- Growth-hacking strategy: copy a successful product and offer it for free. Case: MixPanel crushed well-funded KissMetrics by copying their product (website analytics) and offering it for free in exchange for publishing a badge on website. Watch video.
This is a thinking out loud kind of post wrtitten by a seasoned online marketer. So, let’s begin.
There is one major formula behind any free traffic you can receive:
Publish content that attracts attention on a website or app that has target audience you need.
Based on this formula it is easy to come up with infinite ways to drive free traffic. Let us do the exercise.
“Publish content”. Different types of digital content:
- text -> (short) tweet, comment, forum or chat message (medium) article, blog/guest post, press-release, (long) ebook
- image -> social media post, infographics, screenshot
- video -> interview, educational video, screencast, funny short video, infomercial, animation
- audio -> podcast
- software -> mobile app, wordpress theme, website widget, library for other developers
- professional document -> excel/googledoc spreadsheet, Photoshop/Sketch, PowerPoint, AutoCad
“Attracts attention”. What makes something catchy?
To answer to this question you should practice and learn copywriting skills. The content should stand out, be provacative and stir up user’s interest, or be highly valuable to the user. Here are some formulas for you below of types of content that grabs users attention like magnet:
- Image depecting human face, especially experiencing strong emotions
- Shocking news
- Celebrity gossips
- Text or video instruction that explains popular beginner questions in any space (“how to drive a car”, “how to buy bitcoin”, “how to play the guitar”)
- Useful excel template with preprogrammed formulas
“Website or app”. Now, let’s separate web entities into the groups:
|Type of Content||Examples|
|Short-size text||Twitter, Reddit, Niche-related forum (Bitcointalk), Messengers (Telegram, WeChat), Q&A platform (Quora, StackOverflow)|
|Medium-size text||News websites (BBC), Blog|
|Long-text||Wikipedia, Amazon Kindle Bookstore|
|Short text + Image||Facebook, LinkedIn, VK|
|Short video||Vine, TikTok, Coub, Snapchat|
|Any-size video||YouTube, vimeo|
|Educational video||Udemy, Lynda, Coursera|
|Audio||iTunes podcast, online radio program, audiobook|
|Mobile app||AppStore, Google Play, Windows Store|
- Eliminate distractions
- Prepare a todo list
- Prioritize and highlight 3-5 key objectives for today
- Do it everyday before work
- Eliminate distractions (block attention grabbing websites and delete apps from your smartphone, wear noise-cancelling headphones if there are people talking and too much noise around)
- Prepare a list of tasks for the day before starting off the work in the morning. Write each task in simple words, it must be absolutely clear to you how to track when you’d completed it
- Prioritize and highlight 3-5 key objectives for the day. Write them down in the beginning of the list
in the order you plan to execute them. Highlight them or use bigger font size to mark them.
- Move from one key task to another, not jump between them. If you need to receive any feedback to continue execution of a certain task, put on hold and rush to complete the next one in the list.
- Go to bed when needed according to your daily schedule. Block all th distractions that prevent you from sleeping like apps, movies and TV series, eating, chatting and even reading.
- Rinse and repeat next day.
Gamification is an approach of using popular game mechanics for product developement.
Here is a list of 7 Common Game Mechanics you can adapt for your business or service:
- Tournament and challenges
- Quests and some virtual reward for them (gold, experience points)
- Levels and constant tracking of your progress
- Public ranking and leaderboard
- Interactive training of how to use your product
- Constraints! Limiting access to certain content until your reach a specific level or complete enough quests
Now think for a minute how you can integrate any of mechanics above into your business. That’s how you engage and entertain users, make them loayl and regular visotors of your web-site or application, while enhancing that very “user experience” and retention rate of your product.
How to create a unique game atmosphere?
Most of the games are based on the mechanics mentionted in the list above. But still they are completely different. What makes games so different from each other? A unique atmosphere of that game. In you want to make your product completely different from all competitions and orginally position it in the market you can use create a vivid atmoshepre.
List of elements that make a game atmoshpere:
- Artwork (fantasy, space and sci-fi, anime, realistic, Middle Ages, ancients civilizations, doodle world)
- Text style (“Yes, your majesty”, “Roger that, Commander!”)
- Game panel, toolbar (RPG-style health and mana bar, weapon arsenal, crops on your virtual farm)