Google Tools for Growth Hacking
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A Growth Hacker’s Guide to Google

‘Google it’ has become the catchphrase of my generation. When you forget what a word means, when you’ve found a gap in your general knowledge or even when you want to see what your house looks like from street view, ‘ Google it.’ The site is used for 100 billion searches every month and from a marketers perspective this couldn’t really get more exciting. If your webpage reaches the top of the results for even a fraction of these searches, your prospects are looking good.Google Tools for Digital Marketers

But when you start thinking about digital Marketing, Google has much more to offer than its search engine. With 90% of its revenue credited to advertising it’s no surprise that there is a galaxy of Google products ready to help your business grow.

Here are my top ten:

  1. Youtube: The second largest search engine after guess who? No surprises there, google. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realise that YouTube was owned by the company, however with 1 billion different users every month this is definitely an area to expand into. Promoting, creating, and sharing videos whether to showcase your products or to simply give tutorials adds diversity to your marketing strategy.
  2. Google Analytics: This was one of the first pieces of software I was shown as a marketer and is used by around 50% of websites. It will give you the data you need to ensure you’re going in the right direction: bounce rate, page views, metrics, etc. From this you can pinpoint which areas are in need of improvement and begin to move forward.
  3. Google Adwords: Despite the potential of getting a tad costly ppc is a great way to boost growth. Create adverts with keywords corresponding to your business, these will show up in search results and you’ll pay depending on how many people click on your advert.
  4. Google My Business: By signing up you’ll make it as easy as possible for customers to find you. This tool puts you and your business details on the map increasing your visibility.
  5. Google Drive: This is more for behind the scenes but remaining organized is essential to a growing business. With the drive anyone of your choice can access your files from any device without jeopardizing the security of the site.
  6. Google Trends: By finding out what people are searching for at the moment you can create a foundation for the content of your webpages and build a larger audience. When used effectively you’ll be able to search for and harness emerging trends and whether you’ve chosen the right keywords across your site.
  7. Google Alerts: Keeping updated with the topics that interest you and equivalently those that attract your readers is vital for a contemporary website. Google will send email notifications when new information has been found; this is great for new blog-posts.
  8. Google Calendar: Scheduling is key to your marketing strategy. Logging when and what you are going to post will keep you organized and up to date with any progress.
  9. Google FeedBurner: This tool gives your visitors the opportunity to subscribe to any updates you make; usually on a blog. Through doing this you can maintain a loyalty among your user base and hopefully entice some new customers.
  10. Google Webmaster: By signing up you’ll be able to analyse how your visitors are finding the site. From this you can adjust your SEO techniques so that you appear in the way you want.

Learning how to work Google and its galaxy of products is central to enhancing your SEO techniques. With 65% of the global search engine market, it hosts a world of opportunities for digital marketers; the list above as only a fraction of these. So go ahead and ‘Google it’.

Market Research to reach a Digital Audience
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How to Target your Cyber Audience

An entrepreneur will attempt to achieve a variety of targets before selling a new product. Central to the process is market research, who will use it and how will this affect advertising campaigns? Once this is under their belt how and where will you approach your chosen audience? Thorough research is of upmost importance and desirability when structuring an effective marketing strategy, but its high cost (often a figure ranging from $2500) often detracts startups from performing the necessary amount.

Where to find your target audience

The question is: how much does this process differ with a product that isn’t so tangible? And the answer I guess is not so much. If you’re marketing a website, you can definitely cut the costs and approach research differently but the fundamental ideology should remain consistent. You still need an understanding of your target market to pinpoint how and where you will be reaching them online. Here are some points to focus on:

