A New Content Strategy for Louis C.K.

December 28, 2011By

Comedian Louis C.K. has been making the headlines recently.

Louis C.K.

The funny man shook the trend of partnering with a big time production company in favor of self-funding his latest stand up routine. The video was made available on his personal website for $5 with a simple request to not pirate the video. Some fans did pirate the video, of course, but more than 100,000 fans purchased the video giving Louis C.K. gross revenue of approximately $500,000 and, by his account, $200,000 in profit.

That’s not bad for a personally funded production.

The interesting part, for me, about the entire situation was the overall content strategy and promotional strategy Louis C.K. used to make the campaign a success. It’s something he should be able to continue if he choses.

Louis C.K. Successful Content Strategy

It’s an interesting strategy to buck the trend of big production companies in the entertainment industry. It’s something that’s becoming more common these days as folks like Louis C.K. see if they can do things more on their own than with the help of the big production companies. The trade off has always been that in order to really sell a lot of your content and make a lot of money you have to give up some ownership in exchange for big time promotion.

Now, folks like Louis C.K. are proving that it’s possible to at least reach a pretty respectable level of financial success with self-publication and promotion. In the last month, Louis C.K. has sold his video on his unassuming website (LouisCK.com) and it’s been working.

The strategy is pretty straight forward. Louis C.K. put in the work, as he likely always has, to create his stand up routine. I can imagine this is not an easy task. From there, the comedian used some social channels like Reddit to host Q&A sessions with fans. He was open and honest with his life and the production of his latest video. The promotion built a buzz around the video and the results made the entire operation a success.

From What Louis C.K. Knows That Most Media Companies Don’t:

The elements of this approach that are probably the hardest for media companies to focus on are the “making it easy and cheap” parts. Media conglomerates are used to not only overcharging for their products, but locking them down and trying to control their distribution as tightly as possible—the idea of simply offering something for sale without DRM no doubt seems like insanity. But if more artists take the Louis C.K. route, who will be left to provide the locked-down content for those old media companies?

The article discusses media companies, but in today’s world every company is a media company.

Businesses need to focus on promoting themselves with content. For companies selling on the web, it’s important to have a content and content promotional strategy.

It starts with the product, which in this case happens to be the content Louis C.K. created. He created a product that was in demand. After that he used various media channels and tools to share the story of what he was doing. People connected with him on a personal level and as a result purchased his video.

If you have a great product, what can you do to create content and tell a story people will connect with?

That’s one of the keys to a successful content strategy in the online world.

Focus on product, content and profit.