KARE Minneapolis grew its 10 p.m. newscast viewership 25% year-to-year in November. “It was pretty unusual to watch the 10 o’clock news double, triple and quadruple share from the lead in night after night,” says Bill Dallman, KARE’s GM.
KARE, Tegna’s NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, came up with a plan to increase viewership for its late news at 10 p.m.: Identify great content, create engaging promos and put them where it reaches a targeted audience.
The plan worked.
According to the station, KARE was the top-rated station at 10 p.m. in adults 35-64 and in men 35-64, an increase of 25% year-to-year in November.
“It was pretty unusual to watch the 10 o’clock news double, triple and quadruple share from the lead in night after night,” says Bill Dallman, KARE’s GM. “It speaks to the marketing strategy.”
Many TV stations would be happy to just hold the audience provided by their respective network entertainment program going into the late news.
Not many double or triple the lead-in viewership.
“We typically grow that lead-in significantly,” says Stacey Nogy, KARE’s news director. “This particular month, we continued that growth in the second quarter hour. That is the magic of the content and the marketing coming together.”
So how did KARE perform so well?
“Looking at the 10 specifically, we set our sights on trying to super serve viewers with content we felt had value for them and we knew we could market effectively,” says Jim Thomas, KARE’s marketing director.
Dallman says the days when you could run a promo on your air and reach 70% of the market don’t exist anymore.
“It was a very targeted approach by Jim and his team to find people who maybe hadn’t checked in with KARE for a while and intrigue them with a really great story,” Dallman says. “You have to be more targeted and strategic.”
Targeted in terms of finding TV news viewers able to watch a 10 o’clock newscast and strategic in terms of where you reach them. That was the plan.
“Let’s make content that people want to watch today and then let’s put it in a place where we can market it effectively given today’s fragmented marketplace and audience,” Thomas says.
Put the message in front of people wherever they are — mobile phone, tablet, social media — so they can see it with enough frequency, Thomas says. “You have to design marketing for lots of platforms.”
The news content, from investigations to good people stories, had two elements in common, Thomas says: “They are stories that fit well for Twin Cities’ news consumer interests or needs and within the reporting strengths of KARE 11.”
He says his job was to reach people across the social and digital landscape “to make sure they know KARE’s valuable content still exists at 10 p.m. each night.”
Where do you find people who don’t watch a local TV newscast? Where do you find people that do, but don’t have a favorite? And where do you find people who sometimes watch KARE’s news at 10, but you want them to watch tonight?
“Given today’s modern world you can figure that out, but you have to know what you’re looking for,” Dallman says. “Most importantly, you have to have something that is actually a good product to promote. Jim found people who don’t have a proclivity to watch us all the time and intrigued them to give us a shot.”
All Thomas would say about the marketing plans were he used different platforms, social and digital, OTT and connected television, “a variety of messages in different lengths and different formats that would move across most any social platform and high impact digital channels.”
Dallman says there is still an appetite for a great story well told on broadcast TV.
“People will find you and tune in,” he says. “We are really proving it.”
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