Growth hacking is the newest kid on the block and it’s pretty popular. Everyone wants to be friends with it and claim to know what it’s all about. Well, it’s confusing.
Every digital marketing or SEO guy has his/her own growth marketing perspective. There are dozens of blogs with thousands of words about it. And yet, most of them do not have any actionable insights.
Hello! We know ‘what’, where is the ‘how’ of it?
Well, we asked marketing experts about their best hack to growth and got some golden nuggets for businesses of all sizes.
10 Freshly Added to The List
We have recently added 10 more to the list.
1. Social Search Keywords
“Most keyword targeting and research is focused on search engine rankings.
I recommend experimenting with social media keywords. In fact, if you’re creating new social media company or group pages, put a lot of thought into the keywords that you use for the name and profile. If you can find a good combination, the page will appear in the search results inside the social media platform.
The best traction that I ever saw on Facebook involved creating a few similar pages, with different keywords in the page name, URL and about section. One page started growing organically right from the start, with no website attached or promotion from me, it all came from FB search where people were looking for topics.”
Jason Lavis, Managing Director of Out of the Box Innovations
2. Find the influencers
“Where you post your content is important. It is also important who interacts with your content. These are things that people research before they do business with you. People want to know who trusts you, who endorses you and who is willing to promote you. Do your research to find the right platforms and influencers you want on your side. Then you have the daunting task of reaching out.”
Ethan H. Goodman, Digital Marketing Manager for DubSEO Limited
3. A few quick points
“There are few “hack” that are very specific to a company and industry, which cannot be applied everywhere, but few things that have recently popped my interest are.
- Influencer marketing
- Smarter retargeting
- Course marketing
Influencer marketing itself is not all that new, but I’ve seen amazing results with contacting a lot of smaller influencers that aren’t super famous yet and having collaborations with them. Reach out to 20 influencers with social media following 10k – 100k (depends on the platform) instead of finding that one that has millions of followers. It’s much cheaper to work with influencers that are not super famous, but the end results could be more less the same as working with 1 big influencer.
Retargeting is also quite old concept, but instead of simply targeting people who went to your website and did not convert into customers, dive into their behavior patterns. For example, what has been working for me and my clients is looking which pages has been viewed in which order and coming up with hypothesis based on that. From that information you could make campaigns that are specifically alleviating these concerns that made them turn away from your offer on the first time.
You could: a) offer them something else or b) give them valuable information that they didn’t get from your website, but what is important to make the conversion.
This is much better approach than just offering your main value proposition again.
Another fantastic way to win customers hearts is teaching. Everybody wants to learn new stuff. By teaching you’re not selling your product. Through courses you help your customers realize that they want something like what you’re selling. Probably not a “growthhack”, but a sure way to gain more customers. Because when customers are deciding to buy your product or competitors, they will surely remember you as the company who helped them achieve something.
Courses are better than just “how to” YouTube videos, because they are longer and usually more interactive, which gets customers engaged.”
Johannes Kanter, Digital Marketing Manager for GettingGrowth.
4. Direct marketing inspiration
“Much of digital marketing is what is traditionally knows as direct marketing. Digital marketers that want to advance their craft should study a little direct marketing history, and learn the strategies. It’s direct marketing because most of these activities seek a direct response from the audience, which requires a call-to-action (CTA). A better understanding of direct response marketing will help digital marketers understand how to properly craft funnels, how to write more compelling copy, and the importance of tracking and analytics.”
Ruhullah Thurairatnam, Digital Marketer for InstanteStore
5. Look beyond Google
“Not to focus all efforts on the top 3 results in Google listings, yes, they are the biggest search engine, but, there is a whole world of internet. When people try, and grow a business they tend to use this as the be all and end all! Using a platform such as Medium.com can help promote your business to a new audience much quicker than trying to reach out organically from a standing start.”
Matt Tomkin, Digital Marketing Consultant for Relative Marketing
6. Quality over quantity
“There’s a myth that circulates in digital content marketing that suggests that you need to continuously post content; this isn’t true. If you focus all of your efforts on churning out as much content as possible, naturally that content will lack the quality to perform within search results, rendering it pretty useless.
