As a growing brand or marketer, you’ve probably seen growth hacking in action, whether you’ve heard the term specifically or not. In fact, it’s quickly becoming one of the fastest ways to turn a startup into an established, successful business. If you’re unsure of how it works or how it applies to you, keep reading to learn 5 ways to apply growth hacking to your content marketing.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a marketing strategy that focuses on driving traffic that leads to conversions. Unlike traditional marketing, which focuses on various forms of growth, attention-grabbing and brand building, growth hacking revolves around the numbers.
Regardless of the strategy used, any decision used by a marketer is influenced by growth potential. There are no other goals or tactics that matter, each task must relate specifically to a targeted goal: bottom line numbers that relate to growth.
Coined by startup marketer Sean Ellis, the practice refers to a methodology that turns clever, simple tactics into fast, measurable growth. Marketers who want to become growth hackers must use psychology and clever engineering tactics to drive measurable results. It requires creativity and a single focus at all times.
Put simply, it matters more than any other form of marketing. A startup or new brand cannot stay in that phase forever. To last, they must establish their brand while noticing growth that is sustainable and long-lasting. Growth hacking is a way to achieve this end.
How Growth Hacking Relates to Content Marketing
Content marketing is about driving traffic. It’s how you attract new visitors to your brand’s page, how you start conversations and how you raise attention. It’s also how you pave the way for customers to learn more about what you have to offer before, hopefully, attracting a sale.
Because the practice is related to growth, it can fall under the growth hacking umbrella. The end goal is the same, growth. This means there’s no reason that they shouldn’t work together.
Applying Growth Hacking to Content Marketing
Think about your goals for creating content. Do you want to do more than get a “like,” “share” or “retweet” every now and then? Yes. You want to drive meaningful traffic that converts, adding to your brand’s bottom line. Consider trying a few of the methods below to increase your content marketing initiatives by applying growth hacking methodologies.
1. Start with the Headline
In case you’re not already aware, headlines are one of the most important steps for attracting attention. They can be the difference between a visit and a scroll through. However, even though they’re important, so many content marketers get lazy. They go with generic headlines instead of attention-grabbing ones.
To practice getting more creative, try writing multiple headlines for each post. Think of action words and numbered lists that could be of interest to your target market. Make a bold claim, be outrageous and attract attention. Write a few of these, in fact, viral news site Upworthy writes at least 25 headlines for every post they publish. Pick your favorite and work from there. Eventually, the practice will become second nature.
2. Use Infographics
Infographics have become wildly popular in the past few years. It’s logical, they make complex chunks of information seem easy to understand and to relate to. They make information more accessible and are more effective at driving home points than traditional, text-based pieces of content.
To create an effective infographic, think of information that would be of interest to your target market and then break it down. Remember that simple is always better. The more you can break down complex ideas into pieces of information that are easier to relate to, the more successful your infographic will be. A company that markets GPS systems may take statistics relating to the size of a certain area that’s inconceivably large while comparing it to a certain number of football fields or U.S. states, adding visual appeal. It’s all about how well the reader can relate to the information being presented.
3. Think About Sharing Potential
If information cannot be shared, it shouldn’t be considered in the content hacking scheme. Content only spreads online by going viral, which only happens when readers deem it worthy of sharing.
Make your share buttons prominent by placing them in multiple locations across your page. Offer promotions for taking action or sharing your brand’s content. Encourage readers to share by asking them to do so. Most importantly, write content that is applicable to a large number of people and therefore worth sharing in the first place.
4. Include a Call to Action
Sometimes certain things just need to be spelled out. Close each article or piece of content with a call to action. Encourage the reader to share what they’ve read. Direct them to the shopping page or to their own shopping cart to check out. Highlight specific products. This can take on any form, but since growth is the top priority, make sure your call to action somehow relates to that end goal.
5. Offer Something Unique
Whether it’s a special promotion, a free download, a guide that relates to your industry or product, a game or something else altogether, highlight it in your marketing. By doing this, you’re offering a clear incentive for potential visitors to check out the content you have to offer.
Now is the time to apply growth hacking to your content marketing scheme. Start with the ideas above and get started today!
Innovation Scalar helps startups solve strategic challenges and achieve business goals. We help startups gain traction by improving lead generation, engagement, and sales. We act as a dedicated digital marketing partner that drives results for startups.
You can use this cheatsheet which I personally use!