What's the fastest way to generate traffic for a new website?
This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, entrepreneur and business growth expert Martin Ochwat shares his strategies for driving organic and paid traffic to a brand new website.
As the co-founder of a new direct-to-consumer brand of zero-waste personal care products, Martin is dealing with this exact challenge right now as he prepares to bring his new business out of stealth mode.
In our interview, he talks about what it takes to create a high performing website, and how to use strategies like paid ads, podcasts, video and guest blogging to quickly drive traffic and build domain authority.
Highlights from my conversation with Martin include:
Martin is currently launching a new direct-to-consumer company called Moop and is working on strategies for driving traffic to his new website.
Before he works on driving traffic, Martin says its important to ensure your website is optimized. Specifically, it should be a good looking site that showcases a clear value proposition and delivers visitors the information they are looking for quickly.
One way to test if your site will perform well is to run limited paid ads on Facebook.
There are two main types of traffic that Martin focuses on - organic and paid.
When it comes to organic traffic, Martin suggests using podcasts, video and guest blogging to quickly drive traffic.
With podcasts, you can start your own, but two very quick ways to get traffic are by being a guest on a podcast or by sponsoring a podcast.
He also suggests creating video and using it to start a YouTube channel.
Another way that Martin has successfully gotten backlinks and built domain authority is through posting guest blogs on other high authority websites.
Finally, he says that public relations can be helpful in driving traffic, but advises that you don't necessarily have to hire a PR firm. There are plenty of ways to DIY your PR strategy so long as you have a compelling story.
When it comes to paid ads, its very important to figure out where your target audience is and then test to see if your ads are successful in reaching them there.
Once you identify the individual ads that are performing well, you can double down on your budget and you should see strong results.
It's important to have tracking pixels correctly set up on your website. With those in place, you can use tools like Criteo and Adroll to do retargeting campaigns.
My name is Kathleen Booth, and I'm your host. And this week my guest is Martin Ochwat, who is a growth marketer and a serial entrepreneur.
Martin, you've had lots of different reincarnations and I'm really excited to talk to you about some of the marketing lessons learned that have come out of that. So welcome to the podcast.
Martin Ochwat (Guest): Thanks for having me, Kathleen.
Martin and Kathleen recording this episode.
Kathleen: Yeah. Now, can you tell my listeners a little bit about who you are, your background, the types of businesses you've been involved in, and what you're working on these days?
About Martin Ochwat
Martin: Sure. So I'm a growth marketer by trade. And initially started with more of a mathematics background in school.
What happened is I ended up in Silicon Valley working at a gaming company, which at the time we were one of the largest advertisers on Facebook and many channels in the world. So we promoted two games, mostly Game of War and Mobile Strike. And during my short stint there, I learned a lot about running digital paid ads across several channels with Facebook and Instagram being the core.
After two years in the Valley, I decided to quit my job and start working remotely while starting a new eCommerce business. So over the next few years, I started several different brands selling products from jewelry, fashion, swimwear all types of niches.
And eventually, we're working on a new eCommerce brand now called Moop. And we're creating zero plastic waste personal care products. Trying to take plastic out of your day to day routine.
Kathleen: That is such a hot topic right now. I think that's awesome. That's what you're working on. It's shockingly, well it's interesting to me how shockingly difficult it is to cut plastic out of your life. I've seen a few news reports on the impact it has, and I've tried to go in that direction to no success whatsoever.
So I do think it's only going to get solved by companies creating new products that reduce our reliance. The products themselves as opposed to workarounds if you will. So kudos to you.
Driving traffic to a new website
Kathleen: But what I am interested in talking to you about is you have this new company. And obviously with any new business, one of the challenges from a digital marketing standpoint is just driving traffic to your site, right?
I'm in a similar boat to you. I just joined a really early stage startup that for all intents and purposes, doesn't have any website traffic. So I'm faced with a similar challenge of how do I get people just to come to my website? And you have some interesting thoughts on that. You've worked on that before.
