Businesses everywhere are trying to find the next big marketing tool to take them to the next level. With so many to choose from, it may be hard to decide which one is best for achieving your goals. I sat down with Runfei Hu, CopyPress Curation Manager, to discuss StumbleUpon and how to use it to market your business effectively.

1. Tell me a little about StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon is a social media site that helps you discover and share the best content on the web. As you click “Stumble,” it delivers quality pages matched to your personal preferences.

These pages have been recommended by your friends or more than 20 million other StumbleUpon members with interests similar to yours. Giving a particular site a “thumbs up” tells the algorithm what kind of content you want to see.

2. How does StumbleUpon compare to other media platforms like Reddit and Digg?

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Digg is a social sharing platform were users browse through current top stories, popular stories (the most shared stories on Digg in the preceding 18 hours) and upcoming stories (the newest stories on Digg). They’ve been trying to improve their RSS feed in the wake of Google Reader’s death.

Reddit is also a media platform with popular topics. It’s different from Digg because users can upload their own content. All of this content is either voted “up” or “down” by the Reddit community to decide what’s trending and therefore moves onto the front page. Additionally, the content on Reddit’s site is organized into categories by subject area, called “subreddits.”

StumbleUpon offers the most opportunities for businesses to engage their customers than the other two. StumbleUpon has a comprehensive Ads system called Paid Discovery which allows you to submit and manage your ads on your own. Each page you submit will be viewed manually by StumbleUpon staff to ensure the page quality.

Reddit has no sponsored stories and the content quality is not insured. On Digg, you need to contact the sales team to seek business opportunities. That’s not ideal if you want to handle mass content at a time.

3. How does the public perceive StumbleUpon? How do marketers perceive it?

I answered part of this in the previous question. StumbleUpon is an easy way to find cool new websites, videos, photos and images from across the Web, because that is how the platform is set up. StumbleUpon offers the most opportunities for businesses to engage their customers.

4. What role does it play in our curation process?

Cost per stumble is far cheaper than other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which significantly lowers overall curation cost, and keeps our offering at a competitive rate.

5. Are there things you can do to maximize SU traffic?

Broaden your target option. Enter small amounts of money each time to keep Ads active all the time.

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6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using SU as a marketing tool?

The bad side is there is no targeted traffic. Even though you select the target option via the paid engine, it’s not guaranteed that those people will be landing on your site. The good side is that it drives a lot of traffic. Although traffic is not targeted it’s better than no movement, because it will give you a boost in the search rankings.

StumbleUpon carefully reviews the sponsor page that the user submitted. Any content that violates their content guide will be disapproved.

7. What are some things to avoid when submitting content?

A few things you need to watch out from the content side include:

  • Content that is not in English unless the campaigns are targeted to the correct region.
  • Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • Sites that require the user to login to their account to get access, or require multiple steps to access the content.
  • Image sites that are ad-heavy and use non-sourced images as a means of monetization.
  • Mostly ad content above the fold.
  • Excessively long load times (greater than 5 seconds).

8. How do you measure success on SU?

There are few different analytics to look at on StumbleUpon.

Here is an overall performance for October. Also, the campaign can be tracked and viewed individually.

Score: The performance of a URL calculated as Like/(Like+Dislikes). A scale above 60% will be considered quality content.

Effective CPV: We dragged our CPV down to 0.3 cents per stumble. (In October 2012 we had 6.7 cents per stumble.)

9. What are some analytics tools you use for it?

The only analytics tool we use for StumbleUpon is Curation Reports which keeps scanning the Ads URL and provides overall growth on shares.

10. How do you see SU progressing as a marketing tool?

Like I said before, it’s a good tool to drive traffic to give your blog post a boost in search engines.

If your goal is to encourage as much interaction as possible and the number of visitors to your site is unimportant without that engagement, then StumbleUpon probably won’t work well for you. Similarly, if your goals include keeping your visitors on your site for longer periods of time and encouraging one visitor to visit multiple posts or pages on your blog, StumbleUpon is not likely to help accomplish your goals.

If, on the other hand, the amount of traffic generated by your blog post is one of your major considerations, then StumbleUpon is likely to be a better fit.

11. Is there anything about it you would change?

What can StumbleUpon do to help individual business owners improve their brand? There aren’t many things you can do to boost your brand image and commit/engage to your audience — unlike Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and any other social platform that allows you to create your own fan base. The client is looking for conversions.

With this business model, StumbleUpon probably will fade away with the massive social media world that’s booming.

If you have any other questions regarding StumbleUpon, feel free to comment below!

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