Now that I’ve started being a bit more public about Just Laugh’s return, the other big focus that I have right now besides just making good content is also in trying to rebuild an audience to enjoy said content, as well as also help to promote other humorists as well as eventually hopefully driving some ad sales so that I can pay a few other people to write funny stuff along with me.

Marketing is honestly something that I’ve never really been good at before, which explains why I still have stacks of humor books sitting on the shelves behind me! When I first started Just Laugh more than a decade ago, there really wasn’t much we could do for online marketing at the time. We submitted our site to Yahoo!, which was a surprisingly big deal when it got added (I actually got something in the mail!). We tried to build linking relationships with other sites, and when that didn’t work we manage to trick a few of them into linking to us via the Just Laugh Weenie Awards… 😉

But a lot has changed since then … a lot, and so as I’ve sat here contemplating new ways to build traffic when I don’t really have much to offer just yet in return, I stumbled across the advertising options on Facebook the other day and it turned out that they were just simple enough that I decided to give them a try!

I created a new campaign that’s just shooting for new Likes to Just Laugh’s Facebook page, though apparently you can advertise all sorts of stuff with them. In fact, for about an hour and a half I had an ad running specifically to promote this post, but soon after I killed it when I saw that it cost me $1.28 for a single click through to the article.

That said, so far I think I’m pretty happy with how the original ad campaign is going, though admittedly it’s a little weird to watch as the Likes slowly creep in as my ad budget decreases in unison. It kind of feels like I’m buying Likes, which I guess is technically true to an extent, although not really. It’s not like one of those scam sites where you pay a guy $50 for 10,000 Likes – most of which aren’t even real people. That’s one thing that I have to remind myself – that these are real people who are seeing an ad for Just Laugh, and because of that ad they’ve decided to Like the page because they’re into funny stuff!

It’s something that the stats Facebook makes available helps to reinforce, to the point where I couldn’t even imagine buying ads from something like TV or newspapers that are based on market surveys instead of the real data about its users that Facebook is unique to be able to offer to help tailor the experience for both the user and the advertiser!

For example, one of the things that I had to pick for my add was Interests, so instead of just giving typical demographic info like Males age 25-39 who live in the US, I can also tack on there who also like pages such as The Onion and CollegeHumor because those types are more likely to enjoy Just Laugh as well.

Anyways, I’m a very data-driven kind of guy, so it’s neat to be able to see statistics more or less on the fly that tell me things like…

  • My ad has been served to about 3,700 people, and of those impressions I’ve had a success rate of a little over 5%.
  • In the last two and a half days that’s translated to almost 200 new Likes for Just Laugh (I think we were only around 25 of my friends and family before that?).
  • 99% of my ad impressions were on mobile devices, and 100% of the new Likes received came from there as well.
  • Ads were split fairly evenly between men and women, however women were about 25% more likely to respond to the ad.
  • 75% of the new Likes came from people ages 25-34, with the remaining 25% being 35-44 (for true transparency’s sake, the age demo I picked was 25 – 38 … honestly just as a guess because I figured people around my age are more likely to enjoy my jokes!).

It’s definitely interesting to watch develop, to say the least, and the idea that maybe a few more eyeballs will be on my posts in the future is certainly encouraging. Of course, that’ll be the real test because at this point I have no real idea what a realistic conversion rate is for fans clicking through posts over to the actual website where I get to run ads of my own. At this point I’m not entirely sure how long I’m going to run them, or even how long I can afford to run them, though I’ve got some numbers in my head that aren’t too crazy to give myself some things to experiment with.

I really want to make Just Laugh BIG this time, and I know that most of that really rides on having a respectable volume of web traffic, so as long as I can reasonably fund it I’m ok with making some investments to try and help things along. In a way, it’s neat just that we have a system that even makes that possible here in 2015 – where I could tinker with some settings for 20 minutes, enter a credit card number, and another 10 minutes later random strangers were viewing my ads and clicking on them to boot!

Granted, the next chapter of our advertising lesson will be The True Value of a Facebook Fan where we’ll get to see if the $0.20/Like was a worthwhile investment for Just Laugh or not… 😛

P.S. Go Like Just Laugh on Facebook if you read this post and haven’t already … mainly because I don’t have to pay for those Likes if they happen organically!

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