recently held a seminar during which I played a sponsored (paid) segment from a local lifestyle show. One minute into the segment I asked the group if they would keep watching, no one raised their hand. I then asked them who would have already changed the channel, everyone raised their hand. When I told the group the company featured in the segment paid thousands of dollars for it, they all cringed.
If you tune into an infomercial during a ’bout of insomnia at 2am and get sucked in because that’s the only thing on, that’s one thing. But when you switch on your local talk show and find an infomercial type segment hidden inside, well it’s down right annoying.
As a former producer of one of these shows I know, these shows can only survive with paid segments mixed in, but to the companies buying these segments I say WAKE-UP people won’t sit through a commercial disguised as an interview. There are too many other options out there.
There are plenty of ways to make what you have to say interesting to the viewers of these shows and by doing that you will gain their attention and if done correctly, their business.
- First, the segment is not about you, your company or your product. (Pick your chin up off the floor.) The segment is about the viewer, what they want, what they are interested in and what they can learn from you. (Hint: they do not want to learn why you are the number one blah blah blah in the state or that you beat out your competition because of blah blah blah.)
- Second, that last point is important. What can you teach the viewer? It should not all be focused on products and services you offer, but real solid advice, techniques or products you trust. By sharing valuable information viewers can use, but doesn’t solely benefit you, you gain trust.
- Think visual, visual, visual!!! What can you show me other than your spokesperson’s face?
- You are spending the money on the segment, spend the money to get your spokesperson trained. A bad, boring, nervous spokesperson will ruin not only your segment, but also your credibility. Also, just because you are the owner of the company, does not mean you are the best spokesperson for it.
- Finally, I do not need to hear the name of your company, your website and phone number 10 times throughout the segment. If you put on a good segment, offer solid, useful information and gain trust, they will find you.
The Bottomline: If you are going to pay to be on TV, invest in the coaching you need to make these segments the best they can possibly be. It will mean the difference between viewers tuning in or turning off.