In its earliest days, growth hacking was a fairly ambiguous term that marketers used to describe their often-untraditional methods of gaining rapid traction for startups. However, over the years, growth hacking has evolved into something that more closely resembles a science, and its various techniques have been used repeatedly to help early-stage startups morph themselves into established, successful businesses in a hurry.

From paid search to public relations campaigns, there are countless ways marketers have used growth hacking strategies in the past, but the most frequent and recognizable approach in recent memory has been via content marketing.

How do growth hacking and content marketing work together?

It's simple, really. The ultimate goal of content marketing is to drive traffic, attract new audiences, and generate conversions. In and of itself, content marketing is a strategy for overall growth, and thus can be placed under the growth hacking strategies umbrella. From blog posts to YouTube videos, content marketing enables brands to promote their message and introduce new consumers to all of the products or services that they have to offer.

Yet, despite the fact that content marketing can play a significant role in the growth of a new business, it's often easier said than done. There are any number of ways to promote a brand through custom-made content, but to get the best results, you need to use the right tools and optimize your approach.

The following are six of the best content marketing tools that growth hackers can use to build their brand's fan base quickly and easily.

1. Optimizely

As any marketing professional will tell you, success depends on A/B testing. To know what's working and what isn't, you have to constantly compare and contrast different ads or creative elements. From headlines to images, and even down to the nitty-gritty details of font and color palette, you need to deploy different ads to find out which ones generate the best results. Optimizely is a great tool that allows you to A/B test your landing pages and find a design that provides the best end-user experience and yields the highest number of converting leads.

2. KissMetrics

Is your site generating a decent amount of traffic, but failing to produce the conversions you're hoping for? If so, you should look into KissMetrics and its analytics suite. While a service like Google Analytics can show you how many people are coming to your site and how long they're staying, KissMetrics can offer you even more detailed insights into user behavior so that you can identify where your traffic is falling off and fix those problem areas.

3. Bounce Exchange

Yes, website traffic is great, but unless you are able to keep your visitors on the page and engaging with your brand, it's almost worthless. Thus, you should place emphasis on new user retention, and with a tool like Bounce Exchange you can gain a better understanding of your visitors' actions and discover why they are bouncing from your page. With detailed insights on behaviors like mouse movements, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments to your site and improve the user experience to keep visitors on your page longer, and completing your desired action.

4. Marketing.ai

Team members need to stay in contact at all times and know what's going on with each other. Marketing.ai helps you manage your content marketing calendar for everyone on your team. You can task and assign projects to team members and track and measure performance.

5. Intercom.io

Successful content marketing often boils down to creating tailored content and distributing it effectively to your audience. With Intercom.io, you have access to data and organization tools for various aspects of your content strategy, ranging from your email marketing messages to customer engagement metrics. Intercom.io is one of the most unique, comprehensive growth hacking tools out there--an undeniable necessity for content marketers and growth hackers.

6. Social Mention

An integral part of content marketing is social shares and social mentions, and with this tool you'll be able to find out exactly who is talking about your brand and what they're saying on various social networks. From blog mentions to social media sites, Social Mention can give you an in-depth look into your brand's social traction and help you develop better strategies for social media.

7. Crazy Egg

At the end of the day, you create branded content to provide a valuable user experience for your customers. With Crazy Egg, you get a detailed map of your customers' on-site behaviors so that you can better understand their experience and improve on the areas that are driving customers away. With its unique visual read out, Crazy Egg can provide you with all of the information you need to convert more of your visitors into paying customers.

With all of these tools in your arsenal, it's time to go forth and start building your brand's fan base. Have growth hacking tools that you'd like to share? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Published on: Oct 16, 2014