As a startup marketer, exactly what channels do you exploit in order to increase traffic to your site?
If it does, that’s fine – they are all really important channels. Any marketer – startup or otherwise – should be including them in their strategy.
But they’re not the only channels which can be exploited to drive traffic. This really is something a lot of marketers seem to forget.
In short: it pays to think outside the box.
Here are 10 underutilized visitors sources that are perfect for startup company marketers.
1 . Reddit
Once you know how to play the game, Reddit can drive tons associated with visitors to your site. That makes sense once you learn this year the site has averaged one 7 billion unique web page views every day, and that subreddits (kind associated with like groups or forum boards) such as Data is Beautiful have more than 16 million members.
Sadly, Reddit cannot stand marketers . If they odor one, they will start searching – and if they’re right, you’re toast.
But don’t let that will discourage you.
Sure, the Reddit/marketer vendetta might make your job a little more taxing. But it doesn’t make it difficult.
The trick is to use Reddit not as a internet marketer, but as a Redditor.
That means using the web site as any other Redditor might. Share links that are suggests affiliated with your brand and take the time to contribute comments in order to existing threads.
Just join in the discussion.
“If you were to start promoting your web site on Reddit right now, you’d be likely to join the particular thousands of “Reddit Marketers” that get laughed off of the site. You see, the trick to Reddit marketing is, well, to not market.
Redditors aren’t big fans associated with self-promotion. In fact , there is a special fiery hatred within every single Redditors’ heart toward shameless self-promoters. ” – Travis Levell , Startup Bros
You goal is to build a pattern of normal use. You want to be indistinguishable from some other Reddit user.
The easiest way to do that is to quit thinking like a marketer whatsoever. Get involved in subreddits that truly interest you. That way your contributions will come naturally, and no one would guess that you have an ulterior motive.
Once you start to know your way around the site, you can begin to find yourself in subreddits that relate to your brand and the links you want to promote.
- Build both site-wide plus subreddit-specific histories before you posting any promotional content.
- Save only your very best content or links to get Reddit.
- Do not post links from your own domain too many times, or many times – this can flag junk e-mail filters.
Key takeaway: Generate traffic by sharing your best links on Reddit yet take steps to disguise your marketer status by first developing your profile organically.
2 . Email
There are many ways entrepreneurs can exploit email as being a traffic-generating device .
Email marketing could be the obvious one – as mentioned above, it’s one of the more commonly-used means of driving traffic. Unless you currently run an email marketing campaign, I encourage you to begin. It’s been shown time and again to be the best performing digital funnel in terms of ROI.
I’ve also found email signatures and autoresponders to be effective means of using email for traffic generation.
Email signatures are an great place to promote your digital activities. It’s natural, discreet, and once you’ve created the personal, entirely self-sufficient.
I tend to change mine pretty regularly, depending on the task (or projects) I’m focusing on at the time.
Here’s what it looks like right now:
And here’s an example of a previous signature:
Autoresponders – for those who don’t know – are emails that obtain fired off automatically within reply to anyone that emails a person. Do you set your “out of office” message when you go on vacation? Then you’ve used an autoresponder.
Autoresponders are handy small tools for when we’re too busy or preoccupied to get back to people right away. They allow us to manage expectations by letting individuals know they should expect the delay in getting a response. This means we can get on with the work (or whatever else we’re doing) free of interruptions.
They’re also perfect for marketing, including driving visitors your website.
I personally use them to do both.
I currently how to use autoresponder that lets individuals know I’m heads-down concentrating on ContentMarketer. io .
It serves both of the aforementioned reasons. It manages the goals of anyone that emails myself, and it drives traffic to ContentMarketer. io.
Also i use an autoresponder to reply to anyone that signs up to my newsletter. The focus of this is to generate visits to some of my best blog posts.
Key takeaway: Email marketing’s an obvious platform for traffic generation but you can leverage its strength further by utilizing your signature and an autoresponder.
3. The Virus-like Loop Referral
As you’ve probably suspected from the name, a viral loop referral is a type of referral scheme.
A referral scheme having a very interesting twist.
It’s designed to trigger a type of pyramid effect.
