How TV Land is using Content (Ctrl) technology for successful social TV results

By Natan Edelsburg 

When asked what my favorite second screen social TV app is, my consistent response has always been, “Gmail”. Commercials, pauses on the DVR and passive TV watching is often complemented by catching up on email. As the social web grows, so do the emails we receive from major social networks (new followers, favorites, likes, etc.). Email has never been as important as it is now to social TV and Viacom’s TV Land network is proving how important the relationship is between social and email with Content (Ctrl)‘s technology. We interviewed Karen Cummins, Vice President of Marketing for TV Land about the strategy.

FanCentric (the company that created the software) recently described that, “a 2013 study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that the channels consumer marketers use most frequently for distributing content are Facebook (90 percent), Twitter (69 percent) and YouTube (65 percent), despite the fact that 77 percent of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email over any other channel (ExactTarget), and that, “Content (Ctrl) enables marketers to automatically curate and share social content from around the Web with their most engaged audience: their email subscriber base.” Cummins described how the network is using the software to target fans with engaging content based on their interest.

Lost Remote: What is the driving idea behind your email newsletters and what were you looking to change?
Karen Cummins: Understanding that every TV Land viewer is different, from our TV Land original sitcom fans to classic TV lovers, we want to deliver the best experience possible by considering every individual user’s viewing preferences. We then use the Content (Ctrl) technology to take what we know about our viewers and populate emails with the most engaging content. We wanted our newsletters to allow for dynamic content and integrated social activity so we can have a more meaningful dialogue with our fans. This also gives us the opportunity to grow our fan base as they’re able to share this content with their friends and inspire them to join the conversation.

LR: What type of content streams are you using now? What shows are you most focused on promoting?
Cummins: We include social streams from TV Land’s original sitcoms, “Hot in Cleveland,” “The Exes” and “The Soul Man,” and are now focusing on developing a campaign for our newest sitcom, “Kirstie,” starring Kirstie Alley, Michael Richards, Rhea Perlman and Eric Petersen. We also populate content on our acquired programming such as “Friends” and “The Golden Girls,” depending on the user’s preferences. Using these content streams, we populate our emails with the latest and most popular Facebook and Tumblr posts, tweets and YouTube videos, as well as custom content streams from including exclusive clips, full episodes and show schedules.

LR: How do you plan to adapt your content streams or use them in other ways in the future?
Cummins: We’re in the process of launching a campaign for our new show “Kirstie,” which premieres in December. Our goal is to build up excitement for fans leading up to the premiere, and by partnering with Content (Ctrl), we can deliver timely, socially-driven content via email to engaged fans. By using what our network and fans are sharing on social media every day as the primary content source for emails, TV Land always has the freshest, most dynamic and most shareable content available for our subscribers.