OK, now that the Fringe Festival is long over, and the spike in traffic for Blogging Fringe has come and gone, what do we have to show for it? Not as much as I'd like, really. The fact that lots of our content is spread across other sites (MySpace, YouTube) doesn't really require anyone to use our site to get the content. With this audience, we don't really need to worry about feeds taking away from our traffic.
The festival started on Friday, with a small event Thursday where I got to hand out some cards and meet some of the cast members and producers from shows. That's where the traffic starts.When we reach the half-way point of the festival (Tuesday), the increase of traffic we were seeing just drops off, despite the fact that we had new and compelling content hitting the site, with myself and the street team pushing the site to everyone we met.
Here's where I was stupid: Headline Animator. Feedburner tracks the stats for this dynamically-generated image, since they know you're normally hosting it somewhere other than your site. You can even generate multiple headline animators and track them individually. A few months ago, I took the HA off of MySpace in favor of the more interactive SpringWidgets option. However, I'm now thinking that this kept people on MySpace more often.
What I should really do with headline animator (done now) is post one in the header of the MySpace Blog - the header appears at the top of every blog post and the blog home as well. A really great example of what to do with your blog header can be seen at the Six Characters MySpace Blog. They use an html image map with deep links to their site - so smart.
Last, here's a breakdown of my visitors. It's sad that Internet Explorer outnumbers Firefox 36 to 106 - maybe that's a good cause to sprinkle some FireFox (or Flock, Songbird) banners around the site.
What's the short list of things I've taken away from this experience? What am I going to aspire to for our next event (Orlando Puppet Festival)?
- Figure out how to get people coming before the event.
- Track MySpace views - Headline Animator will do nicely.
- Track MySpace Blog views with a second Headline Animator.
- Outfit the MySpace page and blog header with deep links to the site.
- Include links (and deep links) back to the main site in every MySpace blog.
- Try making a MySpace bulletin for every blog post on the main site.
- Consider including a "MySpace code" textbox in every post, a la YouTube.
- Invest in a Related Posts widget for the sidebar - who knows how much this could keep people on the site?
- Continue to seek out methods of Viral content like the Fringe Crush - people were hooked on new ones and were very eager to record one with us, though we didn't see any user-generated videos this year.
- Push VoiceMail Reviews like nobody's business - I waited too long to start pushing that idea, it could have worked out better.
- Consider posting Twitter inside the main blog chronology - after 24 hours, the posts don't appear on the flash widget, but there was useful stuff going in there several times a day.
- Include more personality stuff (that's normally my mantra), i.e. facetime. one of the most commented on video clips was a small part of the opening night video where I couldn't get in to the VIP party.
- Form more artist relationships before the festival (coming back every year helps with this). Standing next to TJ Dawe and having him point out the podcast on my behalf was better (in context) than any marketing plan. Word of mouth was our #1 best campaign.
- Don't forget to mention the day job and hand people cards when they ask about it. Blogging Fringe is also a portfolio piece, don't forget to let it drive some business back to myself!
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