Approximate read time: 6 minutes
…Did you know 114,000,000 are people doing things on the internet right now as you read this?
When a brand complains that there is no traffic, I laugh, because there is always traffic on the internet, approximately 114,000,000 at any given time.
There is so much traffic that even if you get 0.00001% of that amount, it would bring down your web hosting server down in a fraction of a second.
Rather, the issue brands have is that they don’t know how to tap into the internet’s “firehose” of traffic.
A firehose has a much larger diameter than a regular hose so it has the ability to carry more volume.
So, an internet firehose is a website that carries more volume of digital traffic than a regular website.
Much, much more!
This guide will concentrate on tapping into those websites to gain more traffic than your website could possibly handle…
Here are the elements:
- STEP 1: Understand Digital Activities; and
- STEP 2: Picking Firehoses.
Let’s start with…
1) Understand Digital Activities
So what are all these people doing minute-to-minute?
You can probably guess some of them, but here is a list…
In general, those people are doing the following:
- Searching for information;
- Connection with friends;
- Being entertained and filling in time;
- Purchasing products, services or solutions;
- Consuming information and media;
- Blogging and creating content;
- Networking and meeting people;
- Seeking peer help;
- Staying informed about world affairs;
- Communicating with friends;
- And looking for peer recommendations…
People want to gain specific benefits from these activities otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing them.
And these activities happening on specific categories of sites.
If you specifically look at Alexa.com (a website which provides web traffic data and analytics), it gives a breakdown of the top 200 most visited websites globally (as of 14 March 2016)…
…You will discover that people are giving their attention to the following website categories (and top 200 websites):
- Search Engines (For example, Google, Yahoo, YouTube, MSN, Bing, Daily Motion, Vimeo and Media Fire);
- Social Networking (For example, Facebook and Weibo);
- Entertainment (For example, Netflix, Buzz Feed, 5 different pornography sites (!));
- Shopping (For example, Amazon, Walmart, eBay PayPal, Alibaba and Craigslist);
- Information (For example, Wikipedia, SlideShare and BlogSpot);
- Micro Blogging (For example, Twitter and Instagram);
- Social Media (For example, Pinterest, Imgur and Flickr);
- Help & Advice (For example, StackOverflow, Ask, GitHub, Quora and Stack Exchange);
- News & Press (For example, Reddit, Outbrain, CNN, New York Times, India times, Huffington Post, Weather, CNET, Vice, The Guardian, Forbes and Washington Post);
- Communication (For example, WhatsApp); and
- Reviews (For example, Yelp and Trip Advisor).
One activity that is not accounted for on Alexa, because it is hidden, is reading and writing email.
People send and receive lots of email, but is on the “dark web,” so it is hidden from analytic sites such as Alexa.
And all of this activity is competed in predominantly English.
Imagine the potential traffic for you brand…
An internet without traffic firehoses, would have no meaningful digital marketing channels for brands.
People would be haphazardly typing web URLs into their browser and haphazardly following links.
Useful marketing channels cannot exist without cohorts of people.
Cohorts of people are present on these top websites.
Social platforms, search engines, news sites and so on, bring people together to form these cohorts.
Some cohorts are required to have accounts, many others are just returned visitors.
Regardless of being in a database or not, they are all cohorts of some description.
2) Picking Firehoses
Back to brands…
…there is no traffic problem for brands – they have a problem to gain attention.
Brands need attention because attention is the first step in the marketing sequence AIDA:
- (D)esire; and
The term and format are attributed to Elias St. Elmo Lewis.
When discussing advertising, Lewis said “The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement.”
The question for your brand is: “How do we leverage the large volume of traffic and attention for marketing purposes?”
Of course, people on the internet are interested in what they are currently or wanting to do and the associated benefits, not your brand.
So a more useful and specific question is: “How do we leverage the large volume of traffic, by gaining reach and awareness then directing that attention from what they are currently or wanting to do to our brand?”
The solution is that brands need to capture attention from the current hose of traffic flow, then segment and qualify that traffic to generate leads and then sales.
In other words, by analogy, brands need to dip into the streams (websites) of water (traffic) to get attention.
And, if you are in marketing you likely know that getting attention is hard and expensive.
Firstly, there is so much noise.
Pornography, addictive social media feeds, controversial news stories and cute cat videos are enticing and only one URL away!
And secondly, websites with a lot of traffic (those mentioned above) have invested heavily in gaining and keeping that traffic and cohorts.
They will charge you to access it through their advertising platforms.
So, the story so far is:
- People are spending their attention on social platforms, search engines, news sites and so on; and
- When something grabs their attention on these categories of sites, they click and consume it.
You need to interrupt and insert your brand in this process.
You need to be more compelling to get attention and divert it in your direction.
Another is leveraging extremely cheap paid traffic AKA Media Buying.
Of course, the exact details for leveraging these specific types of traffic are detailed and deserve a separate in-depth discussions that are beyond the scope of this guide.
You made it…
You now have a solid plan for leveraging the internet firehoses for and will be more than enough for you to start getting creative about how you will use them for your brand get started on your own.
That’s the full Digital Traffic Firehose Process, and it will be more than enough for you to get started on your own.
You can get the printed illustrated Process Map of this and 20 others for free, here
And if you’re serious about marketing and selling more, the logical next step is to contact me to help you do it yourself, have me do it with you, or have it all done for you.
This maybe the momentum you need to get great marketing and sales results.
Now let’s learn about The B2B Lead Generation Process.
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