they also allow you to drill down to individual users to help you understand who they are and what they do.
Let&#x2019;s talk about getting a message out.
This story begins in the cut-throat world of media, and the want for spotlight.
The story begins in September 2008 where I helped the co-founders of Akoha launch their product during TechCrunch50 a conference much like Demo that acts as a launchpad for new ventures. While the co-founders were busy holding their own on stage . . .
I got to hang out where the real action was and talk to many entrepreneurs from the valley and beyond.
I put it all behind me until I realized that a year had passed by and it was time for yet another TechCrunch50.
Armed with a little bit of tenure, a new book and a new blog, we figured that now would be as good a time as any to get a bump in traffic.
Alistair and I had launched a new blog, but hadn&#x2019;t really had time to pay too much attention to it. Consequently, we had few readers in the year lading up to it, averaging at most 1-2 visits a day(mostly from us).
We set out to do something about this. Our goal was simple: Get exposure by being featured on a major publication site, and be a voice of authority on the subject of analytics, particularly for startups.
So, we decided to write a post about TechCrunch50. We wrote about the TechCrunch50 bump, and sliced and diced data from Compete.com to see just what kind of results getting featured as a TechCrunch50 finalist yielded.
We put in alot of numbers and made pretty graphs, and because we knew that this story was going to get picked up by many people interested in startups, we made sure to mention those that we believe are really pushing the boundaries of startup education, like Avinash Kaushik, Eric Ries and Dave McClure.
Since we already had decent monitoring in place, there&#x2019;s not much that we needed to do, though we&#x2019;ll see in a minute how these tools were crucial to the success of the campaign.
We gave advanced notice to a few people that we thought would care about the subject. Because this was about startups, we targeted big names in those fields.
Very few people were reading our blog, so we hit the publish button first, and promptly emailed 6 of the leading entrepreneurs/subject matter experts. Then, we held our breath, and said nothing. We didn&#x2019;t tweet the fact that we had written the article, opting to wait for someone else, hopefully influential, to pick it up.
The actual launch
As the message spread, we realized that there were quite a few people that didn&#x2019;t quite know who had written the article. Our WordPress theme didn&#x2019;t make this clear. We added links to our Twitter profile to help people quickly size us up.
The content was picked up by influencers like Jason Calacanis.
And well-known authorities like Eric Ries.
Ultimately, these &#x201C;supernodes&#x201D; brought us traffic, and lent the article some credibility. Once we had this, it was time for us to email TechCrunch and let them know that we had something that was of interest to them.
The actual launch
We used a real time analytics solution (in this case, Woopra) to figure out who was sending us the most traffic.
This allowed us to go and comment whenever a new publication picked us up. Hackernews was one of the first social news aggregators to bump us up to the main page.
Michael Arrington first wrote about us a day before TechCrunch50.
We were once again mentioned a few hours later.
This got us mentioned on ReadWriteWeb&#x2019;s &#x201C;ReadWriteStart&#x201D; channel.
Ultimately, we ended up making the front page of Techmeme.
Over 3,000 visitors clicked on the first bit.ly link that seeded our article.
This was a high impact campaign with a small shelf life. We gained a large amount of visits that week, tapering off dramatically once the TC50 event was done.
But we did end up getting some very kind emails, and it sold us some books. :)
We really should have made our profiles much more obvious.
We had an extremely weak call to action, buried all the way at the bottom of our article. We wanted to get more butts in seats at our W2E Communilytics sessions. Not a single person at our session had heard of the blog post. Sigh.
It proved to be extremely effective to personally email influencers ahead of time.
The topic that we covered was extremely topical, non-partisan and topical to those that retweeted us.
We didn&#x2019;t blast the message and re-spam. Instead, we let others carry our message until &#x2018;top influencers&#x2019; retweeted our message.
We wrote about other startups, not my (Sean)&#x2019;s experience at Akoha. We looked at the bigger picture, in order to help startups planning to launch at various events.
Monitoring to reach someone.
Communilytics case study
Getting TechCrunch’d on a shoe-string budget