So you’ve launched your new website and aggressively tackled social media marketing. My guess is you’ve been reading up on SEO, and how doing content marketing is the next best thing for getting eyeballs.
How’s your web traffic looking?
If it looks amazing, then good for you. Your strategy is paying off!
If not, there’s hope. Actually, there’s a cure for your problem. It’s called ‘bought media’.
What’s bought media?
In its most basic definition, it’s when you buy/rent advertising space on another website. Today many people just know it as ‘buying traffic’ or ‘buying visitors’ to your site.
If you are struggling getting eyeballs to your website, then you’re missing a key ingredient in your digital media mix. Maybe you’ve heard about ‘buying’ traffic. Perhaps you’ve thought about it, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Even worse, maybe you’ve tried it and it failed (because you didn’t go about it the right way).
I want you to reconsider…
Here are 10 solid reasons why you should be buying traffic to your website.
Reason #1: You have limited time and resources
If your business is new to digital, chances are good you don’t have the time and man power to deal with things like SEO, Social Media and Content marketing. If you have already started doing those things, you know by now that those practices require a tremendous amount of knowledge and time investment. Something you don’t have much of right now.
Don’t get me wrong, those things definitely work, but they take time. It’s like the snowball effect in cartoons. In the beginning the snowball is small but over time it grows in size as it rolls down the hill. SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing is like the snowball. It starts really slow, but over time the results are big.
The problem now, is that you have to start from nothing! Nothing equates to being nowhere on Google. Nothing means a zero following on social media, and nothing means a pathetic number of eyeballs on your content. An alternative would be nice, right?
Why buying traffic helps:
Put simply, you can buy any amount of traffic at X amount of money and it will take you a 1000th of the time compared to working for the same traffic via other non-bought methods.
Usually only one person is enough to manage this. I’ve spoken to many business founders who have done traffic buys themselves during the first year of their business start-up! I personally have managed millions in media buys by myself for big brands!
To put that in perspective, let’s use a scenario. Let’s assume this is your current situation:
1. You’re business is new to digital marketing
2. Your website doesn’t have good rankings in Google for high traffic keywords.
3. You have low volume of engagement on your site due to it being a ghost town.
Let’s say you have $10,000 to spend.
And you spend it on SEO, Content or Social Media work:
Hourly rate: $50 (good SEO agencies charge $100 per hour)
Total output: 200 hours
Weeks of work: 5 work weeks
Level of immediate result: Low
Please note: It takes weeks to months to start moving up the search engine listings.
But let’s see how it looks when you spend it on bought media:
Cost per click from ad network: $1 (i’m using a high-ish estimate here)
Clicks to website: 10,000
Your hourly rate: $50
Hours spent planning and buying media: 10 hours
Level of immediate result: High
Clearly time spent v.s return favors bought media.
Reason #2: It’s not as risky as you think
It’s true it can be a risky exercise, but but BUT only if you buy traffic without doing the proper research. In future blog posts I’ll show you how I do it cost effectively and relatively risk-free.
Actually, the bought media model is the safest out there, if done right, for a couple of reasons:
- In most cases, the minimum budget to get started is very little.
- You can shut it down at any time.
- You’re buying/renting space on another publisher’s site. Therefore you are not accountable for their content.
- Ads are approved by network moderators to make sure only quality ads get through.
- You can pick and choose how you want to target your ads. In many cases you can choose exactly where you want a specific ad to run!
Did I mention you can shut it down at any time?
You might be asking, “but how can I assure I do it right?”
Simple. Know your audience. If you nail down exactly who your audience is, it will be really easy for you to laser target your advertising. The key to effective advertising is to have a message that speaks to your audience and having that message display in the spaces where they spend their time.
Talking about ‘doing it right’ reminded me of how many people have done SEO and SOCIAL media the wrong way.
Check out this article by Danny Sullivan over at MarketingLand.com titled “10 Big Brands That Were Penalized By Google, From Rap Genius To The BBC“.
Reason #3: You can test and validate anything FAST
If you’re selling something via your website, then you should be buying traffic and sending it to your product/s or services. Your website has a huge responsibility in converting visitors into customers. Every second you don’t give your products or services a chance to convert at the highest level, the offset is a liability.
