Monday, September 12, 2016

Lists, Stats, and "Top ADV Riders" on Social Media

Recently, Eric Hall of XLADV posted statistics for the "top" adventure riders of the social media world:

First of all, while it's an honor, I don't even think I deserve to be on this list! Most of the riders listed are true world travelers; legends in my book! Ride Must Go On is an incredible videographer, and just finished an incredibly huge journey that took years to complete! We all know who Alex Chacon is and the amazing places he's taken his bikes. Then there's Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2RidetheWorld. They have been adventure traveling for twice as long as I've even owned a motorcycle! As far as I know, Wandering Beast is the only person on the list to set foot on Antarctica (and is a ridiculously cool guy in person), and Miquel Silvestre has not only ridden in scores of amazing places, but is an international TV star!

Second of all, I'm not a fan of lists like this. It's pretty ambiguous (Eric explained that the lists are more teasers than deep stats to drive up curiosity and business to his ADV marketing endeavors.)  My guess is that Eric will use the list and related stats to plug the riders who hire him to manage their marketing to sponsors.

If you're a marketing person from an ADV or Dual Sport company, even if brokering through an awesome gentleman like Eric, I'd suggest looking into statistical metrics such as YouTube's analytics, Facebook's Page Insights, and social media reach indicators/aggregates like Klout scores, Socialblade ranks, and request stat overviews and prices from riders' SocialBlueBook numbers. Otherwise you could be overspending for each set of eyeballs you're targeting.

But to a largely crowdfunded "gumby"like myself who doesn't need to focus as much on sponsorship, a list like this is about as relevant as who thinks bike X is better than bike Y. And frankly, I'm a turd in the punchbowl on this list. Sponsorships are rare for me, and noteworthy adventures are even rarer. I simply don't belong.

I'm no more than a weekend warrior, and my international travels include a puny 5000 mile trip that went into Victoria BC for a week, went down the coast, and spent all of three terrified hours lost in Tijuana. There are others who should be on the list, too. Ed March and his C90, telling people to sit down. Alberto Lara, Ride of My Life, MAD TV, Barry (which is pronounced bARRy, not berry) Morris of Adventure Oz, Adam Riemann (who dwarfs all of us, with 143,000+ YouTube subscribers and nearly 40 million views) and many more legends of ADV moto, all far more adventurous than I'll ever be.

So I'm not entirely sure why people follow my stuff. Most of it's shot in the same place from a low-budget helmet camera. Most of it's just motovlogs.  As a busy father and husband who works at a desk most of the time... maybe people can relate a little more? There are far more adventurous media outlets to enjoy, many with far better cinematics, budgets, scenery, and stories.

I've honestly thought about renaming my channel from eveRide ADV to eveRide WW, for weekend warrior! ;)

So this afternoon while taking a break from editing, I saw Alex repost the above image on his Instagram account, and wanted to do some digging to see what the above percentages could mean, and how I even made the list, let alone tied for 2nd with a legit adventure rider and TV star.

Turns out that my ridiculous little endeavor eveRide media doesn't suck all that bad, especially when comparing recent video stats to ADV superstars like Alex.

Now the following research was done as a market study, not as a... ahem... contest to measure one's gentleman's bits. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed, because with every new follower, we bring more blood to the ADV/Dual Sport genre. I'm doing this research and posting this article because it's massively interesting and very relevant to my work, and perhaps yours as well. I legitimately wanted to see where I rank in recent stats, and if I'm even on the scoreboard when it comes to giants like Alex and Miquel.

It's clear that Alex Chacon is far and away the largest online ADV influencer on the list, with 23% of... I'm not sure what. All these percentages only add up to 62. I'm sure Eric has done his homework, though, so the other percentage must make up other social media influencers.

Alex has more than double the views on his "Epic Selfie" video than I have on my entire channel! His next most popular video, "Modern Motorcycle Diaries" has nearly 3 million views, more than half of my total views across ALL my videos. So he clearly DOMINATES in overall channel views, there's no doubt about that! And it shows because he doubles my subscriber base.

Then there's my ramshackle catalog of content. 3 of my top 6 viewed videos are geography teaching videos and have nothing to do with motorcycles. There are a few other random vlogs and dancing (while wearing a batman costume) hidden in the archives, as well. Again... why does anybody follow me?!

