A Quick and Dirty Guide to Marketing Your Rural Business Online – Rhoonet
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A Quick and Dirty Guide to Marketing Your Rural Business Online

7. Consider redirect and content discovery as less invasive ways to generate site traffic inorganically. Another way to bring traffic to your site inorganically (i.e. not with content) is to buy redirect traffic from a third party. A third party service like DNTX purchases vacant domains and, when visitors try to access that domain, redirects them to an advertiser’s site instead. While pop-ups often work counter to what a visitor is trying to accomplish online, relevant redirects can help a visitor find what he or she is looking for online. DNTX (https://www.dntx.com/) boasts one billion clicks per month, so expect a high volume of traffic from this service. The CPC of using DNTX can be as low as $0.002. Most of DNTX’s host sites are American, so the service is especially useful for accessing domestic customers.

Upsides: Inexpensive, domestic traffic Downsides: Less aggressive than pop-up advertising RECOMMENDED FOR: Any industry could benefit from redirect

Content discovery is, essentially, highly targeted banner advertising. A third party service like OutBrain crawls the content of its host sites and, in a banner, recommends related content or products from its advertisers to the host site’s visitors. Content discovery mimics host content in order to direct visitors offsite.   OutBrain (http://www.outbrain.com/) has an impressive list of host sites that includes some of the Internet’s premier media properties (think CNN, People, etc.). While OutBrain generates high traffic volume and high conversion rates, its CPC can reach as much as $5.00 [8]. If you’re using OutBrain, be prepared to give up a lot of control since targeting is determined completely by OutBrain’s algorithm.

Upsides: Highly targeted; High quality traffic from “name brand” sites Downsides: Expensive RECOMMENDED FOR: Media ventures

8. Definitely use social media. Carefully consider advertising on social media. Having a social media presence is absolutely essential for every brand in this day and age. Advertising on social media, however, is not as cut and dry. While sites like Facebook give advertisers the ability to reach over a billion potential customers, most of these same sites have infamously low click-through rates (CTRs) when compared to the alteratives. Because social media collects and organizes large amounts of information about its users, social media campaigns can be highly targeted. If your product is, for example, one that can only be enjoyed locally (think restaurants or small farms), social media campaigns can be restricted accurately by location. Just note that, once users get on social media, they aren’t anxious to get off. Users looking to catch up with friends may overlook your advertisement among the latest Facebook gossip.   Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads) has 1.4 billion monthly active accounts [9] worldwide. Facebook is the most popular social network in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania. There are two types of Facebook advertising: display ads and newsfeed ads. The average CTR for a display ad is 0.04%, quite low. The average CTR for a newsfeed ad is 2.09%, comparable to AdWords [10]. The average CPC for Facebook is around $0.30 [11].

Upsides: Widest potential customer pool of any social network Downsides: Highly competitive RECOMMENDED FOR: Accurate targeting makes Facebook effective for local businesses

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/advertising) has 350 million active accounts worldwide [12] and half of all college graduates in the United States are on LinkedIn [13]. Because its demographics are skewed towards professionals, LinkedIn campaigns only work for certain products (think corporate work-related purchases). Note that LinkedIn requires a minimum bid of $2.00 CPM or CPC and a minimum daily budget of $10.00, so you could end up paying LinkedIn a lot of money to market your product.

Upsides: Best social network to reach corporate decision makers Downsides: Expensive; Less diverse potential customer pool compared to other social networks RECOMMENDED FOR: Businesses that sell to corporate clients

Twitter (https://business.twitter.com/solutions) has 290 million active accounts [12]. Twitter users are typically highly engaged, as the microblogging platform promotes exchange over browsing (i.e. users will be posting more than they’ll be creeping). At approximately $0.30, its CPC is comparable to Facebook’s, but marketers praise Twitter’s traffic as higher quality [14].

Upsides: Highly engaged traffic Downsides: Prices comparable to Facebook, but Twitter’s potential customer pool is smaller RECOMMENDED FOR: Any industry, but particularly entertainment ventures

Pinterest (https://business.pinterest.com/en/promoted-pins) has 73 million active accounts [12], mostly in the United States [15]. Four fifths of Pinterest users are female [16] and nearly a third of rural dwellers use the social network [17]. Demographically, then, the site is ideal for advertisers selling products that rural females in the United States would enjoy. Visual appeal is a must for advertising on this media-rich network. The average CPC for a Promoted Pin on Pinterest is around $0.60 [18].