What am I trying to say here? That you have to constantly improve your website to maximize your chances of converting a visitor into a customer. In the early stages you won’t have a lot of traffic.
To measure the effectiveness of your website content, you need traffic! To validate your page layout effectiveness, you need traffic. To grow your business, well you guessed it…you need traffic.
Tip: When trying to validate ideas, try to buy traffic at a cost per click (CPC) price model. CPC campaigns are generally more cost effective.
Reason #4: It indirectly helps build your other social communities
A lot of people who dismiss bought media forget that it’s one of the key ingredients to quickly get people into the consumer marketing funnel.
Let’s look at the stages:
- Awareness – this is when consumers see your advertisement/message for the first time.
- Consideration – In this phase they are considering making a purchase. Consumers spend a lot of time doing research in this phase. If you’ve done a good job during the awareness phase, the consumer will have your brand/product/service top of mind.
- Conversion – Users now have shortlisted your product during the research phase. The conversion phase is when they convert into a customer. This is also the phase where businesses see the biggest % of people drop off due to bad site optimization.
- Loyalty – They’ve purchased from you and they keep coming back. The loyalty phase of the marketing funnel can be equated to repeat engagement. A lot of big brands to very hard work in this stage of the marketing funnel. Getting money from an existing customer costs less than getting a brand new customer. Keep this in mind
- Advocacy – This phase of the marketing funnel only became apparent since the last 5 years or so. Advocacy means that your customers love you so much, they talk about you to others without you asking them. Customers who have experienced your brand in a positive manner will want to follow you on their preferred social platform. More than that, they’ll help amplify your content by sharing it – because they’re madly in love with you
So what the hell does this have to do with buying traffic?
Buying traffic can boost ALL phases of the marketing funnel and ultimately drive more people onto your social platforms. It plays in integral part of the overall media mix!
Reason #5: Rapid brand awareness
First off, what is brand awareness?
Wikipedia has this defined as, “the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular product.“
Let’s sum up the definition and then I’ll elaborate on why buying traffic solves branding issues.
a. get your brand recognized by potential customers
b. to the point where consumers start associating your brand with a certain product/service or experience.
a. Get your brand recognized by potential customers
Let’s see how many potential eyeballs you can get on your brand for let’s say, $10,000.
Avg cost per click benchmark: $1.20 (This is a calculated thumbsuck based on past experience)
Benchmark click through rate: 0.22% (taking the global average CTR according to DoubleClick)
Impressions generated: 3,333,200
Now assuming all your placements are above the fold on quality sites, I would assume that at least 30% of the impressions generated included people actually noticing (seeing) the ad, and therefore your brand.
That’s close to a million brand exposures. I can drill this down into unique views yada yada. The point I’m trying to get across here is that it can be powerful from a brand exposure point of view.
b. Consumers start associating your brand with a product or service
Another major benefit of buying media is that if you target the right message to the right audience repeatedly over a period of time, they will start associating your brand with that message.
If you really want to do this well, you’ll make sure that you advertise on industry related sites. It’s a powerful way to make consumers associate your brand with content they are already reading. Selling a tech product? Then make sure you talk to tech people in tech environment. Get the idea? Great!
Reason #6: Remarket to existing website visitors
Imagine being able to target specific ad messages to people who have visited your site before? Or how about people who was about to click that final “confirm order”‘ button but then left because of an stark interruption. Or what about the people who did order, and now you would like to make them aware of a new product range?
This is all possible with remarketing!
The way it works is as follows:
- You track your website visitors with a tracking code
- When they land on your website, they get added to your remarketing list and their browser gets tagged with a cookie.
- When they leave your website, you can later reach out to them with custom ad messages across the search and banner ad networks.
Remarketing is one of the most powerful ad executions you can do. You are talking to users who have already shown an interest in your product/service. If done right, this can bring back up to 10% of lost sales to your business!
Reason #7: You can calculate your ROI before investing
It’s very difficult to predict the amount of traffic you’re going to get from SEO and Social Media without having tons of existing data. If you don’t know how many visits you’re going to get, then it’s difficult to assess what your return on investment is going to be. I’m a numbers guy, and this is why I love buying traffic.