As opposed to producing five blogs or articles a week, concentrate your efforts on producing say one extremely high quality piece of content. One quality piece of content will no doubt drive more traffic to your site (as well as generating some natural links) than five pieces of poor content.”
Aaron Watts, Digital Marketing Executive for DuoCall
7. Three quick tips
“Dedicate time every day to building your backlink profile. Methods include: directories, press releases, contributing to industry publications, collaborating with influencers.
Invest in core team members who will bolster your content strategy. It is imperative to build a strong team, with roles covering copywriting, design, social media and email marketing.
Stay ahead of the curve. Be aware of industry conversations, changing trends in your market and big seasonal events. When you’ve identified these trends, contribute to them and share with your audience, establishing yourself as a thought leader who offers to its customers than a simple product or service.”
Amy Kilvington, Creative Marketing Manager for Roman Blinds Direct
8. Identify and track visitors
“Implementing website user identification and tracking technology and feeding visitor behavior back into our client’s customer databases has helped them to prioritize lead follow and increase sales conversion rates. By focusing the sales team on the right leads and arming them with intelligence on what the leads were looking at and browsing on their site, our clients have achieved record sales volume and recaptured what would have otherwise been lost customers.”
Cyril Lemaire, Managing Director of Traktek Partners
9. Let’s do local
“One of our most successful hacks has been to expand our local reach without the need of setting up any physical stores.
We did this by highlighting cities and creating virtual stores, optimized to the primary keywords, for example: location + generic keyword. This helped us to rank in Google organically, allowing us to compete with local competitors. It also helped our quality score with geo-targeted PPC campaigns.
We still delivered the optimal user experience, but created more localized content which helped us to engage with our customers at a local level as well as promote our products.”
Matt Franks – Managing Director of Dreambooth
10. Twitter power
“The most surprising growth ‘hack’ for us was leveraging Twitter. It started out as an experiment and perhaps the degree of success varies depending on your industry (we’re a SaaS company). We picked 2 tools: archie.co and socialquant.net, and not only saw our followers increase from 500 to 1600 in 1 month, none of them were bots! This also increased social traffic to our site by about 20%, which means the followers we got were interested in our offer.”
Larissa Murillo, Marketing Manager for MarketGoo
Growth & Digital Marketing Tips from Last Week
1. Bid on your competitors
“One of the tricks that we used to accelerate our growth in the early days (and one that won’t necessarily win you any friends in your market) was to bid on our competitors’ brand names in Google Adwords with simple ads stating that we were an alternative to XYZ, then sending them to a landing page explaining our strengths versus their weaknesses. This allows you to generate leads in a very cost-effective manner (we were spending around £0.60-0.70 per click and getting a conversion rate of 33%.”
Seb Dean from The Imaginaire
2. Retargetting video audiences.
“One of our most successful tactics has been retargeting our custom video audiences.
We create one video to serve as a “top of funnel” brand awareness piece introducing our targeted audiences to the brand.
From there, we create a Facebook Custom Audience for only those who have watched either 75%+ or 95%+ of the video (depends on the product/service which percentage we use).
Knowing that they’ve watched a good portion of the first video, we introduce them to more in-depth information, testimonials, success stories, etc. to build more intrigue and ultimately help them make the best purchase decision.”
Chris Madden, Co-Founder of Matchnode
3. Customer Delight
“Simple Plan: a) Delight existing customers and ask for referrals and b) Ask happy customers to post reviews online.
a) Customer referrals: The best source of new customers is your existing customer-base. They are already familiar with your brand and should have a positive perception, therefore making them a natural referral source. All you have to do (assuming you already take good care of you customers) is to politely ask them for a referral to anyone they know that may benefit from your products or services. While you can provide an incentive/loyalty program, the happiest customers should be more than willing to refer you without incentive. The biggest challenge to achieving this goal is delighting your customers in the first place.
b) Happy customers: Building on the first concept, the second strategy to get new customers is to ask your happy customers to write reviews on review sites (general business like Yelp or industry-specific like TripAdvisor). Unlike customer referrals, third party review sites do not allow incentives to secure reviews, in order to protect accuracy. That means it is more important than ever to delight customers enough to get them to review without incentive.”
