How can you grow your audience faster and more efficiently? Here’s a perfect solution: pair two effective growth methods, content marketing and growth hacking, to create a powerful traffic boost that will drive sales and improve your bottom line.
Growth hacking means doing more with less by using innovative marketing techniques. It’s perfect for small businesses and startups who don’t have a huge amount resources to work with, though larger business can always use the increase in traffic that growth hacking provides.
Content marketing is a marketing technique that focuses on the generation and distribution of rich, relevant, valuable content on a consistent basis that encourages repeat visitors. This kind of strategy gives companies an edge in that it offers them the chance to repeatedly share their message with a targeted audience, driving profitable actions.
How to use growth hacking and content marketing together
One of the beautiful things about growth hacking is that it’s broad and varied. Those same endless possibilities can also be overwhelming for businesses to tackle – just getting started can be daunting. Here is a step by step guide to growing your business through content marketing, growth hacking your way to more customers with less effort.
Step 1 – Make it about you
While the “About” page is often one of the most visited areas of a website, but oddly it also tends to be one that doesn’t get a lot of care as far as content. Simple changes to the “About” page can bring powerful results with little effort. These might be things like creating an effective call to action, expanding the content to be more of a story or simply updating an outdated page.
Step 2 – Write more
Though many people still swear by the 500 word piece of content, there’s every reason to think that longer content is actually becoming more desirable. Most keyword searches on Google today will yield top ranking pages with content that is 2,000 words or longer. Google likes longer copy. As long as it’s well written and compelling, readers are all over it. This doesn’t mean that every piece on your site needs to have this kind of heft, but it does need mean that you should include longer pieces to your content, trending towards a couple of thousand words.
Step 3 – Improve your headlines
The headline is everything and they can almost always use some improvement. This might be an old technique, but it’s a solid one. Your audience will likely never even have a chance to see your content if your headline is weak. One key to good headline writing is choice. Don’t just slap a single headline onto your content, but create a wide variety of headlines and then choose from among those. Take some time to develop best practices for writing headlines and consider running a quick A/B test to determine what kind of headlines resonant with your audience.
Step 4 – Repackage your content, then give it away.
People love to get something for free, for the savvy content marketer that something can be an older something that you’ve repackaged to create something new. A blog series can be turned into a webinar, an ebook or an ecourse. That kind of reinvention is a great way to keep expenses low so that it makes sense to give it away for free. People are accustomed to getting a lot for nothing on the Internet, so finding ways to offer them something for nothing is a wonderful hook that can effectively promote repeat site visits.
Business owners sometimes feel that this is a bit deceptive, because after all this basic content is already available on your website for free? It’s actually not deceptive at all. There is value in compiling information into one codified package, or by offering it in a different format.
Step 5 – Tell a story
This step is a bit bigger and more complex than the previous three, but it’s well worth the effort.
Content is storytelling, a tradition that reaches all the way back to the earliest human communication. People connect with stories. They help us to feel as though we’re a part of something that’s bigger than we are. Even in this world of ever-shortening attention spans, people still crave the broad kind of codification that comes from a story.
Here’s an exercise. Log on to your website and click your way through. As you go, imagine what a movie trailer style narration for your content would be based on what’s currently there. Does it make sense? Is it cohesive? Most importantly – is it the story you want to be telling?
Step 6 – Write for other people
One of the most classic content hacks out there is guest posting. Many successful websites list the reason for their success as being the boost that they gained from guest posting on other sites. However, you must be sure that you are posting on quality websites that are relevant to your industry. Google looks at the quality of the backlink, not just quantity. Keep this in mind when you decide to contact a website with a pitch for a guest post.
Step 7 – Test everything
Now that you’ve got some amazing hacks to play with, test them thoroughly. Then branch out and start to test other parts of your site to ensure that you’re properly supporting your amazing content. One significant thing to check on is social media button placement, another is checking on the basic layout of your content, whether embedded functions are viable or if tweaks are able to help you push your numbers higher. Simple A/B testing is the growth hacker’s best friend.
Step 8 – Make it easier to share
There are so many ways to make it easier to share your content. Social sharing is the way that content gets around today. Look for innovative options that allow you to pre-format tweets that allow people to just click and send or use popups to drive sharing.
Step 9 – Go for it
Don’t be afraid to be aggressive with your lead collection or calls to action. Capture pages are so common now that they are almost always beneficial. Users are tolerant of aggressive techniques, which are popular because they work. Don’t forget to include these more aggressive updates in your evergreen content as well. Get the most out of every piece of content you create!