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Ask GH: Your biggest growth hacking win of 2014?
What was it? :)
I grew my mailing list by over 700% this year, having been very shy about promoting my newsletter previously. Here's how:
— Added a SumoMe popup (netted 75 signups with this yesterday)
— Redesigned my homepage with a signup box at the top
— Sent a weekly newsletter without fail for the past 4 months straight (was only sending sporadically before this)
— Started promoting my content (in places other than Hacker News, ha)
— Began experimenting with content upgrades to incentivize signups
Objectives for next year:
— Start doing guest posts on high traffic sites
— Launch my first non-free ebook
— Build my first email course
What are your plans for your email course? Do you have any resources for making one?
I'm going to start small — the idea I've been discussing with a friend is a 'Side project challenge' for freelancers.
In terms of how the course is constructed, I'll probably use whatever is easiest/fastest.
Paul Jarvis has a technique for creating a self-paced course in MailChimp which sounds perfect, for example... http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/02/10/how-to-create-a-self-paced-email-course/
Just a heads up that my first (and free) email course is go at greig.cc/beforegoingfreelance
1) I'm in a very old-school B2B sector so just driving eyeballs to our page was a huge challenge. I launched a micro-targeted LinkedIn campaign (literally targeting about 12,000 people) that drove a critical mass into a retargeting campaign offering a content-heavy white paper. Being driving enough initial traffic to encourage sharing, the quality of the traffic and the conversions crushed the ROI of any other campaigns we ran.
2) Offered content to sector portal sites.
3) Found the right sector groups on LinkedIn.
@eytan I'm interested in your experience w/ LinkedIn ads – did you run self-serve sponsored updates? And how often did you change out creative?
I've experimented w/ LinkedIn campaigns and found that the budget would rarely get met with micro-targeting in place. With that in mind, what criteria did you target?
Thanks for your insights -Brad
I started by using a combination of specific companies (40 enterprise companies), together with seniority level. I found that with a user base of approximately 14,000, we managed to get about 200 clicks over the course of a month. Haven't even switched creative yet but have found that white paper distribution (and we're talking a serious 22 page data-driven paper) has been the best at leadgen.
Could you elaborate on how the conversion on LinkedIn is, compared to traditional advertisement for B2B?
I've found that the conversion rate is far, far higher. I work in a niche field (logistics startup) and we were spending $1,000 on digital media campaigns that were netting us 10-30 clicks. By switching over to LinkedIn, we've netted (most recently) about 300 (supremely qualified) clicks for the same leads. Sponsored updates have even higher CTRs, albeit at a higher price.
hi mate, does LinkedIn have retargeting pixels now then, and custom audiences? *excited look*
If only. Combining LinkedIn + AdRoll + Unbounce. Works well as a closed loop.
Great question. For me it was a couple of things:
1) learning how to use Medium and LinkedIn as powerful distribution platforms for content.
2) Using a combination of premium content/SEO/email collectors on-site to drive exponential email list growth.
There's more, but that's what blog posts are for :)
Very cool, @morgan! Quick question -- How do you decide when to publish content on Medium/LinkedIn vs. your own blog or another channel? Do you publish the same content in multiple places?
Hey @seanoliver I don't have it down to a science by any means but the formula of:
Original content on my site > distilled learning on Medium + LinkedIn
Seems to get big results in terms of traffic/action.
1. write something in-depth on my own site
2. write a summary or share a key learning not in the main post on linkedin/medium
3. Include CTA back to main item or other cta
That's cool, LinkedIn is one platform I haven't made use of yet.
Heh, yeah, blog post on my comment to follow :)
My biggest wins were growing two different websites, and they ended up being great case studies for us.
1) Developed a new content marketing strategy that grew organic web traffic 6025% over one year: http://contentboxter.com/case-study/hypergrowth-through-content-marketing/
2) Developed a new marketing system that grew web traffic 573% and Twitter followers 1012% in one month (publishing case study any day now).
would be stoked to hear about your case study when it's ready mate! N
1). Footer split test: https://growthhackers.com/hacks/powered-by-test-increases-signups-by-474/
2). Blog email signups up by 1000%: http://blog.gleam.io/opt-ins/
Challenge now is that as you grow you need to think more about scaling process (aswell as tactics). Here's to a great 2015!
That footer experiment is very interesting.