That's really the topic I would love to focus on for you. So maybe you could just start with where do you begin with that?
Martin: Sure. Yeah. So starting out is always really difficult no matter what business you're in. Even once you launch your product, you need to get a bunch of users and validate if it's the right project you're working on, which happens over time. So I think a good way to think of it is first look at what channels can you use to acquire users?
I usually break it up into two segments. So you have paid, and you have organic.
On the organic side, a lot of that's content. So blogging, video, podcasting, Whether you're doing your own podcast or you're a guest on other podcasts. It can include things like guest posting. So writing content on other high domain authority sites. PR, the list goes on. There's a ton of organic ways you can get users.
And then on the paid side, it usually involves running ads on channels like Facebook, Google, Twitter, and the dozens of networks out there.
So high level, it's good to separate paid and organic. And then within those, you can try to find which types of channels make the most sense for your business.
Kathleen: So let's actually start with your website, because this is something that I think about a lot at the company I'm with now. What shape does your website have to be in before it's worth it, especially from a paid media standpoint, to begin paying for traffic?
Because that's one of the things I think about a lot is am I going to pour money into pay-per-click and drive traffic to what is essentially a leaky bucket? How much of the value in those early days is really getting people in and capturing them versus just getting the traffic, getting the backlinks, beginning to build domain authority? How do you approach that?
Building a high performing website
Martin: Sure. So if you're going down the paid route, it's especially important you have a really high performing website to begin with.
The reason is if you don't have a great site and you just start spending a bunch of money to drive traffic, that traffic's not going to convert, they're probably going to leave and you're just going to end up wasting a lot of money.
So going down that route, it's really important to start with having a good looking site. It doesn't have to be super beautiful, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to make it perfect. But it should have a clear value proposition.
When people land on your website or your landing page, they should know very clearly within the first few seconds exactly what the website is about. And it should give them relevant information.
And one way you can actually help with making sure your website is high converting is maybe running a little bit of paid traffic to test how are users interacting on your site.
And that could be as simple as spending 50 or 100 dollars on Facebook ads, getting traffic to your site, and see are users bouncing? Is there a certain section of your website that they're skipping over?
And there's a ton of great tools like heat mapping tools and even free ones like Google Analytics that can help you get all this data to make sure your website is high converting.
Website analytics software and tools
Kathleen: Can you talk a little bit about those tools? If somebody is listening and they're in that situation of just getting started, what would you say, if it were you, what tools would you put in place and what key metrics would you be watching in those early days?
Martin: Yeah. So number one, I'd start with Google Analytics. First off it's free and a really great suite to get started with.
In Google Analytics, usually you can just set up some code on your site and it'll track different metrics like website visitors, bounce rate (which is how many of those new website visitors leave right away). You can look at page views - how many pages in your site they've gone through.
And the other great thing about Google Analytics is setting up goals. So let's say for example, you're an eCommerce site, right? So you can set up a goal when someone reaches the add to cart page. And then when they reach the checkout page and finally when they make a purchase.
So by setting up all of the metrics that are important for your specific business in Google Analytics, you can quickly go through different reports and see, if I spend $50 on Facebook ads, I get 200 visitors.
How are they performing on my site? Are they dropping off after the first page? Or are they dropping off at the checkout page? And this will help you make small tweaks and improvements to make sure your site is high converting.
Kathleen: So Google Analytics. Any other tools beyond that, as far as heat mapping or things like that?
Martin: Yeah, there's a bunch of great heat mapping tools. One I use is called Sumo. Honestly, there's a ton that are great in the market. Other than Sumo, I don't have a specific one I can recommend you.
Organic traffic growth strategies
Kathleen: Okay. No, that's great. I just always liked to hear what you're using. So now, let's go back. And we've talked about the website and getting your house in order, if you will, assuming that that's the situation and you're in a position where you can start to go out to the market.
Let's start with breaking down the topic of organic traffic. So you're going from nothing to hopefully something. You mentioned a variety of ways that you could start to generate traffic back, starting with podcasts. So maybe we can begin there.
