Howard Stern is probably the most controversial radio personalities of all time. If you’ve listened to his program then you can probably understand why most people either love him or hate him and there’s no in between. His grating personality and questionable content aside though, there’s a lot we can learn about Internet Marketing from Howard Stern.
I’ll start with the word ‘Passion’ because that does have a lot to do with Stern’s success. But if you’ve been around Internet marketing for any length of time, you’ve probably been ‘passioned’ to death. Suffice it to say, from a very young age, Stern knew he wanted to be a radio star and he focused on doing everything necessary to achieve that goal.
But anyone can get close to a goal, and Stern’s dream was to be more than just a talk radio host. He wanted to be a major player in the game. You should have lofty goals, too. Anyone can set up a blog or a mini-site. But if you want to be successful and turn it into a money-making business, then you should take a few lessons from Howard Stern.
Identify your audience: Early on Stern realized he couldn’t please everyone, no matter how hard he might try. The best way to gain a loyal audience is to be you so you can make a personal connection. When you alter your content so you can appeal to a larger audience all you’re doing is being less genuine. Not only are you alienating that part of the market that really did like what you had to say but that part of the market the didn’t like your original message isn’t going to like it any better when you water it down.
Deliver consistently and regularly: One reason Stern was able to develop such a loyal following is because he delivered his content regularly – every day – like clock work. People knew exactly when to tune in to hear his next show. Delivering your online content on a regular basis is important for the same reason. Let your visitors know they can rely on you to post something fresh and new on a regular basis.
Stern also realized the importance of delivering consistent content. His listeners may not know exactly what he’s going to talk about every day but they how he’s going to talk and that he’s going to always be Howard Stern. If there’s one thing you can count on with Stern, it that he’s always going to tell you exactly how he feels and he’ll never be wishy-washy.
It’s important to be consistent in the message you deliver your readers, too. Making a personal connection is difficult when you’re working online because your readers can’t actually see you or hear your voice. Stay on message. Don’t recommend a product one day and then tell them it stinks the next. Don’t write for college graduates one day and fifth-graders the next. Be consistent in you content to help create a stronger bond with your readers.
Create your own brand: If there’s one thing you can count on with Stern, it that he’s always going to tell you exactly how he feels and he’ll never be wishy-washy. That’s the Howard Stern brand of journalism. He doesn’t back down or cow-tow to the authorities. He’s rough, crass and often steps well over the line of decency. Yet, if you disguised his voice and put him behind a curtain you’d always be able to tell it was Howard Stern because of the brand he’s created around himself.
These days, with more and more businesses setting up websites and the online competition growing by leaps and bounds, it’s important to create a brand for your online business. That means having a professional looking logo designed, creating a visually engaging website, and creating content that conveys your message and supports your mission statement. Creating a brand makes it easy for your visitors to immediately see who you are and what you stand for. And it also makes it easier for them to tell their friends about you.
Broaden your horizons: As so many other celebrities have done, Stern has branched out into television, books and publications, movies and even the Internet. Yes, we really can learn some Internet marketing tips from Howard Stern.
There are more than 7 billion people on the Internet every day and they’re spending time on sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. In fact, YouTube is now the second largest search engine. It only makes good business sense to start expanding into these other markets to help strengthen the bond with your existing visitors and generate new traffic.
Take a lesson from Stern. Deliver consistent, quality content to the loyal audience you already have and start reaching beyond the boundaries of your blog to find new markets. You might even want to think about podcasting!