  • Give a very general description of your audience, whether this is dependent on age, occupation etc.
  • Expand on this to find your audience’s interests. Through social media extract what is being shared, read and viewed and which channels are being used to do so.
  • This previous step will give you hints on where and what to advertise. Build on content that is relevant to both you and your audience and post it regularly on the social media channels where potential readers gravitate. With this link you are likely to create content that will attract, appeal and stand out amongst competitors. Maintain this connection by regular posts and new concepts.
  • Finally reaching your audience is largely dependent on your website’s layout and the nature of your landing page. It needs to be easily navigable and professional looking, if it doesn’t look legitimate, readers won’t think the content is either.
  • Above this, my priority would be ensuring a webpage is mobile friendly. 64% of American adults now own a smart phone compared to 35% in 2011. I am constantly frustrated by webpages that leave me scrolling in both directions on my phone to retrieve the information I’m looking for, and even more so when some logo obstructs half the article. We live in a lazy but fast paced generation and fitting into it is key. With a source of information quite literally at our fingertips we have no patience for complex sites. Don’t forget that the typical individual on their phone is not looking for dense text but for a short concise answer. So remember stay fast paced, mobile friendly and to the point.

Market research is at the heart of reaching a cyber audience. Analyze their virtual behaviour to manipulate your content and marketing strategy. Once this is found and maintained, keep fast-paced and contemporary; the more you understand the needs and wants of your target audience, the closer you will get to the bullseye of going viral.

Growth Hacking Strategy
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How Sustainable is Growth Hacking?

A quick google of ‘growth hacking’ and you’ll find the following definition: a marketing technique developed by technology startups which use creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.’ This definitely implies an opportunity for quick and rapid growth but also one that is rather short-lived. My posts to date have highlighted the potential growth hacking offers for start-ups but does this mean it’s no good for more developed businesses?

As a second year economics student we analyse situations with two different outlooks, the short run and the long run, let’s do the same here. In the short run, imagine you’re a start-up whose begun growth hacking successfully. You’ve found innovative ways to reach your target audience on social media sites, your content is being shared and the numbers visiting your page are soaring. Here growth hacking is an effective and low-risk strategy, you have the opportunity to grow without putting any of your few resources on the line.

Moving into the long run, you’re a mature company who has a large population of loyal followers. Does this mean you can give up hacking? No, continue to maintain your viewers’ attention. There is no doubt your focus in the area should reduce, but your growth will naturally slow regardless of this fact. A larger business has much more on its plate; more time is required to please loyal readers and maintain and coordinate its many components. Consequently attention is shifted away from finding new customers and general expansion. There is no way you can grow at an exponential rate consistently, at some point there must be a transition to slower growth and this point is in the long run.Growth Hacking with updatesBut I emphasize again the most successful digital marketers will not entirely stop growth hacking. New creative content ensures maintained success. Anyone who has an iPhone has been plagued by its frequent updates, whether this is to make it more navigable or simply to add to your emoji collection, the effects are the same: as customers it makes us believe they are still interested in giving us the best product. Care for your viewers is key. Continue to growth hack but not to a level where it interferes with the coordination and consistency of your company. Maintain the innovative, analytical skills that you used for hacking as this will definitely ensure returning visitors.

Growth hacking is not a long term growth strategy but when mastered it will never cease to be effective.

Growth from Startups
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Ready, Steady, Grow

You’re an entrepreneur and you’ve come up with the next best product, you’re sure of it. You’ve read all you can find on digital marketing and now you’re only a wait away from going viral. So you wait, you wait and you wait… suddenly you realise that sure more people are visiting your webpages but that anticipated surge of interest hasn’t made your way and let’s be honest, it isn’t going to.  68% of entrepreneurs expect business growth far beyond their competitors whilst only 5% believe their chances of success to be worse – naturally an ambitious lot.  Pride and ownership cloud judgement far too easily and in business this is often an unforgivable mistake.

In the past I have stressed how valuable Growth Hacking can be for startups, how it’s a shortcut to growth and is quite possibly the next best thing in digital marketing. However before rushing into an investment in the area, you must make sure you’re ready to do so. The success of hacking relies upon employing it at the right stage in your business’ development, so I guess the next question will be: what stage am I talking about? Here are a series of guidelines that should give you more of an idea.

  • Know your product and your market. Be aware of your competitors and their strategies. No entrepreneur wants to introduce a niche product only to realise that in fact it has been around for the past decade. Your confidence should eliminate any chance you have overlooked a major fault in the idea. More importantly do people like the product? I was reading an article sharing tips for startups when I came across this line: ‘don’t spend a penny on marketing unless you can keep the few customers you can get for free.’ Even the best of marketers can’t sell the worst of products. To summarise and perhaps to state the obvious, if you don’t know what you’re selling don’t try to market it.