Martin: Sure. So actually before we jump into all of the organic traffic channels, one thing I want to say is when you are launching a new website, it's really important to know who your target audience is.
So if you already know, that you're ready to jump in. If not, try to understand your users a little bit better and see which specific channels they live on. So that way you can decide which channels to go after.
But yeah, let's say we know our target audience and we want to go into podcasting. So do you have any specific questions of how to generate users?
Kathleen: I think there's probably a lot. I mean obviously, I spend a lot of time with podcasting. But there's probably a lot of people out there who either don't have a podcast or haven't been a guest on a podcast. They might listen to them.
So if they're thinking okay, podcasting. Can you break down how do you do that? How do you go about getting on podcasts and building that strategy for which podcasts you want to be on, etc?
Martin: Sure. So I'll break it down into three different ways you can take advantage of podcasts. One you mentioned is starting your own podcast, whether that's daily or weekly. Or it's in a podcast with just you where you have guests every single week. So that's one channel you can definitely pursue. It's a lot more work. It can be a great longterm strategy though.
I think for a lot of people starting out, it's easier to do number two, which is being a guest on a podcast. Or number three, which is sponsoring a podcast.
So being a guest is essentially trying to find a podcast within your niche. So where are your target customers? What are they possibly listening to? And trying to build a relationship with hosts, reaching out and seeing if you can provide value to the host.
Number three with sponsoring podcasts would be paying a set amount of money, whether it's $50 to thousands of dollars depending on the podcast audience size. And having a sponsored message. Let's say you're Calm.
They're an app that helps people with meditation. They might sponsor the Tim Ferriss podcast, pay him a few thousand dollars, and he'll give a one to two minute shout out with a promo code to try out their app and get users that way.
Kathleen: So if somebody wants to reach out to a podcast host about coming on, any tips or tricks on A, how to do that correctly? And B, any advice on what kind of expectations they should have as far as how likely it is that they'll get a response?
Martin: Yeah. So first when looking at podcasts, you want to see what kind of audience they might have, what kind of reach.
Different metrics I would look at is how many episodes do they have on say, Apple Podcasts? How long have they been going for? Is the podcast brand new just getting started or have they been around for a year or several years? What kind of guests do they have on the show? Would you fit a similar profile of these guests?
It's unlikely get onto The Tim Ferriss Show, for example, starting out. But there's hundreds, if not tens of thousands of smaller podcasts that you can start with, build your way up and your reputation, and eventually get onto larger podcasts. So I think it starts with really evaluating the podcasts themselves and making a short list of say 10 to 20 to start.
After that, it's looking at how can you get in touch with the host. Some podcasts will have a dedicated website with a page that says contact us, or if you want to be featured as a guest, fill out this form. That's great.
If not, you may need to do a little bit of digging to find the email. Or say Twitter, social media handles of the host. And make your pitch. And with the pitch, it's really about trying to see how you can add value to the host and their audience. And that can be as simple as sending out a tweet or sending out an email with a little bit more information about yourself.
Kathleen: Great. And you're a guest right now on this podcast and you've done this with other podcasts. What do you look to get out of it? Obviously people will listen. But in terms of either traffic to the site or leads, how do you set goals for your involvement in things like this?
Martin: Yeah. So when you're a guest on a podcast, I think a common misconception is you want to be selling your audience on your services. I'd say the best advice is try to provide as much value as you can to the audience. It's similar to other types of content marketing. If you can provide value to listeners, they'll often come back and provide value back to you.
So being on a podcast after you, just talk about general topics and provide value. At the end, you can usually give a shout out to your website. Or if you have a special promotion or offer for the audience, say you might be an eCommerce store, or like the Calm app. You're selling meditation services. Maybe your audience can get 20% off by using a specific promo code from that podcast.
So there's definitely a way to acquire users at the end. And if you have Google analytics set up, you can track where those users are coming from. Or with different promo codes, you can also see how much of that traffic is coming from the podcast.
