There’s no end to the great information you can find when you start researching business growth hacking on the web … that’s if you know where to look, of course. Let us take the hassle out of it for you by catching the latest installment in our regular round-up series on business growth. All the latest and greatest wisdom on growth from the heavy hitters right up to the scrappy starters… all broken down just for you, right here.
Growth Hack the New Year
Heard about growth hacking and wondered what it could do for your business? Well, 2017 may well be the year you find out!
Katherine Boyarsky. Lead Generation Specialist over at Hubspot has a few ideas to help get you started, with her recent article: 4 of the Best Growth Hacking Experiments to Try in 2017. And the best part? Well, they’re experiments. If they don’t work for you, you can stop and try something else. That’s what the spirit of growth hacking is all about.
Katherine provides a useful overview of the growth hacking concept (hint: as we mentioned, it’s all about rapid experimentation, with a keen dash of observation thrown in), but even more usefully, she backs this up with four real-world examples from tech companies in Boston. Details of the specific experiments they were running, supported by video interviews with the key players, make this an informative read.
We say: All this talk about experimentation might have you feeling nervous … after all, most of us are marketers, managers or salespeople, not rocket scientists! However, these experiments are conducted on such a small scale that there is very little risk involved in seeing where they take you. Growth hacking is all about incremental change – and while no-one is saying big results aren’t nice every once in a while, there is certainly no shame in achieving simpler, everyday improvements.
How to Use SEO to Drive Business Growth
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is one of those tech buzzwords that has begun to lose a bit of its gloss. In the glory days of SEO when it seemed anything was possible, every online marketer and their dog were jumping on the SEO bandwagon, sometimes using a range of less than honest strategies. But then things got a little tricky, the folks at Google kept fine-tuning their algorithms, and a lot of websites that had previously relied on so-called “black-hat techniques” (i.e. the scammy ones used to “trick” search engines into visiting a site) went down the search gurgler. In fact, things have changed so much now that the old tactics have fallen by the wayside, that as Jayson DeMers (contributor to Forbes) notes, almost all SEO these days is of the good (“white hat”) variety.
On this theme, Ehsan Jahandarpour, contributor to Entrepreneur.com, recently covered the topic of SEO Growth Hacking Techniques to Scale Your Business. Covering three themes in depth – which can be summed up as technical aspects of SEO, keyword research, and content development, this article is a good read for those who want to go over the basics without drowning in technobabble.
We say: “White hat” or ethically acceptable SEO techniques, still allow plenty of opportunities for improvement for those businesses willing to invest a little in tweaking their websites. At the end of the day, there is absolutely nothing wrong with optimizing your site for search engines … otherwise, why have a website at all? The point of a website is to make your business discoverable to present and future customers, and SEO, when done correctly, ensures that that will happen.
Growth Hacking Toolkit
As you’ve probably guessed, we love a good round-up at the best of times, so what better than a round-up within a round-up to maximize the value our readers get out of our posts?
Dmitry Dragilev, growth hacker extraordinaire and founder of the Criminally Prolific blog, recently shared the benefit of his experience with 50 Growth Hacking Tools for Marketers at Startups.
The only way to take advantage of such a comprehensive list is to dive on in and take a look. What’s great about the list is that it presents an astonishing range of tools covering a range of aspects of growth, from PR right up to social media, and Dmitry also gives a rundown on how much each strategy is likely to set you back. Great stuff.
We say: Why reinvent the wheel when you can let a tool do it for you? Sometimes, someone else’s solution is the best answer. In fact, you might even say that hacking someone else’s hacks are the most efficient means to growth. Well, something like that, anyway.
Seek, and Ye Shall Find
For Aaron Orendorff however, the shortcut to growth hacking success is NOT to blindly follow another business, nor indeed to spend endless hours gazing at your own navel. The answer is actually to ask a question. Well, two questions to be precise.
In an article for the Simply Measured Blog, Orendorff asserts that Your Next Growth Hack Won’t Come from You – instead, he argues, it should rightly come from your target audience. The two questions: Who Is Your Market? And, What Should You Ask?
Even though these questions might seem at first glance like just a rehash of marketing basics, Orendorff addresses them in a fresh way that makes you want to throw your market research in the wastepaper basket and start all over again. He implores you to look for answers where it matters … out there, in the real world, and not just within the customer personas that live in your PowerPoint deck. Makes a lot of sense to us.
We say: Knowing your audience isn’t just about collecting zip codes from your customers at the checkout. Today’s social media and technology platforms allow a wealth of knowledge to be collected about your future customers, all in real time. Never before has there been such a richness of data for businesses to avail themselves of, all right at your fingertips.
Everyone would like to go viral at least once in a while, right? It ‘d be good to think that all the effort that gets poured into content creation and social media could hit pay dirt.
Well, LinkedIn is trying to encourage you in this endeavor. In a post titled How to Go Viral on LinkedIn, contributor John Nemo (for Inc.com) covered the key messages of the social media platform’s tips for success gleaned from the experience of its top bloggers during 2016.
We don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but essentially the key take home message is: the creation of useful and original content is the engine driving viral growth.
We say: Content marketing continues to rule supreme, even into a brand new year. The world is hungry for high-quality information, and it doesn’t want to have to sift through a pile of dross to get it. Look after your content marketing strategy, and it will look after you. Promise.
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