How Tai Lopez Turned Buzz into a Viable Business Model – A Social Media Marketing Case Study

Tai Lopez

Whether you love him, loathe him, or think that his name rings a bell, you’ve probably come across one of serial entrepreneur Tai Lopez’s videos in some random corner of the Internet.

And that’s more than enough to prove these his seemingly controversial video marketing tactics are actually working.

Lopez’s video ad blitz on YouTube in 2015 garnered him mass praise and criticism alike; however, his series of motivational videos for entrepreneurs propelled the man himself toward a state of Internet super-stardom.

One video in particular, colloquially titled “Here in My Garage,” sits at over 67 million views and was the subject of endless debate, discussion and memes amongst the web marketing crowd and Internet at large. In the video, Lopez describes the keys to entrepreneurial success as a thirst for “knowledge” rather than materialism, contrasting the endless stack of new books in his garage with his new Lambo.

The “Like” bar of the video above serves as proof of Lopez’s status as a polarizing figure in the marketing community; however, his massive following of over 3.9 million Facebook fans and nearly one million YouTube subscribers tells a completely different story.

Lopez’ mystique and magnetic personality are difficult to deny. Likewise, as an investor and adviser to multiple multi-million dollar businesses, he obviously knows how to create content that both garner views and drives discussion.

Lopez himself could certainly be regarded as a guru in the Internet marketing world but what makes his videos so compelling for fans and detractors alike represents something to goes beyond his teachings.

  1. Controversy = Views and Comments

From frequently featuring models in the background of his videos for seemingly no reason (or is there?) to showing off an endless array of supercars, Tai Lopez understands that controversy is a surefire way to get viewers fired up. In Tai’s case, it’s a classic example of “any press is good press” as rabid viewers debate his teachings and share his videos out a sense of “Hey, get a load of this guy!”

The end result? More exposure for Tai and his courses, respectively.

Again, ultimately a win-win situation.

Here’s the thing: Tai isn’t relying on clickbait to draw in views. The “controversy” presented by Tai to drive engagement isn’t really controversy at all, but just him sharing his lifestyle with the world.

Yet Tai’s positive and nonchalant tone concerning the extravagant world around him is part of what makes him so compelling.

Is he bragging? Is he showing off? That’s for the viewer to decide. Either way, the views keeping rolling in.

  1. Social Proof > Sales Pitch

Tai’s videos often illustrate the power of social proof as he’s able to show off success stories as a result of his teachings.

Such videos are presented as an invitation to obtain knowledge versus a traditional sales pitch. Similarly, the lifestyle documented as Tai’s day-to-day life is a rather brilliant marketing tool and form of proof in and of itself. The mansions, cars and celebrities further drive home the point that Lopez knows a thing or two about marketing and making money.

  1. Saturation Still Works

Tai notes that YouTube is his favorite social platform; however, his content also circulates the likes of Facebook, Instagram and frequent Snapchat stories. In short, Tai manages to be a million places at once and his content therefore spreads like wildfire.

Whether or not Tai’s original advertising spree in 2015 was profitable quickly becomes irrelevant as it’s clear that he was able to capitalize on his initial sense of buzz. Although Tai’s strategy may baffle business owners looking to likewise boast a stronger social presence across multiple platforms, a diverse wealth of content certainly helps.

  1. There’s Untapped Potential in Vulnerability and Authenticity

Tai’s message would likely fall flat if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. As a result, he’s rather forthcoming about his humble beginnings as an entrepreneur prior to finding a mentor, previously living on a mom’s couch with less than $50 in his bank account. This sense of vulnerability makes his teaching more relatable and Tai himself more human to first-time viewers.

While some may describe his content as “in-your-face,” he maintains a calm, cool and humble demeanor in just about every video he’s featured in.

This disposition represents a stark contrast to a millionaire mindlessly burning through cash and flaunting their 1% lifestyle. Critics will certainly argue that Tai is doing the latter, the fact remains that his authenticity and straightforwardness concerning his success (note: he regularly states that his results are not typical) do shed a light on his unique approach to marketing.

  1. The Emphasis of “Simple Steps”

Taking a page from the popularity of listicle sites and Buzzfeed-esque viral content, many of Tai’s digest and therefore make his teaching seem much more actionable.

Given that a bulk of his content segues right into his various programs, Lopez teases viewers with a taste of what his teaching truly have to offer. Despite his massive repository of content (well over 500 free videos), he certainly understands the need to keep “the good stuff” behind a paywall.

What Tai Lopez Did Right

At the end of the day, Tai managed to do what so many marketers only dream of: go viral and stay relevant.

Again, there’s no denying that Tai Lopez’s teachings ruffle the feathers of many in the marketing sphere. That being said, there’s also no denying his reach and popularity. While it’s easy to be cynical toward the nature of video ads as a whole, marketers could certainly learn a thing or to Tai’s consistent ability to the buttons of his audience and critics alike.

Despite the failed attempts of many entrepreneurs chasing the notion of “going viral,” Tai managed to manufacture his own buzz to make himself into something larger than life.

This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.

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