Pull Strategies for Getting More Visitors
So, you want to get new visitors to your site?
There are three fundamental ways to get traffic. No more. No less. You can pull people in, push people in, or you can use the product to get people in. These are the 3 p’s of getting traffic. What’s the difference in these methods? I’m glad you asked.
Pull and push tactics are examples of growth hacking which hinge on the redefinition of distribution. If you know how people flow online then you can accurately entice them or strong arm them onto your site, but if you don’t understand where people congregate and what causes them to travel to other places (digitally), then you can’t effectively push or pull them on onto your site. The third P (product) doesn’t rely on a redefinition of distribution (like pull and push), but it relies on the redefinition of what a product is. Like we said in the first chapter, now products can play a role in their own customer acquisition, which is a very radical concept in the history of the world.
It is important to realize that all three P’s work really well in the right context, when executed by the right person. As you were reading about the differences you probably assumed that one method was better than the other, but they all have their place in the growth hacker’s arsenal. Many products actually employ a combination of push, pull, and product methodologies. This isn’t the time to get on a soapbox for a certain camp. Growth hackers are about growth, not just a certain kind of narrowly defined growth for a priori reasons.
The Fundamentals of a Pull Strategy
A great pull strategy is based on two fundamentals:
One of the tried and true ways of getting traffic to your product is through blogging or guest blogging. Blog posts are suited perfectly to send you traffic for a number of reasons.
Blogging is a no brainer. The only decision you have to make is whether to start your own blog or guest blog for others. The main reason to guest blog is that you don’t have to create the audience. You only have to create the post. Trust me, it’s easier to create a post than to gather the people together that are willing to read it. However, the main benefit to starting your own blog is your ability to have full control. If you build your own audience you have more flexibility over the content. You might choose to get more aggressive in the future with sending traffic to your product from the blog, but if someone else owns all your content then you don’t have this possibility. Neither answer is wrong as long as you choose for strategic reasons. Remember, you can always do both. Maybe you start by guest blogging but then transition to your own blog.
Whichever route you choose you must not make your blog posts an extended pitch for your product. You’re gently pulling people in, not begging them to visit your site. If you get too overt about your intentions it will turn people away. With a little creativity you can easily get click throughs without making your post feel like an ad. Always start a new post with a bio that links to your product (no one will begrudge you this), and try to link to your product once within the post, but only when it’s relevant to what you’re saying.
Also, the blog posts that get read and shared are the ones that tap into something emotional, trendy, educational, enjoyable, or surprising (amongst others). Take note of the kinds of posts that get your attention, and then reverse engineer them to inform your own writing.
Podcasting is another great pull tactic because audio has inherent inbound qualities. When you hear someone speak then you are given a window into their mind that is different, and sometimes even better, than reading their thoughts. Like blogs, podcasts have inbuilt distribution mechanisms (podcast listening apps), but there are differences between blogging and podcasting when viewed through the lens of getting traffic:
It is highly unlikely that a podcast will be a viable channel for traffic, unless you think very creatively about it. Here are some twists that you could try:
Of course, it is possible to go the traditional route by creating a podcast that publishes new episodes every week, but there is something you must know. Podcasts require a lot of time to do well, and low quality offerings will not gain enough traffic to matter. Therefore, get creative and think like a growth hacker, not like a podcaster. Use their medium, but not their methods.
Ebooks, Guides, and Whitepapers
Part of creating an effective pull strategy is to use the unique makeup of your team to inform which tactics you try. Some people love the idea of doing little things on a very regular basis (like blogging, or maybe podcasting). Others would rather invest large chunks of energy at spread out intervals, and produce things that are a bit more monumental. This is a valid tactic, and large written documents have a number of advantages in terms of getting traffic:
MailChimp has a number of guides which they publish for all the reasons listed above.
Infographics can entice people to your product because they simultaneously display expertise and aesthetic taste. Visualizations are powerful tools, and they are spread using social media extremely easily. Adam Breckler, of Visual.ly, provides the following advice when creating an infographic:
Select a Good Topic
Pick something that is clever, exciting, noteworthy, or that stands out for some other reason. Just don’t be boring or irrelevant.
Find the Right Data
People sometimes assume that they have to create the data themselves, but often a simple Google search will uncover data sets that have already been compiled.
Analyze the Data
Look at the data that you have with journalistic integrity. Don’t bend the data to suit your needs.
Build the Narrative
Brainstorm what story the data should tell. You need to transform the numbers into a coherent narrative, and not just present them as a collection of facts.
Come Up With a Design Concept
Now it’s time to consider ways to tell your narrative visually.
Polish and Refine the Design
Put on the finishing touches and make sure everything is as high quality as it needs to be to gain the public’s attention.
Distribute the Infographic
You can distribute it using your own audience (email list, social media, etc.), or you can use services like Visual.ly which is a marketplace for browsing inforgraphics.
