Bob Garfield

Surprising marketing lessons from the hit show "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries"

  • Previous
  • 1 of 5
  • View as single page

How did this low-budget, little-known web series go on to win an Emmy? Here are the unknown marketing strategies that led to its massive success.

2014 will be the year of video, and every brand is struggling to find a smart video marketing strategy. Before you pour a huge amount of money into your plan, consider the lessons from this case study on the hit web series "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries." In August of 2013, this online video series took home a Creative Arts Emmy for Original Interactive Program, proving that you don't need a massive budget to engage viewers, accumulate views, and grow a massive audience in the online video space. Here are the marketing lessons you need to know.

Creating the series and focusing on the hook

When the show's creators, Bernie Su and Hank Green, first set off to launch this series, marketing the show was not at the top of their minds. What was? The show's hook. "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries" (as Bernie describes) is basically "Pride and Prejudice" as a YouTube series. Their first focus was on making sure they weren't just creating a one-off video. They wanted consistency across multiple episodes and to focus on their mainly female demographic. The show's direct marketing in the beginning was limited to a small social push, word-of-mouth, and a little bit of press. Creating excellent content was their first goal -- just as it should be for every online video creator.

In this exclusive interview, iMedia sat down with executive producer and show runner for "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries," Bernie Su, and explored the way he was able to take a small budget with some unknown actors and turn their production into one of the most popular YouTube series on the web.