Is growth-hacking the new inbound marketing? Not-quite. Actualy, not at all. Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy and growth hacking is a creative solution to a problem.
In other words, growth-hacking is actually focused and fast-paced innovation. Innovation occurs when experiences provide an "ah-ha" moment. When Ray Croc visited the Mcdonald's brothers burger stand, he had one of those "ah-ha" moments.
Without that visit he wouldn't have had that experience to draw from. And we all know where his innovation of the business franchise system took him.
Growth-hacking forms the same way. It uses experiences and outcomes, frustrations and probelms, to find a creative solution that allows you to "hack" your own growth.
Below you'll find a few growth-hacks that I have created that have increased my productivty and lead to positive results.
Download our growth-hacking cheat-sheet: Print it out and keep on your desk for quick reference
Top 10 Growth Hacks
1. Maintain Blog Backlog
Maintaining a current backlog of ready-to-go, prioritized blog article ideas can be a powerful marketing tool.
First, head over to a tool like Buzzsumo. Type in a competitor's URL or a top industry blog URL. Look at the articles that have been shared the most. This gives you a good idea of the type of content resonating with your audience.
The second strategy is to use your social publishing as a guide. Again, determine what content your audience is most interested in, by looking at clicks, interactions and shares.
Use this information to fuel ideas for new blog articles. Tweak the titles a little so they are unique and original. Simply use the other titles as a guide or starting point.
Create a spreadsheet and title it blog backlog. Enter the reference URL, new title, shares, date added and backlog age. Create three sheets. Name the first one "Shared", the second "top social" and the third "top blogs".
Pay attention to what content is most popular on your site (through your social media promotion) and the content most popular on your competitor's blogs and top industry blogs.
2. Increase Blog Quality
Blog writing isn't all that difficult, considering the roll it plays for a business. I recently read a great a explaination of this. A blog attracts people to your website, exposing them to a company voice, look and feel. B2B blogs typically have a conversion path leading to email sign ups or content downloads.
In other words, a blog play's the same roll as a cold calling sales rep. Coming from someone who has significant experience in B2B sales, writing a quality blog article is an easier task.
Quality blog articles often include external links out to other sites to futher explain a point with more expertise, give a shout out for something you liked/learned or to cite a statistic from a research report.
For this I use Evernote. Evernote is a great tool for writing blog articles. At the bottom of your notes, there is a section for related articles. Depending on the sources you connect, Evernote display related articles from around the web. This is a great way to find quailty links to include in your post and provide an example of a similar article your audience might have enjoyed.
3. Iterate Marketing Content
Content has always been the centerpiece of marketing campaigns. It used to come in the form of advertisments that made Madison Avenue famous. Now, especially among small and medium sized businesses that can't afford the traditional marketing, content comes in the form of downloadable eBooks, Infographics, Webinars, etc...
This hack is to publish new content and optimize existing content at the same rate. Publishing a large volume of content fuels your promotion. Publish more promote more and increase your social reach and brand awareness.
Optimizing existing content helps to keep older articles updated and current. As your target market changes and you learn more about your buyer's interests and behavior, update past article to reflect those changes. DO the same thing for changes in the industry, a better way of doing something, new research etc...
4. Social Media Publishing
Create multiple messages for all your content. When you publish new content or update existing content, you want to inform people, and make finding it easier for everyone else. For this we want to create a social media publishing schedule.
This allows you to create all your messages up-front. So if you want to post a message to Facebook when the content is published and again in 3 weeks, you know this in advance and draft up both of those social messages at once.
This saves a ton of time as well as keep your social accounts on a regular rotation of sharing new content.
5. On-going Research
Research is a big part of any marketing strategy and a big part of research is collecting data, learning new information, and organizing that information for easy reference.
Today, most of this research, at least initially, is done on the internet. You can spend a lot of time just searching and organizing infromation. Not to mention going through it and searching out the infromation you need/want.
Google keep is the most effecient option I have found for doing this kind of researching/learning. Install the google keep extension to access your google keep in chrome. On any webpage, open the extension to create a new note. The note hangs around in the browser until you close it, making it super effeicent to take notes on teh article you just saved.
From here you can tag notes, add a color, add a reminder to follow-up or create a checklist. Because Keep is a Google product, you get a robust search for finding your research later.
6. Morning Productivity
Develop strong habits around your most impactful activities
7. Lead generation
Easily generate leads with HubSpot’s Leadin with relevant calls-to-action
8. Find email
Search for the company on LinkedIn and find someone who has their email address visible. Most companies have a standardized format for email address. Following that you should be able to easily guess the email.
Create google alerts for each topic on your blog. Each time you publish under a topic, go through the corresponding alerts and look for articles that you can leave a response on linking to your article for additional information.
10. Agile Sprint
Using slack, add a reminder to either remind a user group (@marketers) or a channel (#marketing-team) each morning to publish their top 3 priorities for each day. Then using the “done” integration, add all your complete tasks to the flywheel.
Growth-hacking can be an increadibly powerful tactic that marketers can use to boost awareness and conversion at an exponetial rate.
CTA - Daily growth hacking cheat sheet