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Strategy

Pidgeon Social / Strategy

Netflix is Disruption Royalty

Remember when we wanted to rent a movie how we would have to get into a car and head to the local video store? How we would rent a physical DVD or if you're from WAY back, a VHS (not sorry beta-max people)? It was a lot of fun to saunter down the halls of my local Blockbuster trying to get myself and four other friends to agree on a movie. Nowadays, the same thing happens in the comfort of our own home when it comes to choosing what to watch on Netflix. Netflix, is one of my favourite case studies. They have disrupted their industry, not once, or twice, but now three times, and I'm sure there is more to come. They are disruption royalty. If more companies approach their industries with the kind of tenacity they did, we might have more innovation in the world today. And we all know that innovation drives progress. So how have they approached disruption, and in doing so changed their industry three times? 1) DVD Mail Rentals.  Long before the era of internet streaming there were countless video rental stores. It was accepted that if you wanted a movie to watch on a Friday night you would brace the chaos at your local movie store, hoping there was one last copy of Lion King left to rent. But Netflix thought about this situation differently. They said to themselves, "What if instead of asking people to go to a store to rent movies, we shipped them movies through the mail?" Netflix could get access to a lot of movies that were not really "A-caliber" films but people didn't care in the end. Customers had access to a vast array of films that would be conveniently delivered to them. And no late fees.  And what Netflix learned throughout all of this, was which films its customers liked. Which is huge because through that they could recommend which films they will like but haven't seen yet. And thus, we got a glimpse of Netflix's secret weapon - their algorithm for recommending films. It was, and still is, this algorithm that customizes our movies options to our liking, which is the most valuable piece of technology at Netflix. They created a great following through their mail DVD rentals and were so successful, at one time they became a significant portion of the US Postal service deliveries! There focus was speed, so they continued to open distribution centres all over America,...

Doing the Impossible is Easy: Fail. A Lot.

his seems to be a question we get a LOT these days: How the (random expletive) did YOU GUYS end up being on the jumbotron in Vegas as the intro for the Stanley Cup Finals?! And no, we're not hurt by the shock that it's us who did it. We agree. It's insane. Two guys from their basement in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, record a video that the entertainment capital of the world uses for the last game of their cinderella run to the Stanley Cup. Not Cher. Not Britney. Not Thunder Down Under. Justin & Greg. https://www.facebook.com/JustinAndGreg/videos/2035124356506564/ Leading the charge on the "KnightTron" and also in the locker room for the players stepping out on the ice. While definitely one of the most-incredible things we've ever been a part of, if we gave you the exact blueprint to replicate it, I'm not sure you'd take it. Because it requires failing. Publicly. A lot. Between the two of us, we've put out somewhere in the neighbourhood of 600 videos over the past 3 years. One of those has been on a jumbotron and 599 of them haven't. Now, there's been some other heavy hitters in there like Rural Uber with 10 million viewsthat the CEO of Uber loved, Rural Directions with 3 million views, FUN interviews with professional athletes, politicians, TV stars, and more. But those are the exception, not the rule. How about the time we tried to get Gerry Dee, a high-profile Canadian comedian on our show? We spent all day making a video and bought $400 in VIP tickets, only to have security stop us at the door coming in and say, "Justin and Greg?" (we thought we were IN!) "There will be no cameras, no filming, don't talk to Gerry, we know where your seats are, and we're watching you." https://youtu.be/krzD0QTC7Dk That was embarrassing. Or how about us spending DAYS making a tribute rap video to L.A. Gear, writing the lyrics, recording the raps, filming, and editing - oh, and yes, hundreds of dollars in L.A. Gear shoes. It's got a coooool 245 views on YouTube and just over 5,000 on Facebook - most of which came from us spending money on ads. https://youtu.be/35J0V64wkGw Take that, world. Even going back to my first ever VLOG. It's bad. Like, real bad. Blurry, out-of-focus, no story, I can hardly talk to the camera. Not a good effort. But I published it anyway. And that's the crux of finding "success". We often only see those highlights because they're the ones that make the news. There's always so...

