When I joined Topic, First Look Media's streaming service, our subscriber base was very modest, but our goals were not. We needed to scale—fast. But as a small, start-up-like company, with a marketing budget to match, we had to really think outside the box to find and grow our audience.
The Challenge: Grow subscriber base by 100% without heavy paid media investment.
The Solution: Rebrand to hone in on a highly targeted audience and leverage content to engage them.
How I Executed: Before we grew our audience, we needed to define it. Working closely with Topic's GM, SVP of Marketing, and VP of Marketing, I helped to reposition the brand from "niche streaming service offering a little bit of everything" to "THE streaming service that introduces groundbreaking crime, thrillers, dramas, and
docs from around the world to a North American audience." Instead of trying to capture anyone and everyone who was into indie entertainment, we set our sights on international crime and thriller enthusiasts, a decision that was based on our subscriber behavior data. Not only did we have a more defined audience, but we now had the mission of courting one of the most engaged audiences in entertainment.
To reach international thriller fans, I harnessed the limitless power of content and built an entire editorial arm of Topic, turning the streaming service into a platform for immersive storytelling. My strategy was to create content that drove larger cultural conversations but used our fantastic programming to support each topic. My goal was for each article to be able to stand on its own outside of the Topic ecosystem and be identical to what you'd find on Vulture or The A.V. Club. For example, one of our all-time best-performing pieces was titled "What Is Nordic Noir?," which was a crash course on the genre, using our Nordic Noir titles to help explain tropes and themes. To this day, if you Google "what is Nordic Noir?" you'll find our article in the top five results on the first page.
The Results: We absolutely conquered SEO, increased organic traffic to our site by 9,000%, and drove brand awareness immeasurably. We also decreased churn by 60% and grew our subscriber base by—you guessed it—100%.