What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking is a marketing technique designed to turn clever hacks into fast-paced product growth. Content marketing is also about growth; if you’re creating content, you’re doing it because you want to grow your traffic and reach more people.
In today’s post, we will share nine growth hacking tactics to make your content marketing efforts more impressive.
1. Set your OpenGraph tags in order
Almost every social media site uses embedded OpenGraph HTML tags to generate link previews so readers can preview page content before they click through to read the post. These link previews are generated using a small bit of meta-tag code that is included in the <head> of your HTML page. Configuring and testing the tags may require some technical wrench time, but it is worth it; OpenGraph tags can help improve click rates. If you are using WordPress for your website or blog, the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast does an excellent job of making things work for all of the major networks.
Here are some handy tools to test how your link preview looks like:
- Facebook OpenGraph Debugger
- Twitter Hovercard Validator
- Google+ Structured Data Testing Tool
- Pinterest Rich Pins Validator
2. Utilise microdata and rich snippets
By now, most of us know about Google Authorship, the functionality that displays the author’s profile image next to search results. These little gems have been proven to increase attention and click-through rates, but the opportunities don’t stop there.
Microdata (also called rich snippets) are the few lines of text that appear under every search result. They were designed by Google to “give users a sense for what’s on the page and why it’s relevant to their query.”
In other words, rich snippets provide you with a few additional characters to convince your readers that your link is worthy of their click. Luckily, if you have some HTML skills, you can control what is seen here. This is an advanced topic, but worth exploring if you want to get the extra oomph out of your content. If you want to take it a step further, take a look at Google’s In-Depth Articles markup.
3. Share your business data with your readers
Readers love stories, and even more importantly, they love sharing compelling stories with their friends. Sharing your business data is one of honest way to craft a reliable story. While some may see this strategy as extreme, others may see it as a brilliant content hack.
However, by sharing the data-based content that they use internally, you are actually opening yourself up to an entirely different audience and traffic source. Undoubtedly, there are mental hurdles associated with making “private” data public, but your readers will appreciate the transparency.
4. Make your content load faster
Matt Cutts, one of the official spokesmen for Google Search, has made it clear that site speed is a factor that Google uses for determining search rankings. In addition to this, the average website visitor will leave your website in 10-20 seconds if they don’t feel that their needs are addressed. You don’t want to waste that time loading your website.
A great place to start is Google’s web performance best practices guide, which outlines a number of things that you can do to optimize your site speed.
5. Rewrite old content
A great way to extend the life of your evergreen content (content that will not lose relevance or interest over time) is to turn it into a simple autoresponder email course that is dripped out to subscribers over time. By giving “old content” a new life in this way, we have collected thousands of new leads.
The easiest way to start is to choose a common theme on your blog and find a group of posts that match your topic of choice. Next, aggregate the posts in your email autoresponder account so that they drip out to your subscribers over time. Create a dedicated landing page for the course and start promoting it; soon you will see that autoresponder courses are content pieces that keep on giving.
6. Promote your content on social media more than once
Sharing your content more than once on social media is a polarizing practice. Some people don’t care for the continued promotion of a piece, but as is often the case, it’s hard to argue with results.
The truth is that no one cares or even notices that you’re posting your content more than once, provided you don’t act like a spammer. You don’t want to be sending your messages out in too close succession, which is why you need to create a plan for pre-scheduling across your social media accounts. A well-executed schedule may look something like this:
- Social message sent when blog post goes live.
- Further social messages trickle out to your accounts over the next 2-3 hours.
- Messages are shared again on the appropriate social channels the next day.
- Another series of messages are pre-scheduled and sent the following week.
- More social messages are pre-scheduled for the following month.
- Additional messages can optionally be scheduled for the three-month mark or beyond.
7. Develop a guest blogging calendar
You may have recently heard that guest blogging is dead. Well, it’s not. It’s just misunderstood.
Guest blogging is an age-old content hack and as a link-building tool it probably is dead. That being said, as a way to build trust and awareness for your personal brand, it’s still very much alive. If you are doing it right, guest blogging is still a powerful method for promotion and professional networking.
On top of this, guest posting helps us build our influence online. It is still a classic way to growth hack your content marketing – as long as you’re using it to build influence, not SEO.
8. Understand the real definition of content marketing
Everyone knows that content marketing can drive traffic if it is done well, but it’s not an overnight process. Getting the most out of each piece of content that you create is a great start, but you also have to account for the fact that content marketing takes time.
Content marketing isn’t about bringing someone to your site once and immediately converting them into a customer; it’s about bringing them back time and time again. It’s about building trust with your audience and earning their business over the long haul.