The Valentine’s weekend saw the release of the first installment of paddle-pushing-romp-flick 50 Shades of Grey and it seems the internet and businesses went a little crazy upon the release, which could be set to become the highest grossing film of all time after taking £1 million in ticket sales BEFORE its release, and £70 million over its first weekend. Not bad for a self-published book that started it’s whip-snapping life as Twilight fan fiction.

Search Volumes

Google’s Display Planner tool shows some interesting data – notably that there is an estimated ten billion impressions on the term ’50 Shades of Grey’ each week. These are split out between book and film related terms.
With merchandise, the book’s author EL James and actors Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) also taken a small percentage of the search volume.
For search specialists, a 50 Shades campaign will be met with an unparalleled level of competition – should you want to take advantage of it.

google search volume

The demographics of the searches mentioned are also not what would generally be expected for a search term which created the phrase ‘Mummy Porn’, defined as ‘a genre of erotic fiction designed to appeal to women’.
According to Google’s Display Tool, an estimated 40% of 50 Shades searchers male – potentially a result of Valentine’s Day searches – and 32% are under the age of 35.
It seems the overall demographic for searchers is varied.
Even if it is assumed that the 27% of unknown searching are women, it still means only three in five searches for 50 Shades of Grey are female. A highlight of the importance of understanding surprises in your target audience.
If we were putting together an SEO strategy here, we would definitely be looking further into why 2 in 5 searches are from men and how we could look to take advantage of other areas within the market.

Trending on Twitter

Social media was also awash with ball gags, so much so even Twitter Tweeted about 50 Shades of Grey, creating their own shades for Twitter Insights.

tweet Twitter Insights

So, is it possible to take advantage of the hype, or will the market become so full of the Fifty Shades of Grey treatment that a campaign will get missed in a wave of BDSM inspired press releases?
The challenge faced on social media is the potential to get the reach promised – social media can be a fantastic platform for your brand, but it can also be a complete waste of time if you don’t have the right strategy and get yourself in front of the right audience.
Hash tagging can help, but without something of note to say your words will just fall by the wayside.

50 Shades of ‘Re’-Brands

As with social content, it could be the case that brands go unnoticed with their 50 Shades revamps as people see through them as money making gimmicks.
Regardless, some brands have taken to the – um – ‘playful’ nature of Fifty Shades of Grey in bid to boost products desirability and ultimately increase sales, from Vermont Teddy Bear Company and their Christian Grey inspired teddy bear, to Manchester’s Thomas Street tea and their 50 shades of Earl Grey promotion.
Great content, with a strong SEO value, is only as good as the idea itself – Fifty Shades of Earl Grey seems to capture an audience, whereas a teddy with a fetish just doesn’t do it for us.
The examples mentioned earlier do not even cover the tip of the ice berg where Fifty Shades of Grey products are concerned – whether they’re licensed or not.
Such a competitive market will always throw up challenges – travel SEO in particular is one where a longer term strategy targeted at niche markets is going to have a bigger and better impact.
What’s more, the controversy surrounding 50 Shades of Grey is also a challenge to overcome – is a potential backlash to a brand worth an all in approach to getting the results you want?
Polaris Agency provide forward thinking SEO services in London to clients across a range of sectors, contact us to find out how we can help you.

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