I’ve noticed some businesses and marketers have an aversion to paying for promotions online. While you should steer clear of certain tactics like paid links or paid blogging, white-hat paid tactics absolutely have their place in holistic online marketing.
They can help pour fuel on the embers your digital initiatives have lit and, executed properly, in time actually contribute to sustainable organic traffic building.
A few of the platforms I recommend testing:
1. Facebook ads
I’ve run Facebook ad campaigns for many companies and found them to be very effective time and time again. You can get as granular as you want (and I suggest you do) to target a specific target audience and promote either your own Facebook page to grow a following and nurture or send outside of Facebook.
For example, the below targeting shows a sample:
2. Reddit sponsored links
Reddit is without a doubt the web’s hottest social news community. Their tagline of “the voice of the internet – news before it happens” is bold, yet accurate. I frequently see content start at Reddit and perpetuate outwards across other social news sites/networks and even cable news shows and national newspapers. Advertising here is reaching one of the web’s most influential communities.
3. Google AdWords
I’m always shocked at the amount of companies who don’t use AdWords. If you optimize correctly it can fill a leads pipeline on-demand or basically mint money for e-commerce. AdWords in tandem with SEO is a smart play for any brand to dominate the SERPs. Yes, you should do both. Seek to drive cost down and conversions up, as shown in the below campaign sample:
4. StumbleUpon ads
StumbleUpon ads are one of the most cost effective ways to generate traffic, fast. At 5 cents a visitor you really can afford StumbleUpon ads no matter what your budget is. Of course, you’ll want to send them to the right content so it starts to spread organically as well (and ensure you are promoting creative stuff). I’ve used Stumble Ads to kick off new blogs and found it to be effective as part of a broader mix of tactics to build up organic momentum and a community.
PRWeb is a fantastic way for any business or PR/marketing agency to share news with the world. It’s a cost-effective alternative to the traditional wire services that charge larger amounts of money and still gets your content in front of journalists and influencers. PRWeb is better than free wire services because they actually push your news in front of people which is sort of the point of issuing news through a wire. Otherwise you might as well just publish it on your own site.
6. LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn is unique in its nature as a professional network. If you work with HR/corporate recruiters and are not at least testing advertising here you are not fishing where the fish are. But all B2B companies should at least test out LinkedIn ads pointing to compelling landing pages and see how they perform.
7. Twitter Ads
Twitter has recently opened their ad platform and they offer an array of different ways to promote your business or account on the network. If you’re looking to increase your community on Twitter it makes sense to try paid tactics as a way to grow your network through some push methods while in tandem doing so organically.
Why not create a matrix, test a mix of online promotions on different networks and see where you can prove a positive ROI?
With all these self-service systems anyone can get involved in paid online promotions. You don’t need a separate firm or team member to at least test these tactics – task your existing marketing and PR teams. No special skills required other than being a modern marketing professional.