All businesses experience a downturn in website traffic at some point, even if it’s simply due to seasonality. How awesome would it be if all you had to do to fix this was simply publish one piece of content that immediately became so popular that it crashed your website! (Ok, the crashing website isn’t ideal, but you get the picture.) That’s the power that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has!
Today, Rowling published the first detailed glimpse of Harry Potter the world has seen in seven years on Pottermore.com. Pottermore is a website devoted completely to Harry Potter fandom. The website includes a fun story-telling game that allows Harry Potter fans to “attend” Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry while learning more about the world of Harry Potter and the backstory to the books. This site is extremely popular because J.K. Rowling continues to post snippets of never-seen information about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Millions of loyal fans check the site regularly for new information and to continue their “education” in the game. The anticipation of new content from Rowling keeps fans coming back to the site and boosts site traffic. Today’s announcement that J.K. Rowling published a new short story about Harry Potter at the Quidditch World Cup caused fans to rush to the site, temporarily crashing the website.
Of course, it’s not reasonable for most businesses to expect the results of J.K. Rowling’s content marketing efforts. However, there is a lesson to be learned here. Publishing new, compelling content that is entertaining or serves a useful purpose to your audience can help drive traffic to your website when you’re experiencing a downturn. Here are tips for implementing J.K. Rowling’s strategy on a more reasonable scale to help increase traffic to your business’ website.
Make it Newsworthy
A new Harry Potter story is international news because it’s surprising information and there are tons of fans who have been clamoring for more Harry Potter content. One way to create newsworthy content for your business is to conduct a study, which can be a simple opinion survey. If the results are surprising or unexpected, other companies and publications in your industry will share your content. This will help drive traffic to your website, increase your brand’s reach, help with search engine optimization, and provide your company with a PR boost. Don’t be afraid to contact industry publications and inform them of your published study. Distributing a press release about the study will also help. Check out these industry-related ideas for newsworthy studies:
- Vacation Rental Companies – Acquire facts and figures related to the rise in weddings held in luxury vacation homes.
- Real Estate Companies – Acquire facts and figures regarding the growth of home buyers under the age of 28.
- Home Building Companies – Acquire facts and figures regarding the benefits of a custom home vs. an existing home.
Make It Controversial
We’re not talking “National Enquirer” controversy. However, creating content that hits an emotional spot for your audience will drive them to comment on your content and share it across the web. One way to create controversial content that isn’t too controversial is to write a blog post about something an industry-influencer said and present your differing opinion. Politely let the industry-influencer know you have published this post by contacting him or her via social media. Twitter and LinkedIn work best for doing this. Twitter is especially good because, when you tweet the influencer, many of the influencer’s followers will see that tweet and become interested.
Interview an Industry Influencer
Contact someone who is well-known as a thought leader in your industry and ask to do an interview with him or her. You could publish this interview as a blog post, video interview, or podcast. Here are ideas for identifying a respected influencer:
- Someone who is often asked to be a speaker at your industry conferences
- An author who has written books or published articles that are well-read in your industry
- A blogger who has a popular blog related to your industry
Include Calls-to-Action with Your Amazing Content
J.K. Rowling did not post this new content just for the joy of Harry Potter fans. Rowling and her marketing team knew users would flock to the site, so the team strategically placed calls-to-action (CTAs) alongside the new story to encourage readers to buy new Harry Potter merchandise. Regardless of your industry, it’s crucial to include CTAs with your content. Your CTAs could include inviting visitors to subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, or obtain an offer.
Although most companies do not have the brand power of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, the lesson from the content release can be used in all industries. Providing content that your audience desires can lead new traffic to your website and create new leads for your business through strategically placed CTAs. Let a bit of Harry Potter magic enchant your business with these lessons from J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter!
Image Credit: Warner Brothers