15 Unique Content Marketing Hacks from Experts
If you are like 70% of other content marketers, you are probably not getting the desired ROI from your content marketing. You are spending time and effort, but not seeing leads pouring in.
Well, you are competing with the big content marketing giants and experts who have crowded out the first page of google results. Hence to get to escape velocity for your blog, you will have to get your hands dirty and just 'hack it'.
Here are some tricks that have worked out for us!
1. Riding on the Popularity of Other Companies or Topics
Everyone wants to know what the successful people in their niche are doing. And if you can get some specific insights about popular companies in your niche, especially insights that are not publicly available, you are in for a ‘viral post’.
You can think about dissecting the strategies and lessons from successful companies and influencers. Like this article on singlegrain.com about Backlinko's success.
Or, you can go about dissecting a successful trend and ride its wave. This strategy works exceptionally well if you explain a current trend that is popular at the moment. Like how VOX captured the Pokemon GO craze.
2. Content Locks
If you haven’t heard of them, here’s how they look-
And if the first thing that comes to your mind is - Content locks frustrate and drive visitors away, we have a hack just for you.
It's true that content locks come with the risk of high bounce rate but if you establish your value proposition before driving users into a content lock they will know if they really want to consume the content. And if the content is worthy enough, they will even share it with their friends.
Here's an example -
Notice how this email from Neil Patel clearly states that the article is for anyone struggling with their social media strategy, especially Instagram. So if I trust Neil enough and I am struggling with my Instagram marketing, I will want to read the post and even share it if that’s what it takes.
FYI: Neil Patel does not use content locks.
And guess what - if done right, content locks don’t just work, they work wonders. For example, here’s a result of a content locker test conducted by Nathan Gotch of GOTCH SEO
You can read the complete article here.
Content Marketing is not just about plain old textual blog posts. You can repurpose your blog content to extend its reach and identify further link-building opportunities. It also saves the time, energy, and resources needed for creating content from scratch. And since the content is already popular, the chances of the repurposed content becoming popular are much higher as compared to fresh content. Here’s how you can get the best out of repurposing.
You can repurpose any popular piece of content, and create
- Lists and How to Guides
- White Papers, Courses, Ebooks and Slideshares
- Infographics and Videographics
- Podcasts and Webinars
For example, Brian deans famous long-form article that outlines Google's 200 Ranking factors is a great article to repurpose. This article has 7424 tweets, 4963 shares on Facebook and an estimated 4705 do follow and 785 no follow links as of today. So clearly this article is successful and a perfect fit for repurposing. In fact, Search Engine Journal already repurposed into this infographic which has further been cited in many influential blogs including entreprepreneur.com
4. Writing Exchanges
Exchanging posts with bloggers and influencers in the same niche is an excellent content marketing hack. It
- Acts as a great networking tool
- Doubles the writing and sharing capabilities
- Doubles the audience and outreach of both the involved writers
5. List of Tweets
In the first point we talked about riding the popularity of companies and influencers but here’s one way to ride the popularity of almost any trend. And if you get the timing right, get ready to host loads of traffic and an umpteen number of visits, shares, and backlinks.
Take this recent trend, for example - Hillary Clinton’s Health
Here’s a list of tweets on good.is
Did you notice the number of shares?
Here’s the zoom view for you -
Awesome! Isn't it?
Imagine those numbers on your site! All you have to do is - find a current trend and list down the most interesting tweets about it.
6. List of Pictures
The best part is - such posts are very easy to put up, they are visual (and not drab or textual) and far more likely to be shared. Or as Neil Patel says - they are more share-worthy.
7. Using Quotes from Experts
Have you ever asked for a backlink from an influencer via cold emails? If yes, you know that no matter how ‘fine-tuned’ your pitch is, or how perfect the email template is, it rarely works. Not because your content or pitch is faulty but because the influencers are busy people and they get backlink requests all the time.
Instead, try offering them a back link. Just ask for their opinion opinion on a topic of their interest and add their quote along with a link to their website. Even influencers need to build their brand and need backlinks, so there is a far higher probability that you will get a reply.
And if you're lucky, they might even share your article. Even they are invested in your success!
8. Giving Awards
This strategy may not be effective for everybody, but if you are well known in your niche, giving away awards goes great lengths in establishing you as an authority. And not to forget the massive PR (news mentions) and tons of referral (editorial) backlinks that follow. Consider the Moz web 2.0 awards and ‘Entrepreneur for the Year’/’Best CEO’ awards by Forbes, for instance.
