How to create content that gets you 11,000 web visitors in one day

Lizzie Benton, content marketing manager at Datify, explains how the marketing agency cranked up its website views, and how you can do the same.

In December 2016, our team at Datify created a content marketing campaign that gained us 11,000 visitors to our website in just one day, something which many businesses would give an arm and a leg for.

How did we do it?

Well with Christmas hot on the agenda in the office by October, the discussion of which Christmas chocolates to get became a heated debate, which made us all wonder exactly which Christmas chocolate box was everyone’s favourite?

Lizzie Benton, content marketing manager, Datify

Lizzie Benton, content marketing manager, Datify

So, we went on a mission to find out; in the knowledge that we would not only settle the office argument once and for all, but that as chocolate was always such a sensitive topic around the festive season, it would be of interest to the nation.

We created a quiz, asking the public which festive chocolate and box was their favourite, and then outreached our findings in a jazzy infographic to the press.

Within just one day of outreaching this we managed to secure a top-tier placement on the Daily Mail and gained a staggering 11,000 visitors to our website.

It’s a perfect example of the impact of content marketing.

Of course, there was much more to our purpose than settling chocolate quarrels. What we really wanted to do was show the world what we could do as an agency, and gain some essentially free-marketing for our own brand. Aside from time and the cost to build the quiz, it cost nothing.

But the truth is, with a little marketing know-how, this kind of success can be achieved by any business, with or without an agency. And here’s how!

1. Timing

You may have a hot-topic in your head, but is it relevant to what’s going on in the world right now?

The reason our chocolate box quiz did so well was that it was launched at the right time when Christmas chocolate boxes were already making press coverage due to their ever-changing menu, and the question of choice was already on everyone’s mind.

Timing is everything, so pick a topic that gets people engaging in a conversation.

2. Audience

It may sound like Marketing for Dummies but consider your audience.

We knew there was a massive audience around chocolate-related content. You only had to look back over the past two years of festive chocolate related news to know that many people have a strong opinion about the brands they love.

However, if you’re not so sure there’s a market out there, research it. From analysing Facebook Audience Insights, to simply looking at the publications your target audience read to identify if you have a story.

3. Purpose

Your content has to have a purpose, even if it’s a silly one like ours that simply wanted to find out which Christmas chocolate box was everyone’s favourite?

What is the point of your content? Why should people care? And how will this become news worthy? – These are all questions you should be asking yourself.

Look at your idea from two perspectives, what are you looking to achieve, and what will your audience get out of this?

Your purpose will enable you to define a direction for your content, and enable you to think about where you want to place it, and the reaction you wish to get from your target audience.

Our piece was news-worthy because as a nation we attach a lot of emotion to our food choices, and we knew that food writers around the country, would want to share the data that we had found.

4. Design

You cannot ignore the fact that design matters even in marketing.

We wanted to ensure that our quiz and infographic were both aesthetically pleasing and easy for people to use. Otherwise we would have fallen at the first hurdle, gathering data. If it had been difficult to use or too ‘buggy’ people would have been frustrated and not taken part.

We spent a lot of time making sure the design was not only easy to use, but would also fit seamlessly into any online platform it featured on.

5. Amplify

Of course, once you’ve created something you can’t just leave it on your website and expect everyone to come flooding. You need to do some targeted PR and begin to amplify your content.

We contacted food journalists with news that we had discovered the nations favourite Christmas chocolate box, and they couldn’t wait to feature the news. If we hadn’t of put this last bit of effort into gaining press, we would never have attracted that many visitors.

So there it is, a recipe for creating content that gets your website visitors. Can you do one area without the other? I would say not to. No purpose and you have no story to amplify; bad design and you lose users willing to take part. If you can combine all of these elements together and get each of them right, that’s when you’ll see success.

And for those of you intrigued to see our quiz, you can check it out here.

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