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What is Growth Hacking and What does Growth Hacking means to Startups

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Growth Hacking is a marketing technique used by technology startups. This type of marketing technique utilizes creativity, analytical thinking and social metrics to gain market exposure. It is a new way to reach out to the global market via growth. The key idea of growth hacking is to drive huge product growth which is also its only objective. That is the main difference between a growth hacker and a marketer which the former only focus on growth. Every decision and every action taken by a growth hacker is informed by growth and is attempted to drive growth. Because the ultimate aim of a growth hacker is driven by a singular goal (growth), they can achieve the one task that matters most in the early stage of the startup.

Having said this, the conventional marketing techniques also focus on growth but not at the same level at which growth hacking does. The growth hacking technique uses tools and best practices that are not present in a conventional marketing system. For example, growth hackers concentrate on low cost and innovative ideas such as using social media channels to advertise their products instead of using traditional marketing medium such as radio, television, etc. Having special features in the product to simulate growth can also be considered as a growth hacking technique.

One good example can be seen in the file sharing service Dropbox. By simply sharing an affiliate link to their social networks, users can encourage their friends to sign up for the service. And from this action, users are able to grow their account space, while Dropbox has easily acquired several hundred thousand new users on their platform.

A simple idea that is able to achieve huge results. That is growth hacking!

Why Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking uses many ways to help boost a small business or startup into accelerated growth. Some of these tactics include:

Paid Acquisition – Uses paid tools such as Google AdWords, Google Display Network, digital ads and Facebook ads to draw attention to a product.

Viral Acquisition – Encourages customers to spread the word about a products via social sharing. The customer is usually offered incentives for sharing. (Think referral programs, discounts or gift cards.)

A/B testing and Analytics – By utilizing A/B testing and analytics startups are able to improve their conversion rates.

Many of the startups struggle to get new users for their product. While others are able to use growth hacking techniques and acquire new users in a short period of time! That is why growth hacking is vital for startups as in the early phase of a startup when you need to focus on growth.

Many of the most successful startups are always trying to find scalable and repeatable marketing strategies, methods for growth and tactics that are rooted in data and technology. In Growth Hacking, the growth hacker focuses conscientiously on growth, among the right analytical skills to tightly track how the growth can scale a startup very quickly. They also deal with a wide range of areas including email marketing, SEO, content marketing and social media to accelerate consumer interest and sales.

In the past few years, a handful of people have emerged that have been able to hack growth for products, growing them from 0 to 10+ million users in a matter of months with little or no marketing. Most of the brands that are also using such techniques are Facebook, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more. They all called themselves “Growth Hackers”.

How to Growth Hack?

One of the most difficult challenge for startups is to get their name out there and cultivating a loyal customer. It is impossible to compete with larger, more established companies through traditional methods. That means that startups need to get creative in order to grow their market share quickly and effectively. In an early stage startup and you should be looking for rapid growth of your customer base, try using these 3 strategies to develop your startup and get a long-term customer.

Offering a Free service (or Freemium Model with More Features)

Offering a Free service (or Freemium Model with More Features)

Nowadays people love the word “free”, this is one of the easiest ways to increase your customer base and attract new users. Most of the startups are using this strategy to get more visitors and traffic quickly. This also drastically impacts the user acquisition rate, allowing people to try the product before buying it & also allows users to work out if access to additional features provides the value they need to pay.

In 1996, Hotmail launched its browser-based email service and leveraged a free account to lure its existing 20,000 users to sign up. Consequently, Hotmail was able to grow its user base to an astronomical 1 million users within the first six months.

Referral Marketing

Referral Marketing

Referral Marketing is the approach of connecting people. This is also a very famous method to grow startups rapidly, one example of such startups is Dropbox, as mentioned earlier. Customer referrals are among the most sustainable and cost effective ways to grow a startup. Referrals can be accelerated by prompting customers to share at points of delight within the product and making it very easy to share socially via Social Platforms or emails.

Platform Hacking

Platform Hacking

Platform hacking is a technique for startups to work with other relevant platforms, services or products. YouTube used this method to grow rapidly by tapping onto the growing user base of MySpace to gain more views and users for themselves. In 2005, MySpace had 25 million users and was at the top of the social media totem pole, but sharing videos on the platform was a huge pain point for all users including advertisers. YouTube provided a solution by allowing MySpace users to embed videos without the need to pay for the service. As a result, YouTube became one of the largest, most successful startups of our time.

In Conclusion

Growth Hacking is not about redefining the goal of marketing, but it certainly is evolving the way marketers go about the task of driving product awareness, demand, and sales. The key difference between growth hacking and traditional marketing is that growth hackers do not take the time to strategize a marketing plan. Instead, they test to find something that works. This is something that startups can use to leverage for success.

