If a TV turns on in the forest, does anyone see it? Either way, you need actual human eyes on your programming if you want your TV station or show to succeed.
How can you increase the size of your TV audience? If there were a simple formula, every showrunner and station manager would put it into practice ASAP.
Unfortunately, there is no magic solution, but there are tangible steps you can take to grow your audience. We will run them down for you here. Keep reading to find out how you can take the next step into the living rooms of more and more viewers.
How Today’s TV Audience Is Changing
Digital content and streaming have changed the landscape of television. There are more choices for viewers than ever, leading to our current Golden Age of Television.
Suffice it to say, today’s TV audience member has a lot of choices. They have so many that, in some cases, they will choose two screens over committing to one.
How can you use this knowledge? More than anything, it is a reminder of the need for quality. You have to bring your A-game, or viewers simply will not have time for you.
9 Ways to Increase Your TV Viewership
You know you have to make good TV, but you also know that is not the only variable in the equation. There are market factors to take advantage of. So what are they?
We have collected advice from across the television landscape to find ways you can increase eyeballs on screens during your programming. They may not all fit your situation, but you are guaranteed to find a few of them helpful. See for yourself.
1. Hold a Contest
It may feel cheap, but holding a “watch and win” sweepstakes is still an effective marketing tool. The way they work is a station usually chooses code words that viewers must catch to enter the contests. These contests range from cruises to travel vouchers and skiing lessons.
You can use as many new codes as you choose, so you can really create volume with sweepstakes like these.
2. Create Engaging Online Video Content
Why not take advantage of the times when your viewers do not have their tube on? If they are watching videos online, that is a prime situation for you to promote your programming.
You can create content that engages viewers before they click “skip” on your ad. Doing this increases viewer awareness of your brand and drives them to the shows you want them to see.
3. Make Promotions Urgent
No one is going to remember to watch a human interest piece on the news six months from now. That is an absurd amount of time to wait. Keep this in mind when promoting your content.
“More after the break” is an excellent phrase television news teams use to tantalize viewers. You do not have to work on such a short timeline, but keeping your promotions time-sensitive will make them more compelling to your viewership.
4. Push Your Best Content During Sweeps
Sweeps are essential for garnering the ratings you need to stay afloat. That is why, during sweeps weeks, you see so many cliffhangers and guest appearances on shows. News broadcasts use these periods to produce in-depth investigative reports.
Use these techniques to your advantage.
Another one is finding ways to tie-in programming across shows. Can you do a crossover episode? If so, sweeps is the time.
5. Use Focus Groups
No one knows what your viewers want better than the viewers themselves. Assemble them in rooms to view the shows that are tailored to their demographics. Then, and here’s the catch, you actually have to pay attention to their feedback.
6. Switch up Your On-Air Talent
A little fresh blood never hurt anyone. If you are looking to spike viewership for a program that does not have a set cast, you may want to consider a new hire. Even with fictional shows, you can bring in new characters that breathe new life into stories.
Just one word of advice. Do not go overboard with this tactic. Too much change can reek of desperation, and viewers can sense that from a mile away.
7. Embrace Risk
Why are you in the television business in the first place? It’s not exactly an easy industry, so we doubt you got here by playing it safe.
If there is something you have always wanted to do with your programming, chances are good that there are viewers who want to see you try it. Maybe you pivot the focus of a news program or take a chance on that pilot that seems too crazy to work. You will never really know unless you try.
8. Hire a Consultant
When all else fails, go to the experts. An outside consultant can take a clinical eye to your programming and tactfully recommend where you could change course.
Good consultants catch everything. They can notice something as simple as a lighting change that can make a broadcast more aesthetically pleasing to viewers.
9. Play with Time Slots
Our previous advice about changing too much still applies, and this suggestion can sometimes be more confusing than helpful. However, there are situations where it is appropriate. If your programming is not airing in a time that works well for its target demographic, you can increase viewership just by matching your schedule to your viewers’ schedules.
Don’t Let the Internet Kill the TV Star
As much noise as pundits make about the death of broadcast television, there is plenty of room left for TV in the media landscape. Its familiarity and convenience is enough to recommend it. And where there is demand, there is the possibility to increase your TV audience.
We hope these suggestions have inspired you to up your game when it comes to the quality of your programming. If you need to book studio time to help you realize your vision, we have got you covered.