Kathleen: Yeah. And is there any such thing as how small is too small with podcasts? I know it's hard to really nail down what listenership a podcast has, but how do you think about that?
Martin: Yeah, it is something you definitely need to consider when looking at podcasts. The most obvious way is try to find podcasts that have been around for maybe a year. They have a few dozen Google reviews. And then it's likely you'll get more traffic to serve more viewers. But on the opposite side, if you find like a brand new podcast.
They might just be starting out, but it looks like it has a lot of potential. There is value in being one of the first guests on their podcasts. A lot of the times if people listen to a podcast, they like it. They might download all the episodes. If you're on one of the first episodes, you can get perpetual traffic for once or years to come just by getting in early on that podcast.
Kathleen: That's so true. It's like the Netflix phenomenon where people, I just discovered the show Freaks and Geeks, which was on a million years ago. And I'm currently binging it, starting from episode one. And I mean, it's like years and years after the show came out.
But you're totally right. It's that habit that we've gotten into with places like Netflix and Hulu now. We're trained to find new things and start from the beginning, and binge right through it. So that's interesting.
And then you talked about podcast sponsorships. How do you approach that in terms of identifying the right podcasts and expectations in terms of what you should spend and the results you should get?
Martin: Yeah. So it's, honestly the process is very similar. When you're looking at sponsoring podcasts. The types of podcasts you're going after generally will be a little bit larger.
So a lot of brands or companies, they might go after ones that have at least a few thousand or 10,000 viewers on every audience. Or sorry, on every episode. And usually, charging for podcast sponsorship. It's based on a CPM, so it's a cost per thousand impressions. You'll usually be given a rate. You might have to negotiate one-on-one with a podcast host. Say it's $20 per thousand viewers, or it might be $50.
The rates can vary a lot in the industry. But overall, you're still looking for which podcasts have a larger audience and which audiences are relevant to you. And then a lot of that is just testing. You might allocate sponsorship for 10 different podcasts, see how they perform.
If there's one that performs really well for you, you can go back to them and sponsor future episodes. Or you might find a specific niche of maybe self-help people. Or, you find the niches that are resonating with your audience and you try to find similar podcasts within that niche.
Kathleen: Yeah. So we've covered the topic of podcasts. What are some other strategies you've used to drive organic traffic in those early days? Referrals, I guess would be the other category.
Martin: Yeah, great question. So I think a lot of people starting out with organic, they really think heavily about SEO and how can they rank for top keywords in their niche. I actually think that's very difficult to do when you're a brand new company. In many niches it's very competitive for keywords. And it might take you years to show up in the top of Google search results.
A great way to start getting traffic earlier organically is through guest posting. So guest posting usually involves reaching out to recognize websites in your space. Say for me on martinochwat.com, I give digital marketing tips for small business owners.
So I would look for high domain authority websites. Let's say you have social media today. You have even larger sites like entrepreneur.com. And a lot of it is trying to reach out to those sites to do a guest post where you're essentially writing a blog post or a piece of content for free on the website.
And in return, you get a link back to your site. And because these websites are so large and they get so much traffic off their posts, you can generate a lot of traffic through that guest post. And you might even be able to get it to rank highly in Google, which will just continue to give you longterm organic traffic over time.
Kathleen: Now when you say high domain authority, is there a certain number that you're shooting for when you evaluate what sites that you would spend your time to create guest posts for?
Martin: Yeah. So I think it depends where you are. If you're starting out as a small business, it's okay to start with smaller domain authority sites. Let's say they might just have a couple, like 10,000 monthly visitors. A domain authority of 30 to 50. It's okay to get started. Often, you need to build your reputation as a business or as a brand. So if you can get a few small wins with different guests posts, you can then leverage those to get larger guests posts.
So it's unlikely I could go to as a new brand to like Forbes and say, "Hey, let me guest post for you." You don't have anything to show. But if you've done a few dozen guest posts on smaller sites and then on mid tier sites, that might be a domain authority, like 50 to 70.
