Diply Became the Fastest-Growing Website on the Internet Using Influencers, and Yours Can Too.

If you aren’t familiar with Diply, where have you been? It’s a social news and entertainment community, and they were named the “fastest growing website in Internet history” in 2014.

Diply is a social platform that that shares viral content that is similar to something you might find on BuzzFeed. They share things like listicles and click-bait articles with headlines like, “35 Desperate and Crazy Things Done by Evil Exes.” Diply readers can also submit their own content and have it promoted on the site.

The Role of Influencer Marketing and Diply

Diply was founded by Taylor Ablitt, Dean Elkholy, and Gary Manning. It launched in November 2013, and nine months later they were a top 20 site in the U.S. They continue to put out an incredible amount of content on a daily basis; their internal writing team and a team of freelancers put out over 60 articles a day.

Diply gets over 81 million unique monthly visitors on its site, and Alexa currently gives Diply a global ranking of 82. To put this in perspective, that means it currently beats out Buzzfeed (158), the Huffington Post (252), and Mashable (825).

Diply continues to average over 20 million hits per day. And this story gets especially interesting when you realize that virtually none of Diply’s original traffic was organic. Rather, over 80 percent of Diply’s traffic comes from social media pages.

So how did Diply become the fastest growing website in history? By partnering with hundreds of influential accounts, mostly through Facebook. Diply leveraged very genre-specific social media influencers. These influencers provided content and page views in exchange for money.

How to Use Influencer Marketing

So what does this mean for other brands? Well, it shows what can happen when a business leverages the power of influencer marketing. After all, influencer marketing delivers an ROI that is 11 times higher than traditional forms of digital marketing.

I get it, that statistic may seem hard to believe. The truth is, consumers will be suspicious any ads you put out to promote your brand. But, they will most likely trust a third-party source who highly recommends you.

This is exactly what Diply did — they formed partnerships with influencers who were seen as trustworthy and used them to drive traffic to their sight. Social media influencers were a key way they pulled ahead of their competitors..

Here are five things we’ve learned from Diply about leveraging the power of social media influencers:

1. Know your market, then go where your market goes.

Before you get started, you need to be very clear on the target demographic you are trying to reach. If you don’t know who your audience is, you are going to have a hard time reaching them through social media. Knowing your market will help you determine what type of reach you are after and which social media channels you should be targeting.

You should also spend some time thinking about the types of channels that will be best for your brand. For instance, if you are targeting millennials then you will probably want to be on Instagram.

2. Find an influencer who truly aligns with your brand.

Obviously, not much is going to happen without this crucial step. However, I want you to pay close attention to the end of that sentence — you need to choose someone who aligns with your brand.

Let’s take Diply for example — they partnered with George Takei, George Lopez, and Paris Hilton. Yes, those are people who all have quite a bit of social media reach but they also aligned with the type of content Diply was putting out there.

The point is not to just find anyone who will say nice things about you for money. You need to give some thought to what your specific niche is and look for someone who will complement that.

3. Know what your goals are, and stick to them.

When Taylor Ablitt was planning to launch Diply, he told his father he wanted the website to become one of Canada’s top 1,500 sites. Obviously, he blew that goal out of the water. But the point is, he had a goal and a plan. A good influencer marketing campaign will also have concrete, actionable goals.

4. Give influencers a lot of creative freedom.

Influencers have large followings for a reason — because there is something unique about them that their audience identifies with. As such, you should give them a lot of creative freedom. Simply paying them to promote your product won’t cut it — they need to be able to promote it in a way that feels authentic and natural.

5. Track your metrics and ROI closely.

You need to track your campaign metrics constantly to see how well it is performing. How much traffic is coming from the influencer’s content? How well is that content performing on social media? And make sure you keep track of your conversions so you have an idea of any areas that could use some improvement.

TL;DR, how do I make my website grow as fast at Diply?

The fact is, the way consumers make buying decisions has changed drastically in the past decade. People will not buy something simply because they saw it on a TV commercial anymore. Now, consumers put more trust in the recommendations of their friends and third-party influencers. And 74 percent of people will turn to social networks for guidance on purchase decisions.

One of the reasons Diply’s strategy was so successful was that they realized that most businesses weren’t really using social media, and yet pretty much everyone that any business would want to reach is on social media. They saw a competitive advantage — in their case, Facebook — and capitalized on it. Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere — the only question is whether you are going to take advantage of it.

Of course, getting started with an influencer marketing campaign is no small task. You have to find and onboard your influencers and deal with tons of logistics. Fortunately, you don’t have to do all of this on your own — Assembly was built to help you manage the details, and drive performance every step of the way. With our cloud-based software, you can communicate with your influencers, track multiple campaigns, measure ROI, and even handle payments.

Whether you’re running complex influencer campaigns, or just getting started, we’d be happy to chat! Contact us today for a quick demo of Assembly.


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Marco Pimentel

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CMO at Redbrick (rdbrck.com). Self-proclaimed amateur fly fisherman.