In the field of content marketing, there is so much competition that you may need to try something a little different to get attention. Growth hacking is a concept introduced by Sean Ellis, a startup marketer, and is basically the use of clever tactics to accelerate growth. If you want to conduct a successful marketing campaign, it’s important to use some ingenuity and creative thinking to help you to achieve success.
One of the earliest examples of growth hacking was in the late 1990s when the Hotmail team added a simple “PS: I love you” and a link to sign up for a free Hotmail email account to the bottom of every email Hotmail users sent out.
A year later Hotmail had about 12 million email accounts, thanks in part to this clever hack. Later on, Microsoft bought Hotmail for $400 million!
Below you will find some effective growth hacks to improve your content marketing and increase traffic to your site.
A/B Test headlines to optimize click-through
Testing headlines involves writing several different versions of a headline for the same article to find out which one performs the best. Change the structure, font style or incorporate different verbs or adjectives. For instance, CoSchedule’s headline analyzer tool can help you to do this. You then use an A/B testing tool to measure their success. Most of these tools measure click-through rate and the more people who click, the better the headline. You can use Google Optimize to run five A/B tests simultaneously for free.
Movexa, a vitamin and supplement company named simply added the word “supplement” to a headline and increased their conversions by 89.97%.
Highrise tested headlines and subheadings to see how it influenced their sign-ups. The variant telling visitors that sign-up is quick (and the only one including an exclamation mark) produced a 30% increase in clicks.
A fully optimized headline is essential if you hope to have any success. Writers for Upworthy write at least 25 headlines per post and test them out to find a clear winner. Content Marketing Agency, Priceonomics, found that rewriting their blog post titles brought 28% more visitors to their blog and increased their shares by 75%.
Make your content more shareable
You need to make it easy for readers to share your content. Where you place your social share buttons can make a difference and here you can do some A/B testing to find out what works best. Readers don’t want to have to scroll to find buttons if they want to share.
A simple WordPress plugin like Click-To-Tweet makes content within your post easy to share. If you’re sharing stats, a quote or even a joke, including a click-to-tweet helps with sharability. Just make sure it is short enough so that people can retweet it within Twitter.
One of Hubspot’s email marketers tested the click-to-tweet concept in emails. He referred to them as ‘lazy’ tweets. By including this click-to-tweet button in an email, Hubspot saw a spike in tweets about the offer they were promoting in the email.
Add value in social media groups and on forums
If you belong to social media groups on platforms like Facebook, you need to add genuine value before trying to promote your new content. If you take part in conversations and you add interesting updates, people start to respect you and after a while you may even be regarded as an authority in your field.
Building a great impression of your brand will help to increase traffic to your site as people will visit it to hear more of what you have to say.
Participating in online discussion forums such as Reddit or Quora can also help to generate more traffic to your site. You can find topics relevant to your blog posts, provide personalized answers and mention your blog URL. Remember that your answers must be relevant and not look promotional as this could backfire and cause negative feedback.
For instance, here’s how Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, started a discussion on Reddit. He went on the subreddit r/IAmA and started a post with Ask me Anything (AMA) in the title. This is an effective way to communicate with your audience on different platforms.
Gamify your content
Transferring people’s love of games into your content strategy can increase user engagement. Most human beings have an innate desire to compete. There are a number of WordPress plugins you can use to increase user engagement. One of them is Love It Pro. It allows visitors to ‘vote’ on your posts and you can track your most loved posts in a sidebar widget.
Quizzes are a good way to gamify content and you can use a platform like ProProfs Quiz Maker to create them easily. A quiz can successfully persuade someone to spend more time on your site.
Badges are another way to give your readers positive reinforcement. Users on your website can collect badges for performing certain actions and showcase their achievements. For example, you could give readers badges for leaving a certain number of comments on your blog posts. Search Engine Journal gives authors who contribute top-rated content VIP contributor badges on their profiles.
Apply the mentality of gamifying to your Instagram Stories. Use Instagram’s sticker options, to which they are adding all the time, to make your content more attention-grabbing and interactive. For example, use the poll sticker to let your audience express its preferences.
Repurpose your content
Repurposing old content is an easy but effective growth hacking technique. This involves stretching content and making the most of it. Take a blog post and turn it into a video or a slideshow. Take a Q&A and turn it into an infographic with the help of Visme.
Then, take a series of blogs and turn them into an e-book. This is an easy way to expand your reach. If you want to save time, use writing services like AussieEssay to help you.
Contribute to guest blogs
This is an old content hack and you may wonder whether it is really worth the effort. In an interview with the founder of Search Engine Watch, he explains how guest posting had a role in propelling the site from zero to 100,000 customers. Basically, you’re putting the content you created on another site so that you get a link back to your site and expand your audience.
Take Profit Blitz’s advice on linkable assets. Make a distribution plan before you dive into content creation. Instead of trying to build your audience from scratch, you can gain access to a different audience. Find a separate blog where you can contribute, or create content that can be distributed more easily (e.g. infographics).
You may need to do some research to find high-traffic blogs in your niche so that you can piggyback on their traffic. You probably already read a number of popular blogs and it’s worth finding out whether they accept guest posts.
Create user-friendly calls-to-action
When you create content, you want to generate conversions from it. Creative pop-ups with good CTAs can achieve this. Write an article and use a pop-up to encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter.
If you’re wondering how to make your list stand out from all the others, the way to do this is to provide value to make people want to subscribe. Consider offering free e-books or free email courses that teach something useful.
Creating an e-course is a great way to hack more use out of your content. Omnisend has a sticky header on its blog offering readers all their helpful guides in exchange for an email address and this simple header gives them hundreds of new leads every month.
Share the content of others
The internet is relationship-based and you can initiate relationships by sharing the content of other writers. Give something in order to get something.
If you share the content of others in your industry, they are more likely to want to share yours. Leaving a thoughtful, detailed comment on someone’s blog is another way to build a relationship with a fellow blogger and attract a wider audience.
Test your results
Fortunately, you can find out whether any of these hacks worked for you. For instance, you could use an analytics and moderation tool like Sotrender to see whether there were significant changes in your growth over time.
In other words, you can use the results from your social media metrics to make decisions about your strategy. It might be the case that your audience is more reactive to better CTAs than to foreign content. Analyzing your social media channels will help you find out.
If you gamified your Stories on Instagram, you would want to know if it worked. Connect your Instagram profile to Sotrender’s tool, and access the Content tab. You can select Top Stories to find out which Stories performed better to adjust your content strategy.
You can also check engagement and reach for improvements. Analyze it to see if more users are sharing your content and if it’s making rounds on social media.
Sotrender has a 14-day free trial period, so you can try it out and see if it meets your analytics needs.
Growth hacking, if you use it properly, allows you to take a content marketing campaign to new heights. At its core, it is all about making your content easy to find, read, and share. Anything you can use to break down the barriers to allow readers to do so is a hack worth trying.