Sam is in Sydney until Wednesday on his annual holiday.
We managed to find a day to look into Viva’s marketing plan for the next few months, including search engine optimisation, Facebook advertising, the results of our first postcard marketing campaign and other growth strategies.
These are snippets of our conversations.
Postcard strategy outcomes
“I think we got maybe 10 users signed up in Newtown as a result of the postcard campaign. That is from 10,000 postcards.”
“Is that from 10,000?” Sam asked. Then, he added ironically, “Yay?”
“Actually, more like 13,500 postcards because of the mistake in the first round. So, I think we can pretty safely conclude that letterbox drops is not a high yielding strategy. Let’s never do that again?”
He laughed, “fair enough.”
“It was actually really expensive because of the combined design costs, printing costs and delivery costs. It was a nice idea, but I think we save the physical memorabilia for users we have actually engaged with face to face. What do you think?”
We expected a 1% to 2% response rate from the postcards, but we didn’t even hit that.
I started, “I think what was useful with the postcard campaign…”
“Was that it failed quickly?” Sam joked, dry like toast.
“… well, I think the useful part was that about 10,000 people now have seen the Viva idea. So at least when they see it again, they will have some idea of what Viva is or what Viva does. That’s a positive. We are hitting the awareness button.”
“What about Facebook advertising?” Sam asked.
“You know how I feel about Facebook. Facebook is just full of junk. It was a great idea and really good for society, and now it has turned into a tabloid and classifies. It has no respect for any of us and no respect for privacy… but we may have to deal with the devil.”
“Did you want to add to that?”
“OK, well, we are experimenting today on Facebook. We are paying $9 for two different promotional campaigns on Facebook. The first one is to promote our website http://www.downloadviva.com, and the second one is to promote one of our posts on the Viva app page. I have no idea what will happen with the numbers.”
Sam just stared at me with a wry smile.
Search engine optimisation
“Your turn then. SEO was your topic. What do you think we should do?” I deflected.
“The freshness idea. A lot of the suggestions say that if you produce relevant content and a lot of fresh content, then Google will apply QDF – query deserved freshness – to that term to see if there is any fresh content on that topic. So that freshness gives it a boost.”
“So how do we become more relevant for event discovery and event planning? Do we have to write about event discovery and event planning? Or do we write about the events themselves?”
“We have to write about the events themselves. It’s a bit of both, but we have keep it real time and relevant. It’s a lot of little things.”
“What do we tell our Viva Ambassadors then? Don’t we also have to change our robot.txt file?”
“So did you see the yeahviva.com site’s file? What changes need to be made?”
“I haven’t finished reading yet. Can I focus on the reading for a bit longer?”
While Sam is reading the rest of the articles on SEO, I cannot help but watch the Facebook statistics page to see how the responses to the ads are tracking. There is a certain satisfaction to see the numbers increasing. The experience feels a lot like a video game, where enough points will push us to the Next Level.
We are the generation who define our experiences by what we have seen before in video games.
The Uber driver on the way home from Patrick’s rooftop party yesterday told me that the postcard campaign is a waste of money, and that I would be better off putting stickers on traffic light posts in Newtown and surrounding areas.
“People are waiting at the lights, and if you put up something interesting, they will read it and remember it,” he said. “I have a cigarette website, ifag.com.au, and I…”
“What is it called?”
“ifag. i-f-a-g dot com do a-u.”
I thought I misheard. I thought we stopped using that word as a society.
John had suggested the stickers strategy when we first started Viva. He had said that Reddit used a similar strategy to grow their initial base.
Other marketing efforts
“What about Reddit marketing?”
“I don’t know about Reddit marketing at all.”
“Maybe I’ll talk to Adam about it. Should we keep looking at the SEO stuff?”
I wanted to avoid costly real-world marketing for a while. It seems the old word of mouth marketing is still the most powerful form of marketing that we have.
Meanwhile, we have to make sure that we continue to upload an enormous database of events onto Viva.