Questions From My Email Inbox: Paid Advertising Strategy

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.

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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.

Interesting Factoid…

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!

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Google search ad copy

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)

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.

Dream Big blog will inspire and challenge you!

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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.

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Stumble ad set

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!

Danny’s World: Social Media & One of My Favorite Quotes

Danny's iphone 022Any time I scan Facebook I can’t help but think of a quote from Steven Furtick.  But first here’s what makes me think of the quote.

I see so many smiling faces.  Pictures of parties.  Posing. Smiling.  Family pics.  More smiling.  More posing. Everyone is doing it.  Vacations.  Exotic locations. Amusement parks.

Furtick said, “The reason we struggle with insecurity is we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”  Boy, what a powerful statement and so true about modern day society.

I am curious to see the psychological effect social media has on kids over the next 20 years.  Constantly seeing everyone else’s highlight reel compared to your behind-the-scenes.  The impact could be devastating.

Danny’s World: Off To a Wedding!

My friend Nathan is getting married today and we are off to celebrate with him and his new bride, Heather.  The reception is at a neat place on the water on Lake Wylie and we are excited to be included in their special day!  How do we look??

Danny’s World: I Think It’s All Coming To An End

I’m not sure what is going on, but there is this huge fire thing in the sky.  I keep seeing it peek through the clouds and I am concerned for all of humanity.  I believe the end of the world is at hand and this giant fire is here to purge the world.   Now I’m sad.

My Social Media Links

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If you currently do not utilize the free social media services I would encourage you to rethink your strategy.  It’s not only a great way to connect, but search engines give your page more credibility-SEO.  So here are mine, just click on the link in red and it will take you straight off to my pages:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Danny’s World: My Current Situation

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Lunch – check

Meds – check

Stats update – check

I appreciate the kind well-wishes.  I’m feeling a bit better than this morning thank goodness.  I have learned the valuable lesson of listening to my body.  When it says it’s time to rest, then it’s time to rest!

Danny’s World: I’m Considering Micro-Posts…What Do You Think?

Danny's iphone 022In the world of blogging there are many types of posts: lengthy, informative articles, videos, weekly updates, photos and the micro-post.  I like the micro-post because I can devour it quickly, engage and move along.

I have kicked the idea around of using my WP site more for short posts resembling Facebook; the idea is to utilize Dream Big as my social media outlet.  I’m not exactly sure I’m sold on the idea although I’m leaning in that direction.

What do you think?  How would you respond if I added Facebook-like posts to my page?  Short thoughts, ideas, musings, etc.?

Headed To the Park!

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Evelina and I are headed to the lake at the park soon with Bentley.  He loves the ducks and turtles!  Plus it’s nice to get outside and walk a bit.

 

MEET TOM BENSON

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This week’s writer is one I am really happy to introduce. Firstly, he helped me set up my web page (no, not true, he set it up for me – I’m clueless) and we read each other’s books way, way back when I was still new to social media. He held my hand every step of the way.

tom bensonThe book Tom’s chosen to showcase in this guest blog is one I’ve read and I liked it so much that I bought the second in the series as well. Having been married twice to men who have also served in the forces, it was like getting a peep into what really goes on behind the scenes ‘among the boys’. Girls get curious about these things you know.

A Life of Choice   West Germany   April 1992

“Thanks, mate,” I said, accepting a bottle of beer from one of my soldiers.

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Danny’s World: Are You Confused About Social Media?

This past week I had a couple conversations about blogging and social media.  The question I want to address is why someone should link their page to social media.   There is so much misinformation about social media, blogging and SEO so I am going to clarify things for you.  Here are a few of my thoughts…

Danny's iphone 022Why should I focus on social media when I don’t get a lot of views from Facebook or Twitter?

I hear this argument/question a lot.  The truth is social media doesn’t have as much to do with getting views directly to your page as it has to do with helping your page to show up in Google searches. Google considers pages with social media to be more relevant than pages without; especially Google+ and YouTube.  Therefore, having your page linked to all the available social media pages will help your SEO.

Social media is one of easiest, FREE ways to expand your influence.

IT’S FREE!  Why wouldn’t you utilize a tool that is absolutely free?  I’m not sure what else to say.

Social media gives you an opportunity to go viral.

This might be the weakest of the reasons, but there are people who have created a video on Facebook who are now in business because of going viral.  Chewbacca mom, Candace Payne, comes to mind.  She’s now writing books and signing endorsement deals because of one video!  It’s like hitting the social media lottery, but it does happen.

Videos are the wave of the future so you should be utilizing YouTube.  

I think we all know the #1 search engine is Google.  But do you know which engine is #1 among millennials?  Anyone?  Bueller?   If you said YouTube you are correct.  When young adults need to search they most often go to YouTube, not Google.  So if you are not on YouTube you are missing out on exposure to a HUGE group of people.

Baby-boomers read newspapers, millennials read social media.

This is a generalization, but it is also accurate.  For the most part millennials (75 million by population) follow their favorite people, blogs, news through social media.  Once again when you are not connected to social media you are greatly limiting yourself.

Social media will bring people to your page 

If you still don’t believe social media will bring people to your page, then this post probably isn’t for you.  The truth is it does.  Tom Slatin has over 200,000 people who follow him via Twitter and it brings thousands of people to his page every year!   I have nearly 10,000 Twitter followers who could potentially visit my page every single day, which results in approximately 10% of my daily views.

I’m not trying to convince anyone as much as I’m trying to provide a clearer perspective.  Do you have your page connected to social media?  If not I’d love to read your reasons for not connecting.  Hope this helps.