Earlier this year, managed hosting provider NetBenefit stepped in at 48 hours’ notice to host the ladaygaga.fr site, to stop to website from crashing as fans flocked to take part in an online competition. The firm supported the arrival of 25,000 fans in the first five minutes. In this article, Will Sargent, Business Solutions Consultant, NetBenefit offers 3 tips to keep your site ticking over during high traffic spikes…
Increasingly, online marketing campaigns are becoming more complex. In the music industry, stars and their digital agencies compete to offer innovative social media campaigns to accompany the launch of a single. The resulting data-heavy demands on the system can cause a site to crash and, whilst some brands might wear this is as a badge of honour – look how many fans we have –most know that it doesn’t play well with consumers. It can damage reputation and loyalty, result in a purchase failing and raises questions about security.
LadyGaga came early to social media and has an estimated 1bn YouTube views, 43.4m Facebook likes and has become the Queen of Twitter with nearly 13.5m followers. It was therefore imperative that the site remained up during the launch of Born This Way in France, so digital agency Vanksen brought in NetBenefit (www.netbenefit.com) to ensure that the hosting capacity was robust enough to support the launch.
The creative idea behind the launch of Born This Way was a competition for creatives based on the video for the single. Twenty five winners would be invited to an exclusive private concert performed by Mother Monster herself. The idea took off quickly as it fitted nicely within the online ecosystem she has created through her continuous use of digital media to communicate with her fans. Competition participants could download one minute of the single Born This Way for free so they could it to produce their own video clip entry. The UGC (User Generated Content) elements would then be uploaded onto ladygaga.fr for moderation before being posted on YouTube.
The levels of data involved in the competition would require robust hosting, especially as high traffic was expected to follow the competition announcement during the 8pm news on M6 (France’s main music channel). Given that big data campaigns like this are on the increase, we would suggest that digital agencies consider the following to ensure they have peace of mind about the technology.
1. Bring the hosting provider in at the beginning of the project. It may seem too early to discuss technology when the creative idea is still being discussed, but by considering your hosting options upfront, a cost-effective solution can be put together in conjunction with the creative team, to ensure that needs are met.
2. Consider your needs honestly. Are you expecting high-demand, the need to scale, will demand drop back after an initial surge? Good hosting providers can offer flexible, scalable solutions with a personal level of service, but this too should be outlined early in the campaign’s development.
3. What is your response to outage? It may be that the music buyers are loyal enough to survive a technical outage, but the brief for the LadyGaga.fr site was “it cannot crash!” Depending on your needs, different solutions can be deployed. In this case, NetBenefit used a monitoring device to measure the trends of real-time traffic and the NetBenefit Cloud solution, which allowed the rapid deployment of temporary infrastructure and demand capacity. It responded to the trend information, as well as offering direct control of resources by the user if necessary. NetBenefit also used its Content Delivery Network to optimise the user experience and avoid performance slowdowns, which can demotivate the user.
The LadyGaga.fr site received a peak influx of 25,000 unique users, followed by the uploading of 800 video entries, the winner being viewed 30,000 times and the site receiving over 71,000 unique visits. Yet, with our robust hosting technology, NetBenefit was able to keep the site up and functioning throughout the campaign, giving Vanksen the peace of mind to focus on its own project responsibilities.
By Will Sargent
Business Solutions Consultant