As it is sometimes good to link the useful with the pleasant, this case study will focus on the digital strategy of the top250.fr site, an engine for recommending films and series based on the affinities of its community. We will see that what makes this engine so strong is not only the quality of the service offered, but also its ability to remain human and very close to its users.
The different points analyzed are presented randomly and not in order of importance. We got closer to its creator (editor’s note: Julien Lefebvre) in order to obtain as much concrete information as possible on its strategy and priorities, which make the growing success of its engine …
Maintain an editorial calendar
We voluntarily choose this point to start our analysis because it is perhaps the most important “tool” of the strategy and yet overlooked by many businesses in their online development.
In this case, each publication on social networks is scheduled at a specific time of the week and of the day, in order to optimize its impact and reach. The games / contests are thus launched on Facebook at the weekend, on Sundays around 8 p.m., a time that has been defined as most favorable for the community.
Blog articles or new site features are announced on Tuesday evenings, the day before new cinema releases. Other slots are used to more simply relay news and current affairs from the cinema world, taken from third party sites. The interest of such a calendar, thoughtful, limited and followed, is to offer organizational flexibility to its manager, and to retain users by offering them a rhythm and weekly habits.
Remember that a key element in the success of your editorial calendar is the care and attention that you will pay to your analytics and feedback, respect this content process:
Social networks, content and games / contests
Social networks are of course at the heart of TOP250’s strategy: this is how news and news, announcements, new features, movie watching and games / contests are disseminated.
Julien thus offers each week a simple but very unifying game for his community, which consists in identifying the three films or series presented in pictures:
A subject that has been mentioned many times, it is important to offer neat visuals adapted to the dimensions of each social network, whether this concerns publication or cover images. During the interview, Julien comes back several times to the care he takes in his visuals and the aesthetics of the pages (web or social media).
The grip of titles and texts is just as important, you have to quickly and simply attract visitors to take an interest in the published content, while remaining in an SEO approach. Thus, each blog article is presented with a title adapted to the social network used.
Finally, remember to take advantage of the groups and additional communities that have already been created on social networks, try to intelligently add your content to the discussions, invest in exchanges, participate without waiting in return.
Keep a blog
Difficult to do without the blog these days, an essential tool for federating a community or establishing its expertise in a field. Top250 is no exception to the rule, and does it relatively well by following the codes of inbound marketing: always offer content with high added value and oriented for its targets:
Each article uses a personal, engaging and informative tone, very important facts because blog readers are sensitive to the people behind the lines, to emotions and opinions. Still in an inbound approach, the blog relays to the site services, offering for example to help the visitor in the choice of his DVDs for Christmas.
Certainly we are not in a BtoB context, but Inbound Marketing to some extent remains a good method to capture visitors and naturally push them towards the services offered.
WEB design and ergonomics
We were talking about Inbound Marketing, one of the key elements of this method is the care taken in designing web pages, whether it be a site, blog or profile on social networks.
We are in a typical case where each platform has been studied and tailor-made in order to effectively present visitors with the information they are looking for.
Julien admits that the design and development of his ecosystem has been the subject of meticulous work, thought out for the visitor. The initial specifications evoked “a simple, intuitive and visually attractive platform”.
The site is designed for mobiles (responsive design) in order to offer an optimal user experience and to optimize the referencing of the site on smartphones and tablets (following the launch of the Google label “Mobile Friendly”).
We wanted to finish this case study on this point. At the end of the interview, we asked Julien what aspect he was most proud of in his development, his response was “the close link I have been able to build with the users of top250”.
We can draw a parallel between his response and our field experience, there is probably nothing stronger in the development of any activity than the culture of strong customer satisfaction and trust. Inbound methods also advocate this issue, highlighting that satisfied customers with a service can quickly become ambassadors.
Julien has therefore dedicated a site to user feedback, based on the “uservoice” platform, giving everyone the possibility of proposing ideas for improvement or raising technical problems.
A lot of feedback is also given by Facebook, via the official top250 page. We recommended during the interview the creation of a dedicated support account, on Twitter for example, in order to simplify the management of the main profile (Julien manually deletes each publication concerning the support after taking it into account). Many companies are now using Twitter as a user support channel (Orange to name a few).
We took great pleasure in carrying out this case study, on the one hand because we appreciate this service and on the other hand because it represents on many points an interesting model of online development, classic but effective.
It was also an opportunity to go back to certain areas of improvement such as the addition of the Google+ platform on the site (used but not highlighted), the development of a newsletter (important element in communication as long as the time and the workload that this implies is absorbable), and finally a Twitter account dedicated to support.