10 Powerful Growth Hacks to Boost Your Content Marketing

This post was originally published on my medium feed. 

The world is getting smaller. Email, social networks, blogs, videos, search, and other media have brought us closer to each other. Everything and everyone is connected. And there’s a relentless stream of advertising and marketing messaging flooding our lives. To stay relevant in this connected world, content is the key to attract and engage the audience and driving attention to the content is the first step to marketing. It is the glue that gets everything together, and the funnel moving. While every business tries to find its niche in this connected world with its own content marketing strategy, getting there is becoming ever so difficult. However, content marketing is not a paradox that can’t be solved.

The idea of “growth hacking” is quite inspiring. It doesn’t involve any sharp-edged tools, only a handful of sharp-edged tactics that could prove extremely beneficial for your business. Here are some of the most powerful,ACTIONABLE growth hacks that I have seen and tried over the past some time and found them to be absolutely brilliant in driving results. And, they are quite fun to work with too.

A/B test headlines

Your headline is the most important part of your content. Upworthy seems to have cracked it, or so they would like us to believe. In one of their presentations titled “The Sweet Science of Virality”, they point out that every writer at Upworthy has to come up with at least 25 headlines for their posts. Then A/B test those headlines with some very creative social media posts. They release it only when they have a clear winner, and usually there always is one.

Remember what Thomas Edison said about trying out different option –

“I haven’t failed. I found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

The same is true with A/B testing. And most of growth hacking relies on A/B testing as the core element for experimentations.

If you find it hard to come up with that many headlines for the same post, you either don’t know your content that well, or are not too serious about content marketing. In that case, you might want to try CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool to help you.

Add click to tweet to boost shareability of content

“Content marketing is not a paradox. It is fairly easy to attract the right customers with your content marketing, that is, if you are willing to put in the effort.” »Tweet this«

Making your content shareable is one of the best ways to hack your content for growth. Merely positioning share buttons at the top and bottom of the page is not enough (I’ll get to that next) to make your audience share your content. You have to entice them into doing so. The »Tweet this« button embedded with the text of your blog post can help you achieve that and make people share your content with the world with a single click. Try theMarkerly widget if you have a WordPress blog.

Note: The tweet this options is not added on Medium but works on your own blog or a WordPress blog.

A/B test share button positions

Ok, now Icome to the share buttons on your page as promised. So where on your page have you placed the share buttons? Yes, the placement does make a lot of difference in your content’s shareability. Addthis has some very useful information on their blog about the best placement of share button on your blog. Do take a look and then run a simple A/B test to determine the best suited position for your content.

Content pop-ups with user-friendly CTAs

Just like the headline, a strong, clear call-to-action is important to get the most important result from your content — conversions. Here’s an excellent example of that:

Groove’s popup sends a very clear and strong message, and who would not want to grow their business. Because of this CTA, Groove was able to grow their email list to over 5,000 in about 5 weeks. Just remember — “Make them an offer they can’t refuse,” it actually works in real life.

Gamify your content

Gamification deserves its own blog. But for now, let’s stick to what we want to achieve with our content. The application of gamification in your content is all about giving your audience what they want to share. There’s a strong tendency to share things that we connect with personally among our personal networks, sometimes just to show the kind of work we do. One way of doing that is by adding a plugin called Love It.

This simple plugin allows your audience to vote on your posts with a single click. The most voted posts can then be showcased on the sidebar or in a section at the end of other relevant posts, as you see fit.

Guest blog on other platforms

There are 2 ways of building your audience –

  1. By writing detailed, in-depth articles on your blog and getting the right audience
  2. By writing excellent, informative guest posts on relevant blogs owned by other people

When you’re writing on your own blog, you need to drive the audience to it. Remember the biggest part of content is distribution. People are creating good content everyday, but it’s important to win the fight for attention and actually get people to your blog or website to read your content.

While creativity, uniqueness, and quality is important, distribution is a big variable for content consumption.

Guest blogs use the Other People’s Network rule of growth hacking. Most bloggers understand the importance of this fairly well, so you don’t have to muscle your way into someone else’s blog. Groove (from the CTA example above) documented the results of their guest blogging on KISSmetrics, Buffer, Shopify and other sites and it was a whopping 1 million audience. It is essential to use OPNs to hack your way to content distribution.

Let’s see how the rule of growth hacking OPNs for product marketing applies to content marketing.

Growth hacking content marketing using OPNs:

  1. Analyse the websites or channels which send most traffic to your content or where your target audience can be found
  2. Connect with the website and guest post for them
  3. Link back and repost the content back on your blog crediting the target channel

The best part about this strategy is that it works for the benefit of both you and the platforms you guest blog on.

However, when guest blogging, do ensure that you are clear about your own objectives. If your objective is link-building only, then don’t do it, because other bloggers can just add a “NoFollow” tag to your post thereby depriving you of any SEO value.

Re-distribute and Re-purpose content: Infographics, Slideshare presentations, LinkedIn posts, Medium blogs, and even as Facebook Notes!

Easy, fast and effective — repurposing is awesome and it works. You can convert the best takeaways of your blog posts into a presentation and post it on SlideShare, make a summary and post is as a Facebook Note (Yes, Facebook Notes are not dead, and back with a sleek design), LinkedIn Pulse, and more.

What this does for your content is to open up a new platform for it to reach out to more people. And that is always worth the effort you’ll put in. Consistency in your efforts will most certainly bring rewards for you. Put in the effort in designing the cover and writing the headline (as we have already talked about), and then share it as far and wide as you can. SlideShare allows you to share your presentations on different social media sites with a single click, use it.

Repurpose your content to Instagram posts too

Pictures do speak a thousand words and we’ll do well to remember that at all times. So while we are on the topic of repurposing, do that for your Instagram channel as well. For example — this quote from one of my own blog posts has received a good response from the audience. And all it does is pick a quote from one of the blog posts and presents it in the pictorial format. It is a simple and effective way of utilizing all the available channels to achieve your goals. And that is the essence of growth hacking anyway.

Have multiple timings in your social media schedule to push content on your social channels

Data and studies keep talking about getting more out of your content by sharing it multiple times on social media. The best part of that is, that it actually works. With the volume of traffic on our social media news feeds, posts get lost and lose their traction with the audience. Images, multiple headlines, tagging some of your key followers etc. are quick and effective growth hacks to ensure your content will not just get lost in the sea of information without a fight.

Use hashtags, mentions, trackable short URLs and schedule your posts in different timings

Use relevant Facebook groups and discussions to promote content

Social media sites are a plenty these days. If you are still stuck on Facebook and Twitter, you are indeed far too old. Websites like Ello, Product Hunt, Tsu and more like them are constantly battling for audience attention (which is dwindling, btw). Now remember, one-size-doesn’t-fit-all, so you might as well pick your battles wisely and stick to the platforms that really serve your purpose. Yes, it is important to stay fresh, creative and innovative by experimenting with new platforms, but not at the cost of losing (or not growing) your audience.

Conclusion

The struggle for attention with content marketing is real, but as we can see for ourselves, it is not a paradox at all. Consumers are everywhere — on Facebook, Twitter, search engines, blogs and many more platforms. The real challenge for your content marketing is to get their attention, entice and inspire them to visit your website and share your content, subscribe to your mailing list, fill a lead form or whatever your sense of a conversion is.

Interactive and customized visual communication is changing the way content is consumed and shared. All you have to do is pay a little attention to audience behavior and apply these growth hacks that work for and with your strategy. Test, test and test your content and strategy, and just stick to the path that moves forward.