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StumbleUpon - Perhaps The Best Marketing Platform You Aren’t Using

Posted by on Sep 03, 2010 - 10:53 AM

What is StumbleUpon?

StumbleUpon could be best described as the web categorized and arranged so as best to entertain the fanatical and fickle group of web users who inhabit it.

Now that may sound negative – But disclaimer: I use it, it is awesome and Oprah said it is the best invention ever….

Best invention ever is probably going a bit far, but try it out – You may just fall in love.

Ok, so the point of this article is not to fawn over StumbleUpon, the point is that it may just be the best advertising platform you aren’t using….

What are StumbleUpon Ads?

The short: You can pay to have your site shown to “stumblers”

In Detail: StumbleUpon gives you the ability to include your websites into the “stumble” rotation (for lack of a better term) for the cost of 5 US Cents per visitor.

Now this may sound like nothing to some of you and heaps to others – the key is that they are highly targeted visitors that are “stumbling” categories that they are interested in. So that makes them valuable.

The other important issue is location – StumbleUpon makes this easy, very easy for US specific campaigns. For the US, you can go as targeted as city. Not so much for us here in Australia, we can only target the whole country – it has still worked well for us though.

Bonuses and Extras

There are a couple of very cool things that can happen on StumbleUpon: Free stumbles and “viral” traffic.

If you advertise something that Stumblers like – you are likely to get a lot of FREE traffic and exposure beyond your Ad Budget. This is what can make a StumbleUpon campaign pay off big time.

Hidden Issues/Draw Backs I hear you ask…
There is an important thing you need to know: StumbleUpon users are fickle, often “channel surfing” and if you show them something boring or irrelevant – they will “thumbs down you” and your campaign will slow to a grinding halt as the system “de-values” your page and makes you show up less and less.

Protecting you from bad advertising

The automatic feature that reduces the frequency is actually a good thing as it saves your budget when your campaign sucks – StumbleUpon does this to improve the users experience, not save your ad budget – that is simply an awesome side effect.

So what are the tips for a good campaign?

  • Pick the most appropriate categories
  • Create a page that is engaging, photo heavy or interactive
  • Send visitors to your blog or similar rather than your home page
  • Pages with videos work well
  • Web-Apps that “do something” immediately are often well received  

Campaigns and Budgets

You can set a total daily budget as well as a budget for each URL you are promoting. This means you can ease yourself into the whole process. Chuck $100 USD in and setup your campaigns to best spread the traffic across your chosen URLs.


Score below 50%? Pause it

As mentioned before – poorly performing campaigns will be shown to the Stumblers a lot less. If your campaign has a score of under 50% after it has been viewed a handful of times, it is probably best to pause it.

This will give you a chance to look at the category it is in and possibly try a different one. You can also change the content of the page (slightly, so as to comply with StumbleUpon) so that you can make the most of your money.

Any major changes to the page are best matched with a new submission to StumbleUpon.

Our Experiences

We have been using StumbleUpon for our own projects, our clients projects and when helping out a mate for over a year and so far we love it and we just keep going back.

Understand the “Stumbler”

The key is really to get your head around the Stumblers and how they like THEIR web to be – that is the most important thing you need to consider.

One great example I can give you is:

Tutrme is a free online map-based tutoring directory that we co-developed with Masters Academy. We get constant “Free” visits from StumbleUpon and when we ran paid campaigns we often received scores of 100%.

Once you start using StumbleUpon, you will see that 100% is an amazing thing. Even we were suprised.

Why was so popular?

The key is that does something straight away, it is engaging and interactive.

The categories that it performed best in were:

  • Education – USA
  • Education – Australia
  • Home Schooling - Australia


What was the point of advertising this service?

So, what was the point of all this? We received 100% score from stumblers and I hear you ask: What did we get out of it?

Signups to the service increased and returning traffic jumped as more people began using the site to advertise as a tutor, or in the case of the students – find a tutor.

The whole point of a StumbleUpon campaign is to increase quality/targeted traffic and have those visitors begin spreading the word, using the service and linking to your site.

Who are we again?

Com Connect has been helping companies behind the scenes for over a decade with Websites, Web Technologies, Web & Social Marketing.

We are a full service Creative Technology Company with in house R&D, Network Engineers, System Architects and more. That means that we can handle your project from start to finish, design to server/infrastructure maintenance.

Do yourself a favour and send us an email, once you meet John or Myself (Matt) – We are sure you will want to partner with us.

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