Growth through your Target Audience

  • Target Audience. Without knowing who you’re appealing to you won’t know where to find them. Subsequently when it comes to advertising, it will be difficult to answer how, where and what to advertise. Attempting to attract the wrong audience is a waste of valuable time and resources.
  • When your growth has plateaued. You’ve established something with potential, it was growing steadily but now all signs of this have slowed. For me as a marathon runner I guess you’ve completed a fair proportion of the race but now you’ve hit the so called wall, this may be a sign to start growth hacking and knock it down.
  • Be realistic about where you want the business to go and plan how to get there. You need to know how growth hacking will help you along this journey. But don’t become too narrow-minded, know when to change this strategy and be confident enough to do so. Startups that pivot earn over twice as much as those who don’t and experience 3 times as much growth.

So let’s not get carried away and rush into growth hacking, start slow and the process will accelerate from there. In order to make use of your meagre resources as a start-up know as much as you can about your product, your strategy and your audience. Although we could be talking 6-9 months, this will just make the process more effective and will hopefully guarantee you are ready and I guess…. Steady before you grow.

Social Media
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Making a Growth Hacker Great

My last article mentioned Growth Hacking as the most recent and for me exciting phase of Digital marketing. Growth is possibly the largest common goal across the business world, whether we are talking margins, website views or customers. As a Growth Hacker you should open the door to this process, so what traits give us the key to unlock it?

Last night on doing some reading into the history of Facebook, I had a slight reality check. Creator Mark Zuckerberg was my age when he first established the site. If I follow his lead I could be the next to construct a $190bn social-media platform reaching 1.5bn users in the next ten years; okay I highly doubt it; there’s no question something is special about Zuckerberg. But what makes him different? Many put his success down to a strong academic background and an unnatural computing ability, I disagree. If this 19-year old prodigy doesn’t define a growth hacker, I don’t know who or even what can. Sure his background in programming did act in his favour but I believe he both possessed and harnessed the most valuable attributes of a hacker precisely, accurately and beautifully. It is this that lead him to the sensation that stormed the world in a matter of years and it is this that I will explore today.

What fascinates me most about Facebook is a simple fact to which most of us are ignorant. All members are promoters of the site. At University, it is a platform for societies to organize meetings, friends to arrange parties and even study groups to collaborate work. Through these channels we share photos, statuses, links and unintentionally pressure our friends to use it as much as we do. This leads me to the first characteristic of a growth hacker: think innovatively. Zuckerberg manufactured a concept that would allow his website to spread itself in a non-invasive manner – essentially he employed current members of the site to entice new individuals. By thinking innovatively you should have an abundance of creative ideas and be confident enough to apply them in a creative and unique way. Ultimately this will feed consumer wants and hopefully fuel progress.

Growth Hacking success with Social Media

Now onto Zuckerberg’s second trait, his researching capabilities. A start-up aims to experience as much as 20% growth per month, this figure seems a tad unrealistic but it demonstrates how digital marketing should never be underestimated. Meeting this very ambitious goal is reliant upon finding new, exciting and most importantly unique software. In contrast mature businesses will aim around the 5% mark per annum. They need to research in a wider sense, finding fresh content for websites will keep long-term viewers engaged and will draw new individuals in. Do you remember when Myspace was all the rage back in 2008, when it was the most popular social media platform and when in fact the page was more visited than Google itself? As quickly as a site can flourish, it can fail. The main reason Myspace began to spiral downwards was because it didn’t react fast enough to what its users wanted. Facebook was becoming more and more user-friendly whilst Myspace lagged behind and frankly no longer made the cut by 2009. Moral of the story: to prosper you must research to follow what your users want and not wait for them to follow you.

