How To Use Paid Discovery On StumbleUpon To Kickstart Social Campaigns

While StumbleUpon might not currently be the most talked about social site, it still can be one of the most powerful mediums for jumpstarting your campaigns. StumbleUpon has always been a favorite of mine due to its broad range of categories and its diverse user base.

The recent transformation of StumbleUpon Ads into StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is a sexy change that features some robust new targeting and tracking features, and making campaigns more effective.

Paid Discovery allows you to create and submit a page or site to StumbleUpon and drive traffic directly to it, no ad clicks required. Unlike many other sources, the traffic is very cheap ranging from a nickel to a quarter per click. The new advertising levels are $0.05 for basic, $0.10 for standard and $0.25 for premium.

The absolute best feature of StumbleUpon Paid Discovery is that while you do pay for traffic, it can be used as an ignition method for your campaign to drive free “stumbles” to your site.

So if your campaign takes off on StumbleUpon, you aren’t tied to Paid Discovery to keep the traffic flowing. Here are some other new features that makes Paid Discovery so appealing to marketers.

What’s New In StumbleUpon & Why It Rocks

Demographics & Location

This new platform now allows a “standard” option for you to create campaigns and target not only by content category, but also by age, gender and location for $0.10 per visitor. The new platform lets users choose the country, state and city for targeting the campaign. However, not all cities are available as of this article. Such new additions allow for advertisers to use StumbleUpon to target much like they would on Facebook Ads, but typically at a much lower cost per click.


One of the issues that plagued the previous version of “StumbleUpon Ads” was the fact that it was not possible to use tracking code in campaigns.

With the new platform, Google Analytics can now be used to track all traffic, for all campaign levels. This means that you can use tracking parameters to discover how different StumbleUpon categories and demographics perform. Google offers a free URL builder that will help you create such links if you require help.

Stumble By Device

One really useful item that is now being offered is breakdown by device targeting. This allows users to target desktops, iPhones, Android or iPads. This creates a major opportunity for companies with mobile or tablet apps, and even for anyone looking to have a mobile site gain some traction.

Guaranteed Discovery

With the new release of Paid Discovery, a quality score metric has been made public, much like that of Google’s AdWords. Low quality scores may hinder performance of a campaign, but Premium accounts can bypass the quality score and be shown in top priority within a campaign. This may allow advertisers to really push a campaign within a category in small flight increments, no matter how few people like the message.

Tips & Tricks With Paid Discovery

Test Multiple Categories

Don’t just toss your content up in one category, try multiple categories to see what works best for your content. The new quality score metric will help guide you on what categories perform best for your content. Maybe you thought that a viral piece would do well in “humor”, but using multiple categories you can see that it’s doing the best in “sports”. Use this knowledge to boost your presence in sports and hope that your initial boost will bring forth a viral swell of “free stumbles” in that category.

Use Paid Discovery To View Subscriber Count

Before submitting your content to StumbleUpon, you can do a quick check to find the most popular categories using Paid Discovery. To do this, select “manual targeting” and then choose your categories. Categories feature a number that represents how many thousand people subscribe to that channel. Use this data to select the best main category to submit to, but make sure that the page is relevant to your selected category!

Make Sure You Have Great Content

While StumbleUpon touts itself as being no-click advertising, to get the most bang for your buck, make sure you are spreading good content and valuable information. Having desirable information will lower your overall cost per visitor by adding free visitors.

Send To Other Social Sites

Many types of social advertising can be pricey. Advertising your Facebook page to a specific demographic and interest usually costs you a fairly high CPC. Not with StumbleUpon, however. The set price can make advertising your Facebook page much cheaper with prices per targeted click starting at $0.05. So if you are having trouble sticking to budget by advertising on other social networks, advertise those networks right on StumbleUpon, for pennies on the dollar!

These new additions to StumbleUpon can really help marketers to kick-start social campaigns and track success like never before. If you haven’t looked into advertising with StumbleUpon in the past – don’t be left behind – the new Paid Discovery features make this platform a can’t-miss opportunity.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Search & Social


About The Author: is the Chief Marketing Officer for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

Connect with the author via: Email


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  • Edwin Ivanauskas

    Do you have more information or a case study on using paid inclusion to promote another social media profile? It can be tough to get Stumblers to actually stay on a page when their cursor is hovering over the stumble button. It seems almost impossible to get enough to stay on your social media profiles to make this a worthwhile investment.

  • Steve Schildwachter

    Coincidentally, I just learned about StumbleUpon today when it suddenly generated 200 views of a book review I posted eight months ago!

  • Dana Lookadoo

    Brilliant, Greg! What a fantastic approach for a company who doesn’t yet have a large fan and user base. StumbleUpon could accelerate discovery!

    The challenge is to ensure the site paying for traffic has quality content! ;-)

  • Gloria Katrina Bea

    This is amazing. Another marketing strategy that will work wonders for many businesses who want to utilize online promotional activities. Thanks for sharing.


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