Data visualised

Growth hacking

Introduction to Growth Hacking

Liam Reynolds recently shared his approach to Growth Hacking in a workshop with General Assembly. He defined Growth Hacking as a way to fast track sustainable and efficient growth through non traditional means. This could be around making small tweaks to a sign up process or using technology such as APIs to build on data from another website. The approach spans disciplines making it something that a copywriter, marketer or developer can do, and he recommends is done in cross discipline teams.

For example, Facebook identified that people who made 7 friends in 10 days were more likely to go on to be active users of the site. With this insight in place, they were able to optimise the sign up process to make it as easy as possible to get users to this stage, by making recommendations or prompting users to import their email contacts.

Here’s a few tips on Growth Hacking:

1.  Track how people are coming to your site using UTM codes

 Whether you’re paying for a display ad on a website or posting a tweet you can use parameters to pull through in Google Analytics what source has driven the traffic. For instance, if you were testing two different pieces of copy, you can use the Content parameter to measure which creative performed best.

2. Create funnels – or steps you want people to achieve.

For instance you might want someone to visit a page, read some content and then sign up for an event. Use tools like Google Analytics or Heap to measure when people take these steps and look at how you can improve the steps in between to reach this conversion.

3.  Identify barriers to people completing the process.

This could be performance related, like a long page load time, or unclear sign posting and calls to action on the page.

4. Test your new idea against the current version 

Once you’ve identified what you’d like to test (for instance new creative or clearer calls to action) launch an A/B split test to compare the results. In Liam’s words it’s ‘All about rapidly validating ideas with real users but without jeopardising the business’.

5. Expect to fail

80% of your tests will fail and he also recommends you ignore initial results and allow enough time for true results to settle down. If you are continually testing you’ll increase your opportunities to find the change that will make the biggest difference to growth.


Coffee Morning Search trends

Using Search Trend Data

Looking at search trends can give insight that can influence what keywords you choose to bid on in PPC, what to name new products and get an idea of what’s popular that may be useful to align our activities with. Here are a few examples of insight from Search Trends.

Here you can see a clear spike for the Ice Bucket Challenge in August. At the same time searches for donation and Macmillan peak too. The peak earlier in the year for Macmillan and donations can be attributed to No Makeup Selfie.

Looking at Macmillan Cancer Support on it’s own, you can see the change in searches more clearly. There’s a peak during No Makeup Selfie early in the year, a greater peak during the Ice Bucket Challenge and then a slightly smaller peak during Coffee Morning.

Finding correlations with keywords can give interesting insights into when to increase your presence around certain terms. Here searches for Hangover repeatedly peak after searches for Vodka. For a Vodka brand and hangover remedies like aspirin, timing activity around these trends has clear benefits.

Search trends is easy to use. By putting in keywords, time ranges and locations you can see how many searches were made on that term. The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don’t represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100.

Digital Spend in 2014 Infographic

Facts and figures on digital spend in 2014

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