Remaining analytical is our third and final skill.  Yes creativity is what springs to mind when you think marketing but knowing what works and equivalently what doesn’t is essential for progress. Even the best growth hackers will make mistakes when predicting what will be effective. Now we’re blessed with a plethora of software for analyzing data on how many people visit your page and how long they stay there, this is the food and water for a growth hacker. Without this knowledge they have nothing to suggest in which direction to change strategies and where to direct research. 93% of people use a search engine when online, this illuminating figure suggests that by examining these searches you can adjust your page to get more views: a vital part of the marketing process.

So I have outlined that thinking innovatively, researching effectively and working analytically are all essential in growth hacking. You must stand out and remain contemporary, in the words of Zuckerberg himself ‘Be fast and be bold.’ This advice is fundamental to making a growth hacker great and a website viral.

Digital Marketing Evolution
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Digital Marketing: A constant evolution

In the past two decades a universal dependence on technology has emerged. With my mere nineteen years I struggle to imagine an education without google, a social life without Facebook and a Business without an online presence. I doubt this post is the first to enlighten you of the digital world’s rapid growth, however when we reflect on the sudden development of digital marketing it really is fascinating.

Digital marketing has arguably shaped the business world today. In 1993 the first clickable banner ad was employed, five years prior to the emergence of Google. Since then search engines have become central to advertising, companies must work to reach the top of the search list or their webpages may remain redundant. If you lie on the second page of results you may as well be on the 100th.

So how can you climb this ladder? This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or PPC (Pay Per Click) comes in. These two factors are increasingly important in ensuring a webpage entices new visitors. I first found it hard to justify that companies could pay around fifteen pounds per click for an advert linking to their website – 1.5 grand for 100 seems quite extreme – but this really does highlight how significant web-marketing has become. If you acknowledge how many ads you ignore whilst surfing the web, it becomes quite obvious what is financing the cyber world.

Social Media is another element central to the evolution. Targeting clientele where they naturally gravitate has always been a key strategy for marketers. For me Facebook is my first call of action in a dull lecture or whilst procrastinating for an exam. With over 70% of internet users having a presence on social media channels, I am no exception. As sad as it sounds, this is an area we find ourselves most comfortable and businesses must compensate for this. Companies must maintain a professional and exciting brand image on this platform and maximize the opportunity to reach such a large audience.

Social media graph

 

Now onto our most recent and perhaps uncertain stage in the evolution process, Growth Hacking. Many of the aforementioned strategies largely require substantial funding and resources, for start-ups this may not be an option. Growth Hackers incorporate an innovative approach employing social media and viral marketing to expand their business. This is what I find most exciting. The process exposes the beauty of digital marketing; it demonstrates how technology offers companies an opportunity for rapid growth despite their background. However having only emerged five years ago, we have no idea how successful this area will be. In a cyber-world that is becoming increasingly competitive, will there be room to produce more software to promote low-cost growth?

So what’s next in store along this digital journey? Twenty years ago, the advances that would so rapidly follow the Clickable banner Ads were entirely underestimated. This uncertainty has left me wondering in what areas the field could possibly expand. What we can be sure of is the importance of remaining engaged with emerging software. To sustain our evolution we must continue to find new environments to access our customers, new software to greater analyse the success of our sites are and new content to maximise the population we reach.

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Tips for Better Facebook Marketing 2015

Facebook is still the most visited social network site on the planet in 2015.It’s potential target audience is now over 1.5 Billion global .So if your a business and are looking to reach a specific target audience , then you are highly likely to find some of them lurking around on Facebook .Facebook Marketing is fairly easy to implement for your business and is fun way to reach out to your target market. The info graphic below highlights several features which you should incorporate into your Facebook Marketing Strategies.

 

Facebook Marketing

Tips & Tricks for better FB Marketing.

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Facebook Feeds – What is shown & why.

See how Facebook feeds work

Facebook News Feed are constantly updating list of stories in the middle of your home page. Facebook News Feeds include status updates, photos, videos, links, app activity and likes from people, pages & groups that you follow on Facebook.

But the secret formula is not that simple their are 5 main factors which determine what is shown on the feeds.They include Interest + Post + Creator + Type + Recency . In addition to this, there are many other highly personal factors of the user  that Facebook determines before showing up on the News feed.

Thanks for Reading

W- Growth Link

apple-logo
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Apple is only Ranked 16th Smartest Tech Company.