The beauty of Internet marketing comes in the fact that you’re never tied down to a single source of revenue.
With so many potential options when it comes to putting your product out there, there’s no need to restrict yourself.
By exploring these eight traffic sources, you can expand your bottom line and make sure you’re making the most of your marketing dollars.
Businesses have options galore when it comes to building their sales funnels online.
This begs the question: why do some marketers get caught up on establishing a sole stream of revenue?
It’s definitely a thought worth pondering, especially since establishing multiple revenue streams is all the rage for modern online businesses.
But before we get into the different web traffic sources, let’s talk about traffic itself and its role in a company’s online success and how it influences how you build your funnel.
Why is Traffic So Important?
Traffic is essentially the number of visitors to your website. Simply put, the more visitors that come to your site, the more possible customers you have. It’s true that not all of them will convert, but having more visitors means having a bigger pool to draw from.
But bringing traffic to your site isn’t just about the numbers, it’s about the quality. You want valuable traffic, not just any old traffic. We’re talking the type of traffic more likely to convert.
Paid traffic is that traffic that you paid for to come to your site. This usually comes from display ads, sponsored content, social media ads, or paid search like Google AdWords. Organic traffic, on the other hand, is usually a result of unpaid search results, like someone looking for a product or solution in a search engine like Google.
Both types can be valuable forms of traffic. Funnels can benefit greatly from them. Organic traffic is often more cost-effective while the results of paid traffic are usually more immediate.
Driving Traffic to Your Sales Funnel
Once traffic is on your site, you need to know how to get them into your sales funnel. That comes down to how your landing page is designed.
Much of the success in this effort comes from managing expectations. If the ad that brings a visitor to your page promises a discount, the landing page should feature that discount.
Failing to meet the expectations you set often creates confusion and will drive visitors away from your website. If visitors know exactly what they’re getting from you before reaching your page, they’ll more likely enter you sales funnel and continue their journey.
Now that you know a bit more about traffic, it’s time to look at the many traffic sources for websites. Perhaps companies are hesitant to diversify because it just sounds too good to be true; however, the following means of building your sales funnel are tried and tested, with real potential to jive with just about any product or service online.
1. Email Lists
The mumblings of the Internet marketing rumor mill might lead you to believe email marketing is dead. False.
Internet marketing is very much alive and kicking, especially in a mobile marketplace where users are glued to smartphones.
We live in a world of notifications and alerts, in which sitting quite literally in the pockets of our users has never been easier.
Building an email list is a proven means of establishing a dedicated base of buyers.
Let’s take some modern email marketing statistics into consideration, including the fact that…
- 33% of emails are opened on iPhones; Meanwhile, 75% of Gmail accounts (totally over 900 million users) regularly access their email via mobile. The myth that “nobody uses email anymore” is absolutely absurd, especially when mobile users are so hungry for new messages.
- Over one-quarter of all Black Friday transactions in 2015 were kindled through email marketing. In other words, email appeals to a variety of buyers and users and no single, solitary demographic.
- Approximately 90% of marketers claim that email was their main means of generating leads. Who said email marketing was dead, again?
In short, the concept of email marketing representing spam is bogus, especially if you’re the one getting users into your own funnel.
Don’t stress about “spamming” your base; instead, focus on providing them with legitimate products and content that meet their particular needs.
The sales will come naturally.
2. Facebook Ads
Image Source: Aerotech Digital Marketing
The unlikely success of Facebook has proven inspirational for Internet marketers and users alike. Mark Zuckerberg’s wildly successful social network boasts over one billion daily active users and has become a cornerstone of the modern web.
Given the site’s reputation and reach, it should come as no surprise that Facebook sports a robust advertising system for businesses.
Due to the massive nature of Facebook, their ad system has to be laser-focused and targeted for small businesses looking to convert sales from the platform’s massive user base.
Considering that Facebook ad convert approximately 25% of social media referrals versus platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube, such ads have become to the go-to for marketers looking to break through the often tumultuous social media ad-space.
Much like brands such as Amazon or Apple, Facebook has become a trustworthy, household name.
By hosting ads on their platform, you establish yourself as a likewise trusted brand. With their flexible budget and numerous, high-performing call-to-action options, there’s no reason not to get your feet wet with Facebook’s platform.
3. Google Ads
Image Source: Purple Digital Marketing
With over $50 billion (yes, billion) in global net ad revenue last year, it’s clear to see why Google ads have been the bread and butter of marketers for quite some time.
Many businesses are wary of entering the world of paid search due to the risk-reward balancing act involved.
Considering the astronomically high click-through rates of ads in the top Google position, however, we can understand why perhaps it’s a more than worthy investment.
True, there is some risk involved due to the potentially high cost of keywords (depending on your industry).
