Yesterday Jennifer emailed me and asked how I promote my website outside of organic methods. For those who might be unfamiliar, organic refers to traffic to your site that doesn’t cost money. The organic tactics I use involve Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and good SEO practices.
Jennifer was interested to know if I pay to gain exposure for my page. And the answer is yes. I use 4 basic methods to drive traffic from the web to Dream Big: Google search, banner ads, Stumbleupon ads and Facebook ads. This is a new strategy I implemented a few months back after doing extensive research and developing an organized advertising strategy.
I am utilizing the promote your page option in Facebook ads where I am encouraging people to like my Facebook page. So far I average 40-50 new followers each month and the strategy for getting new followers is to target people who live in and around the Charlotte area who also show interest in multiple sclerosis, self-improvement, personal development, blogs, inspirational quotes, National MS Society, etc. The targeting is important and no other platform allows for more specific targeting than does Facebook. How you might ask? Great question.
My company is a partner of Facebook as we do a ton of advertising with them each month. When the general public describes Facebook they do so in terms of social media. But inside the walls of Facebook they think of themselves in terms of data curation; a fancy way of saying they collect data. They know what kind of car you drive, where you like to eat, what you like to eat, where your kids go to school, what roads you travel, where you vacation, what web pages you visit most often, where you shop, etc. The amount of information Facebook collects is insane. Facebook’s success comes by leveraging that data to advertisers through laser-like targeting.
What this type of targeting allows is for me to advertise to those who might engage with my page more actively; we call this high conversion. So instead of simply targeting anyone with a pulse, I am able to only target those specific types of people who will most likely be interested in my type of Facebook page and who will enjoy reading my posts.
Then getting to those followers requires another step. I’m not sure that most people are aware but Facebook limits your organic reach on business/fan pages to approximately 2% of your total followers. For instance, if you have 1000 followers on your business/fan page and you generate a post, only 20 people are going to see that post. In order to reach the remainder you must use the Boost button and pay FB. Amazingly enough this is how they make FB profitable.
Google search has also been a productive tool. You may not realize this, but Google does not view themselves as a search engine. What??!! That’s right, Google views themselves as a referral business. They index pages based on specific search criteria to put relevant results in front of potential customers, readers, researchers, etc. (With that said they still only index about 35 trillion webpages or 4% of the pages on the internet!) Ultimately Google wants you to visit a business, have a great experience and then return to Google for another referral opportunity. In short, Google helps websites and businesses generate leads. And the primary way they help is to use paid Google search.
What you do is register an account with Google and then go through the process of setting up a campaign on Google Adwords. Now search is a pay-per-click product which means every time someone clicks on your ad Google charges you for generating that lead. I set my campaign to deliver ads in the United States and Canada based on keywords like MS blog, multiple sclerosis blog, inspirational blogs, inspiring bloggers, dealing with MS symptoms blog, etc. I want to reach people who are specifically looking to find blogs or bloggers who are writing about specific topics. I don’t want to deliver my ad to people looking for blogs. Why? Because the search criteria is way too broad and I’ll get charged for those clicks and they probably will have a low conversion rate. (conversion rate is the % chance of them becoming a reader of my page)
Seeing is believing! Google is the primary method of browsing the internet for most people (64% market share). Do you know the #1 search site for millennials? If you guessed YouTube you would be correct!
I am also using banner ads which display on websites which allow for AdChoices delivery. AdChoices is the program Google uses to sell advertising on a variety of websites including all the WordPress blogs. I am targeting other big websites whose readers might also enjoy and engage on my page.
And then there is Stumbleupon which drives views but isn’t something I focus a lot of energy. My weekly budget is minimal ($10-$20) and I don’t always run ads on this platform. What I do like about Stumble is it has huge upside in that a post can go mini-viral driving huge views in a short period of time. I’ve had posts get as much as 5,000 views in an afternoon! The downside is these views have low conversion meaning not a lot of people follow my page and become engaged readers. And for this reason I don’t use Stumble that much.
Jennifer was also curious as to why I do all this advertising; which I view as a great inquiry. The truth is that most blogs are followed by other bloggers and this is a great thing. My mission, however, is to reach all types of people and I don’t want to be limited just to those who use WordPress.org or .com. So for me to reach non-bloggers my website must be present in the places they live in the digital world. Thus I advertise.
I know this is a lot to digest, but I thought it might be interesting to see behind the curtain of what I do on a daily basis. There’s a little more to getting a lot of followers than just sitting back and waiting for growth to happen!
My motto: you can spend your whole life waiting or you can get busy doing.
Do you have a marketing strategy for your page? If so, I’d love to read about. Be sure to drop me a line in the comments or shoot me an email! Have a great week folks!