How can you use fan activity to support your main business?

How can you use fan activity to support your main business?

As we’ve seen, the digital world lets you reach audiences directly, eliminate the middle man and disintermediates the big boys. But for many producers, that is a very big leap. Most producers operate as business-to-business companies. Whether you sell TV to broadcasters, secure distribution for film or get game publishing deals, you can still create compelling sales tools that take advantage of fan activity.

This fan activity may be your own, for example, if you have a website with respectable traffic stats; but you can also get great, relevant stats by pilfering fan data from show, film or game properties similar to your own.

I recently introduced 42 Entertainment’s executive team at VIDFEST 2008 (read VIDFEST’s “liveblog” of the session here). 42 Entertainment bills itself as an original content production company – media agnostic, focused on “monetized entertainment experiences” for distribution partners of all stripes – including broadcasters, broadband, telcos and publishers. Their work is legend, earning them a feature in a recent issue of Wired magazine for their ARG for Nine Inch Nails.

42 Entertainment lives (and pitches) by the mantra: “Experience is King”, “Content is Queen”, and “All the world is our stage”. With this resonating, content producers will hold court when pitching to a broadcaster, studio or game publisher.

Please enter the url to a YouTube video.

Above: The Nine Inch Nails Resistance Meeting, part of the experience created by 42 Entertainment on the request of band frontman Trent Reznor, outlined at length in the December 2007 Wired article.

Think of digital fan communities as focus groups waiting to be mined.

  • Count your fans
  • Use fan reviews
  • Cite fan forums
  • Use fan art/fan productions

Package this up in a colourful pitch that demonstrates your depth of knowledge about your key audience, its demographics and psychographics. Show your buyer that you are ahead of the game when it comes to supporting publicity, promotion and sales efforts.

Ultimately, many buyers such as broadcasters and publishers, want to see your whole multiplatform plan built into your pitch. If your fan data and your multiplatform thinking does nothing more than help you land that traditional TV or game deal, then it proved to be your competitive advantage.