Low Hanging Fruit of Content Marketing: 10 Quick Changes That Will Bring Big Results

content marketing

Do you know what the key to a successful content marketing campaign is? Well, it’s not what you are thinking. Sure, detailed content that is high in quality helps, but it won’t guarantee your success.

So, what’s the key?

It’s a lot of little things. They aren’t necessarily hard to implement. You just have to be willing to take the time to implement these simple tactics.

Here are 10 quick changes you need to make to ensure you do well with your content marketing:

Tactic #1: Cross-promote your Twitter profiles

Twitter will play a huge role in your content marketing efforts. Just look at how much traffic Twitter drove to Quick Sprout in the last 30 days:

twitter traffic

By no means will Twitter make up the majority of your traffic, but what it will do is help influencers find your content. These influencers will retweet your content and, more importantly, share it with their readers on their blogs.

So, how do you maximize your Twitter traffic? One simple strategy is to cross-promote your Twitter profile with other people within your organization. Chances are you have a personal Twitter profile and a corporate one. At least a few of your employees have Twitter profiles too.

The way you would cross-promote is through your bio:

twitter bio

As you can see, I link to both my Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics Twitter profiles through my bio by using the @ symbol. I even link to my co-founder’s Twitter profile.

twitter bio hiten

My co-founder does the same thing, and a few of our employees do this as well.

By having everyone on your team promote your Twitter profile, you will quickly gain more followers. That way, when you tweet out your latest blog post, you’ll get more traffic.

Tactic #2: Use the following keywords in your headlines

Most people think the most important part of content marketing is the quality of the content. And although it is true to some extent, if your headline sucks, no one will read your content.

A headline could mean the difference between a few hundred and a few thousand visitors.

If you aren’t sure how to create an appealing headline, just consider using some of the words below as they tend to get clicked a lot.

  1. How to
  2. [List-related numbers]
  3. Free
  4. You
  5. Tips
  6. Blog post
  7. Why
  8. Best
  9. Tricks
  10. Great

The keywords above work well, and if you also use them within your title tag, you should see an increase in click-through rates from your organic listings.

If you need even more help, you can always use these headline formulas from Copyblogger. All you have to do is plug in a keyword or two, and you will be good to go.

Tactic #3: Collect emails using Facebook Connect

RSS feeds used to be huge drivers of traffic to blogs, but once people stopped using them, most bloggers switched back to collecting email addresses. Why? Because you’ll never stop checking your email.

So, if you are looking to build your list at a faster pace, use Facebook Connect. It allows users who are logged into Facebook to subscribe to your blog with a click of a button. They won’t have to enter in their names or even email addresses.

facebook connect

You can create one of these opt-in forms through Aweber with just a click of a button.

The last A/B test I ran showed that using Facebook Connect for email opt-ins increased conversions by 24.1%.

That means by using Facebook Connect, you will roughly have 24% more people to email to every time you publish a new blog post.

Tactic #4: Ask a question at the end of your blog posts

Are you tired of writing blog posts that get no comments? I know I was, which is why I started testing different tactics to get more engagement from my readers.

Can you guess what the most successful tactic I’ve found to increase the number of comments is? It may sound obvious, but asking questions at the end of your blog posts will help.

If someone took the time to read your whole post, it means they are engaged. So, when they read a question at the end of your post, chances are they are going to answer it by leaving a comment.

Here are the results I experienced with Quick Sprout:

  • I receive 18% more comments on average when I ask a question at the end of a blog post.
  • When I end a blog post with a technical question such as “how would you prevent getting penalized by the Panda update?”, I tend to generate 11% fewer comments than when I use a more generic question like “how else can you get more traffic?”

You’ll have to test this out on your blog, but you should try asking generic questions at the end of your blog posts.

Tactic #5: Make your content skimmable

Have you ever noticed that all of my posts on Quick Sprout contain subheadings? I usually use a few within the body, and I use a heading Conclusion at the end of every post.

In this post, the subheadings are: Tactic #1, Tactic #2, etc. Using subheadings makes the content skimmable, which makes it easier for you to learn the important points from each post.

I never used to do this, but I found that it helps increase the time spent on-site for each blog post. My average time on-site for a blog post before I started doing this was 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Now my average time on-site for a blog post is 3 minutes and 26 seconds.

