As more and more content gets published every day, the world is inching ever closer to content shock, or a time when there’s just way too much content out there. It’s up to content marketers to find ways to increase their audience size and push past the competition. “Easier said than done,” you might thinking. But not so fast. Growth hacking — or the process of using creative thinking and new ideas to scale a business (or, in this case, your content marketing) — can help you beat content shock. If you want your content to go from 0 to 60 in no time at all, you need these content marketing growth hacks.
1. Beef Up Your CTAs
“Click here to sign up for our email!” “Call us today to learn more!” “Visit our blog!” What do all these calls-to-action have in common? They are mind-numbingly boring.
Look, you might toss the CTA into your content because you think you have to (and you do), but if you’re not putting any zest or love into, why would you think your audience is going to be bothered to do anything?
You gotta give people a reason to want to take action. What will happen if they don’t join your email list, give you a call or check out your blog? Will they be left behind, in the cold, out of the loop? Probably. Let them know that.
One example of a great growth hack and an effective call-to-action was Hotmail’s “PS I Love You.” Back in the early days of web-based email, every Hotmail message sent contained the phrase “PS I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail.” That simple call-to-action, with its warm language and basic instruction, helped Hotmail gain 12 million users in just a year and a half.
2. Write Better Headlines
If you’ve read this far, congrats, you’re in the minority. For every five people who read a headline, only one person actually reads the article. To grab the attention of those other four people, you’re going to have make sure your headlines are super attention-grabbing.
One way to do that is to test each and every headline you write. Do A/B testing with every headline, and pick the one that gets the most attention and reads. You can also take a look at headlines that worked in the past and copy their style and format. Remember, when it comes to growth hacking, you want to work smarter, not harder.
3. Make It Easy to Share
Have you heard the one about the kid who asked his parents to pay him a penny for his chores, and to double the amount they paid him every day for a month?
By the third week, they owed him more than $10,000, and by the end of the month, the tab was well over $5 million.
Getting people to share your content on social media is kinda like that penny. First one person shares it, then two of her followers share it, then two each of those people’s followers share it (so four people all together), and so on. Pretty soon, five million people have seen or shared your content.
Make it super easy for people to share what you’ve created. Include share buttons with every post, and remind people to share your content if they like it.
4. Turn Things Into a Game
Gamification gets people involved and turns what would be boring content into something fun. It also gives people a reason to keep engaging with your content, as it answers the question “what’s in it for them?”
Depending on the type of incentives you choose, “what’s in it for them” might be prizes, points, or the sense of a job well done. But you’re probably going to attract a bigger audience if you offer prizes.
“Prizes” don’t have to cost you money, or even be tangible objects. A prize can be the big reveal at the end of a quiz promising to tell a person which member of One Direction they are. It can also be a star next to their name after they’ve commented on your blog five times.
Get creative with your prizes, and remember to change things up from time to time so that people keep coming back for more.