Musings on the Challenges of Marketing Adult ContentDanny Ferretti
Let’s discuss the ins and outs of marketing adult content — because it isn’t easy. I imagine that most of you reading this are somewhere between a lot younger than I am and a little older than a bag of potatoes. That being the case, you’re undoubtedly full of energy, unafraid and determined to succeed.
By virtue of necessity, you have an uncanny understanding of social media and content-sharing platforms and you can rattle off, without taking a breath, the five, seven or 15 sites you use the most to drop or tease new content for your faithful followers. Odds are, you work longer hours than most people in mainstream jobs, but you don’t get credit for that, do you?
If you really think about it, it’s an odd business we’ve all chosen. Look at it this way: our banks, landlords, finance companies, service providers — and a long list of others that count on our business — love us as clients. That’s because we pay our bills on time and a good number of us can even afford the “finer things.” Yet paradoxically, few of these people want to talk about what we do. In fact, a lot of them — save for the pizza guy, perhaps — would rather pretend they didn’t know what we do. That would be hilarious, if it weren’t true.
So, the underlying question is as simple as this: if sex sells, why is so difficult to sell adult content? Yeah, it’s not that simple at all, because the hard part has always been figuring out where you can sell sex without being ostracized, blocked, banned or, even worse, legally punished.
STICKING TO THE FUNDAMENTALS
If you’ve been in this business for longer than it takes an ice cube to melt, you already know what content you can post on what sites without getting yourself knocked off, but you also know that you have to post to stay relevant, to expand your brand and to keep your current followers following.
Personally, I tell the models I work with to follow one simple rule: Keeping your pants on gets them there. Taking off your pants keeps them there. After all, other than the obvious goal of making money, there are only two reasons you’re posting content: keeping your current fanbase on board and/or bringing in new fans.
RETAINING YOUR CURRENT FANS
Let’s work backwards, then, to arrive at the ideal method for marketing. Keeping your current fanbase on board is the easier task. They already know who you are, what your personality is and what to expect from your postings. It doesn’t hurt that, as current fans, they are probably signed up to receive your VIP or private content. That means you are probably not limited to keeping your pants on.
The ability to post nude, seminude or implied nude content allows you the benefit of actually representing the type of the adult content you’re trying to sell. You can post topless or bottomless teasers or video trailers and not worry about getting blocked or banned. The other plus here is that you can easily communicate with your followers, and that is where you can really keep them on board and happy.
ACQUIRING NEW SUBS
But now comes the tricky part, because if you want to keep your audience fresh and bring in new fans, you always must look for new ways of expanding your brand and your fanbase. So where and how does that happen? The obvious destinations are the big three: Instagram, Twitter and TikTok — at least until the next new shiny site comes along.
You can post virtually anything on Twitter, but how good is the prospect pool? You’ve probably already felt, or at least witnessed, the great Instagram purge of 2021. And if you’ve tried posting anything more risqué than bare knees on TikTok, well, good luck with that. I mean, you can always gain new followers by purchasing shoutouts from other influencers via reputable sites like ShoutoutExpress.com, but for many, buying shoutouts is just too expensive. Still, you must carry on and do your best to stay within the TOS.
You always have to look toward tomorrow, next week and then next month, because for every follower you lose, you have to find a way to gain three more. But it makes no sense to post content you know might get you in hot water; prospective new fans want to know you’re accessible, so post content that encourages interaction and then actually interact. If you’re going to work hard, you might as well work smart too.
MAKING PROGRESS TAKES TIME
While there are certainly challenges to marketing and selling content, trust me when I tell you things are a lot better now than they were 10 or 15 years ago. As a matter of fact, 10 years ago there were zero mainstream outlets for you or your content. Geographical restrictions, the societal stigma surrounding the adult industry and legal issues have come a long way, even though it may not seem so. And we’ll continue to evolve because we’re smart and we have no choice. Just think about where video content was 15 years ago. How about social media and content sharing?
When progress seems slow, think about this: today’s 22-year-old adult performer is tomorrow’s 32-year-old business pioneer. What I’m saying is that every day, the industry is evolving and while it sometimes seems like we’re going backwards, we’re actually not. This is the storm before the calm, to reverse a classic saying. You just have to keep the faith, because the industry will survive and so will we. We may not like how we get there, but get there we will.