Through testing, I also found that using subheadings impacted average time on-site more than content length did. When I increased my blog post length from 1,000 words to over 1,500 or even 2,000 words, my average time on-site didn’t really go up. But having subheadings created more engagement. You are staying on the site longer, which means there is a greater chance that you are actually reading my blog posts.

If you want to increase the number of visitors who are actually reading your content, consider using subheadings.

Tactic #6: Draw your blog images

I was chatting with my designers at Digital Telepathy the other day, and they told me that blog posts that contained custom-drawn images got significantly more traffic. James from Super Fast Business is experiencing the same thing, which is why all of his blog posts contain custom-drawn images.

custom image

If you’re not a skilled designer like me, you can head over to Fiverr and pay $5 for a custom image.

Some people are claiming that they are able to generate double, if not triple, the amount of traffic by using custom-drawn images. I haven’t seen big lifts, but I have seen anywhere from 14% to 26% increase in traffic when I used custom images.

For those of you who use stock photography images like me: I haven’t seen an increase in traffic when using them.

Tactic #7: Share your content more than once

Tomasz Tunguz did an experiment on his blog to see if tweeting the same piece of content more than once would drive more traffic. He did this experiment because he felt the majority of his followers weren’t seeing his tweets.

twitter retweets

What he found was that every time he tweeted the same piece of content again, it got roughly 75% of the retweets of the previous tweet. So, by tweeting a blog post 3 times instead of once, he was able to get roughly 131% more retweets.

If you want even more Twitter traffic, time your tweets because the time you post has a huge impact on how many people see it.

twitter timing

As you can see from the image above, tweeting at 8 am or 5 pm is optimal, assuming you want the most visibility. Fridays are also popular days to tweet.

Tactic #8: Don’t ignore the numbers

Although content marketing may not provide direct conversions, it does provide indirect conversions. The majority of KISSmetrics’ leads come from content marketing. It ranges from month to month, but at least 50% come from our content marketing efforts.

The one thing you’ll notice from content marketing is that you get more traffic. Whether it is organic, direct, social or even email traffic, you’ll see more of it. But with your limited time, which channel should you focus on improving the most?

assisted conversions

Within your Google Analytics account, click on “conversions”, then “multi-channel funnels” and then on “assisted conversions.” Assuming you have conversion tracking set up, you’ll see an image like the one above that breaks down your revenue channels.

Based on that, you’ll know what to focus on. For example, I focus on increasing organic and referral traffic as those channels seem to be the most promising. I don’t focus on increasing direct traffic as it is less in my control.

By looking at your assisted conversions, you can focus on creating content that will appeal to channels that are causing conversions. For example, if I wanted to appeal to social media channels, I would blog more about Twitter and Facebook marketing. But because I want to increase my overall organic traffic, I focus on creating timeless content, such as How-To articles, that will do well in search in the long run.

Tactic #9: Use a content calendar

One of the biggest mistakes I made with my content marketing is not being consistent. When I was lazy and missed posting a few blog posts, my traffic tanked 21%.

So, how do you stay consistent? Using the editorial calendar plug-in will help.

calendar

By using the editorial calendar, you can quickly identify when posts will go live and if there are any gaps or overlaps. Although this tool is designed specifically for blog posts, it can also be used as a content calendar for your business.

Once your content marketing efforts kick in, you can always upgrade to Kapost, assuming you add more people to your marketing team. But for now, you can use the editorial calendar plug-in as it is free.

Tactic #10: Replicate what works

Are you struggling to find popular content ideas? Well, no need to struggle anymore. Come up with a list of 5 of your competitors, take their URLs and plug them into the Quick Sprout analyzer tool.

Once the report loads, click on the “social media analysis” tab.

social media results

What the tool will show you is all of the popular blog posts that your competitors have created from a social media aspect. You can then take the list and sort it by a specific social channel to see what post titles people like the most.

You can then generate your own version of that blog post with your own twist, so that way you aren’t copying your competition blatantly.

This will help you create more content that gets more social traffic versus writing blog posts that don’t get shared.

Conclusion

Content marketing isn’t all about the content. With a few small tweaks, such as adjusting the layout of your content or how and when you tweet it out, you can get more traffic.

It’s the basics that many of us forget. If you are going to put in the time to create content, might as well maximize how much traffic you are generating from it.