opinion

Thinking Outside The Pornstar Box

Sarah Jayne Anderson

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We have all heard the cliche. As an adult industry marketing professional though,the only beauty I truly care about is that in the eye of the credit card holder. My job is to assure the greatest return on my marketing efforts through catering to the fantasies of potential customers. Whatever those fantasies may happen to be.

Increasingly, the companies that are surviving in the adult industry are those striving to market quality products to customers whose tastes fall outside those of the traditional porn market. Pornstars and ‘babes’ may very well cater to the widest audience but taking your eye off of all the customers outside of the mainstream porn demographic is a mistake. The masses may be searching for traditional ideas of porn beauty but are they willing to pay when such content can be found incredibly easy without ever having to spend a dime?

For hookup-style dating sites to convert, part of the marketing strategy has to be selling the customer on the notion that meeting somebody is a realistic possibility.

Meanwhile, a whole collective of surfers are going under served in their search to find quality products featuring their own ideals of beauty. Older, bigger, hairier, kinkier or whatever else it is about a woman that sets her outside the realm of traditional porn industry beauty, you can be assured that there is a credit card carrying man out there just waiting to spend to see her.

Niche marketing isn’t new to the adult industry. The change comes from the need to properly invest in a niche in order to market to it effectively. As the industry continues to adjust to the end of the online gold rush, the harsh reality is that throwing up ‘insert niche here’ cookie cutter style sites in an attempt to cash in on every possible niche is no longer a solid marketing strategy.

Niche porn surfers may be under served when it comes to quality products but they have smartened up right alongside the rest of our consumers. They aren’t going to pay unless they feel that they, the women they are attracted and/ or their particular kink, are being taken seriously. Once you hit that tone not only will they make that initial purchase but they will also become what all online adult marketers strive for; a loyal rebilling customer.

From July 13th to July 15th, myself and, my DatingGold.com colleague, Tofu De la Moore will be attending BBW Fanfest (http://bbwfanfest.com/) in Las Vegas to promote the company’s new HookupBBW.com dating site. A site which is the latest amongst a growing number of adult dating sites across the industry to focus exclusively on a niche market.

The adult dating sector has been ahead of the industry curve when it comes to focusing energy on marketing to diverse tastes. Profit is most certainly still there to be made with general adult dating sites. However, those companies which are making serious attempts to cater for niche dating markets are the ones thriving.

Perhaps because unlike most of the adult industry, dating companies can’t rely on marketing a perpetual fantasy. For hookup-style dating sites to convert, part of the marketing strategy has to be selling the customer on the notion that meeting somebody is a realistic possibility.

Approaching the marketing of any adult niche site from the point of proper research goes a long way to retaining site members. In the case of BBW, the niche has its own vocabulary and unwritten rules of behavior and its own pornstars, making it very easy for those within the community to suss out the fake sites from the genuine. Merely taking the step to learn the lingo puts most sites above the majority of those run by the mainstream adult industry.

Being present at BBW community events such as the FanFest, a sort of AEE style event for plus sized industry performers and their fans, is both an opportunity to market within rather than to a community but also to do firsthand research into a market.

It may be more effort than most of us used to have to put in to marketing to niche audiences. The truth is though that our industry has grown up and become just that —an industry. As with any industry, there is no substitute for product knowledge whether that product be paper clips or fat chicks.

DatingGold.com’s Sarah Jayne Anderson is a veteran marketing professional in the online adult industry, stretching back to 1998. Her Twitter is @smutmerchant.

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