The Big Bad Banner Ad

There’s nothing I love more than browsing the net and admiring all the beautiful big box ads that follow me around on every page. In fact, I really think seeing various leaderboard ads (those long banner ads at the top of the page) make webpages more unique and give me a reason to return; I’m SO curious who will show up there next to have my undivided attention. Who will have the honour to count me as an ‘impression’ for their metrics? These are the thoughts of mad person. No one in their right mind enjoys banner ads when they’re browsing the net. They end up being a necessary evil, because they help sites get money and allow us to keep having free access to whatever we’re viewing. What I think is SO hilarious though, is when I’m talking with people about banner ads and their effectiveness, I always ask: when’s the last time you clicked one? Crickets* Because, the VAST majority of us, (and by vast, I mean all) don’t click on them. We find them more invasive and petty than we do valuable. AND YET, every one of those ‘impressions’ we represent are ending up on someone’s report as a success metric. A friend of mine recently shared this story from the NYT about Chase Financial, who at one point investing in an ‘Ad Placement Network’ where Chase’s  banner ads are served on thousands of different websites selected based on the content of said site. It makes sense in theory, because if you’re targeting me for something, for example, technology related, you can follow me around the net with your ads by serving it on tech sites. The problem Chase ran into was their ads were being shown beside some VERY suspect content. When they investigated, they found that they were serving their ads on over 400,000 different sites - many of which were not vetted by humans eyes. So Chase pulled their ads from almost all those sites, choosing instead to serve their ads on only 4,000 human-approved sites. And guess what happened to their performance on these ads? Nothing changed. They had the same performance on these 4000 sites as they had on 400,000. And while Chase seems to be pleased with this, choosing to view the other 396,000 sites as ‘ineffective’, I choose to read between the lines: BANNER ADS DON’T WORK! It kills me to read articles like this and hear stories about the ‘millions of impressions’...

Social is The Great Online Party. Don’t be Larry.

Have you ever met that super-creepy guy at a party who splits his time between talking about how amazing he is or making lewd comments to anything that moves and breathes? It's pretty obvious in 2 seconds that he doesn't care about anybody else and he's just there to "score". Let's call him Larry (had to pick a name - my apologies to any Larry's out there). Nobody wants to be Larry. People try and avoid Larry at all costs. Yet it seems that most businesses approach social media - AKA The Great Online Party - EXACTLY that creepy, self-serving way. Every post is them trying to "score" with customers. HUGE DEALS. MY PRODUCTS ARE AMAZING. I'M YOUR TRUSTED ADVISOR. I'VE GOT A DEAL FOR YOU. LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME. This is what happens when businesses get in in their heads that social media is just another channel to sell their wares on. It's not. So stop it. Social media is simply the name for what we do whenever we have a spare moment. We pickup our phones or pop open a web browser and start looking for a quick hit (or, if you're a parent of young kids and have to "go", the longest hit possible) of entertainment, attention, or connection. For a lot of us, it's more than just distraction - it's an outlet for creativity, an avenue for learning, a place to socialize, or even a spot for doing some good in this world. It's not just an app on our phones - it is a big part of the way we connect in our lives. And here in the midst it, we've got Larry poking his head around the corner of every room in the house shouting, "Hey, ladies, I've got a 40 of Jägermeister and 2 free tickets to the hockey game if you'll just Like and Share." Sure, in that moment, there probably are some people that wouldn't mind the 6-pack or the free tickets so they agree to hang out. But most other people are like, "Excuse me, weird dude, shut up - we're trying to carry on a conversation." And even the people that do agree to hang out with Larry, they aren't in it because they like the guy at all - they just wanted his free stuff. While they may talk about the drinks or the game, they're certainly doing their best to leave him out of the story. Contrast that with Greg. You probably didn't notice him immediately. But...

On Your Facebook Page, Posting Nothing is Better than Posting Something

You likely already know this, but Facebook does not show your Page's posts to everyone who likes the page. If they showed every post to every fan of every page, our Facebook feeds would be 90% business junk and very few posts from our friends (although when there's an election close, that maybe wouldn't be a bad thing). Facebook decides to show posts from your page to a select few that like your page. What's important to know is that Facebook shows your posts to more of your fans if you consistently put out good content or, on the opposite side, will show it to a much smaller percentage of your fans if you aren't consistently putting out good content. How does it know? Likes, Comments, Clicks, and Shares. And why does this matter? Because posts that don't engage your audience mean that when you do have a good post, it will get shown to fewer of your fans. So you may think that you're helping yourself by at least putting something out there as opposed to nothing, but if you notice that your content isn't generating those Likes, Comments, Clicks, or Shares, you should stop what you're doing. You're lessening your chance to naturally reach your audience with every post. Sure, you can force your content on people by using that Boost button and paying for it, but if you need a 1,000 paid views to generate a couple of Likes, I'd venture a guess that the content you're putting out there really isn't effective. Your audience has given you a huge gift in their permission for you to reach out to them. Don't take this privilege lightly. It's a fantastic opportunity for your business to connect with people without them having to step foot in your store or visit your website. Businesses before social media rarely had this opportunity without paying. Example Time I manage the social media for the church I attend. That may seem very different than a business, but it's still a large group of consumers that I've seen only interact with good content. In fact, in some ways, getting shares or likes can be more of a challenge because it's actually a lot more socially-acceptable to share a Tasty video or Super Bowl half-time show than something from your church (obviously, like every cause or political group, there are the select few that can't share enough stuff from obscure blogs). But it's still a fantastic, engaged community - but I make sure...