Over the last few articles, we’ve chatted a lot about strategies to shape your show for mass appeal. This time, I want to talk about content creation that supports your show. There are a lot of elements to consider that don’t appear on screen or behind a mic. Let’s discuss a couple!
So you’ve done it—you’ve recorded some episodes for your show. You publish the episodes online, and people seem to like them… so what do you do next? I’m going to break down two significant forms of content you can create for your show to keep your audience invested in your story even when they aren’t directly listening to your content. First up, I’ll talk about the power of show art, and then I’ll discuss the benefits of publishing the lore from your game.
You likely don’t need a social media manager to tell you that the widely regarded “best” shows out there today seem to have a fantastic collection of art. There are a few different categories of art that I’m referring to here, so let’s go over the most common: social media graphics commissioned art and fan art. Let’s think about that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But we all know people judge things by the way they appear. If your stream or podcast has a wealth a flashy graphics on Twitter, an Instagram account full of fan art, and a website covered in professional character portraits, people are going to assume your show is good because it looks so good. Realistically, if you are a new show, you aren’t going to have a batch of fan art ready to post or a ton of income to commission great art, but there are absolutely a couple things you can do while growing your art base. The very starting point is making sure you have an excellent logo for your show. Commissioning a logo to represent your show needs to factor in your decision to publish your podcast or stream. A logo will carry through your social media, unify your audience, and help folks recognize your content. When you lack cash, the other visual build you can always do is working on your social media graphics. To build flashy posts announcing new episodes, you don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz (though that is great if you are). There are lots of user-friendly websites like Canva or Hootsuite that are tools to help build out your social media posts. Until you have money to commission specific art, using your logo colors, great patterns, or photos is the perfect way to keep people looking at your content. Once you’ve been at it for a while, you’ll start getting that fan art and have money for commissions. It is your solemn duty to re-post and promote the heck out of all such acquisitions.
Next on the agenda is publishing the lore of your game. Because we publish RPG shows, we have a unique marketing advantage: we have access to a ton of information about the characters and the world our characters inhabit. Inviting the audience to explore the details of the worlds we create is a fabulous way to keep viewers engaged with our stories between episodes. The actual-play D&D podcast Dames and Dragons is a great example to follow. They have a burgeoning Tumblr feed and website where they publish tons of lore about their homebrew world. You can click through their social sites to read all about the pantheons they have created, you can look at the full world maps, and you can learn backstories about each of the characters. By investing time publishing the details of the world, the dames have created an entirely immersive experience for their audience. They have established a wealth of things to explore and discover for anyone wishing to engage a little bit more. As modern creators, we have access to some incredibly helpful platforms that make this kind of publication super easy. It is worth your time to set up a blog, a Patreon account, or a Wiki page to share tantalizing details of your lore. Inviting your audience to view your particular creations keeps them riveted to your content and more likely to share your show among their circles. These lore-based posts are a great way to keep your show content flowing at all times and fill in any downtime between episode publications. In this fast-paced world, people want a lot of content immediately, and this is the perfect way to serve that need.
So remember! There are a lot of ways to make your show excellent, but one of the most important is putting the pieces together to support your primary sources of content. Use strong visuals, and share the story of your world to keep that audience engaged.
See you next time adventurers.
Greetings travelers! And welcome to Beyond the Audience where we take a look at tips and tricks for building an RPG show that is loved by both your players and the larger audience beyond your table.