To keep their loyal fans engaged and entertained, Showtime created a Messenger bot that maintained the irreverent tone of the series, housed exclusive content and extended the narrative and themes of the show in playful and shareable ways using a multitude of Messenger features and functionality.
”Using The Bot Platform, Showtime are able to create a suite of Messenger based games and experiences that extended the narrative and storyline of each episode.
For the 8th season of hit US TV series, Shameless, Showtime Networks wanted a Messenger bot that would drive excitement and engagement from premiere to finale and beyond amongst their passionate fan base.
The bot needed to retain and entertain loyal viewers to solidify Shameless as the #1 series on Showtime, and ensure that fans knew that Showtime was the only place to watch season 8.
Showtime worked with The Bot Platform to develop a pre-season, in-season and post-season phasing strategy for their bot, with each phase aimed at maximizing engagement with their fans by utilizing the full breadth of Messenger functionality and driving attribution to Showtime.
The resulting bot kept fans entertained throughout the season, extended the show’s storylines and drove huge subscriptions to Showtime’s streaming service.
With the season finale having aired, the bot is now continuing to keep fans engaged out of season, alleviate pressure from Showtime’s community managers by having an automated marketing channel and to build excitement for Season 9.
”Showtime needed a partner they could rely on and a platform which could scale to millions of messages without fail.
By utilizing the full breadth of functionality within Messenger, from quick replies to quizzes and the doodle draw feature to audio messages, Showtime are able to create a suite of experiences that extended the narrative and storyline of each episode using The Bot Platform.
How They Did It
Step 1: Design the first version of the bot
Together with The Bot Platform, Showtime ran a workshop to plan the outline and feature set of the initial bot, as well as the phasing plan for introducing new elements and updates throughout the course of the season.
Step 2: Launch the bot to the world
Once the bot had been built using The Bot Platform and all the initial content was in place, Showtime launched the bot to the world using a breadth of organic and paid promotional tactics.
Step 3: Monitor how people use it
Once fans started communicating with the bot and engaging with the content and experiences, Showtime were able to see how fans were interacting with the bot, which kind of features and functionality were resonating best and how to increase organic sharing from fans to their friends. Showtime also monitored the most frequently sent messages from fans and identified trends and new topics or themes that they needed to add responses to.
Step 4: Refine the experience and reward the fans
Over time, Showtime were able to refine the entire experience and develop new ways of using Messenger functionality in creative ways to reward the fans, extend the storylines, and even give fans exclusive access to the cast.