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Communications for Online Originals

This guide is aimed at beginner online creators who do not necessarily have the budget to hire external communication consultants.

Screen Australia has been investing in online originals since 2012 and alumni include The Katering Show, The RackaRacka, Skit Box, Aunty Donna, Superwog, Starting from Now, Little Acorns, SketchShe and Horizon to name just a few.

Like the rest of the screen industry, for every hit there have been plenty of misses. Unfortunately some creators make amazing content but stumble at the last hurdle by failing to effectively tell people about their work.

This guide is aimed at beginner online creators who do not necessarily have the budget to hire external communication consultants. Having no budget shouldn’t stop you promoting your work. As The Katering Show producer Tamasin Simpkin said to Screen News, you must think about communications, marketing and distribution like "it is a whole other production on top of the actual show."

"Do not throw away your hard work creating original content by failing to communicate it to your audience," – Mike Cowap

The good news is there are some standard communications principals you can follow. The creativity you bring to making your work can translate to how you promote it.

What is Communications?

Communications is a broad term that encompasses the below channels:

  • Media relations, which you may know as public relations (PR) or publicity
  • Social media, including everything from Facebook to Snapchat
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Direct marketing, such as email notices and postcards
  • Websites
  • Cross-promotions, which are partnered opportunities that leverage the audience of other creators or businesses
  • Paid advertising, which for online originals is typically online advertising and boosted social media posts
  • Appearances, including doing live performances, public stunts, events and screenings.

No matter if you’re dropping your first stand-alone video or a brand new series, you must develop a communications strategy. This guide will give a framework to create that strategy and give you some ideas of how to best use the most common communication channels.

Your communications strategy will be informed by your release strategy, which determines the platforms on which you publish content, how often, when and how you will build an audience.

How to create a release strategy is not covered in this guide, however there are fantastic resources online to help you, particularly YouTube’s creator academy and the Vimeo blog.

Things are changing rapidly in both communications and in entertainment, so this guide will be out of date sooner than we would like! Be sure to do your own research and consider getting professional communications advice when your budget allows for it.

Now let’s get started!

This guide is aimed at Australian online creators and is for educational purposes only, and does not replace professional advice. The guide cannot be replicated without written permission.