SalesBlend conducted a ~$100 paid StumbleUpon experiment to help determine the effectiveness of StumbleUpon’s advertising system known as “Paid Discovery“.
According to StumbleUpon, Paid Discovery is innovative because it allows businesses to reach their target audiences while they are in the mindset of “discovery.”
StumbleUpon states that this works best when businesses offer something of value to users and present it in an entertaining or informative way.
To test the Paid Discovery system, SalesBlend used the following blog post on SalesBlend.com: How To Get More And Better Yelp Reviews. The post is more informative than entertaining which we felt would be appropriate for the business people we planned to reach.
We selected the Paid Discovery’s “Standard” pricing level, which is currently $0.10 per visitor. We also employed StumbleUpon’s best practices to guide the campaign.
SalesBlend hypothesized that use of the Paid Discovery ad system would result in targeted traffic. However, because the users who access the blog post are in the “discovery” phase, we hypothesized that 1000 visitors ($100 x $0.10 per visitor) would not be enough to assume any would contact us for a consultation. Instead, we predicted that 2 percent of visitors would either share the post or convert by signing up for our email newsletter.
To begin our paid StumbleUpon experiment, we purchased 300 impressions (by setting the maximum daily budget to $30). We chose a broad set of six interest areas to help us gather data to determine which single interest area to focus on.
Our initial six interest areas included the following:
- consumer info
We also targeted our impressions based on the following characteristics:
- U.S. users only
- Males and females age 24 and older
- Desktop browsers only
After several days of utilizing this approach, we used our StumbleUpon data and Google Analytics to determine which interest area received the best response. The business interest area received the highest campaign score so we targeted that area for the rest of the experiment, which was in line with StumbleUpon’s advice.
Through this experiment, we hoped to answer the following questions:
- Is our campaign targeting the correct interest area?
- Do we need to improve our content?
- Do Stumblers like the type of content we are presenting?
- Are Stumblers the type of site visitors who eventually make purchases, or are they just surfers?
- Did we capture any new fans, email addresses or blog subscribers because of our use of Paid Discovery?
- How effective is Paid Discovery for site promotion and sales?
Paid StumbleUpon – Lessons Learned
We would like to continue this experiment with a shorter, visual content piece that elicits more positive emotions. Perhaps an infographic or shorter blog post with more inspiring pictures.
We know that content which provokes positive emotions gets shared more than content which provokes negative emotions. Perhaps the blog’s discussion of Yelp was deactivating if it conjured up memories of dealing with mean customers or created anxiety about having to manage business reputations online.
Based on the average time spent on the page (00:36), we concluded that How To Get More And Better Yelp Reviews was quickly skimmed, on average. At nearly 1500 words, the blog may have been too long for those surfing in the mindset of discovery, in spite of their interest in business.
Although we did gain two email sign ups for a free subscription to SalesBlend Insider from this, 0.2% of visitors was lower than we had hoped.
All told, $105.50 financed an interesting experiment which has helped prepare us, and hopefully you, for future success with Paid Discovery.
What type of content would you try promoting through Paid Discovery? Please let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please subscribe to our e-mail newsletter!