There's been a great deal written about the theory of using Twitter to get more traffic to your blog, website or online store – but very little in terms of actionable, proven strategies.
I hope to change that with this case study, and what I call the ‘Triple Twitter Traffic Technique' (if you can say it, you can do it).
First, a bit of background on how all this came about…
The Outreach Email
I get dozens of outreach emails on a monthly basis, and it's fair to say that most people are sending generic, spammy approaches with seemingly no research behind them whatsoever.
In fact, the majority ask for links without providing anything in return. Needless to say these go in my trash bin 🙂
However, a few weeks ago I received an intriguing email that instantly made me sit up and take notice (and action):
Subject: The article you tweeted about got us thinking..
I recently read the post you shared on Twitter entitled ‘5 More Brain Triggers To Drive Conversions On Your Website or Landing Page' – and it inspired us to write a more in-depth post called ‘What is a Landing Page?', with some practical strategies for growing your business using them.
You can check it out here > (actual article)
If you think your followers would appreciate more great content, then we would be honored if you would share it with them.
Likewise, if you have a new post or piece of content that you would like us to share with our large audience, then we would certainly be happy to do that for you too.
Co-Founder | Autopilot Your Business
This email stood out for three very compelling reasons:
1. The message referenced a piece of content I'd already read and shared with my audience on Twitter, so it was a highly personalised approach that immediately got my attention as I remembered sharing the article.
2. The email then referenced the fact that the original article had been improved upon, and that I could share this enhanced value with my audience (who had already responded well to the original article).
3. The offer to share a piece of my content with a ‘large audience' certainly got my attention as well, and acted to sweeten the whole deal.
So I took a look at the new piece of content Andrew had created – and genuinely liked it – and then shared it with my audience on social media.
After that I fired back an email letting him know and asking him to share a piece of my new content – and this is the response I got back:
That's awesome, thank you for sharing, we really appreciate it.
We will happily share this article for you… we have it going out to 3 accounts today of about 100k+, and we have tagged you @contentchampion in them too.
Co-Founder | Autopilot Your Business
I was pleasantly surprised at their social media reach, but also concluded that Andrew's whole Twitter traffic strategy was ingenious – and something anyone with even a middling reach on social media could emulate.
It's really a win-win-win scenario. Andrew gets traffic to his site or latest blog post, my audience gets a great piece of content to read, plus I also get to share a piece of my best content (which further benefits Andrew's audience too). It's a complete and satisfying circle where everyone involved benefits.
An Interview With Andrew McCauley
Naturally, I was dying to get the lowdown on who Andrew is and what he does – and how he developed this superb Twitter technique, so I set up an interview and received some excellent responses.
Here's what Andrew had to say:
Q. Could you give us the backstory of your experience and what led to the creation of Autopilot Your Business?My backstory is that I come from 17 years in the hospitality industry, where I managed large hotels and bars in Australia.
I really loved the marketing aspect of that role, as you quickly knew whether your marketing was working when you saw nobody in your bar, restaurant or nightclub.
When I left that industry in 2006 I began my own business consulting firm. One of my first clients saw some people using this new tool called Facebook for their business and marketing, and asked me how they were doing it.
So that began my foray into social media marketing….and as more and more platforms popped up, so did my list of things to learn.
In 2010, I co-founded Autopilot Your Business and we concentrated on social media marketing from the beginning, and soon branched out to become a full scale digital media agency – creating, distributing and marketing clients' online presences.
At the same time as doing this for clients, we also created our own properties, with a weekly podcast that has been running for three years, an online magazine aimed at educating entrepreneurs about online marketing – and our very own online TV show, where we interview successful business leaders about their business philosophy.
Q. You’re using an innovative Twitter strategy to create content you know will be epic plus get lots of social shares and traffic, why did you start doing this and how does it work?
Twitter has been a fantastic tool for us to find out what works, what people like and what gets shared, so we use Twitter a lot.
First off, we find out the best articles that people resonate with and then we go about writing an original article that plusses that shared article.
To find popular, highly shareable content ideas I type relevant keywords into BuzzSumo to get automatic results, or sometimes, I will come across them via sites like Scoop.it or Alltop. With those sites, I will manually check the shares on those if I need to.
Once we have created the new post, we go back to Twitter and paste in the URL of the original shared article in the search box of Twitter, and the results give us every person that has mentioned that article in a tweet.
From there, we reach out to these people through email or the contact forms on their websites and acknowledge they have shared something similar to our post previously – and would they be interested in sharing a newer and better post with their followers… its a little bit of work, but the results have been amazing.
Q. How do you go about creating the epic content that forms the central part of this system – is it simply beating the previously shared post?
