GoSquared talks to Adnan Ebrahim (centre), Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Car Throttle, one of the fastest growing publications online.
Tell us a little about Car Throttle and your day-to-day role?
Car Throttle is a car community for the Facebook generation. We create fun car content aimed at 18-24 year old enthusiasts, ranging from viral videos to in-depth reviews. We’ve also got a Partner channel on YouTube where we get to drive and film some of the latest cars from manufacturers like BMW, Lotus and Jaguar.
My day-to-day role has shifted in the past 6 months from being responsible for creating content, to developing and managing company processes. For example, a typical day could see me planning a video shoot, brainstorming articles with our Editor and freelance team, digging down into analytics and reporting, talking with our agency customers and meeting with investors. But there’s always enough time in the day to do some “car video research” on YouTube!
What tips do you have for growing your audience?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from running a content business is that distribution is key. You can create amazing content, but without distribution, your content won’t get seeded to as wide an audience.
Publishing unique and optimised content on our website has seen us grow 20% per month over the last 6 months. We use GoSquared for our publishing analytics in particular to track visitors in real-time – by doing so we can split-test headlines and images to see which formats are most successful. Testing and iteration, even with content, is key to achieving scale.
What didn’t work?
Twitter used to be a vital part of our content marketing strategy. We grew to over 4,000 followers extremely quickly, but soon noticed that links would send tiny trickles of traffic through to the site. By tracking concurrent visitors on GoSquared, we were able to quantify the value of high follower Twitter accounts, high growth Facebook fan pages and popular YouTube channels to figure out which social media sites were worth spending time on.
We’ve even managed to get social media links from British celebrities like Lemar, Scouting For Girls and Colin Jackson, but learned that unless their audiences are engaged, there is little value. We currently have higher engagement on Facebook than TopGear so understand the importance of engaged visitors!
Car Throttle uses the GoSquared API, could you tell us a bit more about that?
We use the GoSquared API to display a “trending content” widget. Simply put, all visitors can see exactly which pieces of our content are popular at any given time. We find that this helps make the site more dynamic – visitors can see that people are reading our stuff… it’s essentially social proof.
Our aim is to keep developing the trending widget to show real visitor counts and social shares (also available through the API) so we can stay on top of content that’s gaining popularity, second-by-second.
What’s next for Car Throttle?
We’re looking to completely rethink the way car content is displayed and interacted with online. The auto media space is full of legacy players, each with old content management systems, syndication partners and revenue streams. We’re gaining a greater understanding of creating content that resonates within a target audience and virality, are developing products that help this amplification, and from running smaller campaigns, we know that manufacturers and brands want to try and harness this power for their own marketing initiatives.
We’re also looking to grow our team, so if you’re interested in working for us, check out our Jobs page!
And finally, if GoSquared was a type of car what would it be?
If GoSquared was a car, it would definitely be a Tesla Model S; fast, high-tech and backed by a visionary team with a beautifully designed dashboard.
We’re blushing. Thanks Adnan, best of luck with the continued success of Car Throttle!
Visit CarThrottle.com for your daily fix of car news and entertainment.
Follow @adnanebrahim on Twitter.