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Michael Gianelli

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How to Grow Your Webcast Audience: Fish Where the Fish Are

Posted by Michael Gianelli on Sat, Jul 10, 2010 @ 05:07 AM

Crankworx Colorado Webcast LogoLast year, we helped Crankworx Colorado grow their webcast audience by 3000% and streamed over 800,000 minutes of video during the event. This is the story of how we did it and how you can too.

The Old Way

In the dark ages of webcasting, circa 2007, every event felt like they had to have their player exclusively on their site. I mean, they were the ones fronting the money, right? Why should they give it away? If someone wanted content, they should chip in and pay for it.

And then 5 people watched. It turns out that about the only people willing to hunt down a webcast were the moms of the participants--if they could figure out how to download that damn flash player for IE6. That's an exaggeration, but seriously, the audiences were pathetic.

And that's probably not your prime demographic, right?

The Bright Idea

And then Newschoolers.com, Freeskiing's Online Community, asked a infant webcast production company (hint: it was us) to produce a webcast of the Orage Masters. We hosted it on their site and the Master's site. Guess which player drew the most traffic? It wasn't even close. Turns out that 13 year-old skiers are a lot better at downloading the flash player than moms. And for Orage, they were a much better demographic.

So this gave us an idea. Why not put a player on every relevant site possible? Then we wouldn't have to rely on the pimply Adderall popping, Red Bull pounding skiers with nothing better to do on a Saturday to find us. When they logged on to their favorite website (we don't care which), BAM!, there's our webcast.

It works. It works so well that Crankworx Colorado grew their online audience by 3000% when they dropped their exclusive agreement and drank the PowerAde (You see what we did there?).

Yeah, wow. That's what we were thinking too.

The Catch

So why not post your webcast on every website? Hey, I've got a friend that runs a site filled with stupid cute cat photos. They get like 1 millions uniques a month. Why not post it there?

Turns out, however, that there is a catch. People don't watch content they have no interest in. I know, mindblowing. But here's something a lot of marketers don't realize. "Action Sports Participants" is not a homogeneous a group of 14-24 year old males. They don't all listen to the same music, wear the same clothes and watch any old action sport just because it's on. Most snowboarders I know think watching surfing is boring. Snowmobiles in the X Games is the strangest marriage of rednecks and food court gangsters on the planet. And does anyone, except inline skaters, watch in-line skating?

So the secret to "Fish Where the Fish Are" is that all fish will not bite one the same bait. Some might cross over, but the right bait really works best for the right fish. Make sure your fishing with the right bait in the right pond, and you'll reel them in. Fish with the wrong bait, and you go home hungry.

Topics: Webcast Tips