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What's the best content you've seen (or created) that actually was a flop (Few links and few shares)?
Pretty sure it wasn't my best piece of content, but I did spend a tonne of time on it thinking it would make an amazing long form linkable piece, and no one has even really bothered reading it!
It did sort of get a 2nd wind when I posted it on Medium a couple of weeks ago, though.
Thanks for sharing Alex! This is a massive post - I'm surprised it didn't generate that much traction. Really good post from what I've read so far!
Thanks Ross! Feel free to share it... :)
That's a great post Alex. Just spend nearly 30 minutes reading it.
Aw, just seen this. Thanks Martin! Means a lot :)
I see this regularly on GH unfortunately - so much great content streams through, some inevitably don't get the attention they deserve
I'll think more about the ones I thought should've gotten more attention but one that comes to mind is: https://growthhackers.com/articles/the-landing-page-optimization-guide-you-wish-youve-always-had by @tommyismyname
Context: I'm the CEO of TheDJHookup.com the self-proclaimed Zappos of DJ equipment :)
Content: "Only Love" a Mixfilm - link: http://thedjhookup.com/blog/features/only-love-film-sleeper/
Last year, my extremely talented friend SLEEPER and I created a new type of media called a "mixfilm." Think of a mixtape, but the visual is just as mixed as the audio. Not only was the artistry truly elevated, but it was pertinent to the social climate of the time speaking directly to the losses of Bowie, Prince & Phife Dog.
All in all, between concept, filming, editing and promo we spent months on it - 3 or 4, I believe. It wasn't that expensive in dollars, low $X,XXX, but if you counted the value of our combined time, it was definitely a 5-figure investment.
On the *low end* we figured we'd get X00,000 views. Why? Because SLEEPER created a *much* lower-quality version in 2010 that got 1.5MM views and sparked a world tour.
Also, we showed it to many DJ friends before release and the responses were universally and overwhelmingly positive (which appears to have been honest, as I'll explain below).
Realistically, we figured we'd slam dunk 1,000,000+ views.
What Actually Happened:
- We couldn't get any of the major DJ/music media to cover it
- On a secondary/tertiary media push, we did get coverage from some noteworthy independent publications
- The manufacturers who were featured in the video (that I have close relationships with) were all unwilling to share the video on their social channels for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the video included gear from other brands
- We crushed in the r/DJs subreddit, but couldn't push through to mainstream reddit
- We did well with our list of X0,000
All in all, after 1-2 weeks of promo we'd gotten ~15,000 views on YouTube. THAT SAID, The DJs that *had* seen it weren't just moved, they wrote things like "this made me cry and I don't know why" and "*this* is why I do what I do." Although the reach wasn't wide, it was definitely deep.
Regardless, all in all, it was a soul crushing experience that took me a while to mentally recover from.
Making Lemons of Lemonade. What We Learned:
#1. We learned that the social media landscape since SLEEPER's original viral video in 2010 had completely changed. In 2010, a YouTube video *could* actually go viral on FB. In 2016, we found that FB was preferring its native video to youtube 50 to 1. Yes, 5,000% preferential treatment.
This means that in order to have a viral video on FB, it *must* be a native Facebook video. YouTube videos are dead on arrival.
Except there was this other little problem. Due to FB's copyright filters and the fact that it didn't have royalty-paying relationships with music labels the way that YouTube did, we *couldn't* post the entire mixfilm on facebok even if we wanted to (note: this may have recently changed).
#2. Despite not being a huge attention/demand creator for the company, it was a substantial brand builder. It allowed us to form meaningful connections with several influential companies in our industry - 2 of whom I know we will do serious business with this year. This is not counting the unquantifiable value of making our community believe in us as more than yet another company trying to sell them stuff.
#3. The legitimacy/quality of the film established us as a player in the media landscape of our vertical. There are at least 3 substantial publications we've worked with on other content as a result of this campaign.