Eventually, you can work your way up into being an industry expert or a leading brand in your space. And then that opens up a lot opportunities to get the very best websites sponsoring your content and allowing you to guest post.
Kathleen: Got it. All right, so podcasts, check. Guest posts, check. What else on that organic side?
Martin: Yeah, so video's a great one too. It's really hot these days. And the great thing about video is it's a little bit, it's less competitive than blogging.
So with blogs, it's really easy for anyone to start a blog. I think there's a stat, Neil Patel said there's almost a billion new blog posts that come out every single day. It's really hard to stand out in a crowded market.
With video, it's obviously more work to get started. But that work creates a barrier to entry in the market. So by creating videos, you can start say a YouTube channel. Or you can even start posting videos on your social media. Like if you use Instagram, they have IGTV now, which they're really heavily promoting. So you can get a lot of views or even videos on channels like LinkedIn.
And just starting to create content that resonates with your audience I think is a great way to connect and start building organic traffic through different channels. It might show up initially on search results in YouTube, or it might show up on social media. But over time, you can build up an audience there and also have that rank in Google.
Kathleen: So one thing I'm curious about with regards to this, and I've been thinking a lot about this for my own marketing strategy. How important, if that's the approach you're going to take in the early days, how important is it to focus on the personal brands of the people involved with your company versus promoting the corporate brand?
Because it seems to me that you kind of said it earlier. If you're a company that doesn't really have much of a track record, it's easier to open doors with a personal brand than it is with a corporate brand.
Martin: Yeah, it's a great point. So I think a lot of it will be business dependent. Starting out any new business, whether you're a B2B or B2C, you won't have much of a track record. If one of the members of your team might have some, a larger following on LinkedIn or different social media channels, you can leverage their personal brand to amplify the company's brand.
So let's say you're just an eCommerce store. You can still have your founders speaking on different podcasts for example, or making videos that just provide value to people in the niche. And then over time, as you start to build up more background and more credibility for your brand, I think it's important to shift resources towards brand building.
Really a lot of value in many businesses comes from the brand. When you look at big brands like Nike. Starting out, Phil Knight was very important to that brand. But today, Nike continues to live on even without its founder. So it is a great way with personal branding to get started, but you do want to make sure you shift those resources to the company's brand over time.
Kathleen: Yeah. Now I guess one other topic we haven't talked about, which I would say bridges the organic and paid categories is PR. And I've heard different viewpoints on PR in early stages. And I'm curious to hear where you think it fits in a strategy like this, or if it fits.
Martin: So I think PR is a great strategy. It definitely fits for most businesses. But the way you will approach PR might be different.
So one, a lot of people when they think PR, they think of a PR agency. Hiring an agency might cost you 5,000 to $50,000 a month on a retainer starting out. For a lot of businesses, they simply don't have the resources to do that. So there are many ways to pursue PR. Just do it yourself.
And often, that involves building relationships with reporters or people of influence in your niche. And once you build a relationship, whether that's starting with liking their posts on Twitter, retweeting, sharing some other content with your following. You can often start pitching them to get your website or your brand onto the news.
And PR can take really a lot of forms. It doesn't have to be getting featured on Forbes, or TechCrunch, or any of these big publications. It can be local PR. It's often easy to get started with, say you're based in a specific city or there's a town you grew up in. Like I grew up in Toronto. It'd be much easier for me to get PR in local Toronto based publications rather than national or international ones.
So I think there's a lot of ways you can use PR to get an initial boost, and it doesn't have to be really hard or really expensive to get started. Even with a few resources and a bit of emailing and building relationships, you can start to get publicity and traffic to your site.
Kathleen: And in your experience, what do you find you need to have essentially to get promoted? Are you promoting content you've created? What's the basis for asking a reporter to provide editorial coverage of something you've done, that has worked well for you?
Martin: Right. So it usually starts with a story. A lot of reporters are looking for something that will be of value to their audience, right?