So I wanted to see where I fit compared to my heros... without the skewed stats from old geography lessons, selfie videos, and other skintight-batman-bodysuit nightmare-fodder outliers. I chose pretty basic (but perhaps most relevant) data to analyze: recent social media activity. I pulled stats from only the last 30 YouTube videos, 10 Facebook posts, and 12 Instagram posts from each of our outlets. (Those numbers were selected by what shows up above the fold on IG and YT, and a nice even 10 for FB).

Here are the stats, and believe me... my jaw dropped:

Last 30 videos on YouTube

Alex Chacon (102,783 subscribers)
  • 284,923 views over the last 30 videos
  • 9,497 views per video average
  • 9.2% subscriber to view ratio
everide (50,126 subscribers)
  • 317,024 views over the last 30 videos
  • 10,564 views per video average
  • 21% subscriber to view ratio

Miquel Silvestre (20,746 subscribers)
  • 217,896 views over the last 30 videos
  • 7,263 views per video average
  • 35% subscriber to view ratio

Last 10 posts to Facebook

Alex Chacon (92,356 followers)
  • Total 2,233 likes from the last 10 posts
  • Average of 223 likes per post 
  • Like to Follower ratio of .002 

Miquel Silvestre (47,248 followers)
  • Total 7,464 likes for the last 10 posts 
  • Average of 746 likes per post 
  • Like to Follower Ratio of .015 

everide (11,758 followers)
  • Total 1,531 likes for the last 10 posts 
  • Average of 153 likes per post 
  • Like to follower Ratio of .013

Last 12 Instagram Posts

Alex Chacon (25,016 followers)
  • 8,410 Total Likes 
  • Average 700 likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .027 
everide (8,799 followers)
  • 6,094 total likes
  • 508 average likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .057

Miquel Silvestre (6,870 followers)
  • 5,163 Total Likes 
  • Average 430 likes per post 
  • Like to follower ratio .062 

(And just for fun since the XLADV Instagram is getting gigantic!)
XLADV (50,413 followers)
  • 10,459 total likes
  • 872 average likes per post
  • Like to follower ratio .017

(Pardon the 3rd person, but I'm writing this last part like a report.) 

So from recent media stats, it looks like eveRide reaches the most via the last 30 YouTube videos over Alex and Miquel by a margin of 33,000 and 100,000 views respectively, with a solid subscriber ratio of 21% of total subscribers watching a given video. 

Miquel Silvestre is far and away the choice for Facebook with huge engagement. While he commands a little more than half the followers as Alex, he gets nearly 3x the audience engagement! eveRide is weak on Facebook, with an audience of 1/10th that of Alex, and 1/5th of Miquel, but close to the same amount of engagement per post as Alex.

Alex Chacon is a solid choice for Instagram, with more than double eveRide's following and nearly 5x Miquel's. 

When it comes to audience engagement (what Klout looks at), in every platform Miquel may reach less, but engages more of his audience with each post, [35% YT, .015 FB, .062 IG] eveRide engages slightly less [21% YT, .013 FB, .057 IG], but in comparison, Alex struggles to reach his audience [9.2% YT, .002 FB, .027 IG].

The comparison stats from socialblade are interesting as well.  Alex gets 3,000 views less than eveRide per day. That adds up to nearly 100,000 views per month across the channel. (So though it might take decades, I might have a chance at catching him! ;) While eveRide gets more views and engagement, Alex and eveRide both net an average of 50 subscribers per day.

So while Alex clearly dominates in total views and audience size on every platform over time, when stacked up to eveRide and Miquel in just the most recent 30 YouTube uploads, 10 Facebook posts, and 12 Instagram photos as of 9.12.16, eveRide performs best on YouTube, Miquel dominates Facebook, but Alex holds Instagram.

So what does this all mean? Well, it means that the ADV niche is still pretty small. Dual sport is even smaller. It means that there is plenty of room for new content, media, adventure stories, and riders. I personally believe that once Ride Must Go On posts his video footage (now that he has time) I estimate that he will jump to the top of most of these lists.

Personally I hope to make a jump once my kiddos are old enough and I finally take a real adventure, and earn my spot as a legitimate adventure rider on future lists, even if other, more talented and adventurous personalities push me to the dusty archives of internet has-beens.

Much love!