalization works and it doesn’t have to be very expensive. Creating the show and the ads that went along with it didn’t take a ton of time or a ton of money, and everyone involved got lots of brand exposure.
Here’s some Writers’ Room secrets that you can apply to your own content initiatives:
Do serious research about who uses your product and who you want to use your product
Craft your blog posts, advertisements, and social media updates to that particular audience
Don’t worry about going niche; small, targeted, engaged groups are way better than marketing to the masses
When promoting your content, choose channels where your audience already hangs out. If your demographic skews older and professional, you should focus on LinkedIn. Younger and creative? Give Tumblr a try.
Have you been watching The Writers’ Room? Do you nerd out about it as much as I do? Do you take extra time to personalize your content for your target audience?
Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on Google+