StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery: A Good Buy?

As the world of social media marketing is becoming increasingly lucrative given the right venues of advertising, it has become a priority for online businesses to find and invest in these rich and potent social marketing venues. One such opportunity lies in StumbleUpon paid advertising.

StumbleUpon is one of today’s established pillars of social media alongside Digg and Reddit, and often offered as “sharing portals” on websites through the use of the StumbleUpon share button. The gist of the service is that users can input their interests and they can “stumble upon” websites that focus on what they like most – as StumbleUpon itself says: it helps people “easily discover new and interesting” places on the Internet.

StumbleUpon Paid Advertising

StumbleUpon has had its own ad program but recently they have revamped it to become what they now call Paid Discovery. Through StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, your URL can become a promoted part of the discovery stream of users whose interests are aligned with your niche, and you pay per engaged visitor you receive, much like in paid search ads – with the major difference of reducing search complexity and of course, there is no bidding involved. This new and improved StumbleUpon paid advertising program offers:

Light – $0.05 per visitor

  • targeted discovery through demographics, location, and interest
  • basic performance reporting
  • Google Analytics integration

Standard – $0.10 per visitor

  • priority serving in streams (your URL is prioritized over Light Paid Discovery marketers and the rest of the stream)
  • targeted discovery through demographics, location, and interest
  • advanced targeting (by web or mobile device)
  • advanced reporting
  • Google Analytics integration

Premium – $0.25 per visitor

  • same features as Standard, save for guaranteed priority serving in discovery streams; your URL will stand above the Standard, Light, and the rest of the stream.

The Light package is for publishers who want to increase traffic, the Standard package is for brands who wish to engage their target market, while the Premium package is best reserved for special situations such as product launches. You an instantly create an account for StumbleUpon’s paid advertising program, and approval typically takes less than a business day – normally within a few hours if the account or ad campaign was created during usual working hours. For campaigns to take effect after approval, however, you need to have funds in your account.

So, is StumbleUpon Paid Discovery a Lucrative Discovery?

Functioning akin to paid search but with a social factor (indeed, StumbleUpon made sure that even within discovery streams, users can give ads a “Thumbs Up,” so the rest of the community can see), this new StumbleUpon paid advertising program leverages moderate targeting and drops the sometimes callous business of keyword or placement bidding. Extenuating factors may come into play when two Premium ads, both guaranteed top priority, land on the same stream, but overall, the concept is sound.

Better yet, the concept is both search-friendly and social. If you need a targeted, socially-driven ad program that has the potential to turn your website viral, StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery has that potential – the only things left are what you do within the program and how the platform develops over time.