I believe it was Heraclitus that said:

Big results require big ambitions

Now, you may have noticed we've been a little quite lately, and that's for a handful of very good (and exciting) reasons. We can't share some of these reasons just yet, though we can share a couple of others...

One reason is that the TrustAds team has been growing (hooray!) and another is that the we've been hard at work supporting Martyn with his latest book, 1% Secret: How to Scale Your E-Commerce Business to 7 Figures and Beyond!

With that in mind, we thought we'd do a little something different this week and share a sneak preview from the book with our TrustAds cohorts, so without further ado here's a never before shared excerpt! (Chapter 26 to be precise...)

Please note that some edits have been made for the blog format.

The Hybrid Approach to Buying Traffic

We’ve all heard the advertising mantra about reaching the right people, in the right place, at the right time. That’s the dream but (more often than not) it won’t be the reality - especially if you limit yourself to just one or two main traffic sources.

Facebook, for example, loves to tell us how many daily users it has on its platform. Yes, it’s impressive, mind blowing even. But when those users are on Facebook, they’re never actually in it, are they? Not fully. They’re in a room, on the train, waiting for a bus - Facebook is resigned to their computer, phone or tablet - and it’s not alone. It’s there along with the world wide web, emails, messages from friends and family, and a plethora of apps.

The power of multiple traffic channels


Recently, when sitting in the back of a London taxi, I got bored of my phone and looked out of the window (I know, old school). I spotted a giant billboard, advertising the latest range from the grocery giant Tesco.

At the exact moment I was looking at that billboard, an ad started playing on the radio - for that exact same Tesco range I was looking at. I was impressed, creeped out and tickled by this all at once. My reaction doesn’t really matter either, I can’t un-remember that ad. This giant brand managed to reach me twice, via two different channels, at that exact same moment in time. This is the power of hybrid traffic.

Competing with big brands - diversifying on a small scale

Now, I’m not saying you need to rush to get into expensive print or media advertising. That’s not the message here, though if you can afford it - knock yourself out (if you do want to dip your toes into print, radio or tv, why not start out with local or trade press?).

The message here is that you need to diversify your traffic channels to succeed. This is how the big brands dominate - they are everywhere, not just because they can afford to be and not just because they can reach more people that way - it’s tactical. If one channel goes down, the river doesn’t dry up, there’s plenty more feeding into it.

There are many affordable traffic sources out there aside from just Facebook or Google. Yes, you might be absolutely crushing it on one or both of these, but what happens if you fall foul of either one day and get yourself banned? How quickly do you think you’ll be able to build up again from scratch? You don’t even have to find yourself removed from the platform altogether to have your business in jeopardy. What if prices rise (as they inevitably do), will your margins withstand it?

How about at those times of year where the market is saturated and competition is fierce, driving costs up - can you afford to lose out during Q4 to brands that can spend millions on advertising in a single day?

Find your audience in unexpected places

Not only will extra sources of traffic prevent too much damage if things go wrong on your main platform, they’ll enhance your audience base, allowing you to reach relevant people who are either not on your platform of choice, or don’t respond well to advertising there.

Everyone is different, using platforms for different purposes, so whilst Facebook may boast the highest user base across social media - you might actually find that your audience are more likely to be found scrolling through YouTube, LinkedIn or Snapchat. If you don’t try, you won’t know.

Take the opportunity to assess the main social networks available to you, they all have self-service ad platforms that are (mostly) intuitive and easy to use. Throw test budgets at each of them, play around with the targeting options and see which ones resonate best.

Make sure you utilise Google Analytics to identify which platforms are bringing in not just the cheapest, highest volumes of traffic (which might well grab your attention) - but the highest quality of traffic.

Which networks are bringing in people who actually stay on your site, browse, add items to cart, convert?

Go beyond

Don't just stop there either, the majority of platforms have their own versions of Facebook’s Audience Network, where they also place your ad on websites and apps off their platform. It’s worth running your ads on each platform with and without these options, to see whether any of the off-platform options work for you, or impact your overall costs.

Anti-social?

Remember, your digital channels aren't just limited to social media platforms or search engines. Email should always be a priority, consistently delivering one of the highest ROIs across marketing activities - and should account for 30% of your revenue, once your email list is large enough. Check out chapter thirty for more information on how to leverage email as a channel in your business. For you blog readers, you can grab a copy of the book here.

Influence

Don't forget, people can be a digital channel too, so ensure to utilise influencers and affiliates where possible. Whilst there will likely be overlap between the digital channels they use and those you advertise on, they offer that crucial third party opinion and recommendation to your audience. Again, check out those chapters dedicated to building authority and influence to enable you to maximise your success here.

Treat 'em right

Different channels should be treated as such, they should be tracked and measured separately, because of course your key figures will be specific to each. Your costs will likely differ, as will your ROAS, your conversion rates - so experiment, test, analyse and tweak to consistently improve. Know your numbers!

Summary

Yes, the sheer amount of choice available might put your head in a spin, but knowledge is power, and getting to grips with the traffic sources available to you will ensure you’ll never suffer if one channel goes down.

There are plenty of resources available to help you get to grips with new platforms too - want to learn Snapchat ads? There will be a YouTube tutorial somewhere with your name on it. There’s no excuse.

Putting all of your eggs in one basket is never a good move. Opening yourself up to new sources of traffic will improve your ability to reach a wider audience (in the right place, at the right time) and you may just uncover that hidden gem of a traffic source - one that your competitors aren't leveraging - that brings in results that you never imagined!

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Want more?

Grab your free copy of 1% Secret: How to Scale your E-Commerce Business to 7 Figures and Beyond here!

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