PS. I ran 2 competitions with Gleam in 2014 and had great results with both :)
Without a doubt it was channel prospecting. Native ad/content discovery networks like Taboola, Outbrain, Gravity, and Y! Gemini were a massive success for us in 2014.
Interesting @bflynn I tried some of these in '14 too but had very poor success with them. Expensive with lots of bounces.
Do you mind elaborating on how you used them successfully?
Took a quick look at your company. I obviously don't know your exact goals, but I think it's my focus (driving leads and sale of B2C info products in the finance vertical) that aligns more strongly with a more widespread "broadcasting of content " you get in these channels. One advantage we have is that we already have a good grasp on how an individual piece of content converts through it's performance via existing content syndication deals. At that point it becomes somewhat formulaic on our end to know if something has a high likelihood of working in paid channels.
For a B2B co. going after a much more focused audience, the targeting options are definitely lacking across the content discovery guys, and unless you take advantage of some of the retargeting features they provide (though I'm not sure if they offer these to anyone and sometimes requires larger spend commitments) I can see how performance would be disappointing.
I'd imagine LinkedIn & Facebook would be much more attractive for you, despite the higher average costs. If you haven't tried Y! Gemini, it could be worthwhile given that it has some level of interest targeting (though it's effectiveness has been questionable for us), and in our experience costs are far lower (for now) than any other paid channel.
Thanks for elaborating @bflynn. That makes a lot of sense, and is about what I suspected. Congrats on the win though!
Hand's down customer acquisition with Instagram - http://foundrmag.com/how-we-gained-10k-instagram-followers-in-just-2-weeks/?hvid=4SfODp it has made our business explode!
@nathanthompson, I missed this before, what an awesome story!
(Would love to profile you for the book I'm working on, about using Instagram to promote your business).
Not really a growth hack for me, but I helped a firm I consult with to make content marketing really work. I have been in SEO for nearly a decade and never seen content marketing / outreach really work before.
The company is a sports game and produces lots of stats. We use those player performance stats to predict the important players in upcoming fixtures and then add a graphic with the bare bones stats on. This format has been published in dozens of related publications, including local and national newspaper sites in the UK. The links are bringing visitors and the SEO is improving as well.
discovering instagress :)
Creating a content plan with a narrative arc that increased my company's subscription conversion rate exponentially and that allows us to retain those readers with content they want and share. The content we've created has not just increased subscribers, but has helped create an uptick in lead conversions, cold leads re-engaging and influencers promoting our content.
I know this is an old thread but wanted to add something that has been truly exceptional for my own business and would be considered a growth hack.
I managed to grow my Facebook page from 41,000 Likes on 1st January 2014 to 670,000 on 1st January 2015, with very little advertising costs and no buying of dodgy likes from dodgy companies.
The result for my business:
- Increased my email subscriber list by around 15,000
- Increased adsense earnings from $4,000 to $50,000
- Increased earnings from selling solo ads by about $20,000
- Increased sales of my own products (cannot quantify this as tracking is not brilliant from FB, need to work on that)
- Increased affiliate income by around $5,000
- Decreased ad spend on facebook in second half of year from $14,000 to $7,000 (ad spend was promoting affiliate products and only around $3,000 was spent on page likes up until July 2014, and thereafter $0 spend of page likes)
Objectives for 2015
Cut ad spend on FB dramatically to around $2,000 for the full year.
Continue to grow page and hit 1.2 million likes by the end of 2015
Increase earnings from Facebook Training products to $10,000
Increase earnings from Personal development products to $50,000
Increase earnings from Google Adsense to $70,000
Cut down on selling solo ads and still manage to get $15,000 per year
Facebook can be huge for your business without having to spend too much on ads. The ad spend was experimentation as I wanted to master FB ads, but instead I found that i didn't need to master the ads i just needed to focus on the readers of my page and really drill down on what they wanted and gave it to them.
A newsletter using Zoho campaigns + created a landing page using unboucne which carries message of the offer and a tweet button embedded on the landing page.
Once the user reads the short message on the landing page and fills his basic details + clicks on the tweet button, it directs the user to their respective twitter account. In this way, I captured the leads using Unbounce which was then sent to my emails as leads.
I had two variants with distinctive design and form elements. Once the user retweets us using the landing page, a thank you message will appear. This way, I cracked around 100+ new leads and a good branding for our brand.
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