Upsides: Pinterest users are looking for something to buy or do already and, therefore, are open to advertised products Downsides: There’s currently a waiting list to purchase Promoted Pins; Less diverse potential customer pool compared to other social networks RECOMMENDED FOR: Crafty, feminine, or visually appealing products

Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/advertising) has around 200 million unique visitors per month, 8 million of which use Reddit accounts [19]. The network’s users are often highly tech and gaming literate and drawn to products in those fields. These users are, however, often young (think high school age) and, therefore, lack credit cards and extensive funds. Reddit charges $0.75 CPM and $0.03-$0.15 CPC [20].

Upsides: Inexpensive traffic; Underrated network Downsides: Young users; Less diverse potential customer pool compared to other social networks RECOMMENDED FOR: Tech products

StumbleUpon (http://ads.stumbleupon.com/) is a discovery engine that recommends web content to its users based on peer sourcing. It also recommends content that advertisers have paid to have it pass on, through Paid Discovery. With around 30 million active users [21] and a CPC of as little as $0.10 [20], StumbleUpon can bring a lot of cheap traffic to your site. Be wary that users tend to click through recommended sites rather quickly, so it may be difficult to engage customers once they land on your page.

Upsides: Inexpensive traffic; Underutilized network Downsides: Disengaged users RECOMMENDED FOR: Any product that is novel or attention catching

10. Constantly track and tweak your success or failures. If you’re new to digital marketing, you might have to adjust your strategy a few times before you get it just right. The best marketing strategies are constantly evolving based on what generates results and what does not. Use free tools like Google Analytics and Google Trends to track and tweak your success along the way or pay for more in-depth analysis. Google Analytics (http://www.google.com/analytics/) tracks and reports website traffic. Use the program to distinguish traffic patterns and determine which marketing campaigns generate the most traffic. Analytics is a freemium services, meaning the basic program is free to all users.



Google Trends (https://www.google.com/trends/) tracks popular search terms temporally and regionally to show which keywords are popular at a given time and place. Use the program to select SEO keywords or to track the effect your campaigns have on Google searches.



WordStream (http://www.wordstream.com/) measures the success of PPC advertising campaigns like paid search. WordStream’s software analyses a business’s PPC strategy in real time and makes suggestions to improve that strategy. It costs $2,750/year.

SEMrush (http://www.semrush.com/) analyses the SEO keywords and search ranking of competing sites to determine what brings success. SEMrush’s software efficiently compares your domain to others. Depending on the scale of operation, it costs between $70 and $550/month.  


Spyfu (http://www.spyfu.com/) software analyses competitors’ success in the same way SEMrush does. Its pricing, however, is more flexible than SEMrush. It costs between $50 and $1000/month.  


Alexa (http://www.alexa.com/) tracks traffic patterns across the web, giving marketers insight into their performance and the performance of their competitors. It costs between $10 and $150 per month.  


Skrayp (http://skrayp.com/), exclusively for marketers running pay-per-view (PPV) campaigns, compiles useful PPV sites, keywords, and videos and so that marketers can adjust their strategies based on what is trending on PPV in real time. It costs as little as $10 per month.


10. When it comes to design, fall back on the experts. If you’re having trouble building a visually appealing, bug-free website for your business, consider falling back on this list of foolproof design software. Hubspot (http://www.hubspot.com/) is a comprehensive inbound marketing service. Its all-in-one software is focused on content development and design as much as on analytics. Its programs both recommend marketing strategy and include the tools to put that strategy in action. It costs between $200 and $2,400/month.


Unbounce (http://unbounce.com/) is a website design software designed to create landing pages that maximize conversions. Its tools (think drag and drop) are easy to use. Despite its easy to use interface, the program includes a range of professional features from parallax scrolling to full page background images. It costs between $50 and $100/month.  


Nectafy (http://nectafy.com/) aims to optimize the productivity of a business’s website through killer content. Since Nectafy sees content as the cornerstone of a successful website, its service focuses on creating content that maximizes conversions. Nectafy is integrated with Hubspot and WordPress. Nectafy tailors cost based on the scale of your project.

Stephen Kota

Steve Kota is the Chief Story Teller at Rhoonet. Mr Kota spent over 15 years as East Coast Territory Manager at HughesNet; the provider of rural satellite broadband.​ Steve spends his leisure time travelling, painting, fishing and photography.

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