Buying traffic is the way of the future, said Chris Tolles, CEO of Topix. For him, this stems from the fact that organic traffic has been dying a slow death due to Facebook and other similar sites. His arguments drew attention of many naysayers, whose ire is hardly mitigated by the fact that he earned $400,000 from a mere slideshow last year.
Therefore, thinking out-of-the-box paired with practice-what-you preach seems to be the way forward with finding adequate paid traffic sources in post-BuzzFeed age. Let us consider some of the often underutilized channels.
Paid Traffic Sources:
1. Paid Search – Going Down the Digital Silk Road
For starters, having access to emerging markets and its customers in Russia and Asia can be your marketing mother lode and a competitive edge.
Yandex is a multinational tech company managing the largest search engine in Russia, in which it owns about 65% market. It offers affordable quality traffic, easy-to-use interface and user friendly tools specialized for marketing purposes. One more thing – the competition is yet to discover its potential for diversifying your paid search resources (read more about google adwords alternatives you need to know).
Its Asian counterpart is Baidu, a major player in the Chinese search engine market. Its market share amounts to about 60%, making familiarization with its potential mandatory if one is to focus on the ever attractive market of the Asian economic behemoth. In case the potential language barriers give you cold feet, hiring agencies employing Baidu certified professionals are always available for help.
2. Hunting Lower Competition Sites - Way of Alexa
So, instead of going down the regional path, you want to stay on home turf and get some respite from the pesky competition breathing down your neck, and earn some money in the process. Considering that experts forecast that social network ad spending will reach $35.98 billion this year, the pot of gold is basically here for the taking and it is right under your nose. It comes in form of underutilized social networking sites that still generate enough traffic to be taken into consideration.
Image Credit: eMarketer
A textbook example for these could be LinkedIn and its LinkedIn Ads service. Despite the fact that it neither wants nor can compete with the powers that be, LinkedIn has its share of professional and (mostly) mature audience. Recently, it offered its Matched Audiences tool for ad targeting as its alternative to Facebook’s and Twitter’s approaches to B2B strategy. You can say that pricing will not satisfy everyone, but attractive targeting options are its main selling points.
Its slightly trickier cousin is Reddit, whose 174 million MAU users are often too picky when it comes to marketing resources you want them to consume. It can also be sparse on its metrics, thus necessitating careful research of the users’ needs and putting yourself in their shoes. This sort of action will have its reward in form of massive viral potential of Reddit and the fact that it is often overlooked in your competitor’s considerations.
Similarly, Quora occupies the 129th place on Alexa’s global ranking list. Therefore, in terms of popularity, this resource is a hidden gem for paid traffic exploitation. Compared to its predecessors, ‘Quora’ offers better quality content, attracting visitors of similar disposition. However, before putting links to whatever destination you need for traffic, a bit of research is necessary, similar to what is required for Reddit.
How can you add more criminally underrated sites for this purpose? The ever popular Alexa is your friend and mentor, as it allows for browsing sites by their categories and sub-categories instead of their rank. This means that you can narrow down your search only to what holds relevance for your business needs. Thus, you will come by sites that are perfect for marketing, yet remain left blissfully untrodden by the competition.
3. Smaller Footprint Makes for a Harder Catch
The same goes for other ad platforms that seek to at least emulate a portion of the success made by Outbrain.
In the field of CPC model, 7Search wants to differentiate itself by its affordable prices that balance against the slightly lower amount of traffic it offers.
Its competitor Advertise.com has over 10,000 clients from all over the web that constitute its publisher network. It promises to answer all of your business demands via various offered ad services ranging from display to remarketing ads.
A similar model is used by BuySellAds, a network that is connected to some of the bigger global web players.
On the other hand, the CPC model does not seem to impress DirectCPV much, as they offer Cost-Per-View as its asset, in addition to it being attractively priced in comparison to the competition.
4. Mobilize Your Business
All of this would come to nothing if you choose to ignore the fact that we live in the golden (or silicone) age of mobile devices. Advertisers need to see this ever growing disruptive pool as an endless and convenient source of traffic. Let us look at some expanding platforms that can effectively mobilize your marketing business:
InMobi offers access to about 1.5 billion devices, with 200 billion ad requests per month and 32000 apps. The traffic potential is huge and it offers variable tracking options. The company has recently decided to broaden its business portfolio with video advertising. Its competition comes in form ofAirPush, which offers various ad formats in form of abstract banners, HD video, landing page ads etc. It boasts itself on being a pioneer in the field of advertising in Virtual Reality which they see as a more efficient (read: lucrative) alternative to video advertising offered by the competition. It also plans to do away with competitors by means of its affordable pricing.
Millennial Media is owned by AOL and it functions as an RTB network focused on North America region. For a slightly upped price, it offers high quality traffic. Its 580 million global users can hardly be wrong, particularly if the price does not rank high on your list of priorities.
Finally, Go2Mobi is a platform offering quality targeting options and campaign optimization. In addition to attractive prices, its trump card is its convenient, ergonomic interface.
Final Thoughts about paid traffic sources
Not all paths lead to Google, Facebook, Bing and YouTube. For example, bidding on keywords on less popular advertising platforms can guarantee both better customer focus and more affordable rates. As we leave the age of clickbait, and other much maligned associations with paid traffic, reaching your target audience necessitates making yourself intentionally blind to some of obvious first choices and exploring less utilized paths to success.