What is the value of paid online views? Is it all BS?

I recently put some money down to promote my latest video on YouTube. I put money behind everything I do. It’s the only way to ensure it gets seen.

Anyhoo, here it is…

Incidentally, any chance you can follow my channel? It’s new, is way out of my comfort zone, and I’d just really appreciate the support.

I spent $150 on Facebook/Instagram boosting this, which is more than I usually spend.

The results so far?

Facebook tells me I have reached 18,000+ people, 5,800+ have engaged with the post, and close to 200 have clicked on the link (a measure you can only see on your phone).

On Instagram, which I’ve recently added to my boosting program, I’ve seen 2,600+ users “like” my advert and I’ve picked up about 10 new followers.

On LinkedIn, where I didn’t spend any money, the platform tells me 800+ people have viewed my post.

And yet, on YouTube, there has only been 120 views, and I had about 30 views before I boosted…

I have known that data and reality haven’t matched my advertising spend on social media for a very long time and continue to spend money anyway. This is mainly because I appreciate that just being seen by a potential target audience enough times (estimates are you need to touch your customer 12-18 times today), is how you build their trust in you and your brand. It convinces them you are of value.

The best example I ever read was Jeff Bullas – the number one social media influencer in the world. In his early days, he picked up a job in Europe and when he asked the customer why they selected him, they said it’s because they kept seeing him everywhere. This gave the buyer confidence that he was the right person for the job. He wouldn’t have seen that in the data from his paid outreach. It doesn’t measure that.

On top of that, we live in a world where you need to spend money to have any chance of people seeing what you post. So will I continue spending? Yes. But not stupidly.

As an example, I’ve been experimenting with Outbrain, promoting the blog – Your content competes with Donald Trump today, and guess what? We have a very different story.

According to the data, I have reached 1.6 million people, with the click throughs at over 1,000. That basically adds up to 80 cents a read from someone qualified as interested in my topic.

How do I know they’re qualified? With Outbrain, your article is matched to similar content on official publisher sites and sits below it as a reading option. Check out the publisher partnerships to get a sense of where you can be.

There’s a credibility factor at play too. How so?

Well I ran into a friend recently (a senior business influencer) who said he saw me on CNN or something like that. I said what, I was never on that site? Then I realized I’d been featured by Outbrain there, and he associated my content with being published on the site. That’s a good thing.

My goal for my content has always been to build my brand, credibility and expertise in my field, and ultimately get it in front of people wanting to learn, as well as decision makers who want to buy my services. My content has more than proved this works as a strategy, because I’ve never been busier and the calls and emails keep on coming – many linked to specific blog posts. Content marketing works.

But based on my experiences, I encourage you to be very careful in how you interpret the data and consider all options available. I plan to spend more money on Outbrain, as an example, however, to ensure anyone is reading my ramblings on my professional Facebook page, I must continue to invest there too.

LinkedIn boosting is also another area to focus on… but both LinkedIn and Outbrain can feel expensive when you’re used to spending much less, especially as you don’t get that instant response you tend to see on Facebook.

So where is the best place to spend your money? And the answer is always – it depends on what you want to do.

If you want people to take immediate action – buy something, subscribe, etc… you might not get great results. But if you want to ensure your presence is in people’s awareness to consistently build your credibility and personal brand (aka be seen everywhere), then people taking action isn’t necessarily the best measure.

What do you think? Am I missing something? Or perhaps I’m just not that good at the fine art of boosting content? Or is it all just BS?



Money box photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. If you like it, I’d love a comment, or perhaps you can send me a favorite recipe for steak? My hubby is coming home from an extended trip and a romantic dinner is required. Of course, please feel free to share with your communities, because that’s what this is all about today – sharing and giving to each other.

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