How to Use Stumble Upon to Grow Your Business

Previously, in the second installment of our four-part series we discussed using Reddit as a way to grow your business’s online presence. There is a little bit of gamesmanship that Reddit requires, which some users feel is ultimately too much of a hurdle.  I am excited to talk with you about a powerful Reddit substitute:  Stumble Upon.This service is a powerful means of projecting your articles to a much larger audience than is normally possible using traditional marketing methods. Many online reviewers boast that it is perhaps the most effective online marketing method available, even surpassing both Facebook and Google advertisements in multiple rounds of cost/benefit analysis. Some of our users may be unfamiliar with Stumble Upon, which is why we must first explain what exactly Stumble Upon is and what it does.

What exactly is Stumble Upon?

In our complex and rich web 2.0 world there is presently a reasonable need to separate great content from the less than stellar stuff. There are different services that have had considerable success accomplishing this feat: Yelp for food, services and nightlife is the most salient example.  When it comes to internet content there are perhaps two really effective methods/services that can truly separate the mediocre from the sensational. These two services as was previously mentioned are Reddit and Stumble Upon.

They both work in similar fashions. Reddit as you may recollect is a democracy in which users vote for their favorite content, as a particular piece of content receives more votes, it will steadily move up the order. As it reaches higher in the standings it will be exposed to more and more people. Stumble Upon uses the same logic in that successful pieces of content will receive a thumbs up and those that have acquired the most approvals will be exposed more often in peoples’ Stumble Upon content streams. Although very similar they differ in one key way: while Reddit requires a form of subtle deception to overcome its overly-strict recommendation system, Stumble Upon actually provides a legitimate means to advertise.

How do you advertise on Stumble Upon?

Advertising on Stumble Upon is a relative easy and straight forward process. You must first create a Paid Discovery account.

Stumble Upon

Paid Discovery is arguably the most effective online marketing tool.

Once you have done so you will be presented with some pretty straight forward payment and ad structuring options. You are given a flat rate per click that begins at .10 cents and can establish a daily target for as little as a $1 a day -with a $10 minimum buy in. You are even able to target respective user groups with Paid Discovery’s targeting options. Price conscious advertisers can then measure the effectiveness of their campaigns using Stumble Upon’s robust data.

Stumble upon gives advertisers feedback on the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Stumble upon gives advertisers feedback on the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Data, is of course, subject to multiple interpretations. I will give you a rule of thumb that has helped me increase the effectiveness of my Stumble Upon campaigns: A campaign should always generate unpaid visits. These are visits that are a direct result of people liking the content that they are seeing! If you are able to get people to give a thumbs up to the content that they are seeing then it will invariably result in your receiving free viewings. In effect, these free viewings increase the likelihood of your getting underneath the standard .10 cents per click that Stumble Upon charges for advertising. You can see this effect in the George Strait music campaign, which is captured in the image above. In this example the effective click rate worked out to be about 7 cents. Nothing like getting a great bargain!

Why don’t I just apply the Reddit strategies you recommended to Stumble Upon?

There is a fine line between unethical “black hat” and ethical “white hat” SEO practices. Search Engine Optimization requires some serious commitments, which are greatly facilitated with the help of a proven professional. There are some serious repercussions to an undisciplined SEO strategy, which may even be irreversible. Reddit requires the gamble because it does not give any real viable options to users looking to introduce their content to others. Stumble Upon, however, does provide a mechanism to effectively and cheaply advertise. Attempting to game Stumble Upon will result in your having to rely on Reddit -which is akin to walking a tight rope- and/or Digg: which is on the decline. As always, we are curious to hear about your experiences, thoughts, and opinions regarding using Stumble Upon and its Paid Discovery service in our comments section below.