There’s been a good deal of talk about growth hacking lately. The idea of growth hacking comes from the world of tech startups and was first coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. Growth hacking aims to drive a business’s growth and exposure.
Recently we’ve seen a shift in how brands are perceived. There are now less-defined lines between what a brand is and who an individual member of that brand may be. We’re also seeing many personal brands like Guy Kawasaki or Richard Branson find amazing success. These men are not only personalizing their brands, but they also are becoming their own brands themselves.
How Content Marketing Can Help Growth Hack Your Brand
Whether you go as far as becoming your own brand or whether you’re interested in furthering the success of your more traditional business brand, content marketing can improve your overall online reach dramatically. People no longer want to be subjected to advertising; rather, they wish to build a relationship with a brand’s story.
Having a story people can relate to helps your audience begin to trust your brand. This does not mean you should make up a story to sell — quite the opposite. For others to trust your brand, you must be honest and genuine. There is too much transparency with social media to be anything but honest these days. What having and telling your brand story does mean is that you should share with your audience.
The growth of your brand is a journey, and it’s a journey on which you should be taking your customers. This means being intentional about how you relate your story. Understand your audience and how best to communicate with them. Different people understand information in different ways, so allow them to learn your story how they want.
Keep in mind that as you engage your audience with your story through content marketing, you’ll want to pay close attention to your brand goals. This means having a goal for each piece of content you create and make sure each goal matches the larger goals you’ve set. Throughout the process, optimize your content for conversion. This doesn’t mean each piece of content should tell people to complete a specific goal you’ve set. What it does mean is that each piece of content should align with those goals by attracting the right audience.
How can your brand best communicate with a growing and diverse audience?
The best way to communicate with your audience is by providing them with many different types of content. Keep in mind that each piece of content should fit your brand’s overall story. This is also helpful to your content marketing strategy because you’ll be able to concept a piece of content and then share that content in many different ways.
For example, if you’re interested in improving your online presence in 2014 (and what brand isn’t?), you’ll probably want to use video. One easy way to get a lot of video content out to your audience is by hosting a Google+ Hangout on Air (HOA). HOAs are unique in that they not only allow you to host a live event, but they also record to your YouTube channel. For a complete guide to using Google+ Hangouts for Business, see David Amerland’s newest book, which covers using HOAs to improve brand impact.
Now that you’ve got some video content on your YouTube channel from hosting an HOA, it’s time to write some text to go with it. Writing the text shouldn’t be too difficult because you’ve already covered the topic in the live event. Now that you’ve got a new article with that video embedded, create a Slideshare of the whole presentation to extend your online reach further.
Why Building Relationships Matter for Growth Hacking Your Online Presence in 2014
To extend the reach of your brand message further will take more than just your own audience. What you need to do is access the network of other people – and not just any people, either. What you need to do is identify those who are influential in your specific niche and build relationships with them.
Building relationships with these influential people will take time. If you’ve picked the right people, they will be extremely busy, talented and driven. In order to connect with them, you must be genuine, honest and compelling. You’ll also have to give before receiving. In fact, you should give without any expectation of receiving because that will come across in your social interactions.
Think of relationships in real life and apply what you know to building relationships with those influential people in your niche. Meaningfully share what they’ve produced. Comment on their content, share their content and connect with their content. Find reasons you like them and provide genuine compliments when the opportunity presents itself. Build trust by being open, honest and trustworthy.
Steps to Growth Hacking in 2014
To recap, here is what you should be doing to growth hack your online presence in 2014:
- Personalize your brand (whether you personally become your brand is up to you).
- Find your brand’s story and take your audience on your journey.
- Engage in content marketing to communicate with your growing and diverse audience.
- Set goals for each piece of content you create and keep goal conversion in mind.
- Identify and build genuine relationships with influential people in your target niche.
- Be open, honest and trustworthy.
We Do Web Content performs an array of content marketing services to improve your online presence and exposure. Call us at 888-521-3880 or contact us online to learn more about what we can do for you.