Growth hacking means generating content like the web is eating it. This means creating blogs, posts, tweets, pins, and comments - but nobody has time for all of that.
Applications and platforms like HootSuite do a great job of distributing your social media updates across time and networks from a central location, but the problem remains: where do you find the everlasting fountain of content?
Guest blogging is no longer a good strategy because Google’s recent algorithm updates reduce the SEO value of guest blogging. Google has repeatedly said guesting tends to be too spammy unless you know the person well and the posts on relevant.
To keep your page rank high while you keep the content flowing, you will need a few sources to help you automate the content generation process as much as possible.
Remember that, ultimately, the purpose of all content is to:
- Boost the number of visitors to your site
- Turn them into members
- Keep them as users
As you consider what kind of content you need, first look at where your strengths are and what your overall growth hacking strategy needs to address.
We’ve put together three suggestions to help you spend less time generating more of the types of content that your strategy needs.
1. Fully Automatic Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Robot Authors
The robots are among us. If you’re used to robo-spam in your website’s comment section like this:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This will likely however abandon you short of strength in the event you wish to enjoy for proponged durations and degree up speedily. The relationshp amongst obtaining cokns and leveling up hasn’t transformed tooo much but new characteristics have routinely appeared…Ã¢â‚¬Â
Then prepare yourself for aÃ‚Â post by Quill, an automated content generator from Narrative Science:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“New home sales dipped year-over-year in May in the New York, NY market, but the percentage decline, which was less severe than in April 2011, seemed to be signaling market improvement. There was a 7.7% decline in new home sales in 938 from a year earlier. This came after a 21.6% drop year-over-year last month.Ã¢â‚¬Â
That harmless bit of real estate reporting is 100% human free. Maybe journalists should be frightened, or maybe they should be relieved, that robots are finally taking over the boring jobs. In any case, content mills can certainly see the handwriting on the wall-mounted monitors.
It’s certainly good enough for Forbes, which has been using the blog-o-bots for earnings reports. Another client is using them to translate stats from millions of little league games into exciting baby baseball stories that no human wants to cover.
Stuart Frankel, CEO of Narrative Science, says that he has 20 clients, whom he won’t name, but there are certainly many other startups moving into this space.
Translating data into stories is perhaps the easiest type of writing. Journalists have been using a Ã¢â‚¬Å“fill-in-the-blankÃ¢â‚¬Â model of writing these stories for a very long time, so it’s easy for a machine to match the soul-less quality of the reports.
If you operate in a data-rich industry, an automated scribe might be a good alternative. Artistic achievement, however, is probably a few decades away.
2. Semi Automatic Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Curation Tools
When you can’t create, curate. Finding interesting stories and linking to others in your industry is considered just good manners. Content curation is a powerful growth hack for four main reasons:
- By measuring comments and sharing on curated stories, companies can find out what their audience is interested in and what they are excited enough to pay for.
- Providing free and useful information, that you didn’t have to pay to create, helps build your authority and credibility with readers.
- Curation demonstrates that you are actively engaged in the latest developments in your industry.
- It proves that you can talk about something other than yourself, which goes back to authority but also informs your brand identity.
Curation platforms represent an entire sub-industry dedicated to filling the insatiable content monster. Curation sites are valuable as a dashboard for idea generation while monitoring the web for the most important posts, tweets and so on around specific keywords.
You can use the raw data as a launching post for longer pieces that collect trends. Most content curation platforms also allow you to post directly to a blog or a number of social networks with some of your own commentary on the article.
Here are a few of the most popular content curators:
- Feedly.comÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ This is the RSS feed that took over the space left by the shut down of Google Reader. Find blogs on specific topics and sort them by category.
- List.lyÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A Pinterest-style interface where you can share lists of websites or topics in general with your readers. Lists are always popular blog topics, so this is a constant source of new ideas and traffic.
- Scoop.itÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A social network all its own where users search the deep Internet for stories and share them on each other’s boards. The Scoop process is very similar to pinning on Pinterest, and you can re-Scoop directly to your blog or other major social networks.
- Trap.itÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Choose from hundreds of thousands of topics. The software learns what you like in order to suggest new topics.
3. Recycling Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Use What You Have
The best way to be creative is to use what’s at hand. You’ve already done a great deal of work on past blogs, posts and tweets. Like old friends, they should be able to come back and lend a hand once in a while. Here are six ways to use your existing content as a resource.
Cross Network Pollination
People typically post bits of their blogs to social networks, but the reverse is an underused resource. Find interesting interactions or trends. Write an overview of tweets from a conference or one of your more absorbing discussions on Facebook.
What are you most popular posts? Which ones are shared the most, read the most or generate the highest comment count? Now, go a step further and try to find what these have in common. It may take several blogs to nail down what drove reader response.
You always want to say more. Go back deep into your archive and find a post where you didn’t say all you wanted on some issue. Write a followup on how conditions have changed. Maybe stats or the business environment is so different that you need to rethink the premise or make predictions based on the trending.
Find a Pattern
Can some of your blogs be grouped together? Summarize them in a guide to the subject area. This can be the source of a webinar or an ebook that you can use to get new leads or give away as a value piece in an email drip campaign.
Rethink the Delivery
If something was powerful or popular, say it in a different way. Convert it to a slide-share or an animated video. Convert graphs and charts into an in-depth analysis of the implications. Write a transcript of a podcast. Help your readersÃ‚Â understand your message betterÃ‚Â by using other learning styles.
The Story Behind the Story
If you’ve used an application or online service in the creation of a blog, such as a gif generator or a markup graphics app, tell the story of how it came to be. Instead of a how-to, try a why-toÃ¢â‚¬â€an explanation of what caught your interest and how it helped.
Have you answered questions on Quora or LinkedIn? If not, this is a great place to find ideas for blogs based on what people really want to know. After you’ve answered a few questions on a certain subject, combine them all into one blog.
How Much Is Enough?
It varies quite a bit depending on how much you post, but you should have 3-6 months of evergreen content prepared. That means about 10 drafts ready to go and around 20 more at the brainstorm stage.
Covering current events, changes inside the company, holiday themes and product launches will take up about a quarter of your monthly content.Ã‚Â You’ve got to have enough content to cover you for the rest.
Content generation can be an endlessly fascinating topic that will take all of your time if you let it. As with any growth hack, you need to automate as much as you can in order to move on to more critical tasks.
By using robotic composition, curation platforms and repurposed archives, you’ve got many years of content stocked up and ready to post. Your next step is toÃ‚Â master growth hacking analyticsÃ‚Â to find out what is working and where you can get more value out of your content.