3 Ways to Growth Hack Your Content Marketing


Since you’re reading this, you’re likely interested in ways to grow your business. Trouble is, you need a few extra hours in every day – and a few extra dollars sure couldn’t hurt. We can’t help with those, but we can show you another avenue to fast growth: growth hacking.

For those unfamiliar with the term, growth hacking can be defined as using strategies to acquire as many users or customers as possible while spending as little as possible. Alternately, digital marketing guru Neil Patel defines growth hacking as “us(ing) analytical, inexpensive, creative, and innovative methods to exponentially grow (your) company’s customer base.”

Neil Patel is a well known Digital Marketing expert and founder of CrazyEgg, which analyzes user behavior on websites. (Image by JD Lasica used by CC 2.0)

There are 3 approaches to growth hacking:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. Product Marketing
  3. Advertising

Here we’ll focus on content marketing. Content marketing, or the creation and sharing of material online with the primary goal not being promotion, but rather generating interest. Content marketing is somewhat like organic SEO – it’s challenging, it’s free, but it requires lots of effort.

Content marketing gives us 3 opportunities for growth hacking: content creation, content distribution, and content amplification. 

Content Creation 

An efficient way to create marketing content is to produce a long form video or podcast, then create small, micro pieces of content to distribute on all your social channels.

Content creation is where it all begins. Content done correctly will compel those who consume it to connect, engage, consume, and share.

Where to begin? First, you must understand who the customer is. 

Remember the “Holy Grail of marketing” – right person, right message, right place, right time. Ensure your message is reaching the right people by developing a buyer profile/persona (incorporating not just demographics, but all 4 types of buyer persona targeting).

Content Creation Hacks

  • Reverse engineer your content according to your buyer profile/persona – what content do they regularly interact with, comment, and share? This is the type of content you should create.
  • The “You” hack – simply use the word “you” frequently in your content to shift focus to the viewer. Studies have shown “you” language increases watch time and retention.
  • Use efficient content creation – start with long-form content like a video or podcast, then redistribute and re-mix in smaller chunks. One large piece of content can create dozens of shorter clips, graphics, quotes, pictures, blogs, etc.
  • Use data and feedback to see what works – your audience will tell you by commenting and sharing content. Listen to what they have to say and join the conversation, then create more of that content.

Content Distribution

Knowing where and how your ideal buyer persona prefers to consume your content will make your advertising more effective.

Distribution corresponds to the “right place, right time” elements of the marketing Holy Grail. It’s all about placing content where folks in the market will be most likely to encounter it and engage with it. Vehicles for your content could be Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, search, etc. 

Once you’ve decided where to place your content, determine how to hack content to perform best on each platform; you can’t use identical content on all platforms. Using native sizes for each network is a good starting place.

Content Distribution Hacks

  • Most social media algorithms favor fresh content. Look at your data to see when most of your audience is online and post accordingly to get the most interaction as quickly as possible.
  • Facebook/LinkedIn: Most people scroll through this content with their devices on silent, so captions on video are necessary.
  • YouTube: widescreen video works best. A good, clickable thumbnail is more important on YouTube than any other network.
  • Facebook: taller video format yields more stops when users are scrolling through their feeds.
  • On all networks, reply to every comment. You’ll double the number of comments a user sees which makes your post appear more popular.
  • Instagram Stories: Use a hashtag and tag the location to get more views.
  • Instagram Feed: Longer captions that ask a question work best. Using 30 relevant hashtags as your first comment will get more views on your post.

Content Amplification 

Once you have effective content online, you can amplify it through paid advertising.

Content amplification is basically taking results you’ve seen on a small scale and distributing to a much wider audience. If you’ve noticed good responses from a narrow audience, then blow that thing up! Conversely, if your content ends up bombing on the small stage, then don’t promote that content – move on.

Content Amplification Hacks

  • Compare ad rates on all the platforms you use. If one platform is significantly cheaper and your target market is present and engaged there, it may make sense to spend more money on that particular network.
  • If you’re looking to amplify a social media post, say on Facebook, try to avoid blindly boosting the post; instead, go in the ad manager settings to amplify the post there with a specific target audience. That way, you’re only spending money on the people that matter. Same goes for LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
  • Got a successful blog post you’d like to amplify? If it prompts readers to make a purchase or has a direct call-to-action, then it’s a great candidate for PPC campaign.

Remember: investing in great content alone is not enough – you need to fire on all 3 content cylinders (creation, distribution, amplification) to turbocharge your company’s growth. Happy hacking!

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