When you think growth hacking, what comes to mind?
Depending on your exposure to this topic so far, you probably think of a lovable geek, manipulating enormous data sets on massive monitors. While that might not be too far off the mark, the sciences of growth hacking and marketing copywriting are actually far more similar than you think. Growth hacker copywriting is an emerging discipline, propelled forward by some of the world’s smartest minds. All of these people at the forefront understand one fundamental fact about business growth; that you’ll struggle to get anywhere without content.
And, even more importantly, that it’s not the quantity or even the quality that can make or break the success of your content. It’s the relevance. That’s where the growth hacking aspect comes in. Today’s best marketers are adept at mining the social web and other data-driven insights to learn exactly what makes their prospects tick - not last week, but today, and tomorrow.
For a pretty comprehensive guide to this science, check out 30 Must-Read Growth Hacking Resources for Digital Marketers.
Growth Hacker Copywriting: a Case Study
One of the best-known examples of a brand that’s built on growth hacking principles is Upworthy, the website that came out of nowhere in the past few years to become a viral favorite. In their first 29 months online, they grew from 0 to 88 million visitors a month, making it far faster-growing than Huffington Post, Business Insider or even Buzzfeed.
The company’s co-founders are no secret to viral media, considering Eli Pariser and Chris Koechley come from Facebook and The Onion. However, Upworthy’s growth is absolutely unprecedented. Pariser and Koechley attribute it to the following factors:
- Knowing when to pivot - When political content got low engagement during election season, Upworthy pulled the plug immediately and redirected their resources.
- Extensive curation - Instead of dedicating all of their resources toward original content creation, their staff keep a close eye on social media to snatch up content that’s just beginning to trend.
- Data and Testing - No theory is too “zany” to be put to the road at this organization.
- UX - It doesn’t matter how great your content is if your site isn’t user-friendly or mobile-optimized. It’s clear that Upworthy has invested in a web design that loads well on all screen sizes.
- Organization - It’s probably easy to get wires crossed when you’re working at a company as fast-paced as Upworthy. Pariser and Koechley admit they take full advantage of technology to ensure their staff is working separately toward similar goals.
Do you notice a theme here? While Pariser and Koechley undoubtedly head a content marketing organization, the sole focus isn’t on the content. It’s on driving innovative business practices and taking full advantage of the technology available to provide a best-of-class content delivery system. As you’ve undoubtedly heard before, it’s about working harder, not smarter.
Copywriting for Growth is the Next Big Thing
I have absolutely no doubt that some of the highest-paid copywriters of tomorrow are going to be individuals with a fluency in growth hacking. Is it a trend to watch? Well, yes and no.
According to professional growth hacking content marketer Andrea Francis, the definition is “a creative/novel solution to growing your company.” That’s really nothing new. In fact, the same willingness to adapt, innovate, and take risks is what’s kept organizations like General Electric, Nike, and Apple in business decade after decade. However, the key difference for organizations today is that more information than ever is at your fingertips. In order to fully maximize your opportunities for growth, it’s wise to base each piece of content you create on quantifiable data and measurable results. The following areas can benefit significantly from a more metrics-based approach to content marketing:
- Keyword Research: Are you doing enough of this? If you’re unsure, the answer is probably no. Our secrets are revealed in Keyword Strategy the Right Way. Here’s How to Do it.
- A/B Testing: Copy writers should adopt a little bit of a scientist’s approach, and invest in tools for A/B testing everything from email newsletter headlines to landing page copy. We covered the value of marketing experiments here.
- Streamline and Improve: Growth hackers don’t approach their day with an attitude of “how can I get through this pile of work?” It’s about how the process can be improved, streamlined, and made faster in the future.
- Don’t fear failure: There are two things a marketer can’t be afraid of; failure and technology. Make it your mission to understand every possible tool and platform, and use the best to make your marketing glow.
Are you using any growth hacking principles in your content marketing program? Share your favorites in the comments!