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Tent-pole Programming: Christmas Edition

No, we aren’t pitching tents here, are you crazy? It’s cold outside. So then, what is tent-pole programming? Tent-pole programing is a method of advertising that allows you to create a video based on popular cultural events. These events can be related to politics, major holidays, movie releases, sporting events and more. These events automatically generate attention, so it seems only necessary to take advantage of them.

In fact, the great thing about tent-pole programming is that while taking advantage of these events, you can integrate tent-pole videos into your work, without changing the way you brand or format your videos. Use your personality and company culture to add a personal touch to an event that has already been established and is well known (i.e. Christmas).
tent-pole programming

Tent-pole programming can boost your YouTube channel’s growth significantly because these events make the most of trending topics and capture your audience’s attention. Viewers are already searching these events, so imagine the views your channel can obtain if your video pops up in a “Christmas video” search. YouTube says, “Why does Discovery Channel have Shark Week every year? Why are scary movies released around Halloween? Why do talk shows have relationship experts on just before Valentine’s Day? The answer: tent-pole programming” (Tent-pole Programming). So, keep in mind that having these event titles in your video are essential. Case study: Fresh Ink Christmas Video (enjoy a little Christmas cheer, from us!).

Tent-pole events get your audience excited for something a little out of the norm and makes them more interested in what’s to come. The more tent-pole videos you produce each year the better. Why? Because they are developing your audience even further, while still promoting your brand. Your audience is more likely to keep interest in a brand who “gives them a bone” every now and then.

Okay, now that you’re aware of what tent-pole programming is how do you optimize a tent-pole video? Simple. Find the event that you want to target. Once you create a video for this event, release the video a few days or weeks before the actual event. There is obviously a build up to Christmas, but after Christmas, your audience’s attention has shifted elsewhere, so keep this in mind when choosing your release date! Next, make your video reachable to your audience. Post your video on your YouTube channel, social networking sites, your website or landing page and above all, make sure to optimize your video to the extreme! Tag, use keywords, appropriate thumbnails, playlists, etc.

Challenge your company or agency to create a tent-pole video this year and see how it grows your channel or website traffic!


“Tent-pole Programming.” YouTube. YouTube. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.
Chang, Sarah. “How Tentpole Programming Can Boost Your Channel.” Fullscreen. Fullscreen, 09 May 2014. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.