When we publish content, we want it to stick.
It’s something we think about in our editorial meeting on a weekly basis: stories that connect with our readers and mean something more than the fast, 24-hour news cycle. It’s also something we talk about in product meetings, when we’re thinking about how paid campaigns can benefit from good storytelling.
We are often asked to focus on the immediate campaign metrics, like pageviews, social engagement, time on site and other common factors, but a story we don’t often get to tell is the long-tail impact of a strong story, and what that means for a paying client.
We recently took a look back at our Tomorrow Toolkit ebook, which we published in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal’s Lift Labs, the company’s new accelerator program focused on the next generation of media, entertainment, and connectivity companies.
We took stories and video content collected from over 1,000 founders and their supporters at stops in Philadelphia, Denver, Miami, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a ton of great lessons there. And when we look at the campaign metrics overall, we’re floored.
In a roughly two year period, more than 17,000 people have visited the ebook chapters, and they’ve spent an average of more than a minute-and-a-half with each article. When you add it up, it’s more than 500 hours spent with the content.
What’s special is that its able to achieve these numbers while still retaining an extremely relevant and niche audience: people in local communities seeking information about the entrepreneurial journey. That’s a great opportunity for a service provider, like Comcast, who is trying to meet people where they are.
And to date, with zero additional promotion, the content still received between 200-500 unique visitors per month.
A lot of why we’re able to create that kind of long-tail engagement is because it is evergreen content, stuff that sees a lot of search value and has no limit on shareability and repurposing.
For instance, we produced an update on the ebook a year after it was published and followed that with a big marketing push: a mix of promo on Technical.ly via in-house advertisements, editorial bumps and newsletter pushes, alongside some paid advertising. And we really liked how Comcast was able to promote the ebook in a second campaign activation via their own marketing channels, by thinking of a creative way to reintroduce the content.
This mix of organic and paid promotion led to more than 3.4 million impressions, 5,200 video views, more than 6,500 website clicks and nearly 1,000 engagements across Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
There’s no limit to how to activate this kind of great content. We see it as a living campaign, one that can continue to grow and have impact, long after the ebook was completed.