How to Market Like a Teenage Girl

A few weeks ago I came across a story that should have surprised me, but it didn’t. Anna Todd just signed a six-figure deal for a trio of books and subsequent films based on her writings. Sounds like any writers dream right? Well, what if I told you that her books were novels that starred fictionalized versions of her favorite boy band One Direction?

Yes, another writer will be making bank on the popularity of their online fan fiction stories.

So what exactly is fan fiction? In a nutshell, fan fiction is the writing of a story based on something that already exists. The word “fan” ties to you a particular television show, movie, or book series. A fan fiction author will fill in gaps or write their own versions of their favorite stories with their favorite characters.

Most people had not been exposed to fan fiction until we were all introduced to the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. The bestselling book series and future movie blockbuster was originally a fan fiction Twilight story that was incredibly popular on sites that host fan fiction. Now, everyone probably has an opinion on this new trend of fan fiction being repackaged and sold as original ideas – myself included. But that is a debate for another day – another blog. This post is about what you can learn from teenage girls about marketing.

Know What is Popular

Fan fiction is generally driven by the things that are the most popular. 50 Shades is fiction based on the Twilight series and it was picked up and molded into a best seller just as the final Twilight movies were being aired in theaters. There is a sense of sadness when something a fan loves goes away – like when a movie series has completed or a show is no longer on television. When fans need “more” they turn to fiction, and they share with their friends, and so forth. It is the ultimate proof of the benefit of word-of-mouth marketing.

Market in the Right Channels

A lot of fan fiction is marketed to fellow fans on message boards. If you go to sites like fanforum.com you’ll find any number of show / couple specific message boards that have frequent and regular users. A lot of members who also write fan fiction will embed the link to their author profile into their signature. Since you’re already posting with people who would be interested in that kind of fiction, you’re speaking directly to your target market.

I know – it seems odd to look at teenage channels for us to get ideas, but they truth is that they drive a lot of the decision making in advertising, as well point us in a direction that we should consider. Like it or not, they control a lot of our buying power and we have to start taking our queue from them. Fan fiction authors certainly seem to be making bank lately.

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

Most Shared Posts in 2013

Happy end of December everyone! We had a great time in 2013 trying new things and taking new approaches on the blog and in a lot of other areas. It was a great year for us here at AccuConference and in celebration of the New Year; here is a look back at some of our favorite posts, as well as the most shared.

5 Ways to Get Your Audience’s Attention

When was the last time you saw a speech or attended a conference call where it didn’t begin with "Good morning, my name is…."? Getting the attention of your audience during a presentation can be a challenge while you compete with all of the distractions like cell phones, tablets, and social media. This list is a great way to try a new and improved opening for your presentations to get your audience to sit up and tune in.

Active Listening Skills for Customer Service

Listening in customer service is the most important thing that you can learn. When someone is talking to you, you need to tune out everything else and actively participate in your conversation with your client.

Why Adults Learn Languages More Easily Than Children

Research has proven that children are better than adults at a lot of things (like honesty and imagination) but one thing that we’ve learned is that when it comes to something as complicated as learning a new language, the adults have one up on the kids out there.

Breaking Down the Technical Barriers to Customer Service

This is a technical industry that we work in and a lot of times, we get bogged down in our terminology. Things that make perfect sense to us don’t always translate to new or existing customers. What approaches can you take to help ease your customers through new words?

Learning New Things: How We Approach New Challenges

We took on some new challenges at AccuConference and one of the things we learned as writers is that sometimes, you have to take a risk in order to improve. We wrote a series of posts in the fall about how we learn new things and how we face the challenges that arise.

Those were our most popular posts in 2013. Stay tuned and keep reading in 2014.

Happy New Year!