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Content Marketing

Simple 7-Step Social Media Strategy to Dominate 2019

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Social Media Strategy 2019

Let’s look at the numbers and be honest with ourselves – social media isn’t slowing down, and they don’t intend to. There are more than 1.47 billion monthly active users on Facebook on average, and this number includes an almost 17% spike in two years.

One of the primary benefits of social media is to establish trust and credibility among your customers. If the people perceive your product or service is useful, they will trust your brand, thus making them more likely to buy from you. The University of London also studied the impact of social media on consumers and discovered a positive correlation between trust and perceived value linking to sales.

A sound marketing strategy should drive every action taken on social media. For your business, brand or organization, this channel is unavoidable if you want to create dominance in your market.

 

1) Define your target audience and build relationships

The first step to develop a strong social media presence is to acquire highly relevant fans and followers. Regardless of the size of your company, before you start investing resources on social media, you need to know why you’re there and who is your target audience.

Solely by looking at Facebook, you have nearly 1.15 billion people scrolling through their feeds almost every day, so it’s important to focus on people who are valuable to your business.

Building trust and your brand reputation with relevant people is vital so that they buy today, return to purchase tomorrow and advocate others about your brand. This logic is the ethos behind a strong social media strategy.

If you want to invest in social media because you plan to sell a product rather than build relationships with your audience, it’s time to pause and reconsider your business model. Although you can sell a product using social media, relationship building still comes first.

 

2) Choose the right channel

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Channels

When it comes to the different social media channels, every platform has its own established culture and audience – and they expect users and advertisers to approach their platform similarly.

Spreading your eggs across several baskets will not produce significant results for you. At the same time, you will be wasting resources like time, money and effort. Focus is the key to success.

There are dominant channels for every industry, depending on your audience, type of product or service. What you will need to know is which channels are dominant for your market and focus your resources on winning against the competition in those targeted channels.

In social media, it’s not about quantity, but quality. Doing a few channels well with consistent, highly-engaging content that resonates with your audience is what will lead to conversion or sale.

There’s no single, universal “best social media channel.” But, by understanding how each channel works and you’ll be able to maximize your investment.

 

3) Determine your objective (Be S.M.A.R.T.)

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Goals

One of the first steps to create a social media marketing strategy is to set your objectives and goals. Without goals, there is no way to measure your success or Return On Investment (ROI).

As a guideline, each of your goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Despite this, always keep in mind that while vanity metrics like retweets and likes are exciting and easy to track, it’s hard to prove their actual value for the business. But instead, you should focus on goals such as leads generated, web referrals, and conversion rate.

By aligning your social media goals with the overall marketing strategy. It will be easier to show the value of your effort and get executive buy-in and investment for your social media strategy.

 

4) Create a strategy

You should always put more effort into your social media strategy to engage your audience rather than focusing immediately on getting returns. Growing the audience and brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.

A social media strategy defines how your organization will leverage on social media channels to achieve its communications goals and the supporting platform and tools it will use to accomplish this.

At a basic level it’s a simple statement of intent, outlining the goals and measurable objectives, and the target outcomes you hope to achieve. This strategy is done in the context of the overall business and communication plan so that social media isn’t working in a silo but working in parallel with other channels.

 

5) Develop valuable content

Engaging content can help your business in a variety of ways. It can set you apart from your competition and help establish you as an expert. Having generated good content also keeps your business top of mind with consumers, providing the leverage needed to keep your customers returning from time to time. Again, quality over quantity will always prevail.

Creating content for social media can be fast, but creating good content takes time and effort. In addition to written content, such as articles and blog posts, you should also consider creating tutorial videos, infographics, podcasts, and other content media to help build brand awareness.

 

6) Publish and promote your content

Majority of your time is spent on creating good content, but without publishing them, they are useless. When coming up with your social media strategy for 2019, consider what you can do to be more efficient. Having the right publishing schedule can help you save time and push out more content to your audience.

The ability to schedule content effectively also means perfectly timing your posts for maximum likes, comments, and shares. This ability can be easily obtained from the content consumption patterns on various platforms.

As your business embraces social marketing, your social media strategy will likely grow to include social media advertising. Advertising helps to increase outreach to more people outside of your followers based on effective targeting.

 

7) Track and measure the performance

Social Media Strategy 2019 - Track

The purpose behind measuring your effort on social media is to enable you to understand what you are doing that is working and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results. One way or another, tracking can help you formulate a better social media strategy.

Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your audience is interacting with your updates and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived on the platform.

Keeping an eye on your metrics also tell you how your efforts are paying off.

 

In Conclusion

The best part about leveraging social media is being a part of the ever-changing technological advancements that this world has to offer.

With the opportunity to innovate at every turn and constant product development happening around the globe, there is an excellent potential for you to engage your audience in new and exciting ways.