It’s the human psychology at work- ‘if you are worthy enough to be giving away an award, you are worthy enough to be quoted for it.’ As Ryan Holiday says in his bestseller, Trust Me I am Lying, "Bloggers always need something to quote and have little time to research."
9. Ranking and Reviews List
Ranking products and services in your niche (like this article on Content Marketing Institute) can be one of the best content marketing hacks. It can have multiple benefits including
- greater chances of ranking for high CPC ‘comparison’ keywords’
- sales-ready leads
- the chance to implicitly promote your own/your partner's products (affiliate marketing)
Make sure that you don’t praise shitty products that you are affiliated with because that will not take you very far.
11. Discussion Forums with Daily Topics
This is not just a content marketing hack. It’s a necessity for any marketer looking to expand beyond his personal content creation capacity. Besides, forums also boost interaction between readers, give experts an audience and an incentive to contribute to your platform. Users can also get very specific answers on forums. But above all, forums build a community (eg - Moz Community Forum). And building a community is one of the most effective ways to market your brand.
12. Interviewing Experts
If you are a good networker and have a little authority in your niche, interviewing experts is an easy way of creating some awesome content and getting influential backlinks. While getting quotes from influencers will only let them know that you and your concerned article exist, an interview can take it to a different level altogether. An interview is a one-to-one interaction where the expert actually gets to know you. And if you are impressive, there is no end to where that can take you.
However, that’s not all. An expert interview also makes for a great piece of content, because everybody wants to know what an influencer does and how he does it. And if it's an audio interview or a podcast, it renders more engagement and interaction.
Businesses spend a lot of time, money and effort trying to get influencers to endorse/promote their products/services. And that seldom works. An interesting hack is to get influencers to talk about themselves on your platform and implicitly inform them about your services. This does not guarantee success but if you are targeting the right influencers and they like what you are doing, they are likely to willingly endorse and promote your products/services like a fan. For example take a look at this excerpt from Anil Dash’s post about Medium -
See the difference between paying and impressing an influencer to market your product?
This content marketing hack has a great potential but sadly, very few marketers talk about it. The reason? It’s thought of as rocket science that needs a huge budget and only the most creative minds in a big-time agency can crack.
But we are pretty sure that you have done it too. Or at least tried 🙂
Have you ever tweeted about your business along with a trending hashtag?
See, we told you!
Here’s a newsjacking attempt by Oreo that was released when Duchess Kate Middleton gave birth.
But Oreo is a big brand. How can you as a marketer do it?
It’s simple. Here's a process you can follow-
- Identify the segment that is common to your target audience and the audience of the news you plan to hijack (Young parents, in case of Oreo)
- Identify anything that connects the news, your product/service and the audience
- Present it in a witty and creative way, this is the most important and tricky part
If you do this right, you can instantly make a mark!
Here's another story that tells enough about the potential of newsjacking - ‘how popular Indian YouTuber Bhuvan Bam’s career took off after he created this video opposing the bans by the Indian Government’
Want to learn more about newsjacking? Read some awesome information here.
14. Creating Sensational Social Media Stories with User Generated Content
This strategy takes the idea of community forums to the next level. It lets the users take control. There are a few businesses that have done this right and got hundreds, even thousands, of mentions all over the internet almost over-night. Like this story of WoW Air offering a free vacation to ‘put it all on Snapchat’ that has been covered by almost all major online publications.
The reason why user generated sensational content works so well is - No one has time to read your sh*t (In case you are wondering- NO I am not swearing, that's the title of a very popular book on the topic). But people crave to read stories of ordinary people, like them, doing the extraordinary.
Note: Letting users take control of your content can sometimes backfire. Especially if your brand is huge. Like this occasion when McDonald’s hashtag #McDstories was hijacked.
15. Get Interactive
Interactive calculators like ‘Calculate your chances of becoming poor’ and ‘Calculate your chances of Meeting the love of your life’ can go viral instantly, and get you the much-needed engagement as a brand. What's more? If you create a niche-specific calculator, it can prove to be a great marketing and lead generation tool that can take your conversions through the roof. Like this calculator to Calculate the cost of building an app generated 11,592 qualified leads in a single month for VenturePact, an enterprise app development & outsourcing company.
That’s not all. Since you have read this article all the way and you are dead serious about taking your content marketing results to the next level, we have a surprise for you.
You can use our simple drag and drop interface with templates to design awesome calculators like this for your website in minutes. See how you can open the floodgates of traffic and leads to your website here.