There's a few strategies you could take. Let's say for example, there's a hot topic in the news like sustainability or the fight against plastic right now. If I have my brand Moop and we're creating zero plastic waste products, I don't necessarily have to promote a blog post about that. I can talk about general trends we're seeing in the industry or market insights on how the plastic industry works and how we can find ways to fight plastic.
Another thing you can look at is general trends. How is the environment affecting politics or financial markets? So you want to look at what is the audience of the publication you're going after, and what kind of information would they be curious about?
And it can just start with giving commentary and value to that audience. And like we said earlier with podcasts, if you can provide value to an audience, later you can have a link to your website where people can come back and they might check out your product or buy your services.
Kathleen: Got it. Anything else on the organic side that you think is important?
Martin: I'd say those are the main channels to get started with. So we talked about podcasting, video, PR. Blogging, as I mentioned before, it is a very competitive space. I think it can be important for your brand if you commit to doing broad blogging very well. And that usually includes writing original content. So not just rewriting other people's content in different forms, and committing to the strategy longterm. It can be a great way to rank in Google search results, but just know that it is a longterm play. You might not see a lot of traffic coming from that until many years down the line. But if you do invest in it today, you'll eventually reap the rewards down the line.
Driving paid traffic
Kathleen: Yeah, it makes sense. All right. Shifting gears to paid. So early stage, probably don't have a ton of money. There's a lot of options out there with paid media, pay-per-click advertising. How do you get started? How much should you spend? What kind of results should you expect?
Martin: Great, great question. So paid can be a bit scary for people starting out. Just because there's so many different channels, you're not sure what it's going to resonate with your audience. So a lot of it starts with going back to the audience first and trying to see where does my audience exist?
So for example, I was helping launch this eCommerce brand called Lilac and they were selling swimwear. So we found that a lot of their audience exists on Instagram. They might look at pictures of clothing or swimwear, make a quick impulse decision, see how it's worn on other consumers. And then go to the website and make a purchase.
So if you can first try to narrow it down to where your audience might exist. Whether that's on Instagram, on Google, Twitter, Facebook, that's a great first starting point. And then the second important thing with paid ads is a lot of it has to do with testing.
So testing means creating ads or content to share on different social media channels, and see how it performs. So you might run say an ad for swimwear against an audience of females, 18 to 34 on Facebook. And you might test different audiences. So maybe there's beach goers, maybe there's travelers, maybe there's fashionistas.
It's really trying to narrow down, what audience on that platform is going to resonate with your ads? And then testing different types of copy, and images, and videos that might help them resonate.
Kathleen: Is there any particular amount that you think someone should be prepared to spend? I mean earlier, you mentioned you can do little tests for as little as $50 to $100. I've heard other people say depending upon the platform, you shouldn't bother if you're not spending a couple thousand. Do you have any rules of thumb you go by?
Martin: Yeah. So I think you don't need a lot of money to get started. There's businesses I've started spending $100 or $200 on a single channel to prove it out. Of course, the more money you spend, the more data you can get. But starting out, you're just trying to get directional feedback. So let's say you could spend $100 on Facebook, 100 on Google, and then maybe 100 on Twitter ads.
While you might not have all the data you need, you can get directional feedback seeing okay, we're getting a lot of visitors from Google. We're not really getting any from Twitter. And Facebook, somewhere in the middle. So that helps you narrow down. Let's leave Twitter off for later, and let's focus on Facebook and Google.
And then with that small test budget too of you probably are collecting data in your Google analytics of how are people performing on your website? Is your website converting as well? Are the ads they're seeing congruent with what they're seeing on your web pages?
So using that small test data, you can really get started. And then I would at that point continue to focus larger and larger amounts of budgets onto your preferred platforms where you see some early success.
Kathleen: Okay. And one thing I've been thinking about, I'm curious to hear your take on this, is the importance of getting your site set up properly to lay the groundwork for pay-per-click.