Here is an example of calculating ROI for a bought media campaign:
Sales price of item: $35
Required sales per month = 100
Return on Investment per sale required: $10
Max cost per sale allowed = $35 – $10 = $20
Total return on investment required: $10 x 100 = $1000
Max spend allowed: 100 x $25 = $2,500
Current product page conversion rate = 2.5%
Unique visits required to get 100 sales = 100/0.025 = 4000 unique visits
Add 25% buffer for repeat visitors and clicks on ads 4000 +25% = 5000 clicks
Max cost per click allowed: $2500 / 5000 = $0.50
The above tells me that if I want to sell 100 units via my website, I will have to buy 5000 clicks at $0.50 per click. The media buy will cost me $2500 total. If my website consistently converts around 2.5% of visitors into sales, then I can expect to spend a maximum of $25 on clicks to get one sale. If I sell each item for $35 and spend $25 to sell an item, I make $10 profit on each sale.
It’s simple maths. The fantastic thing about this is that when the results don’t show as expected, you can dissect the data to understand why and then change it up.
For some of you the above might not make all that much sense, so I’ve created a Google Doc for you that have the calculations built in. In the doc I highlight what variables you’re allowed to manipulate.
To get the doc, simply click this link, then go to “File –> Make a copy”. You need a Google account to do this. It will store a copy of the Google doc on your Google Drive.
Reason #8: Boost your email list count
In my opinion, building a database of customers and potential customers is the single most important thing a business needs to do from day 1. When I say database, I mean email list. Email is still king. Once you get someone into your email list you get to build a relationship with him/her which can eventually lead to profit.
From a bottom-line perspective it’s a pure profit generating tool because you can market to your audience over and over. You get several chances to convert someone into a customer and repeat customer.
Buying traffic can dramatically boost your list building effort. The same way you calculated the ‘sales’ volume in the previous tip, you can use the exact same method to work out what’s required for building your list.
Remember this: Regardless of the traffic source , if someone knows what to expect from being on your list and they sign up, they are hot prospects. One can’t discriminate against traffic channels when it comes to making money from your list. However, you can discriminate sources when it comes to getting people onto the list.
Reason #9: You can buy traffic across channels
The nice thing about bought media is that the majority of website/platform owners cannot survive without monetizing their sites in some form or another. Most of them do this by building some form of advertising technology into their sites which allows advertisers like you to tap into that.
You can tap into advertising opportunities within Social Media, Search, Publishers, Affiliate networks…heck even email ad networks exist!
This all boils down to getting your numbers in order and then testing the waters.
Reason #10: Highly scaleable
Once you find a formula that works for you, nothing is stopping you from rolling it out across more products. You can use one advertising network to do the bulk of your campaign testing and once it’s profitable you can replicate it on other ad networks.
There are also no budget restrictions. Once you’ve hit a positive ROI, the only thing you need to do is throw more money at your campaign to see more sales. As I said, it’s a numbers game.
Where to start?
If you’re new to all this, the last thing you want to do is start spending money across a bunch of networks.
Where’s the best place to start if you’re a complete newbie?
Answer = Facebook ads.
Why? Because the ad creator tool is very simple to use and the overall system relatively easy to grasp.
If you’re new to all this my recommendation is to start off with the ‘Clicks to Website‘ ad format.
Check out this post by Noah Kagan ex Facebook employee and founder of AppSumo, “How to spend your first $100 in Facebook Ads“. Noah’s company spends a considerable amount of money on FB ads so he knows a thing or two about starting off on the right foot.
For you to get the best return on money on your very first try, give my recommendation a try and check out Noah’s article. There’s also a really good article over at Technorati which highlights successful Facebook ads, but more importantly why they are successful.
Make sure you have a shit hot landing page where you capture people’s email addresses. You don’t just want to send people to a boring home page. Emails are worth gold so make sure you have the best chance of capturing them.
There’s far too much emphasis these days on earned marketing (content, seo, social). Bought media plays a key role in your overall marketing mix. If you’ve never used it to boost your sales or leads, then give it a go. You’ll soon realise why I’m such a big advocate for it and why other major players play in this space.
How has bought media worked for you? Share your experience below. I’d love to hear from you!