Sunday, September 14, 2014

6 Top-Secret Content Marketing Growth Hacks

These tips and tricks can help you make the most out of your content marketing efforts. Can you work them into your strategy?

When working in a specific area for awhile, either on purpose or by pure serendipity you tend to uncover hidden gems. Working in the content marketing industry over the last few years has been no exception.
Go All in on Ranking Blog Posts
Have you ever had a blog post that with little effort started ranking in the top one to three positions on search results for an important keyword? Then all of a sudden you see that this blog is now driving a significant number of organic search visitors. 

Go all in and covert that blog post into a fully built out and expanded page on your site. Increase the value the visitor gets from coming to the page by adding additional content, including videos, expert opinions, and more.

In addition to developing more value on this page for the visitor, optimize the page for conversion by experimenting with conversion offers and different call-to-action styles and placements.
It's likely that converting a blog into a fully built out page will also bump up a search listing even higher in the results.

Gain Free Eyeballs

Collaborating with other industry experts on content has a great deal of benefits and I'd highly recommend doing it on a regular basis.

With the right approach, you'd be surprised how easy it is to get others to collaborate with you for free. The key is to find industry experts or complementary companies with a big social following made up of the same personas your content is trying to target.

One of the biggest benefits is that typically those who you collaborate with will also share out the content to their audience. This opens the door to a whole new audience that you would likely never be able to get in front of and as they come to your website to read the blog, you can convert them into your audience. 

You can take it one step further and create a mini paid social campaign to promote the blog post and use the contributor as the way you target who see's the post.

Shorten the Process

The standard flow of the user's experience is: read a blog, click a call to action, visit a landing page, and fill out the form. But what if you could eliminate steps to make this process easier?

HubSpot recently did a study where they experimented replacing the call to action with a mini-landing page module. This module had the content offer and a form to fill out right on the blog.

So what did they find? When HubSpot took a look at their results, they found there was a four times increase on lead conversion when using the mini landing page module vs. the call to action linking to a landing page! You can read all about their experiment here: "Which Works Better for Blog Conversion: A Standard CTA or a Full Form?"
I can't say this is always going to be the best option for every offer and every company. The best thing you can do is test and measure this approach and see if it works for your particular case.

Give New Life to Popular Old Content

There's a good chance that you have written a few blockbuster hits over the years - content that was very popular, got lots of shares, and converted or assisted in converting a great deal of leads.

Over time, especially if it was time-specific, that content slowly fades into the shadows and you move on to create new content in hopes of creating the next big post. However, sometimes the best way to ensure a successful post is not to create something new, but rather to polish and revive something that was already successful.

Take the time to go back and identify your best content to find new ways to breathe new life into it. This could be by expanding on the idea, updating it based on new best practices, creating an expanded video, or getting other industry experts to add their opinion. 

Then you can re-promote the content as "new and improved." Because that topic was so successful the first time around, it's likely that the expanded version will also be very successful.

Tweak the Time You Post on Social

At any given time only about 7 to 10 percent of your Twitter followers are logged into Twitter. This means if you're lucky and share content at your busiest point, only about 10 percent of your audience will even have the chance to see it.

Just like sending out email blasts, it's important that you strategically pick the times you share out your content to help maximize its exposure and results.

Depending on the size of your audience and which social network it is, I typically identify three to five peak times to schedule important content posts around. You can find out when the peak times are by either digging into your insights on your social pages or using social tools such as Followerwonk.

Make sure each time you post, you're creating a unique post that holds value to the user and not simply copy-and-pasting the same post over and over.

Get More Out of Your Thank-You Pages

As valuable as your landing pages are, your thank-you pages are equally important. Think about it - you've built enough good will and trust with a person to get them to convert once, so the likelihood that they would be willing to do this again right away is very high.

This makes thank-you pages prime spots to drive additional conversions and continue to move them down the funnel. Typically you will want to put whatever the next lifecycle stage conversion offer is on the thank-you page. So if the lead just converted on a top-funnel offer, there should be a middle-funnel offer on the thank-you page.

This can also be a great way to use progressive profiling on your forms in order to gather even more data on a lead. Just make sure the second follow-up offer has enough value that they will be compelled to submit even more detailed information.

You may also want to experiment with also including your newsletter sign-up and social following buttons. These both often see great results from those who land on your thank-you pages.

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