7 Top Content Marketers and Growth Hacks They Swear By
Hacking Growth! It’s like the magic sauce for your business, one that nobody has come up with a recipe for. So, everybody does their own thing. The process of achieving growth for your business is long and involves endless experimentation.
Growth hacks can be as simple as trying different positions for social buttons to increase shareability or as complex as re-engineering your entire website.
When it comes to content marketing, some growth hacks that come to the mind are creating stronger CTAs, creating viral content, offering free e-books, guest blogging, A/B testing and so forth.
And who says these growth hacks work, you may ask? Industry stalwarts! These stalwarts have tried and tested these practices, and also discovered some of their own, which has yielded them great success.
Below is a list of some such content marketers who blaze their own trail by using unique strategies that get them traffic and revenue. Let’s talk about some growth hacks they swear by in detail.
#1 Jeff Bullas – Educational ‘How-To’ Posts and Strong Visual Elements
Jeff Bullas is known for his refreshing approach towards social media. He’s among the pioneers who understood the potency of social media to build a community, a school of thought, and ultimately a product that impacts its domain. In his own words, his blog is “an experiment that escaped the lab” and we are glad that it did!
Jeff’s how-to posts are bite-sized and basic and break down complex topics into easy-to-understand content snippets. His approach of simplifying, or in some cases oversimplifying, things has garnered him a lot of visitors, 250000 on a daily basis to be exact. Here’s one of his many successful blog posts, which demonstrates how he masters this style of content creation.
Jeff is also a huge proponent of using extensive and eye-popping visuals to quickly deliver information capsules. Check out this post where he talks about the nitty-gritties of a successful visual content piece.
#2 Joe Pulizzi – Measure ROO (Return On Objective), Not ROI (Return On Investment)
Content Marketing Institute has become a go-to venue for all things content. Joe Pulizzi, the man behind this successful venture, is often called the “Godfather of Content”. Ever wondered how Joe got there? He focused on Return On Objective (ROO) rather than Return On Investment (ROI).
Confused? Here Joe means that instead of fixating on pushing the needle on KPIs, it’s important to understand the desired effect and make it the objective. For instance, website traffic is a metric that marketers often chase. However, their ultimate objective is to generate greater revenue. So, instead of expending resources to generate more traffic, marketers should employ the resources to improve conversion rate with the existing traffic. Thus, an objective or task-centric approach is the way to go.
As Joe puts it “I want to be clear that the content marketer understands what the business goal is first, regardless of any metrics. Metrics come second and are only there to help support the objective.”
#3 Neil Patel – Inspirational, Long Form Posts, With Loads of Examples
Neil has founded 3 multi-million dollar companies and he is still going strong. He is passionate about helping companies, big and small, and solve problems, small and large. It is perhaps this intention to help that has lead him to write long, and extremely detailed blogs. He keeps his approach and content simple, which is why the resulting content is refreshing, immersive and incredibly helpful.
The table above is a vivid illustration of how long posts perform better.
After Neil’s successful experimentation with 3000+ words posts, many other influential marketers have taken a page from his book and started using this content form. Neil does go to town on every blog and it shows.
Neil says that consistency is the key. Consistency and comprehensive research results in a great long-form blog post. Other key ingredients involved in creating great long-form blogs are extensive research, original ideas, simple language and lots of infographics. This packs greater value and practical advice word for word. This blog is a perfect example to help you understand what an awesome long form post looks like.
#4 Ann Handley – Storytelling, Using Stories to Engage
Ann Handley is the first ever Chief Content Officer and rightly so. She speaks and writes on content and her voice has many takers. Her venture Marketing Profs is among the top digital marketing agencies in the world. Ann’s shtick is that she is a great story-teller. She helps firms come up with content that is emblematic of their business by instructing them on the importance of storytelling.
Her popularity comes as no surprise when you consider the fact that humans love stories because they provide ample opportunities to relate with and humanize an abstract topic. She has taken this further in her books and talks through which she galvanizes firms and fellows to share their stories with the world.
Ann’s thoughts about content marketing are perfectly captured in this quote, “The smartest companies are letting journalists and storytellers lose and enabling them to tell customer-centric stories”.
Here’s an example of Ann’s work, which reveals how she keeps stories at the core of every content piece she creates.
#5 Larry Kim – Experiment with Video Ads
Larry founded WordStream in 2007. He bootstrapped the company by providing internet consulting services while funding/managing a team of engineers and marketers. He also helped develop and sell software for search engine marketing automation.
Video marketing has been Larry’s go-to hack. He frequently uses videos in his marketing campaigns. And it has worked for him! The proof are the 3.5 million monthly hits he gets on his blog. And guess what, 35000 of these hits come from social channels (11% of this number is attributed to Youtube alone!).
Larry always propagates the virtues of interactive content and also talks about repurposing interactive content across different formats. In his own words, “Video ads can convey more information and have a stronger brand recall. We’ve found that 80% of the success is attributable to the idea.”. He goes on to say, “The other 20% of success is based on your targeting. Most businesses have a decent idea of who their target market is, but every once in a while there are some pretty crazy ways of targeting people who engage with your content that are definitely worth exploring.”
Pro Tip: Want to Get Started with Video Marketing. Don’t forget to check out these FB video advertising best practices.
#6 Jay Baer- Marketing is about Help Not Hype
Jay is the old man on the mountain who started his online venture even before Yahoo existed. Through his venture, Convince and Convert, he has simplified digital marketing for entrepreneurs and novices in the field. He practices what he preaches as he is of the opinion that marketing is about help, not hype. In an era of noise, Jay preaches a no-nonsense back to the basics approach. This is essentially what he is trying to convey when he says “Stop trying to be amazing, start trying to be useful.”
Jay has advised more than 700 brands since getting started in online marketing in 1993. He is a New York Times best-selling author of five books. He is the most retweeted person in the world among digital marketers, and the second-most influential person in content marketing. If he says it’s a good idea to help people, how can we deny it?
Related Read: Why Brands Need Value Based Selling
#7 Michael Brenner- Repurpose Existing Content
Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He runs his company on the belief that strong leaders who champion their teams are the key to unlocking massive growth. He helps organizations in breaking bureaucracy, encourage innovation and stimulate progress through the medium of digital marketing.
One of the methods he advocates is to repurpose existing content that is used in different verticals within the company, to take brand promotion to the next level. In his own words, “The quickest and easiest thing to do here is taking content that your company is already creating and repurpose it. As an example, if you have an executive within your company who presents anything to anyone, anywhere, you can take that presentation and do a number of things with it.”
Clever, isn’t it? Feel like going with the flow? Here’s a short guide to repurposing content.
Here, we’ve done our bit to inspire you, direct you and get new ideas flowing. Implement these techniques and see how it goes. Remember, never stop exploring, who knows one day you might finally find the recipe until then keep trying new things.
Roy is a full-time content marketer at Outgrow. He often travels to the Himalayas in search of his muse to breathe. Being a professional marketer & a passionate traveler, he struggles to keep the balance.