Businesses are not businesses unless there are customers. The search for your customers is always the biggest hurdle for a start-up – even for those with a viable product. Build it and they will come? Not so much.
For those without large ad budgets, content marketing is a good approach. Focussed content marketing can help pull in new users through interesting, relevant information – and then leads to new subscriptions or downloads.
Complementing content marketing, various growth hacks can be added with the goal of generating an even faster traffic growth. These techniques may range from simple (for example a Twitter login that posts a message when they start using a service for the first time) to complex (for example automated scraping and custom outbound messages).
Here are 7 tips on how to drive more traffic through content marketing
1. Data data data
You can’t improve a plan if you can’t measure how it’s going. Data gives you the feedback for what techniques you should double down on and which you should abandon or change up. Page visits, social shares, bounce and registration rates, viral sharing factors, new user funnels and much more are all important metrics to be tracked.
There are various SAAS tools that can help in the different areas, for example positionly or ranktrackr can help track search engine position rankings, unbounce or optimizely can help improve landing page conversion etc.
Bonus – People are very curious beings. They love getting an inside scoop and learning how well other people or companies are actually doing. Imagine if you open up that insider data to your public readers: boom! You would see a whole new range of people visiting your landing pages and create a totally new form of traffic from people intrigued by your numbers. It also adds credibility to your content. Baremetrics not only applies this to their pages but also helps others who use Stripe billing do the same with clear and understandable metrics and infographics.
2. The need for speed
Various studies have led to the conclusion that people online have a decreasing attention span. Loading times are also a critical factor, especially for those on mobile connections. Not only that, but Google Analytics reveals that page speed also affects page ranking and thus directly affects possible page traffic. While it is definitely eye-catching to have a lot of heavy media on your page, they hurt your blog content more than it helps it.
It is far more beneficial to speed up the load page and direct eyes more to the content you want them to see rather than trying to keep their attention to the page with eye-candy. If you’re using WordPress there are several plugins that could help you speed up your pages such as W3 Total Cache and Hammy.
3. Widen the reach of old content
During the course of your content marketing, you are bound to create stellar pieces that simply stick. These drive an incredible amount of traffic more than your other content. Soon enough, the reach of that content will saturate, but you can bet that whatever made it great will still shine. The best strategy for these kinds of content is to help it reach more by widening its reach through other media. You could try linking to it as a reference for your new content, or even offer it as an email course or content to your new subscribers if applicable.
You can even turn a collection of related content into an ebook or slideshow, which not only helps inform people but also serve as another medium of your content marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to look back and see that you have content gold out there that can still be put to another use.
4. Repost content on other mediums
No start-up is an island, and as such, your content doesn’t necessarily have to stay only on your site. It is a world of sharing and social collaboration. There will be times that engaging content can be better discovered through other sites. In addition to other blogs or sites in your industry, platforms such as Linkedin and Slideshare, and even YouTube are often overlooked – yet can drive significant traffic volume.
Another for this kind of collaborative sharing is Medium. Medium allows you to repost your site’s content and re-exposes it to a different crowd through their collaborative writing media. Posting through other sites will not only spread the word about your goals and ideals, but also help your discoverability by reaching traffic that doesn’t normally reach your landing page through the normal marketing and discoverability techniques.
5. Spend time with the occasional Guest Blog
While Google and most other content marketers who are tired of spam may condemn and even declare that Guest Blogging is dead, there is still some value left in the practice if done appropriately. While it may no longer be beneficial if frequently done, guest blogging helps you tell your story through a different crowd and help you drive traffic from people who are not likely to look for your site or service anyway and yet still end up needing and using your service. There is great value in the words “there are some things in this world that we don’t know we need until we see it” – and going to where people discover new services, be it Lifehacker or tech news sites is often very useful.
6. Make sharing easy
In today’s age, it is no longer difficult to encourage people to share content that they have enjoyed to other people. In fact, you can even say that people are rather trigger-happy with sharing these days. Of course, there is still that underlying laziness in our readers, so to encourage them to share, you have to still make it easy.
For the web and app developer, there are various paid and free plugins that helps the improve the shareability of your content by making it easier for people to access their social media straight from your page or app. There are various hacks to encourage sharing, including having the like message popup when the user finishes reading to the bottom of the post.
7. Play with the Headline
The headline is one that is often neglected by writers, but it is often the single greatest determining factor if your content will get any traction at all. There are many rules to making a headline that has been developed over the years, but what really catches on is the ability to create a headline that hooks in your readers. The most viral and attracting headlines are often described by 2 conflicting words: Informative and Vague.
You have got to make sure you catch people’s attention with the heart of your topic, while at the same time keeping a little mystery to solve within the article. Still, there is never a surefire way to create the best headline right away, so what people usually do is to practice the AB testing with more than just two headlines. Make as many as you want, and go with the most eye catching and click baiting one you made.