As marketers, we’re constantly on the hunt for new ideas. While we often aim to double-down on what’s already working, sometimes we need to set aside time and resources to experiment with other channels, strategies, and ideas.
Experimentation is always good in moderation, and it can yield some amazing results for your business.
Let’s start with some practical tactics that can help give your business a nice boost.
1. Additional Content Offerings
If content marketing is part of your marketing strategy, then you have a potential lead-generation gold mine sitting on your site.
Chances are you have at least one blog post that’s outperforming all other posts. You can easily see this by pulling up a basic Google Analytics report. Go to your main GA dashboard, then click on Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown.
This will break down the pages on your site that drive the most traffic, and you can then specify the type of content through the Google Analytics search feature.
For example, if your blog posts are in a directory such as site.com/blog/post-name, you can filter through only your blog traffic by putting a “/blog/” query in your Google Analytics search bar. The website will then pull up your top performing blog posts.
Once you know your top traffic-generating posts, you can see which ones have the highest bounce rates or the lowest goal completions. These are precisely the pages you want to optimize.
A great tactic for optimizing these posts is through an additional content offering that prompts readers to enter their email address to unlock.
Bryan Harris, Founder of VideoFruit.com, uses this strategy as well as anyone.
Bryan wrote a popular article titled, “How to make $1,000 in the next 14 days without any money.” Once he saw that this post was gaining traction and his readers wanted more, he created an add-on bonus: a free, downloadable guide that has over 50 viable business ideas that can make over $1,000 in two weeks or less.
That’s a powerful and relevant offer to his readers. It’s no wonder that Bryan has had a ton of success with this strategy and is able to grow his email lists, and ultimately his revenue.
2. Niche Partnerships
“Partnerships” can be an ambiguous term, especially at the startup stage. Are we talking about a major, game-changing partnership, or a one-off exclusive deal for a particular audience? In this scenario, we want to focus on the basic win-win partnerships that make sense for certain companies to pursue as a marketing channel.
For instance, let’s say you create handmade dog treats that look like desserts such as cupcakes and cannolis.
That’s a fairly niche audience, and you’re likely targeting a very specific type of consumer. You should identify 5–10 doggie bloggers with a decent sized audience and work out a deal. They could review your product for free samples or offer an exclusive deal to their audience to earn an affiliate commission.
It’s a strategy that gets your product in front of the right people for only the cost of your margins. You can also collect emails from everyone who buys to create more repeat purchases.
At Effin Amazing, we used this strategy with one of our clients, Bitfountain, a video-based app development educational company.
We were able to generate $36k within 30 days.
It was a no-brainer for us since we had the company as a client. With the challenges and distractions most business owners have, sometimes these opportunities aren’t so obvious.
3. Industry Expert Relations
There are industry experts or influencers in every vertical, but most don’t know where to begin and for good reason.
Reaching out to experts can be intimidating, and many think that they don’t have anything to add in return, or they feel the need to pay for the expert’s time. A trusted influencer is always looking to get in front of new and relevant audiences, a fact you can use to your advantage.
Once you have your audience defined, we recommend reaching out to folks who you know that can introduce you to influencers and experts within their network.
If you’re at ground zero and your network doesn’t offer this luxury, you can use something like Little Bird or Followerwonk.com to identify influencers within your industry who you can reach out to via social media or email. Of course, you need to do so with respect to the influencer’s time and privacy; however, a respectful message or two is certainly acceptable by most
When you’ve identified a few influencers or experts to reach out to, you should spend some time crafting a very brief message to them. A quick sentence to introduce yourself and your business, another for your ask, and one more to provide a closing call-to-action.
The shorter, the better.
Unfortunately, most people’s influencer strategy is to occasionally reach out to someone for some scattered promotion. Reaching out is rarely viewed as a way to consistently leverage other people’s audiences to build your own.
Whether you’re looking to run webinars, gather guest posts for your blog, host a podcast and so forth, a consistent effort done properly will return compounding results over time.
4. Share For More
The “social sharing” idea is nothing new, and virtually every brand does this in some form.
