What’s Better – Free or Paid Traffic?

[00:00:02] Hi it’s Cassie from Modern Marketing Spark. Today we’re going to talk about what’s better free or paid traffic. So just before we jump in just wanted to talk about what is traffic. Now if you’ve got a Web site or a blog or any sort of offers or program that you’re offering online, you need traffic and traffic is visitors or people but it’s visitors coming to your Web site or offers or blog. So when we talk about traffic that’s what I’m really talking about. And there’s four types of traffic there’s free traffic there’s paid traffic, there’s joint venture traffic which is when I might mail my list for you. You made your lists for me and we’ve got a partnership going on we market for each other. There’s also referral traffic. Now that’s when an influence might endorse you or you might get traffic from people referring you. So what I really want to focus on in this livestream today is free vs. paid. In a minute we’ll be talking about free traffic. When I say free that’s self generated content, content that you’re creating. So what types of things might that be. Well for example free content can be anything from a Facebook post, tweets, It could be a blog post. It can be e-mails even that you’re sending out. Is anything that you’re doing that’s creating content that’s driving traffic to your website, your offers or your blog. Other types of free content and actually this is something I shared recently. I was away with my son in the summer and totally neglected my YouTube channel. And yes I’m completely human! So I shared a story that I was away in the summer and I neglected my YouTube channel. But when I was back in September to have a look and see what was going on I was absolutely amazed that I’ve had over 40000 views on my YouTube channel and that’s over I think about 100 videos. I haven’t got a massive subscriber base on YouTube but I’ve got traffic coming from those videos and that’s one of the big pluses of free content. I’m talking about the pros and cons and that’s one of the big pluses if you create your own content and use a free content strategy. It has got longevity. So you can create a piece of content a Facebook post or a blog post or a YouTube video for example and share it and that content this pretty much online forever. So even though I haven’t updated my YouTube channel for a long time I was still getting traffic coming through from those videos and they were all keyword based video. So when you writing a blog post or making a video or creating any sort of content. Keep in mind that this content might not get an instant reaction but it’s going to get long term benefit from that piece of content. So what are the other benefits of free. Content Strategy of free traffic. So first of all you’ve got longevity that the content you create are going to last for a long long time. [3:17.4]

[00:03:19] For example I’ve been blogging for four and a half years and some blog post become some of your biggest traffic drivers. For me it tends to be the “how to” do this and how to do that type of blog post. But even a blog post from two years ago is evergreen they’re still driving traffic and I haven’t paid any money for that. I haven’t had to do any work on it. I created that content two years ago or a year ago whatever it might be. Put it on my blog. Put the right keywords in and optimize for search engine optimization and boom the traffic keeps coming through at no cost. How amazing is that. Some of the great things is you don’t need any particular training to write a blog post or Facebook post or to put content together it’s relatively easy to get started. On the minus side what are the cons of the free content strategy. Well one is that it’s very slow so you can be blogging for a long time before you see any results. And I remember I used to do a lot of training on building an email list and writing newsletters and I used to say to people you’ve got to be prepared to blog or to send out newsletters sometimes for up to two years to really get that sort of self perpetuating model of using the free strategies it can take a long time to build up. Maybe doesn’t take two years but it takes a long time to build up. [1:32.0]

[00:04:51] You got to be prepared to be sharing content for the long term to be really established and to get that momentum and so to get to the point where you’ve got a big enough following and enough engagement and traction. To really get the benefit from that so it can be a long slow burn. It’s also hard to scale with free traffic. So unless you want to be blogging every day and making a video every day it’s quite hard to scale you know you’ve got a limit to how much content you can create and how much you feel you can share with your audience. So you have got that limit. And it’s harder to test with free content so if we go to talk about paid content. Now if you’re running Facebook ads for example you can really easily. Test out different ads so within 24 hours of running a Facebook ad I can see which image is performing better A or B. I can see which targeting is performing better A or B. And I can test different headlines A or B So within 24 48 hours of running a Facebook ad I or I already know which image to use which headline to use and I’ve tested out my audiences so I’ve got all those three things down within a day or so if I was doing the same testing with a blog post or a video on YouTube for free. It would take a really long time to get those same results. So pay traffic. Yes. You have to pay but it’s very fast and it’s measurable. [1:33.6]

[00:06:25] So if I spend a hundred dollars on Facebook ads I can see how much I’ve got back at the end of it with the content strategy. I could write 10 blog post and make 10 videos very very hard to quantify and say okay I’ve made those 10 videos and written those 10 blog posts. This is how many sales I’ve got from it really really hard to quantify but with the Facebook advertising with the pay traffic you can say I spent X and I made why. And then you can quickly see whether it’s worth spending X to get it wrong wise be the next then you’re making money you can scale up so you can scale up with pay traffic. If one you when you found the ads that work then it’s very easy to scale up and say Right I’ve spent 100 dollars on it made 400. Now I’m going to spend a thousand and make 4000. So you can do that scaling very very easy so it’s very easy to test very easy to measure. One of the downsides of paid strategy you’ve got to have a budget. You’ve got to spend the money to do the testing to then see what you’re going to get back in terms of sales. But I would say I’m a big fan of Facebook as you probably know. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do that testing so start with a small budget. Find out what works and then you can scale up see that’s something that you can’t do with a free strategy. [1:24.9]

