In the internet world you have the big players like those in the graphic below and you have the small people’s like us. Getting any kind of recognition can be very daunting task to say the least.
Granted, these now mega corporations were not always so mega. A quick look at the website web archive, shows some surprising results of what a web site used to look like. So how did these sites gain such popularity?
It was a combination of luck and marketing.
You see, when these now mega sites first started, the internet itself was just starting or entering into a “coming of age” phase. Any and everything that had the word “internet” attached to it was a this glamours-glorious thing that nobody really knew anything about, much less have any access to.
As the personal computer started to enter into a market where there was interest and a thirst to get on this new thing called the internet, slowly and surely, people were buying these very expensive machines, bring them home, connecting a modem to it and getting on a very rudimentary internet.
As time sped forward, more and more companies – now mega corporations – were taking notice, buying hardware, programmers and setting up small data centers to display there new web sites in hopes that people would come to visit. You must also keep in mind, the internet was very, very slow! A simple web page could take several minutes to load.
Entering into current times, the keyword for being on the internet is “marketing,” but even that presents a unique set of challenges to large and small web sites. Marketing has been around since the beginning of time in some form or another and has always presented the challenge of “how do I sell to a prospective customer?”
With that in mind, “selling” something to someone else could be anything from snake-oil in the 1920’s and 1930’s, to an Apple Watch, to flowers grown in your own garden, or even selling your own services, the challenge remains the same. How to get someone to buy whatever it is that you are selling.
In today’s highly competitive markets where we have instant everything, the challenge is more so than ever imagined in the past.
Enter a new enterprise: Marketing experts.
These sometimes mega corporations in and of themselves is a whole new industry geared solely toward the internet. After all, it is almost impossible to break into a market when you have instant everything.
For anybody that has started a YouTube channel, TikTok, Instagram, or tried to advertise on Google, Facebook, etc, knows, it’s a tough sell trying to get your name, brand or any kind of brand recognition out to the masses, much less trying to see any kind of Return On Investment (ROI) within the first year or two.
Increasing the challenge is that you have Instagram models flaunting their stuff, major movie stars, whatever the popular music band is for this or that time period also posting on these social media web sites. Even bigger challenge in today’s internet is that the average persons attention span is extremely short, hence why Twitter and TikTok took off like wildfire. A few words or 20 seconds of video and the person has moved on to whatever else has got their attention.
For web site blog’s like this one and so many others, this presents an even further challenge as people will have to spend more than two-five minutes to read an article and if there is something that catches their eye that they might want to discuss, then there is another two-five minutes needed to fill out the form at the bottom of an article.
So how do you grow a YouTube channel or blog?
Well. If you are wealthy, you could hire a marketing company to create a campaign and handle the distribution to mass media or you could hire a move star to tell the population that they need to visit your site or buy whatever it is that you are selling, but if you are not wealthy, you turn to a smaller marking company that will drive traffic to your site, whether it be YouTube or a blog.
With this in mind, lets take a look at some of the ways to get people to come visit you and some of the pitfalls that could cause you a lot of headache to watch out for.
1 – Advertise. This one is so obvious, of course. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people is the end goal. Just keep in mind that each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card. If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategies. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce and expensive, but with careful planning, the payoffs can be worth it.
2 – Get social. It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it. You are going to have to be constantly proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and. If you’re a business-to-customer company, you might find you ideal niche with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
3 – Invite others to guest blog or create short videos to post on YouTube. Guesting is a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other blogs or YouTube, invite people in your niche to blog or short videos to post on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article or video, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post good quality, original content without spammy links, because Google’s search engine is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.
4 – Interview industry thought leaders. Think interviews are only for the big leaguers? You’d be amazed how many people will be willing to talk to you if you just ask them. Send out emails requesting an interview to thought leaders in your industry, and publish the interviews on your blog. Not only will the name recognition boost your credibility and increase traffic to your website, the interviewee will probably share the content too, further expanding its reach.
5 – Don’t neglect email marketing. So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Word to the wise. Do n0t bombard people with relentless emails. It’s guaranteed that your email will end up being tossed in the proverbial round file (trash can) or worse yet, get your email server or service black listed, leading to months of headache. An occasional email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic.
6 – Foster a sense of community. People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community to ensure that minimum standards of decorum are met.
7 – Make yourself heard in comment sections. You probably visit a few sites that are relevant to your blog or YouTube channel on a regular basis, so why not join the conversation? Commenting doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate boost of referral traffic right away, but making a name for yourself by providing insightful, thought-provoking comments on industry blogs and sites is a great way to get your name out there, which can subsequently result in driving more traffic to your own site. Just remember that, as with guest posting, good composition and grammar is key.
8 – Submit your content to aggregator web sites. As mentioned above, don’t spam Reddit and other similar sites hoping to drive referral traffic, because it could easily turn against you. Members of communities like Reddit are extraordinarily savvy to spam disguised as legitimate links, but every now and again, it doesn’t hurt to submit a link that these audiences will find interesting or useful.
9 – Last, but not least. Buy traffic. There are a plethora of web sites out there that will promise to send “quality” traffic to your web site or YouTube channel. Be very leery and be very careful about who you choose to get this service through. The main concern here is that while these site will send traffic to your site of YouTube, the majority of the time, it’s “junk” traffic, meaning that the traffic will come come a multitude of different IP addresses, but the traffic is comprised of “one hit wonders,” meaning that each IP address makes a very quick hit lasting only a microsecond and then it’s gone.
In today’s internet world, web site operators/owners are a lot more savvy than in the past and know that junk traffic is just that. Junk. It serves no purpose and will do you more harm than good for the following reasons:
1 – Search engines know what junk traffic looks like and will downgrade your rating as a web site. If you are on YouTube, then chances are, Google will want to have a word with you about their terms of service.
2 – Hosting companies and the data centers that they are housed in also know what junk traffic looks like. The main issue you are going to face is that the vast majority of those thousands of servers you see in a data center are being very closely monitored by automation and by humans around the clock. If you send a ton of junk traffic, the automation is going to perceive that traffic as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
attack and will quickly (within milliseconds) re-route all traffic destined to your server to a “null” point and possibly shut down your server till you contact them to explain yourself.
Hopefully, I’ve been able to shed some light and give you some ideas about marketing for your web site or YouTube channel.