The Worlds Greatest Content Marketer (And Its Not Who You Think It Is)

He is worth £325m1 and draws an annual salary of $95m2.

He is (in)famous for the catchphrase: “I don’t mean to be rude but…”

He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

And all because of his ability to create content.

Do you know who I am talking about?

Yes, the worlds greatest content marketer is…

Simon Cowell

That “nasty man” behind:

  • Pop Idol
  • X Factor
  • Britain’s Got Talent
  • American Idol
  • America’s Got Talent

Over the past 10 years, this man has held a relentless focus on producing addictive content that people LOVE, whilst also maintaining monetization strategy that even the most adept online marketer would be proud of.

Let’s face, this guy is playing the game at a higher level than all of us…

But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from his genius…

Here are 5 tactics Simon has used to build his empire through arguably his most lucrative brand: The X Factor.

  1. Repurposing Content

I’m going to be honest with you…

Sometimes, I summarise a guest post that I have posted and send it out as my weekly tip to my Marketing Messenger newsletter.

I do it, you do it…

I think we have all been guilty of re-purposing content, but why not?

If you can add value to the fresh eyes of a new group of people then there should be no reason not to.

And of course, Simon takes this to the next level.

After experiencing success in the UK with X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, it took him just a couple of short years to “lift and shift” the model over to the US.

And then of course, if you missed the live show, every performance you can watch during their live shows can immediately be downloaded from iTunes (for a cost).

But what if you like written content?

Oh yes, Simon has something ready for you…

The X Factor Magazine is available at £1.95 and don’t worry, the advertisers you will be subjected to whilst reading also have the pleasure of investing their hard earned cash to join the fun.

Each of these additional sources of revenue is simply the same information, that is just repackaged into a different form.

Which pieces of pre-existing content can you leverage to create further value?

  1. Monetize The Front End

In order to re-coup some of his costs for content creation on the front end, Simon partners with advertising networks (TV Channels) to cut lucrative deals with advertisers eager to showcase their products to his engaged audience.

In fact, a 30 second slot in the final of X Factor in the UK will set you back a modest £200,000.

As well as sneaking in adverts between the content, Simon also expertly integrates ads into his content.

His deal with UK telecoms giant TalkTalk is rumoured to be worth £20m and features the company heavily within the show itself.

Furthermore, to have the pleasure to interact with the show from the audience, you can cast a phone vote for just £0.35, though when the final show itself receives 8 million votes, this can contribute significantly to the bottom line.

How you you liquidate any spend on advertising/content through monetizing your audience as they consume?

  1. Dominate With Pre-Launch Content

Offerring value upfront before requesting a sale is the age old content marketing strategy that underpins almost every corporate blog you have ever read.

Simon uses The X Factor to tell stories of hope, failure, glory and scandal throughout the months of The X Factor with each hopeful that he brings through the show.

And that one lucky winner will have had their story woven deeply into the minds of his audience before the “Open Cart” which conveniently occurs the week before Christmas.

Though Simon has his content monetised so effectively on the front end, the “after launch” sales seem inconsequential.

What are the information needs of your potential customers and how can you satisfy them with your content?

  1. Maximise The Backend

Once you are engaged in Simon’s content, he has a fully optimised backend to ensure you are able to invest further with The X Factor brand.

You can of course:

  • Purchase the winners single right after the final of the show
  • Pick up tickets to The X Factor Tour to see all of your favorites from the show
  • Head to to order all of the outfits you see on the show
  • Order all of the show performances from iTunes as soon as the show has finished

Though of course, none of these revenue streams would be effective if people were not engaging in Simon’s front end content (The X Factor).

What products/services can you offer your existing clients to maximise the ROI on the investment in your content?

  1. Utilise Guest Contributors

Each X Factor show, features a vast variety of guest contributors…

But you can’t just ping Simon over a quick mail to be featured, you need to be selected.

In fact, the three main guest contributors (judges) selected for The X Factor in 2015 had a combined Twitter following of 13.27 million.

A share by just one of these guys could bring in thousands in affiliate revenue, great work Simon.

And that’s not all, each episode features the performance of a number of other stars to bring further exposure to their content by leveraging the audience of each star.

How can you incorporate people with an existing audience into your content?

So there we go…

This is how Simon (the worlds greatest content marketer) has used his content to add massive value to the world whilst still managing to capture a (relatively) small amount of that value for himself and his shareholders.

I hope this post acts as an inspiration to your and your business to think outside of the box with regards to how you repurpose, monetize and partner with your content.

If Simon can achieve this in the music industry, why can’t you do the same in yours?

If you have a friend that you think need to be inspired by what is possible purely by creating awesome content and thinking creatively about monetization, then use the social icons below to send this article over.

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