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Creative

How to Rock Wireframing with PowerMockup

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How to Rock Wireframing with PowerMockup

Wireframe exists to allow designers to plan and design a website/application at the structural level. Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been active in it for years, you’ve no doubt heard of this term.

Many designers tend to dive straight into the design, from picking fonts and colors to choosing the imagery. But there are many benefits to kick things off from wireframing – although it is an additional step, it saves time, makes it easier to spot usability issues, and allows creating a solid user experience.

Essentially, a wireframe is a low fidelity layout of the design which has two primary objectives:

1. Presents the outline of structure and layout
2. Plan out the user needs and journeys

Wireframes are used in the early development process to establish the basic structure of a page before visual design and content are added. Similar to the blueprint of a building, it illustrates details of the digital product clearly and accurately. It is an essential step in translating an idea for a digital product into a reality.

Other than using wireframes to plan out a project, it can come in handy when explaining to clients on how the proposed website or application works. Merely explaining through words or writing leaves the vast majority of functions to their imagination and also room for error. Wireframes are helpful in squaring this circle, making it easier for communication between project members or clients.

 

PowerMockup: PowerPoint Wireframe and Prototyping Tool

PowerMockup is a wireframing tool that makes building wireframes easy. It provides a massive arsenal of user interface elements and icons made entirely with PowerPoint shapes. You can quickly build wireframes for your digital project from this library of elements right from inside PowerPoint.

 

The One-Click Installation

Installation of PowerMockup is effortless. Simply execute the program, and it will automatically install itself onto PowerPoint.

PowerMockUp - Installation

 

Familiar and Simple User Interface

When someone seeks to create a familiar user interface (UI), the objective should be to construct a simple process between the user and the product, such that it meets their needs, while providing a UI that is very intuitive and reduces the learning curve.

As PowerMockup runs on PowerPoint, the interface is basically Microsoft PowerPoint itself. It is brilliant as PowerPoint is one of the most used softwares for the majority of the professionals. Adding, removing and editing of elements is as easy as editing a PowerPoint slide.

PowerMockup - PowerMockup

PowerMockup - Editing

 

Building a Website Wireframe

Comparing to most wireframing tools in the market, PowerMockup is considered decent with sufficient elements to construct the wireframes you need for your digital projects. Leveraging on a drag-and-drop method, you can easily choose what you need from the library and add them to the project at the desired location. No coding or training needed, you can build interactive wireframes and prototypes visually.

PowerMockup - Guides

PowerMockup - Alignment

There are also guides/gridlines for element alignments and formatting tools on PowerPoint that can help in design consistency for your project.

 

Unlimited Possibilities

If you find that the elements that come with PowerMockup is not enough, you have an option to download more shapes from its database. You can also create your own items to the shape library. Simply select a shape on a PowerPoint slide, click on “Add Shape,” and you’ve added a custom shape into the library for future use.

PowerMockup - Download Shapes

 

Final Verdict

PowerMockup is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you work faster and smarter. It reproduces the experience of wireframe designing on a professional software, but using PowerPoint. Looking at the final product, who would have guessed that it is done using PowerPoint. It doesn’t take six years of study or a thick manual to use PowerMockup effectively. The simple UI and intuitive controls allow you to master the tool in minutes. It only takes me 15-20 minutes to re-create a wireframe for my website.

PowerMockup - 1

PowerMockup - 2

PowerMockup - 3

PowerMockup - Final

 

Pre-requisites: Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016 (including Office 365) for Windows

Cost: From $59 .99 to $2,099.50 (Download Free Trial)

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Advertising

How Can You Use Quizzes to Generate Leads? – INTERACT

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Interact - Step by Step

The state of digital marketing is always changing. Therefore marketers have to keep up with the pressure of adapting when necessary. Digital marketers are continually finding the most creative ways of generating leads or collecting new email subscribers. With the crowded online space, it is increasingly harder for marketers to stand above the crowd. Moreover, research has shown that the average human attention span is rapidly declining. And this will mean that the method you are adopting now for your lead generation or email collection will no longer work as effectively.

There is a rising popularity where quizzes have become a recurring motif on one of the favorite method of lead generation. Quizzes are a method that is slightly overlooked but a potential pot of gold – and it honestly makes lead generation fun.

According to Steve Olenski, you can gather tons of information about your website visitors, when they are having fun answering a quiz, and it is an excellent way to generate leads.

In this article, I will recommend a tool you can use for setting up fantastic quizzes and guide you through how to create a quiz with this tool which can have a potential of growing your email list by 300%!

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Do you want to triple sales growth, understand digital marketing components and improve your competitive edge?

This book is your go-to-guide for discerning digital marketing and social media and understanding how to perfect these as an art, rather than functional steps to build your business.

 

By Vincent Wee