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How and why I hire freelancers via UpWork

The other day I mentioned on LinkedIn that I was looking for a freelancer web developer. A USA-based agency messaged me to express interest. Their rate — $150/hour. This a common rate for an experienced US-based web developer. The project I need help with has a budget of about $1000 per month, so this rate would give me under six hours of work, once rounding and communications overhead (or project manager) is factored in. I ended up going to UpWork.com and hiring two developers: one from Ukraine for $20/hour, and one from India for $10 per hour. The Indian developer will do close to 100 hours of work for the same cost. So that’s the basic case for sourcing your own freelancers. The details are considerably more complicated: sometimes a $150/hour developer is a better value than a $10/hour one: a good programmer can be far more productive than an average one, and a bad one will just waste your time and money. The trouble is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up payi…
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FEE Content Team: Strategies and Results

(Guest post by By Jeffrey A. Tucker, Director of Content for FEE)Introduction: a bold experiment in reaching mainstream culture Two years ago, FEE embarked on an experiment born of frustration. FEE’s website was not a product of its own but rather a kind of information board for advertising the institution. It had low performance. Brand recognition of the institution was not increasing.
And yet there was clearly opportunity. When you look at the venues considered to be mainstream distributors of ideas, they all trend toward the progressive and social democratic, i.e., statist. They fill up the smartphone feeds of millennials. They speak to them on all their social media platforms. Their websites enjoy millions of hits a week. They are profoundly affecting culture – not through political activism, policy study, or academic work, but rather through public commentary on the passing scene. They define what is fashionable.
What is preventing the ideas of liberty from entering this space? Tr…

How FEE.org gets 30,000 free monthly clicks with Dynamic Search Ads

FEE.org gets about 30,000 clicks from our primary Google AdWords account per month. This is not a lot of traffic - about one day of organic visitors - but the vast majority of Google traffic comes from new users, so it is an important source of new users.

The best part is that this traffic is totally free: FEE get's a $40,000 per month AdWords credit from Google's Grants program. That's $480,000 of free advertising per year!

There are some catches you should be aware of:
A maximum cost-per-click limit of $2.00Only text ad campaigns are supportedYour ads show below those of paying advertisersA daily spend limit of 1/30th of your monthly total In practice, these conditions make it difficult to hit your daily spend limit. Even if you do hit your limit (for example, by targeting hundreds of low-traffic keywords), it can be difficult to send your visitors to fresh content because someone has to keep creating new ads for new articles on your site.

Google AdWords offers an ingen…

How FEE uses Facebook audience sharing to maximize engagement

As social media has become the primary way for young people to discover brands and ideas, the effectiveness of traditional television/print/radio has fallen. Reaching people interested in your ideas on social media is hard -- there are so many competing brands vying for their attention. Remarketing (aka retargeting) to audiences known to have an interest or relationship with you is one of the most effective ways to reach people who are most likely to engage with your brand.
While FEE's marketing has historically been focused on personal referrals and “organic” growth, in 2016, we decided to focus on reaching new audiences and developing new marketing channels. Key to our plan is reaching new audiences on social media, using some tricks used by top ad agencies that are new to the nonprofit world. Typically, when organizations run ad campaigns - whether web, print, or radio - they target broad demographics. What FEE has been doing with great success is targeting individual peopl…

What is FEE's digital marketing strategy?

FEE's mission is ultimately one of marketing.  FEE does not do basic research or write academic treatises.  We do not contribute to academic journals or conduct economic research.  The intellectual foundation in support of a free society and sound economic principles is well established and our partner organizations do a great job of building on it.  FEE's mission is to popularize a set of ideas: the values of a free market and individual liberty.  We must therefore make effective marketing a core competency of FEE.

Strategy

Our marketing strategy has three elements:

Create great content that engages, informs, persuades, and delights users.Distribute our content using the platforms that young people use.Accelerate our audience's engagement with the liberty movement by promoting events, online courses, and program partners.
Core Competencies

In order to further this mission, FEE is developing a world-class technology and marketing platform based on the practices and tools use…

How to enable cross-posting videos with FEE on Facebook

Cross-posting videos allows sharing Facebook Videos between Pages without re-uploading a duplicate video.  

Why would you want to cross-post with FEE?
Your videos get more exposure on other PagesYou control the content and description of the video (unlike re-uploaded videos, cross-posted videos cannot be modified.)Analytics/Insights are shared with both the author and the page cross-posting the video.FEE has a $2 million grant to distribute great content, and we are very, very good at distribution!
Tutorial: How do I allow another Page to crosspost my Page's videos? Step 1: Click on the Settings for your Pages, then Crossposting.  Now add FEE:

Step 2: Go to "Publishing Tools" then "Video Library" then Edit for each video you want to share:

Step 3: Enable cross-posting for each video you want to share with other pages:

How (and why) to use retargeting in your Facebook ads

A key part of FEE's advertising strategy is retargeting our customers across multiple channels. Retargeting, also known as remarketing or behavioral targeting, is the practice in online advertising of showing ads to people based on their previous online activity. Here is how we do it:

1. Define Custom Audience
FEE's retargeting is based on three data sources:

Website visits to specific domains or web pages. For this example, we are tracking visits to http://www.feecon.org/ via a Facebook Pixel tracking cookie. Some of our website audience originates on other organizations' websites and are anonymously shared with us.Membership in email lists, including FEE Daily or audiences shared with us by partners. (Facebook allows audience sharing without sharing any individual email addresses.)Online and offline transactions. If you purchase something from our store, register for an event, or make a donation, you'll eventually be imported as a Custom Audience for retargeting.

Here…

Facebook Audience Testing Case Study: Elijah McCoy Campaign

The goal of this project was to see if we could effectively market our content to an audience outside our core demographic in a data-driven manner. We picked this video as the test subject. The success of this experiment validated our strategy for the YEAR project.

1. Identify goals
Success metrics for this campaign included: Engage non-core audience Sell Real Heroes Identify which of the target personas our list resonates with the most.
2. Brainstorm audience personas

We reviewed the video and discussed what kinds of audiences would engage with it. We identified four audience candidates:

FEE Donors Black Entrepreneurship Fans Inventors and Makers Mike Rowe Fans who like Entrepreneurship

We tested four additional placements to display the content:

YouTube link from the FEE page FEE.org article on the FEE page Facebook add (content specified within ad)