Kent Lewis, President & Founder Anvil
4. Easy to follow growth marketing tips
“Get specific. The more specific the targeting and messaging, the more likely it is to resonate with your target audience. Using social media, use filter combinations to target behaviors, marital status, age, liked brands and more to build exactly the type of audience that likes your products based on past sales.
Landing Pages make a difference. Shopping is all about creating a personalized experience for your visitor. The more personal the experience, the more likely it is that the visitor will stay and shop. When drawing in users, present them only with the products, content and prices that they were expecting to see when clicking through on your ad.
Tailor your re-marketing. Use dynamic retargeting to show products that are relevant to the user. If using static banner ads, segment by the areas of the site that the user has visited. Generic ads don’t help you and don’t help the customer. Bring them back to the shopping experience they went through on your site initially.”
Slisha Kankariya from Four Mine
5. This simple Google tip.
“I have a great hack that I have used to grow eCommerce stores in particular. This hack has been used for one of my most recent clients, Belle Âme Boutique.
This is a hack for getting better search rankings for products, and the way it works is by finding blogs that would be willing to receive a free product from your store.
Essentially, you use Google search operators, some easy targets being “City name” + “niche blog”, then contact the blogger and ask if they would be interested in receiving a free product in exchange for a quick mention in their next post.
A concrete example for Belle Âme would be: Google search Charlotte + “fashion blog”, contact the top 20 results saying that we are promoting a particular product that we want to rank in Google and would love to send them a free product for a mention of the blog.
What this achieves is essentially a really cost-effective way of getting backlinks to certain products that we want to be #1 in the search results. This is a great hack for companies that sell products that aren’t very original or awe-inspiring (which get backlinks naturally).”
Brendan, Owner of Gravitii
6. Talk to the customers
“The best growth hack that we’ve found for our agencies’ clients, is figuring out what has already worked for their current customer. Talk to the three bigger customers they have, and figure out how they got their business. Usually, that 1:1 conversation can give you insight that a company itself might overlook because they’re “too close” to the business. Your outsider’s perspective will let you bring in business similar to their top clients, and help the company grow exponentially!”
Flynn Zaiger, CEO Online Optimism Web Design
7. The Twitter Hack
“Keyhole tracks all tweets, and analyzes those with the targeted word or phrase, and produces data on positive or negative sentiment, geographic source, demographics, and more. Our tool solves many problems for enterprise-level clients, but we’re absolutely used by journalists and reporters looking to gain a deeper understanding of social reaction.”
Eric from Keyhole
8. Long term realtions
“Striving to make a sale every time a new person visits your site is an incredibly ambitious goal. It’s far more effective to give the user something of true value (for free ideally) and build a long-term relationship with them. At Doubledot Media, we have found it extremely effective to offer a free incentive, such as an e-book, for signing up for our email newsletter. Rather than sit back and hope the prospective customer returns to our website, we can actively help them via email. Our email program is founded on content marketing whereby we earn readers’ trust and eventually their patronage by providing valuable information that they benefit from and enjoy reading.”
Simon Slade, CEO and Co-founder of SaleHoo
9. Video hack
“Create a video about the blog post and embed it at the top of the page, turn the audio file into a SRT file (allows for closed captioning), and host the video on an independent video hosting service (e.g. Wistia) and NOT YouTube. Your page or post will be rewarded with better organic rankings.”
Toby Danylchuk, Principal of 39 Celsius Web Marketing
10. Twin digital marketing tips
“Make some simple infographics with free online software in order to create high value marketing assets for free:
Use social media as a surrogate SEO piece. Your social media posts index will come up on search ranks and will drive people to your social media properties and eventually your site.”
Tom La Vecchia, Founder of X Factor Media
11. Choosing the keywords smartly
“As you may know, the ideal keyword has a high search volume and low competition while being relevant to your company or product. The less people targeting a keyword the better chance you have at standing out.
