For this installation of the Automattic Design blog post, we are doing something different. As an empathy challenge, we are tasked to think about a common question our customers face, “How do I get more views?” This is important because views are a basic metric to seeing how popular a website is. With a $20 budget, our challenge is to get 1000 views for an article for one of our peers’ blog post.

As a marketing designer at Automattic, I should have some natural advantage to this challenge. Making designs for advertising is something I do and I think about on a daily basis. However, I’m usually making ads with much higher budget and for a well-known brand, WordPress.com. I also get to collaborate with a team of seasoned marketers.

On a personal level, I was never much of a self-promoter. Getting views was never a focus of my own brand and work. But I figure it’s never too late to start today!

Planet Discovery

To research more on how to get more views, I read through some of the helpful internal resources WordPress.com has put together:

Blogging University – Branding and Growth

WordPress.com Support articles

As well as some external sources by searching Google for keywords like “boost page view”. There are LOTS of results and pages on this topic out there. I particularly find posts by Neil Patel being quite helpful for marketing and growing traffic on a tight budget:

20 Secrets That’ll Boost Your Facebook Organic Reach

5 Ways to Increase Your Pageviews Per Visitor by 23.52%

Lots of it are common sense, but it’s good to review them:

  • There is no one sure way to get traffic. It all takes time and work. To gain an audience, it takes time to write quality content and even more time to post consistently to build reach.
  • Make sure the site is optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so people can find the website. Having consistent and relevant content to business one is key to boosting search ranking.
  • Having niche and unique keywords within the posts are also important to stand out in a crowd of content.
  • Use all social channels to boost views. Leverage all organic social networks to increase eyeballs to the selected post. Better yet, ask others to help repost it to help with views.

I reached out to my colleague, and go-to growth expert, Jessica Snavely, for advice. She suggested a few out-of-the-box tactics that could yield great results from a cost per click (CPC) perspective, based on my $20 budget restriction:

  • Using the $20 on a Rafflecopter giveaway (or using Amazon Giveaway as a backup).
    • This could be VERY effective and exciting! And we’d gain a lot of likes/email signups in the process. But I’d need to check with our legal team to review the giveaway terms of services. I imagine this would be an unnecessary step for a typical small business owner.
  • Using Fiverr – An online marketplace where freelancers provide goods/services.
  • Asking a person with a large following on social to promote the post. (aka John Maeda–the most famous person I know)
  • Running retargeting advertising

The post that I plan on promoting is our Mobile Design Lead — Matt Miklic’s post on Running an effective remote design team. The reason I picked this article is because as an Automattician, I believe remote work is the future of work. I think there are a lot of people waiting to discover the remote work life…a year ago, that was me! 🙂 Hopefully by promoting Matt’s post, it’ll get people interested in remote work, or even better, in Automattic. There’s also the advantage of the recruiting angle from the article that I can use to get some organic sharing from different parties.

Onto Planet Hypothesis

With quite a bit of research and learnings from Planet Discovery, I propose we do one of these two (or a combination of a bit of both), and I’d love some help in deciding:

1 – Run a Rafflecopter/Amazon giveaway for a $20 gift card.

I will also promote it on my social channel to get some traction. I suspect with the $20 prize, it will attract some good traffic to the post. The drawback of this is we’re purely bribing views with the prize. People might not be genuinely clicking for the content, which is quite sad. 😦 But 1 out of 100 might read it and be interested. It’s still a worthy experiment from a growth hacking/marketing standpoint.

2 – Spreading the word the old-fashioned way.

I’ll share the post on my organic social channels: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Then ask a few selected people from my network to kindly repost the posts. Spend the $20 on targeted promoted posts on Facebook’s ad network. Since the post is related to remote work, I can tag and spread the work with social accounts and websites that are interested in the topic. I will also contact Automattic’s human resources department and see if we could promote the post with some budget on our social media accounts, as it could help spread the word about us and help our recruitment efforts. You know, building relationships and asking for favors, like people did in the old days!

Is There Really a Shortcut?

Hopefully one of the two paths will lead to increased page views! I reckon that the giveaway route will attract a burst of page views purely because of the gift. Whereas the second route will attract a higher quality audience that actually cares about the content. We shall all see!

Giveaway Featured Image by Don Agnello on Unsplash

Posted by Ballio Chan

Designer - The Studio @Automattic | Creative | Brand | Connecting the dots between design and technology.