So about 6 months ago, Quora launched a new core feature into beta, “Spaces”. Space is basically a feed for content around a topic, but can easily incorporate content from other sources.
So we decided to hack it a bit and use it as a feed to share our favorite 3-4 Cloud stories a day. We called our feed “Cloud Daily“. In 6 months, we went to 100,000+ subscribers / followers and almost 7,000,000 views! That’s compared to 44,883 followers on our Quora Answers in 6+ years.
So that sounds interesting from a content marketing perspective. But what did we learn?
Nothing profound, but maybe some things that are non-obvious to folks thinking about content marketing and social:
- Different types of content perform differently on different media. Cloud Daily is 1000x more successful than our pretty darn similar feeds on Twitter and Flipboard. We’ve tried to push out our top Cloud/SaaS stories of the day for years. We started 5+ years ago on Flipboard. I love, love our Flipboard Magazine, “SaaStr”. Check it out here. It’s visual, it’s fun, it’s insightful (imho) and it’s a big time saver. And yet, no one reads it. After 5+ years, we only have 861 followers on Flipboard!! Yes, we also have 28,887 “viewers”, but that’s a bit of a vanity metric. And that’s across 11,522 stories! Terrible performance. By contrast, almost the same content on Quora Spaces in 6 months yielded 100,000+ subscribers (vs. 861 on Flipboard) from 1,500 stories (1/10th the content). Similarly, our “SaaStr News” feed on Twitter has only 1,166 followers and basically zero engagement. But all 3 are sort of the same. Or at least, close to the same.
- “Conversions” are much lower on third party vs first-party content. Yes, 100,000+ followers in 6 months is impressive. But those 100k drive far less traffic to SaaStr.com (and thus to our list and thus to our other content products and events) than our 47,000 “core” Quora subscribers. The most recent social traffic is here:
This makes total sense, since the news feed isn’t primarily about SaaStr.com content, but highlights third party content. So maybe (and you know this) spend more time writing amazing content yourself, and less time just linking to others.
- You can find new channels in the same medium. Maybe this is the most interesting meta-learning for content marketers. We now have 2 social media platforms where we have two large, distinct, different channels on the same platform. On twitter, my personal handle (@jasonlk) gets very high engagement and has 68,100 followers. But also on twitter, @saastr also has 57,000 followers with different content. The engagement is lower on @saastr, but still significant. We’ve now found two distinct channels that “perform” on Quora. The core Quora Answers, with 46,000 followers, get from 300k-1m views a month. And also now our Cloud Daily Quora space, with 100,000 followers and about 6.9m total views in just ~ 6 months. So once a channel plateaus, maybe don’t give up on growing it. Maybe look and see if there are other parts of that channel you can also build upon.