The keywords we chose fit said criteria and we peppered it throughout our website, including blog posts and web pages. Because it had little competition, we ranked 12 (the second page of a Google search) in just a few weeks.
While we are looking to get in the top 5 (research shows that most people don’t go past the first three results of a Google search), getting such a high ranking in a short period of time was both surprising and exciting for us.”
Ramsey Abushahla, Digital Marketing Manager for RentSpree
12. Eugene Gamble, business coach and entrepreneur had a few great tips
– Know your numbers:
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with clients who don’t know their key numbers. Things like Total Site Visits, Click Through Rates, Bounce Rate and Cost Per Visitor (depending on your product or service) should be known and regularly updated. You can spend a lot of time creating what you deem the perfect website however unless you know your numbers you really don’t know how effective it is. Put it this way, would you rather a pretty website that doesn’t convert or an ugly site that does!
– A/B split testing:
Related to the point above you need to continually test to gain improvements on your lead conversion. Most importantly though, test only one thing at a time, otherwise you don’t really know what changes had the desired effect. These incremental, and sometimes not so incremental, improvements will compound to grow your conversions substantially.
– Test your site speed:
As attention spans and patience continues to dwindle you want to ensure you do everything to prevent people from moving on to a competitors site. Test your webpages on sites like pingdom.com which can indicate if there are ways to improve the download speed of your site. As an extension of this, ensure your site is mobile optimized and works well in all browsers. It’s a basic issue but something I’ve seen not done all too often.
Digital or not, branding is the fuel for your marketing engine. Identify what you want people to think when they see your company, product or service. Then reverse engineer how you can establish that brand message. Ensure you have a consistent message with all your touch points from website to campaigns. See what others are doing and when necessary, permanently borrow the ideas!
– Education based marketing:
Continually think of ways you can create value for you prospective. One of the most effecting in today’s market is by education based marketing. Informing your clients about your niche creates that value and establishes you as an expert or authority. YouTube videos are extremely useful here as more and more people search YouTube to answer their questions rather than Google!
13. Power to 1.
“One of our most successful digital marketing hacks was consolidating similar content into singular, comprehensive pieces. For example, we had three to four different articles covering the several types of acne. After examining our Google Analytics, we saw that these multiple articles were all competing for the same keywords. Rather than cannibalizing our own efforts, we instead merged all our pieces into one comprehensive piece.
Once we pieced together the content, the next step was to 301 redirect all the individual pieces to our new, comprehensive URL.”
Matt Edstrom, Head of Marketing at BioClarity
“One great social media growth tip is the “Follow-Like-Like-Like” rule on Instagram. Many times, new users have an idea of who they want to follow in mind and they do so right when they setup their accounts. Unfortunately, follows go unnoticed many times because Instagram users receive so many notifications. A great way to make yourself, and your follow, standout so that you get a follow back is to follow the account and immediately like at least three of their posts. Obviously, nothing guarantees a follow back, but this method definitely increases the likelihood of receiving one.”
Nick Brennan, Founder & CEO of Watch Social Media
15. Keyword hack.
“One tip for ensuring growth in digital marketing is to do extensive keyword research for your company. After trying out several combinations of key services that you provide along with your service area locations, it is important to include the most successful keywords in your meta descriptions and headings on your website. This will help people searching those keywords find your site more readily.”
Matt Brooks, Co-Founder, Marketing Director of Seoteric
“When it comes to marketing, I use a pull marketing strategy called “newsjacking,” a concept developed in the field for our own brands.
In 2013, we started a company called CashForPurses.com, to buy and sell high-end women’s handbags. We have found a sweet-spot in profitability and giving back, by launching many cause-based, outside-the-box creative campaigns. We ignite pull marketing campaigns, because consumers are actively seeking us out, and have already sold themselves by the time they get to us.
One of our most successful campaigns can be seen here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/lindsay-lohan-money-handbags_n_2812435.html
We call our strategy the “Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid,” balancing giving back and profitability.
