We spun our wheels for months trying to market our new product. Then seemingly overnight, our content started going viral on TikTok.
The product stayed exactly the same, yet sales multiplied by 10x.
Here's how we found product market fit using our TikTok data, and created ViudooAI in the process:
Stop&Go bags sold out in hours. But marketing our Pupr Pals toy was a completely different story.
We created countless TikTok videos emphasizing the product’s unique features. Despite some success at the SuperZoo trade show with in-person sales, our videos were not resonating.
Why didn’t our videos go viral like they did with our first product?
To answer that question, we first tried analyzing our video comments. After about 10k followers, it’s hard to keep track of what your community is thinking. We surfaced the comments which had high likes, replies, or extreme sentiment. Eventually, we productized the tool to download the video comments.
With the comments analyzed, the answer became obvious. With in-person sales, we had our dogs to demonstrate the product. People could see and feel the hidden features first hand. But on video, seeing a large dog playing with a puppet toy seemed dangerous to people unfamiliar with the product’s unique selling point. We pivoted our content towards puppies and finally started getting some traction, but we still weren’t going viral.
Before we had our breakthrough, we dove deeper into analyzing our data. We built a web app for visualizing multivariate analyses of our engagement metrics. The insights from those visualizations led to a ~5x increase in organic impressions across all our social platforms. Since we found the tool useful, we demonstrated it to other creators. To our surprise, the unanimous feedback was that although the tool helped, the data analyses and visualizations were too difficult to interpret without our assistance.
We however, were so excited by building tools to extract actionable insights from data that we embarked on a side quest. We applied our learnings to develop Zniper - a data analytics and visualization platform for real estate investors (which is in negotiations for acquisition).
So we kept the tool in-house and continued to improve it. The succession of viral videos came after analyzing the data through a lens of product/content market fit. It involved a lot of manual labeling and categorization. Ultimately, part of the actionable insight was what we had always needed: a particular value proposition for a specific target customer. Our revised marketing strategy was to frame the toy as a tool to stop puppy biting, leading to a 55x increase in video plays over the next seven months.
The unexpected benefit from our revised content strategy was that it created a positive feedback loop to optimize: TikTok SEO, User Generated Content (UGC) collaborations, Google SEO, and Amazon keywords. With our new strategy for example, we found an amazing puppy trainer Vivi (IG: @lovingdogtrainingllc), and collaborated on a video that over the course of one week sold approximately one unit for every 1k video plays.
Paradoxically, while our sales grew 10x over the course of six months, we lost a couple thousand followers on TikTok. We intentionally shifted from optimizing for follower count, to building a community who supported us and our brand. Although a high follower count vanity metric helped signify authority, an engaged community is the key to sustainable long-term growth. It creates a mutual exchange of value and adds an element of resilience to your brand. Focusing on follower count on the other hand, is inefficient. It only targets the top of your customer journey funnel while leaving growth dependent solely on adding followers.
With the advent of new powerful AI tools like ChatGPT and the GPT4 model, we could now overcome the two obstacles that prevented us from offering our in-house tool as a product to other creators. All the manual labeling and obtaining the actionable insights from the data visualization could now be automated with AI.
Our goal with Viudoo is to help business owners efficiently market and distribute great products. We will also empower [UGC] creators and media agencies with data and AI in the rapidly changing technological landscape.
Pardon the screenshots, but follow along for a demo of ViudooAI: