When it comes to the long-term traffic possibility of content marketing, SEO and marketing strategies generally offer the best return on investment. In a natural way, they lend themselves to returns combined over time, and practically present no risk, provided they are properly executed. However, there is a great disadvantage of these strategies, as they take a long time to set up and start returning a positive ROI. Creating SEO momentum can take a while – sometimes months and even years. However, when you start a new website, you’ll want traffic, fast.

So, what do you do? There are various options – each with their advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the fastest:

Guest Posting

Guest publications perform multiple functions, but there are two that make them a point of sale for those who make quick profits. Firstly, guest publications connect you with authorities that have already established an audience. Take TechCrunch as an example: it has millions of readers, so if you can get your brand in front of that audience, you can rely on ample visibility. Unfortunately, the more visible the editor, the more difficult it will be to present your brand, so perhaps consider looking at something smaller to begin with.

The second point of sale is the possibility of direct traffic; as long as your content has authority and is valuable, it will result in a healthy stream of users to your site. Also, as a long-term benefit, guest publications will support you with SEO and content marketing, which is why it’s my favourite amongst the five on this list. For help getting started with guest publications, search for the step-by-step guide to creating your business via Guest Blogging.

Develop Your Audience on Social Networks

The Head of Digital Marketing at www.openhost.co.nz, Brendan Wilde perfectly explains it: “Building a social audience can be impulsive, but with your priorities in order, it’s a fast and efficient method to scale your prospective user base. This is because on social networks, you can interact with users publicly and directly. You can use the content to attract people in a natural way or via announcements (more on those later) to channel traffic directly. Above all, you can interact with people”.

When you interact with social users, if you like them, share their publications, or simply invite them to chat, you are presenting your brand. This requires some initial work, but in a few weeks (in theory), it could train an audience of thousands of people to act as a platform for even greater growth.

Take Advantage of the Influencers

Do you remember what I said about high profile editors as a shortcut for a wider audience? Influencing basically works the same way, except that you engage with an individual instead of hosting your client on an external site. You can find influencers in your industry by tracing the world of social networks or looking for one by conducting research. Influencers can come in any form – even your website hosting provider.

From there, you should form a rapport, which could implicate sharing your work or asking questions. You can share just your content or ask them about an interview opportunity for mutual visibility; just respect your time and do not directly request free advertising. If you succeed, you will immediately have thousands of visitors and from that position can continue to maintain that rapport or find fresh influencers to work with.

Use Paid Ads

Of the strategies covered in this article, paid advertising is the least preferred option, but still important enough to make mention of. Why is it the least preferred? This is because it is the least durable prospect. You’ll pay in advance for a guaranteed incoming traffic flow to your website that can be invaluable. However, once you remove that budget, your ads are disabled. I like to compare it to building equity in a house against paying rent.

Advertising is a quick and profitable strategy, but simply doesn’t have the potential for growth or profits offered by organic strategies. That said, below are some good options for fast payment traffic:

  • StumbleUpon ads
  • Profit ads
  • Facebook ads
  • Advertising on Twitter
  • LinkedIn ads
  • Google AdWords
  • Bing ads

Perform Promotions and Contests

Promotions and contests are similar to premium, meaning that you’ll have to make an initial investment – usually in a popular consumer product, a gift card or something just as valuable. So, ask your users to participate in the contest and to share your publication on social networks.

Competitions are powerful, because they extend naturally: users love to share these opportunities and it’s a good way to achieve wide ranging visibility, quickly. It could also have long-term benefits if social users participating in your competition end up following your brand. The key is to find the right, original, valuable and interesting competition for the main demographic data.

Remember that ‘fast’ traffic is not always good, and does not necessarily mean you’ll get a good return on your investment. On the return of all cash spent in the long run, SEO and content marketing almost always outlast premium advertising (assuming an appropriate strategic positioning). Think of it as buying the seeds to grow your vegetables and source them directly from the store; with the appropriate upkeep, your orchard will return many more treasures to your original investments, though on some occasions, a shortcut might prove to be the only possible option. Try to keep these short-term methods in balance with your long-term strategies to take advantage of both.