Marketing Your Show

Define your audience

  • Be as specific as possible. Who are these people (age, income level, culture, etc.)? Why are they watching?  What interests them?

    • Give viewers a way to reach you; ask them the above.
    • If you have a larger audience, do you know the answers to these questions? Could you conduct a mini survey to find out?
  • Quality, not quantity (at first): Even if your show only has 30 regular viewers, that’s a great starting place from which to expand.

  • Inner circle: Friends, family, regular viewers, and people you know.

  • Next ring: “Built-in” audience – folks who are highly likely to have an active interest in your topic area.

  • Outer circle: Who else could you reach and draw in? 

  • Think about creating audience “profiles” – What do they do during the day?  How much time to they have?  What types of media do they access?  How do they communicate?


Reach your audience

  • Start from the audience’s point of view: Where do they seek/find information?  (Events, organizations, newsletters, web sites, other programs,  government services, their employers, school, etc.)

  • Messaging: What would make them interested in your program?

  • Brainstorm: How can you reach them?
    • Inner circle: Will these folks help you spread the word?
    • Next ring: Events, organizations, web sites, list serves, programs, etc., related to your topic area.
    • Outer circle: Flyers, bulletin boards, list serves, promotions.

Use your show to promote itself (keep existing audience engaged)

  • Content: Be intentional about having a consistent topic area or theme, format.

  • Messaging: Develop a “branding” for your show – title, color scheme or image, backdrop, lower thirds, packaging, tag line, one sentence synopsis, and credits.

  • Retain viewers: Announce the specific topic of your next program at end of current show (special guest, topic, etc.).

  • A way to contact you: Encourage viewers to send an email, visit web site, etc. for more information (remember no calls to action).

Use Internet tools

In July 2010 internet users watched an average of 14.7 hours of video content, 85% of total U.S. internet users viewed online video, mobile video consumption is up 12% since last year, and Facebook became the #3 site for video. –See3 Communications, August 30, 2010

  • Web video

    • Video on demand: will soon automate this for you; each program will have a show page listing your program, air dates, and previous episodes available for online viewing.  Meanwhile, you can use services like,, vimeo, etc. to host your videos. You must use something like Compressor (program on a Mac) to convert your file for streaming, and then upload the file to a site. If you’re new to this, it is a good idea to take a web video class to learn more.
    • Aggregators / cross-posting: Once your videos are online, you can submit links and feeds to, our site that aggregates local video content from many sources. You can also post the video on sites like Facebook.
  • Social media

    • Create a Facebook page and encourage your “inner circle” to “like” your show; post updates occasionally.
    • List serves, groups, and bulletin boards – where on the Internet do people interested in your topic area read, communicate? 
    • Services like and are easy ways to set up group email lists.
    • Twitter – short frequent updates that people “follow” – works well for news & commentary format, requires frequent updates.
  • Web sites and blogs

    • Web sites: The new will have “show pages” for each program.  You can also create your own separate web site or blog.  Blogs tend to be less expensive to set up and are easier to maintain, but both require updates and ongoing content.
      • Services like are a simple and inexpensive way to set up a basic web site, but do require some technical competency.
      • Mid-level web sites can use open source platforms like Wordpress for publishing; they require some technical skill to set up, design, and maintain.
    • Blogs: Services like let you set up free blog accounts; you must be prepared to contribute regular content and develop online audience based on your articles and editorial.
    • You can also contact existing web site authors and bloggers about your show and encourage them to write about it or promote it.  These efforts can be particularly effective when they are targeted, not random. For example, if you see that a blogger has published an article about a topic you will be addressing in an upcoming show, write them a quick note to say so.


  • Newsletters

    • As you begin to develop and expand your audience, you need a regular way to reach them, and an email list (or the print version, such as a mailing list for postcards) is a great way to do so. 
    • Spam: Spam is illegal and worse, your messages will start getting blocked if you abuse email to message your audience.  (It can take only two complaints to get “shut down” and be forever marked as a spammer.)  Be sure to use a service that allows people to easily subscribe and unsubscribe themselves to/from your list. 
    • Getting started: For small scale lists, you can “bcc” your email list to keep their addresses private, and include a footer that has instructions for how folks can remove themselves from your list.  Remember to bring a sign-up sheet to events you host or attend. 
    • Growing: On a larger scale, services like Constant Contact, Vertical Response, Mail Chimp, and others will allow you to send HTML and text based newsletters, manage your list and emails, and automatically allow users to manage their subscriptions.

  • Good old fashioned marketing
    • Flyers and posters on bulletin boards where your audience might attend events, workshops, or other functions.
    • Ask event hosts to announce a relevant upcoming show, and when you attend events, ask if you can make an announcement.
    • Write to media outlets and journalists when you have a show topic they might want to cover.
    • Get related organizations and their representatives involved in your show (as guests, etc.), and help them to promote to their constituents.
    • Make a 30-second video promo for your show, submit as a PSA.