And what I mean by that is making sure you have different tracking pixels installed. Giving them some time to build up some history. Do you have any thoughts on that? What tracking pixels should be on your site, and how long should they sit there before you try to do anything with them, that sort of thing?
Martin: Yep. Great question. So when starting with paid, usually each channel has its own pixel. If you start with Facebook for example, they'll have the Facebook pixel. Google will have its conversion tracking codes. It's always best practice to set up those pixels and codes as early as possible, ideally before you start running any traffic.
The reason being the pixels usually help these platforms to spend the ad dollars more efficiently, right? You're essentially sending data back to say, Facebook or Google. And they're able to see from your website visitors, what kind of people are visiting your website, how are they interacting with it, and which ones are converting? And that will help you drive lower ad costs across the specific platforms.
And then I'd say in addition to the main pixels you can set up with each social media network or paid channel, there are other pixels you could set up for retargeting. There's tools such as, there's Criteo for an example. One that does retargeting across lots of different channels.
Kathleen: Wait, what was that one?
Kathleen: Can you spell that for me?
Martin: Yeah. So it's C-R-I-T-E-O.
Martin: It's a competitor to AdRoll. You might've heard of AdRoll before. Basically these channels look if someone visits your website, maybe they performed an action and then they left. You can re-target them with ads across different channels.
So here's an example. Let's say you are running an ad on LinkedIn. I came to your website, checked out some content, and I left. If you have the Criteo or AdRoll pixel set up, I might later go read an article on Forbes and there'll be an ad showing up again for your website. Or I might go to see, even go scroll through Facebook and there's again a retargeting ad for your website.
So there's a few different platforms you can use that let you re-target across all types of channels, no matter where the visitor is on the internet. And also with those, the earlier you can set it up on your website, the sooner they get data, and the better those ads are going to perform.
Kathleen: Okay, great. So I would love to hear from you now. We've covered the gamut of organic and paid. I would love it if you could talk a little bit about your experience doing this, and what kind of results you've seen, how quickly you've seen them. Do you have any examples you can share with that?
Martin: Yeah, definitely. So usually with organic, it will take you a bit more time to see traffic compared to paid. So I'll start with an example of paid.
So earlier, I mentioned brand Lilac I was working on selling swimwear. So we looked at our target audience, found that Instagram's the right channel. Started running ads on Instagram.
Starting out, we created some say images and videos of content. If you're an eCommerce store, it's pretty simple. You can just show images of your product. If you're a B2B business, you might need to run more video ads explaining your product. But regardless, in our case we'd run several different images and then against several different audiences. So as I mentioned before, it's mostly younger females. We try different targeting groups and see which targeting and which images resonate together.
After some initial testing, say a few hundred dollars, we found that one specific audience was resonating well. And this was fashionistas. So we know that fashionistas 18 to 34 female are doing well. And we found that one or two images or one or two specific swimwear products were also having the lowest ad cost.
So at that point, what we would do is double down on what's working, right? If you have creative that's working and an audience that's working, try slightly different creative of the same product. So we might show a different image of that same swimsuit. And we might try to tweak the copy a little bit. Instead of saying, "Hey, new website. Check out our swimwear brand." We would say swimwear brand that's ethically sourced, or sustainable, or promote some of the other features of the product.
And essentially by doing tweaking and doubling down on what's working, over time you can get your ad costs to continue to go lower. And once you have a lower ad cost, you could scale, right? Because if you're paying less per user or per purchaser, you can invest more money onto that platform. And it's just a snowball effect that compounds over time.
Kathleen: Great. And what about any examples of organic growth? I know you said it takes longer, but how long?
Martin: So organic, it can take a while to see large amounts of traffic. But to see small traffic, it doesn't have to take that long. So for example on my site, martinochwat.com. Again, I'm giving digital marketing tips for small businesses. I started guest posting on dozens of different websites. Probably within my second month, I got a feature on Content Marketing Institute. And from that site, the article went pretty viral, it got almost a thousand shares. And even today, I'm still getting five to 10 visitors every single day coming from that article.
