Marketer’s and traffic experts are like engineers.
They LOVE data.
They wake up every morning and check the metrics of their websites, emails, and content.
It’s a religion to them.
And for good reason.
Metrics tell you how you’re doing and if your ad’s, content are working.
However in my opinion metrics are a bit overated. Meaning too much stock is put in metrics.
The bottom line is the sales.
It’s all about the sales then the metrics come after.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
In September 2018 Disney bought some stake in Vice Media.
They believed in the clicks and all the articles that were going viral.
But Vice wasn’t the only company getting noticed.
Digital Media companies like MIC were getting investments that would make any startup’s drool with envy.
And the best part about these investments?
Digital Media companies were free to do whatever they want.
So they decided to market clickbait content because not only did it work so well for Buzzfeed, the metrics told them.
Now a year later.
There’s bodies stacked higher than the Great Wall Of China.
The metrics failed Vice, MIC, Gawker and even Buzzfeed.
But if the metrics said that content was getting high levels of clicks and going viral why did these companies fail(and failing.)
Lets dive deeper into these metrics.
I wanted to know more about what happened to these companies because lets be honest, these digital companies had some serious investors giving them endless amounts of cash.
Identity Politics on Social Media.
The first thing I discovered was an article about MIC.
MIC.com was a absolute social justice content driven site. They were the super woke of the woke.
The content they published and advertised always got high levels of clicks on social media.
Something else that I discovered was that the heads of the company where right wing libertarians.(Sound familiar?)
Their attitude was, “Give the people what they want and we’ll make the money.”
Again the metrics were telling them the “Woke,” content was working and since it was working for Buzzfeed it will work for them.
Diving deeper into the metrics I found a marketer that secretly revealed the main audience was a middle aged suburban mom who was likely to share and click on the social justice articles.
These companies bet the farm on these mom’s in hopes that the one view would bring in three more.
As a result the entire business model was centered around chasing these types of clicks and modeling the content around social justice.
Short term gains for long term losses.
Chasing Viral Trash and Throwing Away Authenticity.
Something that I’ve learned watching successful businesses built around personalities is that authenticity matters.
People can tell when someone isn’t being authentic.
And that’s what happened to these media companies.
It’s all about clicks and views and never about real authentic content(at least in my opinion.)
As a marketer YOU DON’T WANT TO CHASE AFTER VIRAL TRASH no matter what the metrics say.
The bottom line is sales.
Who bought from you and why.
It’s a damn shame because Vice was a favorite of mine when the company hit the scene.
Their documentary’s were the stuff of legend.
They went to places no one else would go. Places like North Korea, Serbia, and they even investigated the slavery issues in Dubai.
I by no means knocking metrics.
It’s a great and useful tool to use in the right context . It’s just that you as a business owner shouldn’t always depend on them.
Instead look deeper into the numbers and go beyond what they say.
Why is something working?
Who is clicking and buying and more importantly….Why.
Till then, Stay Hungry,