What happens if you publish content and react in real time

The results of a fascinating experiment


I’ve been publishing content online for 3 years now – regularly. This blog is starting to prove popular, but I guess a lot of my publishing has been through training video production for and on behalf of other clients. It’s more recently I’ve started to produce video for my own purposes, based on the knowledge I’ve picked up over this time.

Last Thursday (5 days ago) I spent 20 minutes putting a video together, shortly after I’d implemented a technique for myself and I couldn’t help but think, for the ‘man in the street’ who isn’t overly technically literate, this might be a confusing and tricky thing to do.

That ‘thing’ was syncing Outlook with iCloud.

iCloud and iOS5 was released on Wednesday 12th October 2011. I produced the video the following day. If I’m honest with myself, it was a bit rushed, however I knew I had to ‘ship’ so out it went – it was a lot more than was out there at the time. I worked out a new technique for explaining a concept, to save me time (slides would have taken longer) and I wrote the post and published the video on YouTube.

Stats as of 10pm on 18th October

[UPDATE: 8 November 2012 – 100,000+ views now!]

Before I produced the video I did something I don’t always do – and will do from now on. I did a search for various phrases around the subject and found nothing. Hardly surprising – iCloud had been out for less than 24 hours. It suddenly occurred to me that being first at something might be a good idea – so it’ would be worth investing the time in producing this. As it turned out, 20 minutes wasn’t much of an investment! That said, when you produce videos as often as I do you’d expect to do them quickly.

Within a couple of hours – I was amazed. The searches hitting the site (as opposed to being from an email promotion for example, where you’d expect a barrage of traffic) were extraordinary… visitors to the site shot up and within 4 days – through search alone, the video stat looked like this:

A couple of other by products occurred – I was suddenly seen as the global expert in syncing Outlook with iCloud (despite the fact that I’m certainly not!) I’ve had emails from the far corner of the earth asking me questions… not perhaps what I wanted, but nice to be asked nonetheless. In addition, visitors to this site and as a result affiliate clicks and revenue have shot right up and show no signs of falling – the searches are consistent in both hitting this site and YouTubedirectly.

So – the moral of the story – if you want to get known in your niche, publish great content whilst reacting to real time events.

What you should you, the lone consultant be doing about this?

I’m not an IT consultant, however, if you are, you should be kicking yourself. IT consultants across the land should have been producing content on the day iCloud and iOS5 was released. Remember this, publish early. It’s called first mover’s advantage. Get known for being an expert.

If you’re a finance consultant or a small accounting firm – find out what new legislation and rules are coming online in your country / state and become expert. Publish your thoughts, show people what to do. Be seen as an expert and people will call you up and ask you to work with them. It’s just a fact of life.

If you’re an HR consultant, legislation changes seemingly hourly here in the UK. I suspect it does throughout the rest of the world. If there’s a big change coming, build up to it, write about it, explain what effect it will have on your potential customers. The press will pick up on you, interview and before you know it, your phone will ring.

[UPDATE: Thanks to @newyork0605 – legislation changes in the UK have standardised – 1 October and 1 April – so get planning for next year!]

I could go on, but I know you know what I’m saying. Are you doing it though?

Further reading

If you’d like further reading – one of my favourite authors, David Meerman Scott has devoted a whole book to real time marketing which is a great read. There’s a stack of examples inside of this technique working as well as a discussion on why it’s such an important concept.