What this means is that if a business begins with one customer, and that customer refers 3 new customers, then each of all those refer three customers, the organization soon has 13 customers. If the cycle continues, the organization quickly has…. a lot of customers.
Dropbox has to be the best-known example of a successful viral cycle referral scheme.
“Dropbox is often cited as the canonical example of effective referral marketing.
Just as Shakespeare imitated their predecessors, Dropbox wasn’t really being original with its referral program.
In case you have been living in the darkish for the last nine years, Dropbox is a cloud storage supplier. It’s an excellent service, along with one small limitation: space for storage.
When you first create a Dropbox account, you’re given 2GB of space. If you want more, you have two choices:
- Spend to upgrade your account
- Refer new users
Customers that choose option 2 are granted an extra 500MB of space for each prosperous referral. They can keep referring people until they’ve guaranteed themselves an extra 16GB of free space. After that, they have to spend.
That means that to have the full 16GB of free space, users have to refer 32 new users.
Now, imagine if each of those also referred 32 users…
That adds up to a lot of users.
They won’t, of course. That’s just not reasonable. But if each Dropbox consumer refers just two people (bearing in mind that many will relate more) the viral cycle referral scheme is going to begin paying off.
Not to mention, it did. Supposedly Dropbox went through 100, 000 users to 4 mil in just 15 a few months .
Key takeaway: Maximize the influence of referrals with a structure that rewards customers, not for a single referral, yet each time they refer someone new.
4. Facebook Comments
When you think about Facebook pertaining to marketing, you probably think about Facebook business pages and Fb Ads.
That’s fine. Those are both great tools for businesses plus I’d generally encourage their own use.
However they aren’t the only ways you can capitalize on Facebook.
By commenting on content created by other pages, you are able to drive significant traffic to your own Facebook page, and in turn, your blog.
The trick is to find pages relevant to your industry that see a large amount of engagement, and to act fast. You need to be one of the first people to discuss a new story.
It’s also critical that your comment adds value.
Your goal would be to get as many likes in your comment as possible. Get enough, and it will become a “top remark. ”
When that happens, it will stick to the the top of post, where – when you have picked the right Facebook web page – it could be viewed simply by thousands upon thousands of people.
Take this publish on The New York Times (which, while we’re on the subject, is a pretty good place for many brands to post on account of the particular wide range of topics covered):
The top post boasts 444 likes and has triggered its dialogue, with 63 additional comments resulting from it.
Why? Because the comment adds value to the conversation. It also mirrors popular viewpoint, which in this context is pretty important. You’re looking to entice positive attention – not wind people up.
Of course , depending on the web page and the specific post, an area of light-hearted comic relief can net you corresponding effects.
Take spoof “news” site The Onion . Their particular top comments are almost always humor that play off of the content material of the original post.
Key takeaway: Drive traffic by commenting on new blogposts on popular Facebook pages. Remember to act fast – usually the “top comments” are some from the first to be posted.
Quora is, in its easiest form, a question-and-answer web site. Users ask questions, and other customers come along and provide answers.
It operates in the same way to Reddit in that you will get the most out of it if you take you a chance to act, and contribute, in the same way a genuine user would.
It’s also a comparable timesuck: you have been warned.
Unlike Reddit, you have to sign up to the site before you can begin viewing posts, which is a tad annoying. On the plus part, the Quora community isn’t quite as venomously anti-marketer as the community you’ll discover on Reddit.
Contribute with a quality answer, and you should never be ripped to pieces if you furthermore decide to include a link to extra relevant content of your own (“ shouldn’t ” being the operative term here – I can’t be held responsible if items pan out differently! ).
Like most “community” based traffic sources, you will get the most out of Quora if you take the time to write detailed, interesting, and useful posts.
This is because when people like your post, they may well “upvote” it. They might also discuss it. If your post drives enough engagement, it will become “stuck” at or near the top of the thread in question.
That’s pretty amazing, but it gets better.
Unlike other visitors sources we’ve discussed on here – Facebook feedback in particular – Quora strings, and your answers, tend to stay.
If somebody searches for a question that you’ve answered – a month, six months, even 2 years after you posted it – your answer may well pop up. Old threads can also resurface if they obtain new answers.
Take this post for instance . I found it at the front page of Quora, yet the second answer at the page is from 2012.
