How will I drive traffic through paid, owned and earned media?
There’s no point in creating content that no one sees. There are countless ways to drive traffic these days, so it can helpful to break it down into paid, owned and earned media.
Traffic that you pay for in the form of advertising. This can come from social ads, Adwords, display ads, influencers or paid content partnerships. Paid media can deliver traffic fast but it is expensive in the long run. And when you stop spending, the traffic stops, making it not very sustainable.
Traffic driven from communities that you have grown over time. Examples include social media accounts, email lists or your own sales team. Traffic from owned media can take a while to build, but it’s sustainable and will continue to grow over time. Also, because followers have to opt-in, they tend to be a more engaged and relevant audience than you can get with paid.
Traffic that is driven by unpaid, third-parties, examples include SEO, partnerships and brand advocates. Earned media is particularly important for SEO backlinks.
Your traffic strategy should include one tactic from at least each of these. Which tactics work best for your business will be something you learn over time. Keep a close eye on your analytics to see where the traffic is coming from and iterate all the time, doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
Driving traffic is a huge topic and I’m keen to stay focussed and not go down the rabbit-hole on traffic strategies. However, I will say this – focus on search.
Search traffic is valuable as it is ‘high intent’ traffic. The user has done the legwork (searching and visiting) which means they’re more likely to be close to purchase. It also builds up over time, creating a reliable traffic source that fuels itself. Social and paid media are, by contrast, low intent, expensive and short term.
Search traffic is slow to build and much harder to do well than social or paid. But if you’re serious about B2B content marketing, you want search to be your primary traffic source.