Do you think you have a strong enough knowledge of the right social media tools to help you maximize results you achieve?
Are your marketing skills supported by a strong understanding of technology?
I read a recent article from Michael Brenner titled ‘Growth Hacking and the Marketing Wake up call’ and it got me thinking about the requirements of social media professionals for growth hacking.
What is growth hacking?
This is a term initially used to describe technology companies that focus more on metrics and test out scenarios that are very measurable to promote their products and services. They test something, check results, and iterate quickly and regularly until they get the right results.
Do you need to be a social media growth hacker?
Growth hacking is really where online marketing has progressed, and where it will continue to evolve. More and more businesses are exclusively online and there are more tools and technology that can help you track and measure results, so it makes a lot of sense to use them.
The Online Marketing Institute recently did a report on the state of digital talent and it showed that only 8% of marketers are strong in all areas of digital. 71% were strong in some areas but mediocre or weak in other areas.
So there’s a skills gap and this is mainly due to the technology skills that marketers now need, and how fast the industry is moving.
In the following, we have outlined 5 different types of tools that marketers could deploy to help with growth hacking.
1. Landing Page Tools
You drive traffic from social media to your website, but what conversions are you getting from that traffic?
We are inclined to spend a lot of money and time driving traffic to a website, but less on what happens when the visitors arrive.
Landing page software helps you achieve better conversion rates. For example, if you use LeadPages, they provide you with a suite of over 60 templates that they know convert well. They measure results from all their customers from these landing pages and then present this aggregated information to you so that you know which page will get the best results. They also provide you with split-testing capabilities so you can test which variation works the best.
You can easily update any content within Leadpages.
You need to hack your way to better results. Set up your landing page, set up split testing and measure the results.
2. Analytics Software
Analytics can be quite complex and daunting, but it is so essential for success. If you want to hack your way to better results you should be looking at your site’s analytics on a daily basis.
You check your Facebook analytics to check for engagement based on the posts you are sharing, your Twitter analytics to see if people are retweeting your content and your web analytics to see which social media platform is achieving the best results for you.
Get used to analyzing data because, for a web-based business, it is the only way to really run it correctly and get the best results.
The tools or analytics are getting better but the problem is the more they advance the more analytics they provide. So you need to invest time setting up custom dashboards using the functionality they provide for this or integrating your analytics with your own proprietary dashboard.
Either way, you need to get comfortable with the data.
3. Marketing Automation Software
When someone signs up, showing interest in your products and services, how do you guide them along a path to sales?
First of all, you need to weed out who are the real potentials customers and who aren’t. Then you need to work out which stage they are at in their purchase process and try to bring them further along that path. You then need to convert them and follow up with them regularly, because your best customers are your existing customers.
But all of this activity needs to have a level of automation built into it. This is where tools like Infusionsoft, OfficeAutoPilot (now called Ontraport), Marketo, Eloqua or Sharpspring
These tools provide you with the capability to build automation directly into your sales funnel. This then automatically tracks and responds to the stages of the process your customers are at.
You set up the automation and monitor results. You then analyze the data and, based on what you find, you change the rules, adjust the software and try to improve once more. You won’t get the automation right the first time around so, of course, some hacking is required.
4. Competitor Research Tools
It is always a good idea to check out how your competitors are performing and beat them at their own game, and it is much easier to peek into an online business than a traditional bricks-and-mortar one. In fact, if you have the right tools in place, the amount of information that you can get that can help you to improve your own results is amazing.
For example, SEMRush is great for competitor analytics. You can find out information such as:
- Which keywords your competitor is ranking for
- Who is linking to your competitors
- What percentage of traffic (estimated) is your competitor getting from particular keyword searches
- How you compare against your competitor.
This is a technical tool that requires some technical skill, but it’s essential for any social media marketer’s toolbox. There are other similar competitor analysis tools that you might want to consider.
5. Content Sharing Tools
When you share out all your content on social media, do you know which pieces of content are having an impact and which aren’t? Some of it may drive traffic back to your website, some may collect leads at the source (e.g. through an embedded lead subscription form on Slideshare), and some may just be shared further on social media.
But are you tracking all the results? Do you know how far your content is shared? Which influential users are sharing your content? What results are you getting from it?
Without this knowledge you’re going to send up wasting a lot of time, so you need the appropriate tools
Growth hacking is a technological term that will eventually disappear, but the requirement for marketers to develop their technology skills further is here to stay.
So, are technology skills more important than marketing skills?
No, I don’t think so. Even growth hackers have some marketing skills, and that’s why they are good at growth hacking! They understand some essential elements of traditional marketing (e.g. understanding your audience, sharing a message that will resonate, etc. etc.) and they have the technical skill to match.
1. This is a good, controversial topic so I’d love to hear your feedback below.
2. Share this post!
3. Take some action. Develop your technology skills.
Thanks for listening!!