[00:07:52] Okay so what I tend to say and this is something you can you can have a think about this for your own business tends to be that smaller businesses and start ups businesses that are getting established tend to start with a free strategy. So they might start by blogging or writing you know building up a Facebook page and sharing post and sharing Facebook groups. And as this this grows they tend to move towards paid advertising and you definitely do need to have a budget obviously for for paid advertising even if it’s a small budget. You need to have a budget so you might want to think to yourself Where am I at in my business. You have been creating over content. What return Am I getting from that and would I be better off now going to a paid strategy and how much can I spend and how much am I willing to invest to test out my strategies. The question to ask yourself if you’re looking at a paid strategy looking at for example Facebook advertising it’s not how much does it cost. So you shouldn’t just think oh how much is it going to cost me to run the ads. The question to ask is how much can I make. So a very different mindset. Let me illustrate with another story: I went to see a client a while ago we were running their Facebook cards for them and went see the client and they only spent about three hundred dollars. It was a really really small budget accounts for a month’s advertising and so we put a system in place. [1:30.4]

[00:09:23] Were running ads for them doing lots of testing and went in to see the client and she said to me “I don’t think we can continue I just can’t invest this sort of money. So I said Okay that’s absolutely fine but let’s have a look and see what have we. What has this three hundred dollars generated for you. So we went through and actually was a franchise type system so we couldn’t have access the results we had a look in her system. She showed me the database. We went through the numbers together and what she found out was that the ads generated a certain number of leads certain number of inquiries and we only looked at those 30 days that the ads running we didn’t look at the ripple effect afterwards. But what she calculated from from those 30 days was as a direct result of the ads that we’d run three hundred dollars worth of ads that actually brought in five thousand dollars worth of new business. So all of a sudden her mindset changed. I can’t spend three hundred dollars a month on Facebook ads which show they were running ads in the local newspapers and doing some banners and signage and things so to then the three hundred dollar thing like a lot. That’s where her mindset changed from actually thinking oh I don’t want to spend 300 dollars to actually saying we’ve we’ve generated five thousand dollars worth of brand new business. And actually it would have been more than that over time because even though we switch the ads we didn’t we scale them up but even though the ads let’s say we switch them often after the 30 days. [1:34.9]

[00:11:00] There still is a ripple effect of people seeing them in book you know make inquiries and booking in to get their car serviced. So three hundred dollar spend five thousand dollar return who would be happy with that. Yeah. I think most of us would be we’d be happy with that. So you do have to think differently you have to have a different mindset you’re running paid advertising. I know with free content that it is going to take a long time and there’s no right or wrong you don’t have to say when adjusted free. I’m just going to if you paid you can use a mixture of both. [34.1]

[00:11:34] I sought to ask answer a question and I think it was Natalie Brannigan again last question in the modern marketing club. This one is want to address that before we close and if you have any questions post them in the comments even if you’re watching a replay can post questions and comments on our tag me and I’ll come and answer them in a modern marketing club. The question was about boosting posts. Now generally I advise against boosting post and I’ll tell you why because when you’ve got a post in Facebook can you pay to boost that post what Facebook does is it goes and finds. People that are online at the time you’re pressing the Bruce post button to come in like your own post. So it’s not the best targeting it’s very much who’s available now. It’s the quickest easiest way for Facebook to get that traffic to you. Always the best quality traffic. [53.6]

[00:12:28] But having said that there are there is there are a couple of occasions when I do recommend using a boost post. We do this ourselves sometimes and that is if you want to run a. You want to run an engagement ad on a page post so if you got a post that you want to effectively you want to boost what you can do is use the boost post to get the engagement up on that particular post and then run add to it because what happens is when Facebook sees you got an ad that’s already got social proof and got engagement. You get much cheaper clicks and higher conversions. So sometimes it’s worth doing a little boost post first and then using the ads manager to run the ads. Hope that makes sense. Doesn’t sound too complicated is knowing how to work the system.


Now if you need any help there’s two ways we can work together. I’ve got a self guided Facebook Ads Bootcamp which is a five days to create a high performing Facebook ad campaign. It is on special offer at the moment so click on the link above

We also can manage your Facebook ad campaigns for you manage and optimize them. We quite often get clients coming to us to put campaigns together that aren’t working so we go in and we diagnose. We see what the problem is we see well not working and we go in and help them.

So if you’re interested in having a chat about how we can help you with your Facebook Ads schedule a call with me and we can have a chat and see how we might be able to help. Any other questions please post from the Modern Marketing Club. Otherwise I will speak to you same time next week. Take care. Thanks. Bye.


About The Author

Cassie Hicks

Modern Marketing Spark is your Digital Marketing Partner. We provide a holistic approach to Social Media and Digital Marketing ensuring your achieve your business goals using modern marketing strategies. We also offer training and support through our Facebook group, The Modern Marketing Club (http://facebook.com/groups/modernmarketingclub)