It's sad to hear RIO won't be operating in Europe in 2022: https://www.runitonce.eu/news/running-it-again/
I was planning on playing there as soon as I move away from the overregulated market I am in right now. What I find more disappointing is the fact it's shutting down prior to offering tournaments and freerolls which is what the recreationals really go for the most. I personally didn't expect such little traffic and I've learned how important marketing is even in this field. I do however feel that marketing could have been given a lot more consideration even with virtually zero budget. There is no need to hire Cristiano Ronaldo like pokerstars does. Even YouTube and other social media marketing can go far. Just look at upswingpoker's success, without Polk's YouTube channel he wouldn't have one third of the customers he's got now.
Runitonce youtube channel's videos pretty much consists of:
-Long 15-20 minute video cuts from the training site in here
-An hour long podcast made by two women I have never heard about usually interviewing random poker players I have never heard about
There is a reason one of the most viewed videos on the RIO YouTube channel is Phil Galfond WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship which is a live vlog. That is what I think people wanna see. Phil could make so many vlogs about his poker life, especially given the fact he knows every single top player out there. There is so much content that could be made.
Even some of the challenges could be made with actual live footage. Also just because you're playing internet poker doesn't mean it has to be played in a dark room somewhere. It could easily be played in a live setting. For example the hyped challenge between Polk and Negreanu had only a few thousand live viewers in the online part of the challenge but the very first day of the challenge played in a LIVE setting edited into a nice video got more than 2 million views https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsDj1viQ4E4&ab_channel=PokerGO . A full challenge (as long as both of the players are in the same location which in Vegas should not be an issue) could be played in a live setting even if it's just internet poker. That is how video game tournaments are played. No crowd is needed either for poker. Just a nice little room, few cameras, good commentating (someone like Joey Ingram) and you're good to go. Imagine Galfond vs Jungleman played like that. No need to have 20 challenges when one properly done challenge could literally bring in millions of views.
Even the RIO training site videos could easily be promoted in a better way. Instead of posting a full 20 minute excerpt from a RIO video just post the most interesting hands. Maybe there was some insane cooler in one of those videos. Post that, it's a 2 minute clip people would watch. Maybe Jungleman said something funny, post that, it might be a 45 second clip. Beginner friendly 5 minute short videos explaining basic PLO concepts by Phil Galfond would get a dozen times more views than posting a random 15 minute clip from one of the videos here.
All of this would cause a trickle down effect. I am not saying having a great YouTube channel would make RIO bigger than PokerStars but it could definitely make it a poker site with constant traffic.
I might be ranting about things I don't understand but these are my two cents. Nevertheless good luck with the site in the USA.