Everlane produced a couple of controversial infographics that created a firestorm online. Their infographics showed the typical markups that department stores charge for t-shirts. Since Everlane sells similar quality shirts at lower prices it’s easy to see how this infographic brought them the right kind of visitors.
The offline world has seminars, but the online world has webinars. These are very successful channels at bringing in new visitors for a few reasons:
Unbounce hosts something called “unwebinars.” Above is one they did with Joanna Wiebe in order to benefit from her expertise and her audience.
Speaking at Conferences
Conferences may feel like a very non-growth-hacker way to get traffic, but that’s just because you’re not thinking of it creatively enough. A conference presentation may pull in a few more visitors to your product, but not many, and the amount of preparation required is very high. However, a conference presentation creates a number of by-products which can be used to pull in visitors more effectively.
If you’re presenting at a conference then you probably have a slide deck. This deck can be uploaded to slideshare.com and now you have a left over piece of collateral that can easily be shared, and it will bring people into you product for the foreseeable future. Sildeshare.com is a social network in it’s own right, and you would do well to invest in it.
Many conferences will record your presentation, and this will allow you to put it on your company blog, upload it to YouTube, place it in email signatures, or use it during a drip email campaign.
Besides the by-products of a presentation, here are some other things to keep in mind:
I once spoke at a conference, and I ended my presentation by telling the audience that if they retweeted my last tweet that I would give them a discount to my product. I created a social media tornado in a matter of seconds.
Why did Steve Jobs do presentations? Because they’re are powerful. If you have the gift of gab, and can command an audience, then sometimes a few moments on stage can create a number of traffic sources for your product. Remember, growth hackers are right-brained and left-brained. Sometimes the ROI is fuzzy, but that doesn’t mean it is non-existent.
Rand Fishkin, the former CEO of Moz, has over 60 slideshares, and they have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, creating countless new visitors for his product at Moz.com.
In a sense, all the tactics we’ve covered so far are incredible from an SEO point of view. As you create content of various kinds (blogs, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, guides, infographics, webinars, slide decks, video/audio presentations) then the search engines are going to realize that you are an authority on your topic of choice, and you’ll rank high for certain keywords. However, there are really two kinds of SEO strategies. I call them content and code.
If you can use both content and code to your advantage then this is obviously the best case scenario. However, even if you can’t do both, you should do at least one or the other. Search engines are still the primary way we navigate the internet, and to ignore this simple truth is very unwise. SEO is important, and for many businesses it’s the primary way they gain traffic at the top of their funnel.
One of the ways to gain traffic at the top of your funnel is through social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.). There are actually so many spammy ways to do this that first I feel the need to tell you what not to do.
Here are some tips to help you bring in traffic to the top of your funnel using social media:
Contests are an awesome way to drive new traffic to your product. A lot of people are actually unaware of how well contests work. Ever heard of AppSumo? Want to know how they grew an email list to over 700k emails? They started with contests. Ever heard of AirBNB? Want to know what they started doing this week to drive new traffic to their product? They started promoting a contest. Contests are good for small companies and big companies alike, so here are a few of things to remember as you create a contest:
AppSumo ran a ton of contests over the years. They found something that worked so why should they stop? Also, notice how experiential their prize is.
One of the channels for gaining new visitors which has arisen in the past few years is marketplaces. The Apple App Store is a marketplace. The Google Play Store is a marketplace. There are actually two kinds of app marketplaces, and they are different.
B2C App Marketplaces
If your company made an app for a consumer then you’ll probably be in a B2C app store like the Apple App Store. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are trying to get new users through this method:
B2B App Marketplaces
If your product can be used for businesses then you might consider this relatively new kind of marketplace. Companies like Salesforce or Mailchimp now have their own marketplace for apps that integrate with their product. Here are some helpful tips concerning B2B app marketplaces.
The AppExchange is Salesforce’s B2B app marketplace.
In the aftermath of Groupon’s rise (and slow demise) there have been a number of deal sites created in their wake. For many niches there is a deal site which has a substantial email list and is willing to promote your product. The arrangement with these companies is usually pretty straight forward. You provide a discount to their audience, and in exchange they provide you with distribution. This is a quick way to get traffic, and given how easy it is to set up this kind of relationship it’s worth trying. Another unexpected side benefit of these deal sites is the number of people who will purchase your product at full price even though they came from the deal site. The internet is a strange place and this will happen more than you would guess.
Mighty Deals is a niche deal site that serves designers. It would be worth it to see if you can find a deal site for your niche.
Leverage Other Peoples Audience (LOPA)
Although this is built into many of the tactics already covered I still wanted to talk about LOPA explicitly. Basically, building an audience is incredibly hard. So if you can find any way to leverage someone else’s audience then you will be taking advantage of a traffic shortcut. Guest blogging is a form of LOPA. Guest podcasting is a form of LOPA. Even marketplaces are a form of LOPA. Here are some other ways that you can take advantage of LOPA:
via Quick Sprout http://bit.ly/UU7LJr
April 23, 2019 at 12:43PM