To get a feel to get what a “great” answer upon Quora tends to entail, simply start exploring the site. There are also an excellent (albeit outdated) Q& A here that details some of the most upvoted answers on the site.
Key takeaway: Use Quora in a similar manner to Reddit – mimic the routines of other users, and when a relevant topic comes along, drop within a link to your own site or even content.
six. Guest Posts
When some people write a guest post, their goal is to obtain a link. For me, it’s about so much more.
I write guest blogposts first and foremost because they help me construct my personal brand. I also write them because they’re an effective means of driving free, relevant traffic to my sites.
But guest publishing isn’t as simple as shooting off pitches to countless sites in the hopes that certain will stick. Will you obtain a few ‘yeses’ that way? Yeah, probably. But you’re not looking to write for any older site.
If you want traffic, you need standards. You need to write for sites that have a big audience. Huge, ideally. But that audience needs to be relevant, too.
It doesn’t matter if a site gets 1 million unique site visitors a day – if none of those visitors fit into your own target market, you’re not going to obtain results. Referral traffic for being minimal. Any traffic you need to do get won’t be relevant.
The same reasoning applies to highly-relevant sites with tiny audiences. You might fit right in, but if that site’s not getting any kind of traffic, how can you expect it to send any to you?
Pick websites based on their readership – both its size plus relation to your niche. Next, you need to win them over.
A few sites have guidelines to get potential guest bloggers. You’ll probably fare best if you follow them.
Many of the best sites, nevertheless , don’t advertise the fact that these people accept guest posts. That’s probably because as a general rule, these people don’t. But few websites won’t make an exception for the right post from the correct person.
Which means you have to ask.
Find the best person to contact. In case it’s a personal blog, that’s going to be its proprietor. If it’s a big site with many sections, you’ll most likely want to find the editor of the section you want to contribute to.
It can help to build links before you approach the topic of guest posting. Try commenting on your contact’s blog posts or approaching them on social media.
The biggest factor in your own success here, however (in my experience, at least), is the topic you strategy them with and whether or not you are able to demonstrate the skills to write an awesome post.
Site owners and bloggers want original, interesting topics. Or at least an original perspective on a not-so-original topic. Relevance to what they will cover is key, too.
They also want people who can write.
Don’t send the same article idea to each web site. You need to demonstrate that this article is simply for them . Take your time exploring potential topics so you can display genuine interest in and understanding of their area of expertise.
Don’t forget to provide links to examples of your writing, possibly.
And at all times, always proofread your emails. Carefully. Nothing will land you a firm “no” faster than the usual poorly-written outreach email.
Key takeaway: Guest content can drive tons of traffic to your site, but only if the website you write for includes a substantial audience and is pertinent to your niche.
A giveaway can generate masses of traffic to your site, plus quickly. It can also be a huge waste materials of money.
Everything depends on the type of competition you run and the prize a person give away.
If all you care about will be traffic, give away an iPhone, a holiday, or cold, hard cash. You will get tons of traffic, I actually promise. So much traffic that your servers will probably crash as well as your site will go down.
But that would suck, correct?
Sure it could.
But not just as much as wasting all that money on a prize that drove a bucket-load of useless, server-breaking traffic.
If you want to run an effective competition, you have to be picky about the prize a person give away. Choose something that only your potential target audience would be interested in.
This limits entries to people who also might actually care about what you do.
You also need to be cautious about the kind of competition you run.
A great way to boost visibility of your competition is to run it with another site or even publication. This means it gets promoted to their audience, that is great.
However, that also means that entrants will be able to enter the competition on that site.
Goodbye potential traffic.
Thankfully, there’s a means around this: require entrants in order to answer a question that requires a visit to your site in order to answer.
Avoid asking simple questions such as “When was our organization founded? ” You can wager that answer will find its way around the web. If that happens, few entrants will certainly bother visiting your site.
Goodbye potential traffic, again.
Rather, ask a question – or even better – set a task that makes visiting and exploring your blog unavoidable.
A good Ecommerce company might inquire entrants to create a “wishlist” of products they would buy if they had $500 to spend on the site.
If I did this particular, I might ask entrants to learn a specific post and describe what they would do in response to something covered.