#4. Coming from a traditional-ish PR launch background, this project made me reassess my understanding of content promo as opposed to, say, the launch of a company. In the post mortem, I found another DJ who had actually been getting millions of views on his YouTube channel for years (DJ Ravine: https://www.youtube.com/user/DjRavine). What was he doing differently than us?
He started in 2008 and had created 240 videos. He wasn't banking on a single blockbuster. Like a VC, he'd been making smaller content bets for years, iterating on his investment thesis, etc. Moreso, each additional piece of content became a promotional piece for everything before it.
Additionally, unlike us who had sent a "preview" email 2 days before the launch and then did a *ton* of promo afterwards, Ravine is perpetually promoting. His facebook & IG are filled with "in the lab, working on XYZ" type of posts, creating anticipation for his content when it does launch.
#5. Instead of thinking of the film as an "acute" campaign, I started thinking of it as a "chronic" asset. We know that it makes an impression on our target audience, so now we use it as a cornerstone of our lead warming series. >25% of current views have come after the month it was released and growing. I continue to get emails from new list subscribers thanking me for sharing it with them.
#6. If a major pillar of your content distribution involves a large company sharing it, get it in writing or assume that it won't happen. We figured that the featured manufacturers would be thrilled the $1,000s of free product placement, but they couldn't give a single shit less. Large/traditional companies are almost always digital sloths/belaborors, so don't project your own willingness to give a friend/partner a share/tweet/IG post. For large companies, each of these mouseclicks is perceived as a fullblown project.
Hope this saves someone $10,000s+ in mistakes :)
How to use Funtastic Quizzes to Grow Your Email List by 500% - https://sleeknote.com/blog/list-building-quizzes
Not sure if the subject is to narrow, or the promotion just failed. Spend hours on researching for that post, but it didn't get any traction.
I wrote this guide on the relationship between user experience and eCommerce—I spent, literally, months on it:
It trended on Growth Hackers for a bit when I launched it... but it's been crickets ever since. It really flopped considering the expectations I had and how much effort I persuaded my colleagues to put into it.
I've learned loads from the experience though. Probably the biggest failure in my content marketing career.
It would be interesting to have the examples accompanied with an explanation of what people think went wrong -- the content or the promotions?
Content can be incredible, but if you don't put in just as much time with the promotional piece, it won't be surprising that it doesn't take off. There's too much material out there for people to have time to sift through everything and find the stuff that truly has value. You have to be direct in telling them why they'll like it and work to get it in front of their eyes.
Well, I simply underestimated how much promotional effort would be necessary to support a brand new site.
I knew I'd have to promote it like crazy... but I still didn't understand just the scale of the challenge in front of me. It was hubris too. I wanted to attempt something audacious, in spite of extremely limited resources.
Knowing what I know now, I would not do it again (given the same circumstances). But I think it was the right move to attempt it once nonetheless. These errors of ambition are how we learn to be better.
I think I made a mistake many content marketers still continue to make—I underestimated just how easy it is for people to move on from your content... even if they think it's good.
You have to appeal heavily to people's self-interest, while making it dead-easy for them to act based on the motivation you inspire. If you fail in either of these two things, you will not have a big hit. A modest success, maybe. But not a big hit.
Another one that didn't get as much traction as I'd expected on GH (even though in relative terms it was alright): https://growthhackers.com/articles/the-technical-seo-renaissance-the-whys-and-hows-of-seo-s-forgotten-role-in-the-mechanics-of-the-web by @ipullrank
I suspect this was because the content is well and truly advanced and required a fair bit of knowledge to even engage with it in any meaningfully way.
One more that wasn't as popular as I thought it would be on GH: https://growthhackers.com/articles/how-foundr-pulled-off-our-successful-product-launch-to-date-the-complete-step-by-step-guide by @joncwrites. Again - it was relatively popular but it didnt break out as much a I thought it would.
Yeah shame it didn't get as much traction as we would have liked, but will get them next time! Thanks for the mention @AnujAdhiya
I wrote this article about Elegant Themes in about 1500+ words:
Here is a post about detailed review and discount for Divi theme
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