Our most successful inbound gorilla marketing strategy, “newsjacking,” works by injecting our product or service into a breaking news story to benefit our company and a cause. We leverage activism as a commodity. We are one of the few companies that has mastered this to the extent of mainstream press in outlets such as CNN, Fox, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and more, to the tune of over 20,000 new clients and over $2,500,000 in revenue from free exposure.
Just 2 weeks ago I spoke to an audience of more than 2,000 business owners from 49 countries at Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery in West Palm Beach, Florida, all about using cause-based inbound marketing, the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid and how to “pay it forward” and win at the same time!”
Trent, Chief Newsjacker for CashForPurses.com
17. Focus on LinkedIn for B2B
“The thing that has driven an INCREDIBLE amount of growth for me (like 40X) is LinkedIn. I know it sounds old-hat, but the best thing that has worked for me is creating quality content and sharing it to relevant groups on LinkedIn. Because I am only focusing on financial advisors, I can find them (and they can find me) quite easily on LinkedIn.
The best hack I can give you is to find out where your customer is hanging out online and get active in those groups. There are groups with thousands and thousands of financial advisors. As soon as I got involved in those groups, my business skyrocketed.”
James Pollard, Marketing Consultant
18. Facebook presence
“No matter your niche or vertical there is a FB group that you can participate in to contribute to the discussion, answer questions, and develop a presence to refer people to your business, often when they are looking for exactly what you offer.
FB just also launched a dedicated mobile app to support their groups’ communities so now it’s easier than ever to manage the groups that you participate in, monitor the conversations, and participate while on the go throughout your day.
We have found this tactic to be very effective for our marketplace. We monitor local groups and neighborhoods’ groups, and when anyone is asking for a recommendation on a lawn care service, we kindly let them know about the GreenPal community. We track the success and 60% of the time we make a recommendation, they signup for our service
This tactic can work for almost any business in any niche.”
Bryan Clayton CEO of GreenPal
19. Instagram pod
“The best tip I have for anyone looking to maximize their growth online is to join an Instagram pod. An Instagram pod is a collective group of cheerleaders and engagement boosters who want to see you and your business succeed. How it works is everyone in your pod agrees to comment and like any photos that you post on Instagram and in return, you do the same for their photos. This gives your photos a boost, increasing your ranking in Instagram’s feed and effectively increasing your exposure. Since implement this strategy my photos on Instagram are receiving 12X more engagement.”
Dominique Varendorff, Digital Marketer and Co-founder of My Entrepreneur Life
20. Personalization strategy
“The best-working strategy so far is content personalization. This is like a relationship. The customer is the girl everyone is chasing after, including you and your competitors. A smart strategy is to know as much as possible about this girl, so as to offer her exactly what she wants.
Say you are an online fashion retailer, by tracking and analyzing the customer’s previous online behavior, you are able to find out that: she loves blue heels; her size is 37; her favorite brand is XYZ; she normally shops online or read promotion letter at 8 pm; and she always pays with her Mastercard.
With all this information, you are able to personalize your message: ‘Hey! Check out the new blue collection from XYZ. They are so popular that we are running out of size 37 in stock. Buy now and enjoy 5% off if you pay with Mastercard.’ This customer will wow at this message and immediately feel the bond. Repeat it for several times, and this girl will fall in love with you, instead of you competitors.”
Haley Gong, International Marketing Executive for Webpower Asia
21. Community investment
“To increase your natural share on Facebook just search for groups that you would be interested in on the topic. For example I run a travel website so I’m looking for and joining Travel Bloggers, Travel, these sorts of groups to not only share my blog posts and experience, but to join in the community and answer questions and help out fellow travelers. For Instagram, to help increase your following review successful Instagramers in your industry. My interest is travel so I find the influences in Instagram around travel and find out what content is been shared, content with the highest likes and most importantly the tags been used. Tags are key in the Instagram world as its how people find you and your content! Use the same tags, as many as possible on your posts but the trick is put the tags in the comments – leave the comment with the image as an Call To Action! This will help increase your brand on Instagram.”
Dan Elson, Founder & CEO