FY23: I got TikTok youths to watch my B2B videos about enterprise kubernetes & digital transformation
A look at my videos in FY23, and other content-hustling. Also, hot-take on the Mona Lisa versus the Dutch Masters.
Hey, I have talk coming up on Thursday that you can watch live or see a replay of, it’s my current collection of best practices for running a platform for developers. You know, all that stuff you build on-top of kubernetes (or whatever IaaS). Yes, yes, it’s a “webinar,” but screw that framing: it’s just me giving a talk online with some Q&A at the end. Register for it to watch it or just get notified when the recording is up:
FY2023 Videos, CTAs, and Content Performance
I finished looking at my work video’s performance in FY2023 (Feb 1st, 2022 to Jan 31st, 2023 - I guess there’s a few days left).
This year I wanted to see how each channel does - YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok:
There’s a lot of notes on this - primarily that (1) LinkedIn views only goes back six months (hence, you see it show up later in the year, the red), and, (2) I didn’t post each video in each channel. For number two, this is especially important for YouTube because it has more of the longer (30+ minutes) videos, mostly the podcasts we did.
Here’s the percent of overall views per channel:
There’s a lot more nuanced analysis you could do with the date. But, what I conclude from this simple serving is:
People watch my tech B2B videos in most of the channels, not so much Instagram. Instagram isn’t really worth posting my work videos to. The chip and pizza tasting videos my daughter and I do perform much better in Instagram (well, and most everywhere). So, you know: I should stop posting my work videos on Instagram.
Twitter gets more views than YouTube. Usually, YouTube is typically the worst performing (after throwing out Instagram). I tried making shorts and shorter videos - it doesn’t seem to matter that much.
You can’t see it here, but my feel (that is, I have no numbers and analysis, just my ongoing intuition) is that LinkedIn gets the most “engagement,” that is people liking it, commenting, or reshaping it. That said, many of those engagements are my VMware co-workers. This is valuable for my personal brand (you want your co-workers to be aware your existence and see your work product), but it makes me wonder about the business value for VMware.
At the end of the year, I posted my hurdles video series on TikTok - that’s probably why you see a lot of green on the right. I was surprised at the amount of views these got.
I didn’t do a “how much of each video did people actually watch?” analysis. I don’t program, so a lot of this data gathering is done manually, so, I just skipped that. Typically, people don’t watch much. The tedious work here would be doing that analysis per channel. As you’d expect, they all have different, whacky ways of getting to deeper analytics - LinkedIn is particularly crap.
CTA Funnel Fun
Finally, how about CTA’s? Views are fine, but people clicking on your links are better. FEED THE FUNNEL! Here, I don’t know…seems…OK?
This is from Google Analytics and tracks the utm_ encoded links I used for FY23 - it’s the top 10. The total inbound traffic (not all shown here) is 2,547.
Google Analytics is surprisingly crap at the details of this tracking - I think they have to strip out the full referral due to, like, GDPR or some shit? “video” usually means YouTube, but I don’t know. Anyhow, you can see that there’s some OK traffic from each place. I don’t understand the Instagram traffic - getting people to click on links is difficult - with my account type you either get them to click on your bio, or you need to put a link in a story - that second only started in summer, I think?
I’d love to have this data feed into some kind of Salesforce/funnel madness thing to see what people who download my PDFs do - does it result in meetings, pipeline, closed deals? After 8 years, though, I’ve given up trying to connect the dots.
Low PDF Downloads
I can also see the downloads for the PDFs (white papers, booklets, etc.) I make. They’re depressingly low. I spend a lot of time writing those and, I mean, they’re good and helpful. You might theorize that putting lead-gen forms in front of them slows people down - you could just see how many people go to the page and don’t pass over their email, I guess.
What you can take away from low download numbers is that there are many people who’ve never seen that content, so you can re-mix it without repeating yourself to your audience. For example, there are more subscribers that open this newsletter than have downloaded each PDF of mine. I could just cut and paste the paper in here and double or triple the views! (Don’t worry, I won’t do that.) A lot of the content also shows up in the articles we do, and, of course, my presentations.
Here’s the papers if you’re interested (like I said, they’re good!): Developer Toil, Escaping the Legacy Trap, and one on metrics.
Corporate Channels vs. Individual Channels
One theory I have is that in YouTube individual channels are better than corporate channels. I put most of my videos on the VMware Tanzu channel instead of my own.