However, it is usually just a simple social share button that doesn’t incentivize a visitor to share your content. But some savvy marketers have found ways to incentivize their visitors to share content by offering a “share for more” option.
One of my favorite examples is the eBook titled Rational Growth by Andrew Chen that was distributed on AppSumo.
AppSumo doesn’t just provide a great piece of content that you can download by entering your email address. Instead, you need to share the link on Facebook or Twitter to download the guide This netted them over fifteen thousand downloads so far, all without using any paid media.
5. Marketplace Review Sites
Review sites vary from industry to industry, but they’re in just about every category around and they can really help your business from both a lead generation and a consumer research angle.
For example, if you’re a SaaS company, you can put your product up in Salesforce App Exchange and Google Chrome for additional exposure. Just listing your product in a marketplace isn’t going to do much, you need to drive the demand by seeding your product with legitimate user reviews.
Mavenlink has said they’ve driven 90% of their leads from the Google Chrome marketplace, which is a significant number, especially for an enterprise SaaS company. Casey Armstrong, the mastermind behind this strategy, calls it “marketplace hacking.”
Gaining traction for your app in a crowded marketplace is all about generating as many legitimate, positive reviews for your product as possible.
You need to filter through all of your “happy” customers. These can be people who’ve been using your product the longest, have expressed their gratitude to your team, or have participated in case studies. Ask them to contribute their thoughtful feedback to your product.
Ultimately, if you generate volume over a short period of time, then you’ll begin moving up the ranks in your category and essentially create a “snowball effect” for your product listing.
It’s simple in theory, but most companies screw it up by neglecting to reach out to enough users or by giving up too quickly. If you put in the work upfront and your product is adding value, you’ll see the results.
6. Free Tools
We all know that (good) content marketing works because it focuses on providing value for free.
While written content such as blog posts can add value, there are also other ways to do this in a repeatable, scalable way. For example, you can create a free tool that’s relevant to your end user.
HubSpot has a great free tool that delivers outsized value for no cost at all. HubSpot’s Marketing Grader “grades” your website based on variables such as blogging, social media, SEO, lead gen, and mobile. These are critical structural areas of a site, and a high-performing site must have these items correctly in place. Otherwise, it will marginalize its effectiveness as a traffic and lead generating entity.
HubSpot isn’t the only company taking advantage of this strategy.
Kapost, a content marketing management platform, has a Content Auditor that provides a free overview of your content marketing strategy by crawling your site and content properties to examine all of your content. Then it identifies if your content is properly aligned with your buyer personas and measures both the quantity and quality of your content.
7. Exit-Intent Pop-ups
When most people hear the term “pop-up,” they automatically think of cheesy, late 90’s or early 00’s ads that obstruct your experience on the web. But there’s a new kind of “pop-up” that’s much less abrasive and much smarter—the exit-intent pop-up.
An exit-intent pop-up allows you to show your pop-up only in front of visitors who are leaving your site. It’s essentially your last shot to try to engage with your visitors, whether it be through a special offer, a low-friction CTA such as an email opt-in to your newsletter, or some free content.
For example, DodoCase, the iPhone case e-commerce site, has an exit-intent pop-up on their homepage for unique visitors to drive up first-time conversions. If visitors opt-in using their email address, they receive an offer for 15% off their first purchase.
Considering about 98% of first-time visitors don’t convert on their first visit, incentivizing your visitors to opt-in to your email newsletter and encouraging them to purchase with a 15% discount can help quite a bit when executed properly.
Of course, results vary from business to business, but the key to running a successful exit-intent popup is to constantly test your copy, offering, and design. Sometimes the slightest tweaks can have the biggest impact, especially when you only have 1–2 seconds to convince an abandoning visitor.
Marketers must find a balance between “shiny object syndrome” where they chase every idea they have and never experimenting at all. As a general rule of thumb, we like to stick by the 80/20 rule – focus 80% of your energy and resources on your proven methods and 20% of your energy and resources on experimenting with new methods to grow your business.
We live and die by our motto: “Never Settle. Be Amazing,” and the only way to do that is to constantly try to improve our existing business, processes, and results.
What tactics do you have to add that has driven results for your business? Comment below and if we like your idea, we’ll send you a gift.