So it can take a while to like find more guest posts similar to that one that can compound. But I think with guest posting especially, it's really great way to get longterm traffic. If you want to get more short term quick wins, I think podcast guesting is a great way to do it. Or getting featured with anyone else who already has an existing audience and tapping into that audience to get users to your website.
Kathleen's two questions
Kathleen: Yeah, absolutely. So interesting. Thank you for sharing those examples. Now, there's two questions I always ask all of my guests. And I'd love to hear what you have to say. The first one is, we talk a lot about inbound marketing on this podcast. So company or individual, is there someone you think is really knocking it out of the park with inbound marketing these days?
Martin: Yeah, great question. So inbound marketing, it is pretty competitive. One company I really look to is Hootsuite. And Hootsuite essentially, if you don't know them, they're a platform that helps you schedule social media content. So if you're posting on Facebook and Google, or sorry, Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can schedule a post ahead of time to manage your content there.
So they have a really great blog. They do video. And with their blog specifically, they generate content all the time about teaching people how to do social media marketing better. So a lot of small businesses will be looking at that content. They're very in depth guides. And just by continuing to publish really great articles and blog posts over time, they have been able to amass tens of thousands of users and really become an industry expert in at least the digital marketing space.
Kathleen: I love Hootsuite. I do use it for myself. What about, everything's changing so quickly. Digital is, as soon as you feel like you've mastered it, there's some big algorithm change, or one of the social media platforms changes the rules of the game. How do you stay updated?
Martin: Yeah, so there's again, few good resources I like to follow. A popular one on the more organic content site is Neil Patel. Usually at neilpatel.com, he'll post a lot of updates about changes in say the Google algorithm or how to work with podcast guesting. He goes not just blog posts, but videos. And you can follow him on all the social channels. He's a really great resource for that side.
I also like Unbounce. I think, they're basically a landing page building tool. But similar to Hootsuite, they have a great blog that focuses on not just social media, but also how can you make changes to your website and improve it. So I think those are two great examples.
The third channel I'd like to add is Twitter. So I often follow people in the space that are knowledgeable. For example, Rand Fishkin, creator of Moz. He gives great tips on SEO. There's Noah Kagan that gives a lot of great digital marketing tips. So it might be more specific to which part of marketing you're focusing on. But there's a lot of great influencers on Twitter that are posting regular updates and content that can provide a lot of value.
Kathleen: Yeah, I love Rand Fishkin. And he is a great example I think of what you talked about earlier. He has a new company SparkToro. And you mentioned if you're going to blog, commit to doing it regularly and really write great content. I think that's exactly what he is doing over at SparkToro.
He doesn't write a huge volume of blogs. But when he writes something, it is always worth reading. It's really good content and nobody knows more about SEO and building up domain authority than Rand, so totally agree with you on that.
How to connect with Martin
Great. Well if somebody has questions, wants to learn more, or reach out to you, what is the best way for them to find you and connect with you online?
Martin: Sure, yeah. You can find me on Twitter. If you search Martin Ochwat, I show up there. Usually number one. Same on LinkedIn, very active on LinkedIn. And I'm often just sharing content and helpful advice on my website martinochwat.com. So any of those channels are great to reach out to me.
You know what to do next...
Kathleen: Great. Well, thank you so much for joining us. This was really interesting and I love hearing how somebody else is tackling the same challenge that I'm facing right now. So I appreciate you sharing your story.
If you are listening and you learn something new or you like what you heard, of course I would love it if you would leave the podcast a five star review on Apple Podcasts or the platform of your choice. That's how we get found. That's how we get traffic. So please take a moment and do that, especially if you're a loyal listener.
And, if you know somebody else who's doing kick ass inbound marketing work, please tweet me @workmommywork, because I would love to interview them. That's it for this week. Thank you so much, Martin.
Martin: Yeah, thank you Kathleen. I've had a great time today.
Kathleen: Great having you.
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