If you look at some of my co-workers like Dan and Layla, they have their own channels. Dan has had a huge followership for awhile, but he’s grown it a lot this year (I think). Layla has been bit in Twitch for awhile, but she started a new YouTube channel just two months ago and very quickly grew it to 1,080 subscribers.
This makes me wonder if we’d get much better views, subscriptions, and CTAs if we, say, we moved Whitney’s excellent Enlightened series to its own channel. And, of course, my stuff - I want them eyeballs!
Anyhow. We’ll see how next year goes.
(Speaking of CTAs!)
Our annual conference is coming up, this week! It’s online and totally free to attend. I helped out with the keynotes sessions, so I know that there’s a lot of good stuff in there. If you’re doing development, operations, or someone who manages all of that, you’ll find plenty to like. Check out the schedule and register to watch it.
Relevant to your interests
SUSE says their kubernetes quote of $2m for HEY didn’t happen, it was a fraction of that. Screenshot in SDT Slack.
Cloud growth slowing as customers get a dose of cost reality - Strong BizMeme going around that public cloud is costly, so you might should add some private cloud in the mix. // “John-David Lovelock, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, said businesses were finally catching on to the idea that the cloud was not necessarily cheaper than in-house or third-party datacenters for all workloads.”
Op-Ed: Beware a world where artists are replaced by robots. It’s starting now - “You’ll have to adapt,” AI boosters say, but AI leaves no room for an artist as either a world creator or a craftsman. The only task left is the dull, low-paid and replaceable work of taking weird protrusions off AI-generated noses.
“pause for reflection” - update from last time on the government guy who left a Shetland pony at a bar after getting wasted - “It is a matter of finding a balance between youthful recklessness and the responsibility of a representative of the people.”
The Billionaire Era in News is Fizzling - Overview of what’s happened at those acquired news companies (the Washington post, the Atlantic, Time, etc.): not much. Also, this funny line: “billionaires tell millionaires what regular people think.”
Rijksmuseum extends Vermeer exhibition opening hours due to enormous interest - “A month before the opening, more than 100,000 tickets were booked for the exhibition, where 28 paintings by the 17th-century master will be shown.” // Second to bike-riding, my favorite thing about living in Amsterdam is, I don’t know, how close you are to some of the best in Western art. You can just ride your bike for 15 minutes and stand in front of some of civilization’s greatest achievements for however long you want - two hours, or just two minutes. Then you can go get a hot dog and a beer, and go back home and binge watch some White Lotus. That juxtaposition sounds flippant, but it is not: the point is that you can experience the divine when you need it and then just get on with life without it being some kind of ordeal to be happy and live a good life. P.S.: I have seen the Mona Lisa many times and, really, it has nothing on the Dutch Masters, Van Gough, and Brueghel. I mean, sure, the Mona Lisa is good, but you can live an entire lives each time you look at Jan Steen’s families and taverns and lose hours walking around in Brueghel’s paintings.
Thanks for reading! If you want a mix of tech stuff and funky quotes, the occasional pictures, and Coté-CTAs daily-ish, subscribe!
“a science teacher put his hand on my desk and told the class that if he stood there for some unrealistic number of years, the atoms of his hands and the desk would merge together and i was too shy then to say “i think you’d die and decompose actually” and i carry that regret to this day.” - Perfect!
“I’m not going to let TikTok train me like Pavlov’s dog.” And: “I decided that I needed more beauty in my life, overall.” Molly Crabapple.
I have been a parent long enough, with three kids, that I don’t understand how parents do it. There is so much soul crushing in the repetition of each day, so little progress to notice. This must explain the slowness of most business and organizations, I think. While an organization might want to transform and aggressively pursue growth, the ranks of parents working in that organization are likely just thinking “I have enough going on in my own life.”
Per the above, as I type this newsletter, I’m sitting on the couch and my 2.5 year old daughter is crawling on my shoulders, jumping off - hopefully my collar bones will be OK.
Sorry if you’re not here for the gripping B2B video analysis.
This week, I’m scheduled to be a guest on a podcast (later today), record a Tanzu Talk News episode, host a SpringOne watch party at our Amsterdam offices (you should come!), and do that talk I mentioned above. Plenty of content! (I feel like I do so little, but listing it out like that, I guess I do plenty.)