You’ve heard it over and over again. Content is a marketing powertool. That’s why startups like WeHostels, LearnVest, and Shopify put so much love, money, and attention into ramping up their company blogs with kickass stories. At the end of the day, nobody cares about a crappy story, but if your brand is able to strike that hidden emotional chord, it’ll bring you customers for life and boundless free marketing through the likes and shares from people who love your brand.
Thing is, you need to do more than drop dollars on blog posts, video, and infographics. Scrappiness is your secret weapon to building a powerful growth engines, and these guerilla tactics will show you how.
1. Set up straightforward conversion targets
CrazyEgg’s blog sets the bar here. The popular heatmapping software company has recruited a team of marketers to build awareness about that brand. Standing true to their principles as a conversion optimization tool, the company blog operates under one core principle – that websites need more than just pageviews. They need to actively move website visitors through the sales conversion funnel.
CrazyEgg’s top content marketing priority is to increase free-trial sign ups. Tool #1 is the red HelloBar up top. Tool number #2 is the banner that follows readers in the right-hand nav.
Own your ulterior motives, and make your intentions known. Nobody’s going to read your mind, but they’ll certainly love your product.
2. Partner up
Your audience won’t build itself. You need distribution, and one way to get started is by partnering with larger media channels. That means reaching out to your favorite editors and content curators to syndicate your content.
Consider LaunchBit co-founder Elizabeth Yin who syndicates some of her blog posts with the widely read Women 2.0 startup blog. A portion of her readers will ultimately click back to her venture and site.
Keep in mind that you need to negotiate these syndication opportunities on a custom, one-off basis. That makes making your editorial value proposition strong. Heck, if you’re good enough, you might finesse your way onto a larger media channel like Forbes.
Just stop hoarding your content. Re-publish it, for free, and watch your audience grow.
3. Be persistent
To say that LearnVest has an awesome blog would be an understatement. These finance aficionados regularly curate content from some of the world’s best storytellers. Human experiences are mission-critical to this brand’s personal finance app that helps consumers get their ducks in order.
Thing is, the blog isn’t their money-maker. It’s their app. A dedicated an audience is great, but at the end of the day, what LearnVest wants is sign-up. And boy, do they make that clear.
Try visiting their blog from a mobile device, and you’ll see a giant ad for an app download. Visit their blog homepage from a desktop browser and you’ll see an aggressive pop-up that sticks with you as you move down the page. You can’t escape it. If you’re reading that blog, you’re going to become a user. LearnVest will hunt you down and make you convert.
LearnVest is one of the few brands that can pull off this strategy with grace. That’s because they’re giving away such amazing content for free. The minute you start to get annoyed, you remember that you’re reading someone’s powerful life story that will probably transform how you manage your own money.
LearnVest is far from spammy. Their persistence is fricken awesome.
4. Build a direct subscriber base
Haven’t launched yet? No problem. Launch your blog ahead of time to start generating awareness about your soon-to-be game changer. As you invest your time and money in creating content, make sure that you’re generating a tangible business asset. In the case of a new startup or product that hasn’t yet hit the market, your ROI of choice will be leads. Point your content to a pre-launch page like Pitchbox’s.
You could also encourage email list sign-ups within the content itself, like Neil Patel’s QuickSprout blog, which markets a traffic acquisition course through an email-based newsletter subscription.
5. Show some damn appreciation
Without your customers, your business would fall flat. Be grateful. Show your customers that you care. Your company blog is an instant tool for customer appreciation. Just take a lesson from Grasshopper.
If you’re a Grasshopper client, you can tell them your company’s story to help get press on their popular blog.
What are some of your favorite content-meets-conversion tactics for growing your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author
Ritika Puri is a San Francisco based marketer who writes about trends in business, internet culture, and customer engagement. Her specialties are storytelling, paid channel advertising, quantitative strategy, and driving growth through industry partnerships.