With Facebook/Insta prices shooting up, and the Holiday season just around the corner… I thought you might want a refresher on alternatives to paid traffic.
Just to clarify - nothing is free. You’re just shifting from paying cash to paying with clever and hustle. But hey, that’s startup life, right?
No magic bullets, of course! But here's where I've seen a bit of short-term leverage for companies:
Targeting - Usually lots of room to improve here. Go back to your audience research and find long-tail interests, use those topics to uncover highly relevant but lower intent Adwords that your competitors aren’t looking at, plus niche interest audiences on Facebook/Insta.
Creative - Work with a good short-form direct-response copywriter. Go back to your audience research and test lots of different propositions (most products have more than one!)
Conversion - Since these are auction-based systems, everyone pays the same for traffic, and you win by improving your conversion post-click. Here are two great Conversion Optimisation videos from my co-founder Nopadon:
Your List - If you have a database of prospects, start warming them up now with high quality content, build anticipation and get your engagement rates up before the holidays.
For 2022, start thinking about one big scalable channel you can add, one with good unit economics that makes sense for your business. Here are 5 ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Referrals - Do you have a lot of happy customers? Want them to recommend you to friends? Try offering something besides cash…. Something that makes the offering more valuable for both referrer and referee. Or (D2C) bring them into your community with a brand advocacy programme.)
Dark Social - (Pairs well with referrals.) These days, a lot of information gets shared in group chats (e.g. Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram, Discord) and on forums. I’ve seen groups for everything you can imagine… First, ask your happy customers if they are members of any active chat groups or email lists. Then see if they’d be comfortable promoting your offer. (Or see if they take paid sponsorships)
Partners - Is your offering naturally downstream of or complementary to another service? (e.g. PayPal gets lots of ecommerce customers from Shopify). Again, talk to your customers and see where you fit in their “ecosystem” to get ideas for partners to approach. (What did they do before they found you? What products or services do they use concurrently with you?) Pick a few and reach out! (Try smaller ones at first — more nimble).
SEO - Definitely not a quick win, but… If people are actually searching fo you can get enough quality backlinks to rank and your business lends itself to “long tail” searches… (e.g. Grammarly has pages for common grammar questions, ClickMechanic has prices of common car parts and repairs). Here’s a great case study from Canva.
Influencers - This is not just for fashion & fitness. You’ll find micro-influencers (Podcasts, newsletters, bloggers, Twitter, Insta, Tiktok, Facebook) in every category, including many in B2B. (Here’s one just for IT Managers). Start by talking to your customers (of course) and ask who they listen to, trust, and follow? Then find a few that seem like a good fit and reach out! Try a few smaller ones at first (circa 10K followers) to see how it goes.
Okay, good luck with the rest of Q4! Don't overspend (on presents or leads).