The Art Of Digital Integration: Closing The Loop On Multi-Media Storytelling

Marketers and media agencies often talk about their desire for integration across television and digital. Kerri Elstub explains how the three-month-old women’s lifestyle network 9Honey worked to capture and amplify audience interest in Married at First Sight. 

Traditional media companies talk about digital integration but the reality is often a lot more difficult than it can appear. 

Over the past week Married at First Sight, one of Nine’s biggest franchises for 2017, went to air on Channel Nine and for a women’s lifestyle website like 9Honey it presented an interesting challenge around how we both cover and capitalise on the tremendous digital and social buzz around the show, which at its heart is a social experiment.  

As we began planning it quickly became clear to the 9Honey team that Married at First Sight offered a real synergy in terms of a shared female-focused audience and gave us a real opportunity to deliver our first multi-media campaign.

The buzz around the show allowed us to extend beyond the traditional TV screen and reach fans across all mediums, through online news articles, exclusive interviews, great additional video content, social media live streaming and last, but certainly not least, our brand new podcast series, Sweet Spot. 

As each show episode went to air our celebrity news website, TheFix, had multiple articles going live and our social media team were live tweeting the program – all to allow the audience to better engage with the show

 

These stories provided both exclusive access to the stars themselves, and the real stories from behind the scenes. For example, there was tremendous viewer interest in the back story between the newlywed Jonathan and his “pretend sister” Emma, who caused chaos at their wedding. 

TheFix reported on how Emma was actually the twin sister of one of Jonathan’s exes. That story has now become one of our most read stories of 2017 and was quickly picked up by multiple other news websites, further amplifying the Married and TheFix brands. 

All this online buzz around Married at First Sight has also carried through to our video content. Married videos are among the most watched on 9Honey, and the live streaming and catch-up service 9Now has seen record traffic on the back of the first three episodes becoming the most watched shows for the week on catch-up TV in Australia. 

Our other experiments included launching our own Facebook live TV show at midday last Tuesday, housed on the 9Honey page, allowing viewers to, again, join the conversation outside of the program itself.

Wednesday evening saw the debut of Nine’s first podcast series, Sweet Spot, a Married at First Sight/9Honey combined initiative hosted by Katherine Feeney which seeks to further engage fans by providing a running commentary on the show as well as the relationship issues it raises. 

It is early days for Nine in podcasting but this has been a fun experiment and it will be interesting to see what sort of audience the podcast, supported with on-air and online promotion, builds.

The big thing for me is that we are now on every major channel that consumers are on –television, digital or audio. This excites me because of how 9Honey is helping Nine to close the loop on multi-media storytelling.

This isn’t about just promoting a TV show, although I’m sure the online 'water cooler effect' has probably helped build/sustain the television audience. Really it’s about recognising that in 2017 fans of a social experiment like Married at First Sight want – and expect – to take their conversation online, and we can and must help them do that. 

Kerri Elstub is the network editor of Nine’s lifestyle website 9Honey