However, consider some of the benefits of delving into Google’s ad platform, including:
Gaining a Better Understanding of Your Competitors – Targeting keywords can be a difficult, laborious process; however, it’s absolutely crucial for a successful SEO strategy. Getting your feet wet with Google Ads can help you better understand what your competitors are targeting and lead you into finding your niche, or better yet…
Understanding the Keywords You Can Dominate – “Niche” is, after all, the name of the game for many of today’s marketers and business. Which niche do you have the potential to dominate? What keywords belong to your business? Through AdWords, you can better understand not only where you stand versus your competitors, but which keywords convert and ultimately…
Test the Merits of Your Site and its Product – Are you getting clicks? Are those clicks converting into sales? The traffic obtained from Google ads is perhaps one of the best means of testing your site regarding user behavior and how your site’s content plays a role in the buying process. Google ads are a great way to find out what’s influencing your users and to A/B test means of improving sales through your site in the future.
4. Instagram Ads
Image Source: Instagram for Business
Instagram is one of the younger guns regarding social media ad space; however, it’s 400 million active users and 40 billion photos shared to date perhaps speak for themselves.
When we think of Instagram, we perhaps think of celebrity images and viral photos, ignoring the ad potential projected to grow to approximately $2.81 billion by next year.
As more and more businesses hop onto Instagram, noted to be one of the fastest growing platforms for SMBs, you might ask whether it’s not worth taking the leap as well.
With a similar CTR and CPM as Facebook (who own Instagram, by the way), coupled with the revenue above of the platform, Instagram may offer a snapshot into the future of photo marketers looking to engage users on a more visual level.
5. Solo Ads
Image Source: Precise Strategy
Although perhaps not as “sexy” as your Facebook or Instagram ads, solo ads represent a numbers game which can provide big returns if executed properly.
In the same wheelhouse as email lists, solo ads allow you to blast a single offer to an opted-in email list.
Since the list is opt-in only, there’s less concern for being perceived as spam (assuming that the company providing the list is reputable).
When it comes to solo ads, we’re primarily playing with click-through rates and conversions.
For this reason, before considering a solo ad one should ensure that…
- The company selling the ad has a track record regarding their list and click-through rates (check ratings, reviews, and testimonials)
- The product of service being offered through the solo ad stresses urgency (one-time deal, strong call to action, time-sensitive offers)
- Strong marketing copy, both regarding subject line and the email copy itself (keep it short and sweet, include a compelling call to action alongside a trackable email link)
Perhaps the road less traveled these days, solo ads can be powerful tools for generating new leads.
Much of your success, however, depends on your own research, effort, and execution.
While radio advertising is dead in the water for most modern industries, podcasts remain a viable advertising option for those looking to build their sales funnel.
With 20% of Americans listening to at least one podcast per month and 63% of those users purchasing something a host promoted on the show, podcast advertising provides a truly unique opportunity for brands looking to break through to more buyers.
The key for successful podcast advertising is, yet again, understanding your product, its niche and the buyers within that niche.
For example, it wouldn’t make much sense for a website selling organic cloth diapers to advertise on a podcast for motorcycle enthusiasts (nor would it make sure to sell Harley Davidsons on a parenting podcast).
If you can find the right fit within your industry, advertising on a podcast can not only drive sales but also build your brand in the eyes (or ears, rather) of curious new buyers.
Advertising on a blog may seem like a no-brainer; however, some marketers may cling to one method rather than explore what blogging has to offer.
For many marketers, seeing the ROI of blogging and subsequent content creation is often the hang-up.
How do I know this is going to work? How do I know it’s going to result in sales?
Guest blogging (along with other means advertising of blogs, including paid ads) is not just a way to get your product in front of more eyes.
It’s a means of building your brand, appearing like an authority and, this is perhaps the hidden gem, building backlinks to drive future traffic to your site.
Seeking out blogs which operate within your niche might very well be the secret weapon of the modern marketer.
Is a blog creating content surrounding your niche or product? Are their users hungry for more?
Blogger outreach is more than likely worth your time and attention.
8. Banner Ads
Image Source: Pinterest
Last but not least, let’s talk about banner ads.
We could discuss ad-nauseum the phenomenon of ad blindness and question whether or not such advertising is worth it; however, let’s consider instead the reasons why people don’t click on banner ads.
Such reasons include the ad representing a distraction (annoying pop-ups), providing irrelevant content or appearing just plain spammy.
The solution, then, is to provide creative ads which provide legitimate value to users.
Perhaps what’s more important than the ads themselves is the format.
That is, where they are placed, how they appear and whether or not they are targeting the right users.
Are your ads professionally designed?
Are you offering a legitimate product or deal that can help your users? Are your ads in the right place?
Banner ads do have a place in the modern marketing world, granted they are utilized correctly. Build banners that spark interest and drive users to buy rather than spam that scares buyers away. If you follow such principles, clicks will come your way.
The Bottom Line
The possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to bringing streams into your sales funnel.
By breaking the dam and establishing new streams for users, you increase your chances of sales while also establishing your brand online.
Which of the above website traffic sources do you think has the most potential for the modern business?