How X Factor is Using Content Marketing to Re-invent the Wheel
TV TALENT guru Simon Cowell has needed the help of some serious content marketing in his attempt to reinvent the X Factor wheel.
Millions will once again tune in this weekend as the X Factor’s Live Finals get underway on our small screens.
But it’s been a while since the once reliable X Factor format has been a guaranteed cash cow for a demanding ITV board.
And it seems many moons ago when X Factor used to routinely trash Strictly Come Dancing in Saturday night’s primetime viewing deathmatch.
Indeed, so stale and predictable did the tried and tested X Factor format become, that Strictly tangoed regularly across its exposed and bruised derriere in viewing figures in more recent times.
Cowell’s expensive white smile will never be more bright than when, as many pundits are now predicting, X Factor reclaims the Saturday night primetime throne from its fiercest rival.
And he’ll have solid content marketing to thank for the victory, if and when it happens.
So how have they reinvented what, at its core, is nought more than a redraft of the well-used talent show format?
They’ve employed the classic Content Marketing holy trinity – shareability, engagement and contemporary technology – to effect this sea-change, and it looks like they’re about to reap the rewards as viewing figures have already started to turn in their favour and the gulf between X Factor and Strictly contracts.
They’ve given us an app, for a start. Available across multiple OS formats – Android, Apple etc – the X Factor app means the audience can now take part by casting their own vote, instantly compare their choices to the rest of the watching public and discuss and share those same choices and comment on the judge’s decisions directly from their tablet or smartphone.
That mechanism gives us more engagement, instant shareability and talkability and, crucially, encourages the ever-so-now second screen format. The Content Marketing Holy Trinity in perfect harmony.
They’ve also increased the sense of drama with the love it or loathe it ‘six chairs’ finale of the Boot Camp stage. And they’ve brought back two of X Factor’s biggest hitters with the reintroduction of Simon and Cheryl to the celebrity judging panel.
Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola Vice President of Advertising Strategy & Creative Excellence, said: “All advertisers need a lot more content so that they can keep the engagement with consumers fresh and relevant, because of the 24/7 connectivity. If you’re going to be successful around the world, you have to have fat and fertile ideas at the core.”
Though he was talking about advertising specifically, the same is true of all content – whether that content comes from a PR source, marketing agenda or from a creative advertising department.
And it seems Simon Cowell has got that mix just about right for the new X Factor resurgence. At least, the TV audiences seem to think so.
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