I think Stumbleupon has fantastic potential in its revenue generation the idea of sending users paid for targeted pages is probably one of the least intrusive methods of advertising about, most paid for stumbles are no more noticeable to the user then any other.
The pro’s and con’s of a stumble campaign
Stumbleupon provides lots of targeted users why would you therefore wish to pay for the privilege? The obvious is that you wish to have more visitors and don’t mind paying for additional viewers. Some other reasons might include;
- A slow stumble that you feel people are missing
- Unusual stumble
- Its so spammy no one want to stumble it (wouldn’t recommend this one)
- When the stumble was started it was in the wrong category sending inappropriate traffic
- You want to target specific stumblers by location or gender as well as interests
I’m sure you can come up with a few more reasons, their are some negatives to consider
- It costs no really I consider the spending of money a negative
- It may backfire a few stumblers have been known to thumb down advertisers specifically
- There is no guarantee of an increase in traffic (more on this later)
Again I can imagine you can find many more negatives if one thinks hard enough but lets suspend you critical thought and look at how the process works.
Stumbleupon Advertising 101
Step 1 – Choose thy content All the usual rules to great stumbling material here, so if it works on stumbleupon normally then it will work here. Of course you may be tempted to try something new with your “captured audience” just remember their is no minimum period of time they have to spend on your site you pay regardless of if they actual see any of your content.
Step 2 – Sign up Stumbleupon has made it extremely easy to start a campaign, simply visit “New campaign” add your URL and which Stumbleupon category you wish to target and hit create campaign now. Their are a few extra options, you can limit the maximum number of “sponsored” stumbles per day you receive (if you have selected more then one category then you can select a number for each). Additional options includes targeting by location, gender and age range (be careful with the last one users who do not include their age may be missed out by this targetting) Hitting create campaign, will take you to a page to create an account email and password, which must be confirmed once done you are taken to the campaign control panel.
Step 3 – Funding and Running a campaign Your first campaign is set up but needs funds to start running funds can be drawn from Paypal or a credit card, you don’t need to put much in for these posts I chose to create a fresh account and place just $10 in to show what happens. To add funds simply select choose the amount and click add funds to be zapped of to paypal. Once funds are in your account your campaign is active you can pause it at any time by clicking the little pause/play button next to the campaign name, which you can change by clicking the campaign which takes you to a more detailed screen allowing you to see how you are doing and make changes.
Step 4 – Reviewing data All good marketing campaigns should have a strong analytical basis and this is no exception obviously with inbound traffic we should be able to monitor them in our preferred stats package and stumbleupon provides some additional statistics like all things take each with a pinch of salt. A couple of useful features here is the that Stumbleupon gives percentages of votes cast both up and down which is probably its most valuable data and reason itself to use small Stumbleupon advertising campaigns to gather such unique data if it can be trusted. Some minor niggles and creases occur even in our small sample their were some major inconsistencies, We paid for Stumbleupon to deliver 200 visitors which according to their stats they duly did, the article used as an example had already been visited numerous times that day, being on sphinn the day before. Almost half the visitors being reported by stumbleupon failed to make it to the site their could be a number of reasons for this
- The server may have been down
- The stumbleupon toolbar pre-fetches sites if the bar had pre-fetched but the user had not visited deciding they had enough stumbling for one day it could result in a false positive
- The server logs may be wrong or miss configured
Again I can think of a dozen more but I do not feel worried, in much larger tests and in our day to day use I have never come across this much of difference.
Advertiser stumble votes?
One question to ask is how do advertiser votes count, if they give a thumb up does it indeed pass any more or less weight then normal. The answer would appear to be no, they are counted just the same but their vote is frozen and only applied after the sponsored stumbles for that day have been reached. The same with negative votes, this causes some unique issues which seems to mean that the natural stumbles can effectively stop during an advertiser stumble and may not restart.
How do we use Stumbleupon Advertiser feature
While I have no doubt Stumbleupon can drive huge amount of traffic to your site if you pay enough I am a cheap skate and prefer to limit the cost, we use Stumbleupon advertiser features to allow us to see more accurately if something is going to be hot, by using a small sample of 200 visitors we can quickly tell if it will take off or if we need to tweak the site. Therefore for us Stumbleupon advertiser feature is a statistical sampler, not only can we see more data but we can by using unique urls track users more efficiently.