Growth hacking, according to the expert who first coined the term, is simply experiment marketing. It’s trying out various strategies, seeing what works, and then sticking with it to get results.
You can apply this principle to just about any type of marketing. However, in this post, we’re going to focus on Content Marketing as it’s perhaps the most popular type of internet marketing in the business world.
Six out of ten companies use it, over 90% of businesses and marketers say it’s an asset to their business, and over half of all companies around the world say they intend to spend more time on content creation.
Even so, only a measly 20% of marketers can confidently say they know how to run a marketing campaign and a whopping 42% of businesses don’t know how to measure their campaign results.
Want to avoid becoming a statistic? Read on! Here’s what we’ll cover:
How Does Growth Hacking Apply to Content Marketing?
Content is more than just a bunch of text. It includes:
Your headline has to be catchy if you want to stand out. It also has to be SEO-friendly to help your content rank well on Google.
This is the main portion of your blog post, Facebook post, white paper, or guide, or what have you. Whatever it is, it has to rank well on Google if you want people to see it.
Just as importantly, it has to drive people to want to do business with you. That’s where measuring your ROI comes in (more on this later).
Call to Action
Great content is useless unless potential customers act on it. To get results, you’ll need a winning call to action that motivates people to want to do business with you.
In most cases, you’ll be pitching a particular service or product. However, in other instances, the purpose of your text will be to encourage people to subscribe to you so you can add them to your email marketing list.
Some experts say that content should be over 2,000 words in length if you want to generate links and stand out. This is true, but only to a certain extent. A lot depends on your industry and target audience.
In almost all cases, you’ll need to intersperse the text with videos, images, infographics, and audio content.
Try out various formats to see which type of content or content combinations generate the best results.
Optimizing your content for SEO makes it easy for potential customers to find you. It also makes your company look like an industry leader, as not everyone can manage to land a first-page Google placement for relevant keywords.
Text Placement and Formatting
It’s not just what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it.
What color is the text? What color is your background? Is the call to action the same color and font size as the rest of the text, or does it stand out?
Generally speaking, experts recommend black text on a white background because it’s the easiest format for most readers.
However, you may want to try experimenting with various CTA button colors and font sizes, and types to see what appeals to your target audience.
How to Measure Content Growth?
People define content growth in many different ways.
Some people look at the number of social media likes and shares a piece of content gets. Some look at the number of reads, or the number of comments. Still, others check out content placement in Google. Others look at how many links their article gets.
All these methods are indicative of content growth. However, they’re also flawed. If you want to growth hack your Content Marketing strategy, the only measurement of content growth that’s really worth paying attention to is results.
Granted, SEO and engagement do play major roles in content growth. Statistics show that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine results. What’s more, about one out of three of these people will only click on the first organic link shown on the page.
If you want to reach your target audience effectively, you need to be on the first page of Google’s search engine results. If you can get yourself in the first place, that’s even better.
Links from authoritative sites can boost your standing in Google, so don’t discount them; they play a big role in growth hacking your Content Marketing.
Likewise, social media shares are important. Nearly three out of four consumers confess that word-of-mouth marketing drives their purchase decisions.
In fact, it is estimated that word of mouth alone drives $6 million in consumer spending every year.
However, going viral isn’t your end goal. Your end goal is to boost your business by making sales and generating profits. Shares, likes, retweets, links, and SEO rank can indicate effective content, but this isn’t always the case.
If you want to growth hack your Content Marketing, you need to know how effective each piece of content is.
Start by analyzing your website statistics: Which blog pages are people reading before making a purchase? Which pages bring in the most subscribers?
It’s also a good idea to analyze your financial reports for sales made online, and compare them to your online statistics.
Doing so can help you see which pages bring in the most profits. You may be surprised to find that the pages that generate the highest number of sales aren’t necessarily the most profitable.
Perhaps some hidden gem on your blog is bringing in a few customers that spend large sums of money at your store.
Talk to your salespeople. They may have insight into how people are hearing about your business.
Maybe the most effective content is not the article that gets the most clicks online but the content that gets people to your local outlet.
Finally, compare the cost of creating certain types of content with the return on investment. Some content costs more to create than others.
Ideally, you want to identify content that is inexpensive to create yet generates profitable results.
How to Perform an In-depth Analysis?
Once you’ve identified winning content, it’s time to find out why the content in question is doing so well.
Consider the niche audience that the content is bringing into your store. If all your winning content is appealing to a particular audience, reach out to this audience by offering targeted discounts and freebies and tailoring your marketing, services, and/or products to meet its needs.
Analyze each bit of your winning content. What features are boosting your profits? Do these articles all have a winning call to action, a great headline, or lots of graphics? Alternatively, maybe the articles in question all have a certain amount of text.
Long-Lasting or Time-Specific?
Consider the length of time the content has been performing well. Some types of content have long-lasting appeal. Other types of content are time-specific.
Once again, dig into your statistics to know if a piece with a high ROI will continue to generate a high ROI long-term.
If the content is time-specific, analyze which features made it perform so well for the time period in question. Doing so can inspire you with ideas for creating time-specific content that generates good results in the future.
How to Create Growth Content to Meet Your Business Needs?
Growth hacking works in principle for any business in any industry. However, the details of how you grow your content to generate sales and profits may vary depending on where you’re located, the type of business you operate, your professional goals, your target audience, etc.
What should growth hacking look like for your business? Here are some ideas to get you started on the right track!
Check Out The Competition
If you’re new to business, haven’t created much content, and/or don’t have content that ranks well on Google, check out your competition.
It’s as simple as typing in a keyword in Google and looking at the first page of search engine results.
Pay close attention to the results from companies that closely resemble your business in size and type.
What are they getting right? How do they appeal to potential buyers? What topics does their content cover?
Bear in mind the goal here is to get ideas, not copy the competition. Put your own spin on the topics, expand on the topics by providing more details, or cover topics that are touched on but not spoken of in detail.
Survey Your Customers
Survey your existing customers to find out what type of content brought them to your business. Be sure to also ask them what type of content they’d like to see from you in the future.
Offering a freebie or discount for anyone who answers a few questions can help generate the amount of input your need to make well-informed decisions.
Conduct A/B Testing
Put simply, this means trying out two different variations of content to see which variation is the most effective.
You can test out headlines, CTA buttons, the number of images used, or even the font and/or color of your text or background.
Monitor the results to learn what appeals to your particular target audience. Once you’ve found something that works, run with it but don’t leave it at that.
Conduct A/B testing regularly to make sure you’re getting the most effective results possible at all times.
Repurpose Old Content
Do you have a piece of content that consistently performs well on Google? If so, repurpose it.
Adapt the text content for use in a YouTube video. Update the content with new statistics, tips, and resources. Turn it into a FAQ article. Expand the content if possible.
Growth hacking can spell the difference between long-term success and untimely failure for your business. The good news is, just about anyone can leverage this tactic to boost online content and generate sales and profits.
A shortcut to mastering growth hacking is to use appropriate tools. Our interactive Idea Generator can be really helpful! Once you’ve answered a few questions, we’ll offer personalized assistance and advice on how to growth hack your Content Marketing strategy.