We have been witnessing the power of content marketing for a while now and everything we were seeing told us that long articles and posts were getting much better traction as far as amount of visitors and length of time on site. Overall, the quality of visitors was so much better.
So we find posts that are relevant to our audience, that have been shared and liked a lot – and we go about making a better post. To do this we may add more detailed descriptions, screen shots, video and graphically appealing images.
We want people to download the post and say..”wow… i need to consume this”.
Q. What sort of results are you seeing from using this strategy, in terms of hard numbers?
Overall, our website traffic has tripled pretty rapidly. What we are also seeing is that the more posts we do, the more traffic keeps increasing, so we are seeing a very healthy continuous upward traffic trend in our analytics.
Our blog posts previously were pretty mediocre as far as traffic goes – but since using this Twitter strategy we've seen at least an eight-fold increase in our traffic to blog posts alone.
Q. Can other business owners emulate this technique, and if so are there any pitfalls to avoid?
This technique certainly can be emulated and the pitfalls would be to try to automate it completely.
What I mean by this is that we are reaching out to people on a one-on-one level and as such, this takes a lot of time. But we definitely think the results are worth it.
People overuse automated systems these days and the lack of response that go with these is really not worthwhile. We have created some pretty in depth systems for all this to take place – and that's the most we will automate this process.
The rest is up to good old one-on-one engagement or building relationships.
Q. Why is Twitter in particular so effective for this type of content led outreach?
Twitter is so powerful because of the quick reach and connection you can get. The fact that Twitter also gives you access to peoples' websites – where you can connect with them directly – is also a great way to create engagement.
The power of real time search that Twitter has, is also an important aspect in making sure your connections are timely.
Q. Lastly, could you share another advanced content marketing strategy you’re using that gets great results?
One of the other secret weapons that we have been finding amazing is a tool called Sniply.
We share a lot of other peoples' content too – and when we share it we do it via Sniply, which lets us add a call to action over the top of the shared page.
This tool alone has seen traffic from sources we had never thought of before. Plus, Sniply is a free tool and so far, it's been awesome for us.
Action Steps: Triple Twitter Traffic Technique
If you would like to emulate Andrew's success with this strategy, and potentially get three times more traffic to your website overall – and up to eight times more traffic to individual blog posts, here are some action steps:
1. Visit BuzzSumo and search for widely shared content based on your niche keywords. Back up sources are Scoop.it and Alltop.2. Trump the original article you select by adding more detail based on new research, plus multi media content such as video and audio – and more relevant images (a version of Brian Dean's Skyscraper Technique).
3. Type the URL of the original article or post into the search box on Twitter, and make an Excel spreadsheet of everyone who has shared the article in a tweet.
4. Personally reach out to every single person who shared the original article (see email above), and link to your improved version and offer to share some of their content. A tool such as BuzzStream can help with this.
5. Get back to the people who respond and thank them, also telling them you've shared their piece of content as well (see email above).
Wrapping It Up
If you think this sounds like a lot of work – well as Andrew admits – it is. But the results you'll get are incredible.
To streamline the process, you could always outsource the collection of names, websites and email addresses from Twitter – and the content creation process too. That way you could just focus on coming up with great content ideas to trump 🙂
Twitter is certainly an amazing tool, and I get a ton of targeted traffic through it every month – and this is definitely one of the most innovative and effective Twitter marketing strategies I've come across.
Over the coming months I'm going to add this outreach technique into my own content promotion toolkit, and will update this post with my results in future.
Update: My Results
I’ve now tested this strategy on this very post, by using an outsourcer to collect 100 names and emails/contact pages of people who had shared a related Twitter strategies post. I then took less than an hour to contact them all.
Out of those 100 contacts I got 5 responses who agreed to share, 1 who liked the post but thought it was too advanced for their audience, and surprisingly – 1 spam complaint from a marketing company (who maybe need to play the game a bit more in terms of their outreach).
Here’s an example email I got back:
Hi Loz,Awesome job on the case study! I'd be happy to share it 🙂
And thank you so much for offering to share my work, I am currently working on a new piece, and I will send it to you once complete, and if you feel it worthy, I would love for you to share it.
Awesome job again, and thank you 🙂
So in terms of my success rate, 5% of people contacted said they’d share it – with a combined reach of just under 4,000 Twitter followers. I didn’t follow up on whether they shared it elsewhere.
But overall, you can see that this is scalable – and as a numbers game it’s true to say that the more people you contact the more success you will have.
It’s definitely worth adding to your promotional toolkit, but like anything worth doing it will take some work.
Give this a try yourself and let me know how you get on…