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What Hollywood And Porn Can Teach You About Content Marketing

storm trooper and storm shadow image source flickr - jdhancockContent marketing is more than just writing blog posts. Content Marketing is about delivering your message at the right time to your audience, which is your customer and/or prospect. I’ve been causally studying Hollywood and the Porn Industry for years to learn how they get their messages to their audience, each for very different reasons.

Hollywood production studios in recent years have increased their movie budgets dramatically, forcing them to turn a good ROI or go broke. On the other end of the spectrum, the Porn Industry is heavily regulated and is constantly facing legal challenges to communication and sending their messages. They have to be innovative or they face being legislated out of business.

If you came here looking to find links or images to free porn you will be sorely disappointed.

Hollywood and the Porn Industry have survived because they have managed to connect with their audience in very similar ways. Here are a few of my observations that will hopefully provide some additional insight into some key areas you should focus on with your content marketing efforts.

Have A Proven System For Promotion

When launching a movie, Hollywood has learned over the years that people want to connect more with the process that goes on in making the movie as well as the actors themselves.  Going behind the scenes with the director, actors, and writers has become a pillar in their marketing house.

Both Hollywood and the Porn Industry use “making of” style videos to create more of a bond with their fanatic audiences. This segment of your client base will be the most vocal for you, so it pays to give them something extra.

Red carpet events and VIP parties go a long way to creating buzz around the movies or sites that are being promoted. This gives the audience another chance to see them live and in-person, creating a stronger bond with the movie and actors.  Hollywood will throw “World Premiere” parties as well as Preview or Sneak Peak events in multiple markets around the world.

Porn always has Vegas for events, but in recent years they have also been moving into other locations in an effort to go more mainstream, including actor appearances in ComicCon and other Sci-Fi Fantasy-type events.

No Hollywood promotion would be complete without an all out media blitz leading up to the world premiere of the movie and trickling through the first month of the movie in theaters. They start with the publishers with the most reach to their audience and aggressively move down the list. Contacting journalists, reporters, TV and Radio producers, bloggers, and niche publications to make sure every part of the audience segment is covered.

It’s not uncommon to have an actor appear on late night TV and also appear on a more serious show like “Inside the Actors Studio” and have an interview with niche blog that only deals with the character from his movie.  Although the messaging is very similar, each must be presented to the specific needs of the audience, which is where your content marketing strategy comes into play.

Partnering With Competition For Something Better

It’s rare today that you will see a movie produced where there is only one production studio involved in the process. Every production studio is going to have it’s strengths, which your company either doesn’t have or does a poor and semi-adequate job at. Don’t be afraid to put together a really awesome piece of content with your competition. You will be able to reach a much greater audience and grow your business.

The Porn Industry started introducing “Friends” several years ago when you signed up for a membership. The “Friends” are the competition, but provided a solution to a different segment of the marketplace they were serving. By giving access to the “Friends” sites, in addition to their own site, the site owner was able to increase conversions to their own offering.

Another tactic that is used often is the “Guest Star” approach. You see this in the form of cameo appearances or small bit parts in other productions. This helps build anticipation for the upcoming film and also additional interest in that character and actor. These can also take the form of co-host for events and shows, which impacts the audience and increases the reach of the movie and actor.

In his book Brandscaping, Author and Content Marketer Andrew Davis gives some great examples as well as provides some out of the box thinking to get this done. He gives a great analogy of singing a duet with someone. In his example he uses Tony Bennett, who started singing duets with current music stars in the late 80’s when his career was at a low point.

Reading that example reminded me of one of my favorite CD’s by BB King called Deuces Wild. On the CD, I was introduced to a few new artists that I would not have thought of listening to before. Partnering with your competition works very well if you are not in a zero sum industry. In other words, if your customer will only buy one of something to fill their needs, like one car, one mortgage, or one house, then this isn’t something for you.

However, with creative thinking you can still make it work. It’s just going to take a little more effort on your part.

Match The Content With The Audience’s Consumption

We’ve discussed the idea of a Content Circle where you take pieces and parts of one type of content to create another format and piece of content. Here are a few ways that Hollywood and the Porn Industry match the content with the way that the audience wants to consume or use it.

  • Posters vs Screen Savers
  • Photo shoot vs Social media backgrounds and header graphics
  • Streaming Video vs DVD
  • Mp3 vs CD soundtrack
  • Blog posts vs magazine article
  • TV appearance vs Google+ Hangout On Air

Each way listed above has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but each way is a different way to reach and engage with your audience. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to be where your prospects and customers are and deliver the appropriate message in the preferred format at the right time.

What did we learn?

For your content marketing strategy to work, it needs to have a proven system for promotion to get your message into the hands of your audience.

Content marketing doesn’t have to be a game where you need a big budget if you step outside of the box and think like a Hollywood movie producer. Find the talent that reaches your audience and partner with them to make something great. It could be your competition or a strategic partnership waiting to happen.

Your audience uses your content in many different ways. Do what you do best and give them the highest quality that your skill-set allows, then partner with someone else to make other types of content for your audience using your ideas as the core message.

What’s your take away? Leave a comment below and let me know what inspired you.

 

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  • Micah,

    Great post! Catchy headline and fun insight.

    Thanks so much for the book nod! I really appreciate it. BTW, I really like the idea of the Content Circle. At Tippingpoint Labs, Josh Cole called it the Content Continuum. (He’s smart.)

    Thanks again Micah!

    – Andrew

    • Andrew,

      Thanks for stopping by. Your book is excellent and on the short list of books I recommend often.

      The Content Circle is something I’ve shared to small groups over the last few years. I’ll have to check out more about the Content Continuum and Josh.

      Thanks again for the kind words.

      -Mical

  • Mical,
    Interesting post. I always like to study other industries to learn tactics that might be applicable to my company or our clients. In this blog post, I can relate to the Hollywood example, but not the porn industry. No matter how you slice it, the porn industry is not anything worth learning from (IMO).

    I agree with your assessment of Branscaping. It’s a great book!

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    – Bernie

    • Bernie,

      Thanks for your feedback. I completely agree about learning from other industries. The porn industry has been more the canary in the coal mine for me as I’ve studied their marketing methods. When I notice them attack a loophole aggressively I know to stay clear of it like the plague. It’s given me a sort of early warning system especially for the SEO side of the house.

      As I study different industry marketing tactics I try and make it a point to learn at least one thing that I can apply to my arsenal. In the case of the porn industry most of the time it’s what not to do.

      I much prefer Hollywood and the Music Industries.

      -Mical