Touching Gold: How to attract a younger audience to TV viewing – Part Five

It’s our final blog post analysing the key ingredients for marketing when trying to attract a 16-34 year old demographic, and today we are looking at influencers.


You don’t need us to tell you that the nature of influence is very different for a younger demographic, than it is for anyone over about the age of 35. Once flagship, magazines like the Radio Times have a declining and very aging readership, with circulation figures around 600,000. Similarly review shows like the BBC’s Film 2018 is now without a regular host and relegated to very late in the schedule, proving that a young demographic have little connection with traditional influencers when it comes to reviews and recommendations.


Whilst navigating and negotiating with the vast new wave of digital influencers should be part of any campaigns targeting young people, the shows that are really winning seem to be pushing things further still. The likes of Channel 4, E4, Netflix and co. work with influencers of all kinds, both macro and micro, what makes them the most distinctive is the extent to which they encourage anyone and everyone to spread the word.


Stranger Things Season 2 campaign featured multiple pieces of fan-generated content


Where once media firms policed the likes of YouTube to remove copyrighted material, today the strongest shows are recognising the value of every fan video.


According to analysis of online vidoes by Zefr, Game of Thrones, for example, has UGC content that accounts for 89% of all Thrones related views on YouTube. To put this into perspective, the HBO run Game of Thrones channel has over 172 million views; but this is dwarfed by the number of views of UGC Game of Thrones content – at an estimated 1.5 billion.


Capitalising on their young audience’s desire for personal instafame, these shows are often overlooking copywrite issues to allow their audience to blow related online content to epic proportions.


Our analysis has picked up some of the ways that the most celebrated shows are now empowering their audiences to keep the boost engagement even further. Tactics such as the possibility of getting personal tweets read out in the villa on Love Island, to specific tools, like the Lightbulb Message Maker, or Test Generator from Stranger Things – these shows are lighting multiple small fires to generate conversation and get audiences envolved. Stranger Things, through their subreddit, showcased everything from fans’ video essays on 80s pop culture, to real tattoos that were inspired by the series.


Emma Carson, Head of Entertainment at PrettyGreen says, “We’ve seen a shift from mass to micro influencer in recent years; but the behaviour of everyday fan engagement is newer, and having a very long tail effect. It creates a shared identity around the show and shows that influence is valued at every level.”


Perhaps what these shows prove the most is just how many ways there actually are to influence the audience most commonly called “hard to reach”. With a shift in attitude from traditional comms, this alleged “hidden” and “fragmented” audience reveal themselves to instead be well connected and everywhere. The truth is that, for the first time in the history of marketing, we have an audience who carry their media around in their back pocket, connecting with it in multiple ways all day long. All we need do is delve into the sweetie jar of options to realise that the opportunities to connect with them are many and thrilling. From sponsorship to short form, special builds to Spotify, games, memes, Twitch, Reddit and dating apps – it’s all there for the taking.