It’s been nearly sixty days, 192 pieces of content, thirty contributors, six columnists, 150 email subscribers, 30,000 page views and 2000 Twitter interactions since we launched at the beginning of November.
All of that happened, we are excited to say, without a single dollar of paid promotion. You can see part one and part two, the prelaunch of the site and development of a Twitter following, here and here. Without that prelaunch build it’s very doubtful we could have achieved the numbers immediately post launch that we did.
And here’s what’s happened since:
Our first content went live on Nov 2. We set a goal of averaging 15,000 organic visitors to B2BNN content a month, or 500 visitors a day, for 2014 (our content also runs on the Digital Journal networks which has low to mid seven figures in unique visitors a month). We were confident Twitter would do well for us. We weren’t sure about Facebook (B2B?) or LinkedIn (a lot of competitive content). Here’s what we learned:
Most viewed: Dave Silverberg’s look at the Raptors’ lessons for B2B.
Most shared: our profile of CMO Aleya Chattopadhyay.
Most clicked: see the top 5 below (click data from SQUEEZECMM).
Two posts from early on continue to generate clicks on distributed networks, on old school marketing for startups and Sticker You funding, followed by a big data primer and Saul Colt’s first column.
Audience demographics: exactly what we had hoped. Around 75 percent of visitors are executives in small businesses or large enterprises in Canada and the US (even split).
– the good: very high level of engagement per post; average of twelve engagements per article on Twitter alone (engagements are defined for us as retweets, comments, replies and favourites, does not include posts or shares). Congratulations to our amazing writers on producing such great, high value, high interest work!
– the bad: hard to say much has been bad, we’re very happy with our results to date, and even our biggest unmet goal has a bright side. We had initially set a target of 8 posts a day, and ended up at an average of about half that, which meant very efficient use of budget. We had initial concerns about hitting our goals with reduced content but saw quickly that wasn’t a concern.
– What content worked: primers were big. We’ll be doing more of those; let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see covered. Marketing content was extremely popular, as were posts on taking lessons from B2B and applying them to B2C.
– What content didn’t: curated content and news. News summaries, top stories of the week were rarely of great interest to our audience.
– We are still working out the balance of content across the range of B2B from enterprise to small business. Do we need more content on the channel, VAR best practices, enterprise licensing, B2Government? Let us know in the comments.
– Community forums and Reddit have been huge. They have had a massive impact on organic traffic.
– Communities in the distributed sense are extremely influential. Fans share, if engaged authentically and meaningfully.
– Search is the biggest traffic driver, but news content is also extremely social compared to other B2B content, which is niche not mass. Google generated 60% of our traffic to date.
– Facebook was slow. Still slow.
– G+ is either asleep or full throttle. One of our Google+ presences has 40,000 circles.
– LinkedIn is busy. Haven’t found our voice there yet, strangely enough, despite the obvious content connection. Looking forward to seeing the impact of the streamlining efforts.
– Twitter has very high engagement. We generated 220,000 impressions since launch, and 1254 followers as of this writing. We are averaging an interaction per tweet, which is a great level of engagement for B2B.
– Chartbeat said it. We are living it. Shares have zero correlation to pageviews. Our most viewed content is not the most shared and vice versa.
So how did we end up?
– Did we hit our target? We did! We hit an average of 500 unique visitors a day to B2B news network content in December and a steady incline in traffic until the holiday break. (Data Google Analytics)
– Data so far seems to be (roughly) reflecting the 10% engagement rule: 30,000 pageviews led to 1200 Twitter followers and 150 email subscribers.
– We’ve attracted a very senior audience of decision makers in visitors and email subscribers. 75% of our audience is senior executives (data courtesy Bizo) split 40/40/10 Canada/US/ROW.
– Our goal for Q1 is 1000 unique visitors a day, maintaining geography and seniority, but we may add a little media behind it. Check this space in March for how we did!
We’re excited about the feedback we’ve gotten, the traction, and how much we have been able to do. Thanks to our partners sponsors and readers especially launch sponsor SAP and watch for some announcements in the New Year!