We must admit, in the beginning of april we were pretty low. After spending months pulling our hair out over our outsourced dev teams delays we almost gave up on our platform, which had then been pretty much down since Christmas, and it felt like nothing we did gave any results.
We then stumbled across a product which we found really cool and reached out to the founder in the hope of discussing a potential API partnership - but it turned out so much better than that. The founder had absolutely no interest in integrating us with his platform (fair enough) but was set on sharing all his valuable insights on how to bootstrap a digital product without spending any money. We were in shock. During the 3 years we've been running our own business, no one has ever just sat down and laid it out so clearly. With his guidance and the fire lit under our ass, he gave us the target to double our traffic within 30 days. Little did we know, that we would actually triple it!
Here's a few things we did:
We created a free resource library to attract leads at the top of the funnel.
We reached out to several blogs/websites listing stock media sites to get our name on there. Being listed on these sites brought us direct, relevant traffic.
Product Hunt launch. We made a fairly successful launch on PH which brought us approximately 10% of our unique visitors over the course of a month (we also did a fairly UNsuccessful one, but let's not talk about that).
Quora, we became active at answering relevant questions (to our business) with high quality answers and insights.
Our focus moving forward is to bring our free users further into our funnel, get more backlinks on relevant sites, move our blog from a subdomain to a subdirectory and add key word rich landing pages (e.g. /free-drone-footage) to increase SEO.
We finally did it! We launched VReel on Product Hunt!
After we released our first full-version of the VReel platform, replacing the MVP, we've been scrambling to squash bugs and get everything working seamlessly.
Now the bug-list is finally at an acceptable size (let's be honest these things are never finished), we thought we'd make ourselves accountable and what better way to start than launching on Product Hunt?!
Would appreciate all honest and candid feedback, it's these types of insights that can really help us build something that's great.
Follow the progress here: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/vreel
Our third ever subscribed user churned in November.
They were subscribed to our basic plan, this gave them 5 drone video downloads per month. When early adopters quit their subscriptions it's a cause for concern, so we asked them the reason why.
This was their response: "we had a client project which required drone footage, the five videos in your basic plan covered our needs. We're now in post production editing the video and have no further need for drone footage at this time."
Last night this user resubscribed to the basic plan! A great feeling and this take the total revenue for this user to €138 over the past 5 months. Not amazing, but the total spend for customer acquisition was less than €10 - the price of the train ride to a free startup conference where we met them.
It's these small wins and milestones that keep us pushing forward!
After launching version 2.0 of our stock drone video platform last month, we steadily increased active daily users via a number of channels.
• Paid social media campaigns to recruit drone pilots as contributors to the platform.
– Total spend: €100, Pilot signups: 30, Videos uploaded: 503 .
• Posting regular updates on co-founder's Linkedin pages documenting the release of the new version & inviting potential users to like our business page.
• Version 2.0 involved an update in architecture to facilitate SSR to help index and rank our site which is built as an SPA.
– We see an increase in visits from search and that we now rank higher for relevant search terms.
Exciting times ahead as we now shift our focus to converting users and start generating some sales and incomes.
We were really happy that today we could share our first official client testimonial (yes, from a Real, Paying client haha), and it was so great.
When reaching out to this client we didn't expect much more than getting a comment like "great service, will use again", but this person really took the time to explain why we were a great service for his business.
This is what was said:
“For us at Haaartland, who want to provide a different alternative, it’s important to express our Scandinavian roots. Nature, freedom, creativity, inclusion, togetherness, simplicity, community spirit - all of which we find in VReel’s videos. At the same time VReel are always helpful and friendly to work with.”
At first, we were a bit nervous to ask for a testimonial considering our product is new and have a few technical flaws, something which this specific client had also experienced. But as it turns out, all of our clients have been super understanding and supportive of the fact that we're an early stage start-up. This is a sign that once you get around to ask, people are actually a lot more understanding than you might think, and also happy to help out.
See the full testimonial post with video here:
Together with our community of about 50 active drone pilots we have during the last year grown our library of stock drone footage. Reaching 5000 clips is a huge goal as we grow in our value prop to video content creators.
We have mostly recruited our pilots through Social Media campaigns on facebook and instagram, but have also done direct outreach through LinkedIn and previous mentioned platforms to a high degree of success.
The biggest challenge was keeping the contributors motivated and getting them to consistently upload. We had a few rough months in the beginning where pilots signed up but didn't upload, and it turned out that the solution to this was to recruit more pilots. We have also pushed a strong feeling of community, engaging our active pilots in a facebook group where they share tips and experiences with one-another.
VReel is a Swedish independent stock platform offering high quality, affordable video footage from all over the world via one-off purchases and subscriptions.