Growth Hacking: Is It All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Profile photo of April Ebarvia by April Ebarvia on June 9, 2017 - Content Marketing

COVER_Growth Hacking Is It All It's Cracked Up To Be

As a dynamic marketing department working in-house on a single project, we’re always interested in staying ahead of the crowd and we were very excited to try a growth hacking strategy around a trending topic.

 

Last summer, the Pokemon Go craze was simply too big an opportunity to ignore. Read ahead to learn about how we utilized growth hacking techniques in order to gain 100,000 users and more than 400 high-quality backlinks in just 11 days.

 

 

Growth hacking can drive conversions and increase traffic in a big way. Whether you plan to do this for a client or for your own business, hopefully, these tips help you to thrive and prosper in today’s SEO climate.

 

The Weekly Brainstorm (A Great Way to Get New Ideas)

We like to spend some time each week brainstorming about different angles and content marketing ideas that we can use to increase our success, something that any creative agency should be doing. During one of our meetings, we realized that a real-time infographic that accurately reflects findings on a particular topic could be a very engaging piece of content.

 

Playing on this idea, we developed a beta version of the real-time infographic which was aimed at a particular set of data. And then Pokemon Go was released.

 

Put yourself back in the mindset of Summer 2016. The game was everywhere, in the news, around the world, and it broke sales records. In our eyes, this was a huge opportunity to leverage something that was actually in a relevant niche to our business.

 

 

We rebuilt the real-time infographic and outreach campaign around Pokemon Go.

 

 

We knew that we didn’t have an abundance of time to promote our real-time infographic – with every viral sensation, time is of the essence, so we got to the promotion of the real-time infographic straight away.

 

In short, here is how we carried out our strategy:

 

    • Assessing bloggers and journalists – We searched the web for the writers and influencers who would be mostly likely to be interested in our piece of content.kimono labs in action

 

 

    • For social media, we actually sent private messages and posted on key Facebook pages.

 

The above is just a snapshot into how we achieved our results, but the point is very simple, people won’t find your content if you don’t let them see it.

 

Within just one week we gained more than 92,000 visitors to our page. Most of this traffic was gained from news site referrals and organic search traffic.

 

 

AppInstitute was featured on TNW, BGR, Android Authority, Geeks ULTD and others. In each case, AppInstitute was mentioned by name. At one point, our site even crashed under the huge influx of traffic…

 

 

 

Link Building: Is It Worth Your Time?

Traditionally, successful SEO has been based heavily around the painstaking process of link building. Link building is a reliable and effective way to show Google that your site is worth visiting because other sites value your content.

 

Being featured on authoritative sites demonstrates that your site has valuable content. Our success in having AppInstitute featured on so many high authority sites showcases the benefit of reworking a hot topic.

 

Link building can be tedious work, and it does take time to generate results.

 

 

A Recipe for Success

When it comes to any growth hacking strategy, they key is to create something that is of value to your reader and potential audience, but still remains very relevant to what your business sector is.

 

Your content needs to be better than anything else and most importantly it needs to be unique in its own right, there are too many pieces of content that are so similar which will only crush your outreach efforts.

 

Real-time infographics have been done before, but the Pokemon Go infographic really filled a gap, and that was the basis for our entire campaign. It was unique and there was nothing like it elsewhere.

 

example of cold email

 

Content that is tedious or hard to understand will prevent you from gaining traction; no one wants to share something that is poorly written or useless. Say something unique, make it interesting and say it well.

 

Content marketing on a massive scale also comes into play for any campaign to succeed. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. We used savvy marketing and a tonne of automation to achieve our goals, but every campaign is different.

 

In fact, we did have to send a few thousand messages before someone picked up the story. The bottom line to getting a couple hundred links? Craft a compelling pitch and smash the outreach.

 

direct messages on twitter

 

A growth hack is just taking something that we do every day in marketing, but often on a bigger scale. In our case, we nailed our contact list building and worked through it.

 

Facebook private message to Fan Page

 

Is Growth Hacking for Everyone?There are plenty of positives around growth hacking, but like anything in life, it also has its downsides.

A successful campaign often takes a lot of time and effort. From crafting your initial content brief to spending the time on link building and monitoring social media which for most will require a significant investment of your resources.

 

Ideally, your hard work will pay off, but there is always the chance that you will not achieve the success that you are after.

 

That said, even if it doesn’t work out, you can learn a lot from a failed campaign. Practice makes perfect, and you should have some idea about what worked and what didn’t. Take some time to reflect on the experience and assess what you can do differently next time.

 

Along the way, be sure to regularly assess your expenditure and ensure that you aren’t throwing your money away. A time-consuming campaign that takes up a lot of your energy for just a slight increase in your SEO is not worth it. If you are finding that you are not achieving the results that you want, outreaching a guest post can often be an easy, non-volatile task.

 

 

Key Takeaway

Pokemon Go was simply too big an opportunity for us to ignore, and it paid off in a real way. Our suggestion is for you to always be on the lookout for something you can utilize in your content marketing campaigns.

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