For example , I could ask them to understand “ Growth Isn’t Everything: 7 Lessons Discovered from 5 Failed Companies , ” pick one case study, and describe what they would have done differently.
The general gist is to avoid competition questions with several choice answers. You need to obtain entrants thinking for them selves, and you need to make your website their source of inspiration.
Key takeaway: Maximize the impact of competitions simply by choosing a prize that pertains closely to your brand and exactly what you do, and avoid making access too easy. Set a task or question that forces entrants to visit and explore your site.
8. Automated Voicemails
An automatic voicemail operates in a similar fashion to some cold email. The difference, of course , is that instead of sending a message, you’re leaving a message within the recipient’s phone.
The practice is, supposedly, most commonly utilized by healthcare debt collectors, student loan services, plus financial institutions. But it has countless other applications, too.
You could use it in order to:
- Thank customers for their purchase
- Tell current clients about a new product they might be interested in
- Remind clients about an event or an appointment
- Follow up on the series of outreach emails
Whatever you make use of automated voicemails for, getting results from them involves causing the right message in the correct tone of voice. You want to sound genuine and friendly – nothing like a corporate robot, or even worse – an actual automatic robot.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: exactly what would you respond to?
Remember what the goal of your voicemail is: to get the receiver to visit your website. This means it’s important to give your web address out clearly and provide them with a reason to go to it.
Key takeaway: Automated marketing strategies (including voicemail) can be extremely effective – as long as you do not sound automated.
Videos can perform so much more than help create your YouTube following. Executed correctly, you can use them to tempt individuals away from YouTube (or whichever video-sharing site you choose to use) and onto your site.
- Videos that will answer common questions consumers ask about your industry can drive referral traffic in case you encourage viewers to learn more by visiting your site.
- Detailed product reviews or even demonstrations can drive conversion rates (on your website, naturally).
- Land an interview with someone respected in your industry, and not just can you get in front of their audience, but you’ll have a chance to convince that target audience to find out more about you by visiting your site.
“If you give a service or SaaS (software as a service), using video to describe a complicated process will be the perfect way to clearly describe it to consumers. Consider using an animated video or a whiteboard setup for optimum effectiveness. ” – Bubba Page , for Inc.
Of course , to maximize your referral traffic, you need to make it as easy as possible just for viewers to visit your site.
You can (and probably should) read your web address out loud in the video including a link to it in the description.
Better yet, you can include connected annotations from within the movies themselves.
Of course , Youtube . com isn’t the only service that can help you turn videos straight into web traffic. Vimeo, DailyMotion, plus Metacafe are all viable alternatives. I personally had a lot of luck with live-streaming service Periscope .
Key takeaway: Video marketing and advertising rocks, but if you want it to drive traffic to your site, you need to make getting there easy, and enticing, for your viewers.
10. Real Life
Oddly enough, probably the most effective means of driving on the web traffic exist offline.
Take flyering. It’s a form of marketing that’s been about since long before the web came along, but it’s easily modified for modern day marketing:
Just make your web address a feature of your flyers and give individuals a reason to go online and check out it. Better yet, slap a distinctive code onto the end of this URL and you’ll have the ability to track how much traffic your own flyers generate.
For me, though, the most effective way associated with driving web traffic in real life is simply by speaking to individuals.
Last year, I actually started speaking regularly with conferences. I always mention our site in my talks and include the URL in my slides. I also tend to wrap up simply by offering a freebie in return for an email address.
This generally results in 100-150 new addresses from excellent contacts (these are people I – hopefully – have made a genuine impact on, after all).
You will see the effect of this in Google Tendencies. Each time I speak in a conference, searches for my title increase.
Don’t forget about business cards, either. They’ve kind of fallen out of fashion in recent years, but they’re still crazy valuable. If you speak with someone and you hit it off (so to speak) a business card is a quick and easy way to make sure they remember you.
Key takeaway: Don’t be scared to drive online traffic, off-line. Get out there and start talking with people – just make sure they remember you and know where to locate you online (and why they should find you).
What other underutilized traffic sources are you currently taking advantage of? If it’s not mentioned above, it will be awesome if you’d set aside a second to leave a opinion about it below.
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