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Top 5 Growth Hacking Trends for 2017

[fa icon="calendar"] 16-Mar-2017 14:50:18 / by Freya Hunter

Freya Hunter


Over the next few weeks, we'll be bringing you a three-part series of helpful growth hacking articles from Dan Siepen, organiser of Growth Hackers Sydney and Co-founder of Coder Factory AcademyA tech entrepreneur at heart, Dan's core skills set is growth marketing & UX/UI. He believes in always providing more value to the Australian startup ecosystem than in return.

We're super excited to have Dan feature on the blog and appreciate him taking the time out to share his growth hacking tips with our community. What a legend!

To kick things off, Dan shares his pick of growth hacking trends and tips for 2017.

Take it away Dan!


1. Rise of chatbots for growth and customer service


Chatbots are simply damn awesome. App fatigue and channel fatigue - apps are expensive and every business or startup will face the challenge of seeing diminishing returns on a once high-performing channel for them. How can you create an experience without investing significant capital? Chatbots are the way to go.

What a lot of startups and online businesses forget to focus on is engagement. Acquiring customers is important, but engagement is what leads to the financial reward or referral which are two key parts of the natural sales funnels that entrepreneurs don’t do well. Email engagements are declining and traditional media campaigns are all looking the same.



What is the purpose of chatbots for your business right now? Here are 4 reasons to invest:

  • Accept payments easier
  • Qualify your leads
  • Customer feedback surveys
  • Live chat to customers

It’s never been a better time for startups and businesses toinvest in chatbots. Especially if you’re an e-commerce business


2. Every startup team member needs to know growth



Building high-performing growth teams can only be utilised to its full potential when a product has reached product/market fit. Focusing on aggressive growth tactics too early will lead to failure and unnecessary exploitation of resources.


The aim of successful growth is ultimately achieving scalable and sustainable growth. The keyword here is “sustainable” and to me, that can only can be achieved through team members. No, a growth team is not a team full of Growth Hackers. A growth team is made up of members who overlap various skill sets as part of a “T-Shaped” model.



This is another great diagram depending on the number of team resources you have.





When it comes to team culture, another important note is that growth needs to be understood by ALL. Not just that everyone on the team can do a Facebook ad, but understand the funnel of that particular ad:

  • Acquisition → Activation - What does “x” user want to achieve (and what you want them to do) → Retention - How can everyone solve the user’s problem and achieve a good retention rate? → Referral - what referral tactics and goals can the product achieve? → Revenue - How can we achieve money from the top of the funnel to the bottom?


My suggestion: in my team for Coder Factory Academy we have a growth marketing board to experiment various campaigns and test tactics we think are right for the company. We have a rough template like this with sticky notes. I encourage you to print it out and stick a hard copy on the wall - it’ll make everyone accountable.




3. Focus on retention and make it a priority


80% of your revenue typically comes from repeat customers!

Too many startup founders and even marketers, don’t understand how to measure “retention” of a product. They normally come back with answers with MAU’s and DAU’s, which are great metrics to mention, but they aren’t a true indication of how many users are coming back to use your product more often.


When it comes to web or mobile applications, a retained user is defined as someone who continues to exhibit a behaviour indicative of ongoing use, over time. My business partner Will Egan wrote this great blog post around retention and a fantastic Airbnb growth case study.


Get down to the data

The growth hacking mentality pushes results over processes in a data-driven environment. Google Analytics isn’t a good enough platform to perform data-driven tests from the top to bottom of the funnel. Mixpanel is a great tool to use and here is a great example of Hubstaff using Mixpanel for funnel visualisation. If you're unsure how to set up Mixpanel, check out this article here.




4. Influencer marketing: Build healthy relationships & be analytical


I see so many people fail at influencer marketing. It’s typically approached as a “quick win” to ask influencers to market to their consumers, and yet entrepreneurs and marketers do this without doing two major things:

a) They don’t know the influencer well enough

b) When they do a campaign, they don’t know how to measure it



Here are my two tips on making the most of your influencer marketing:


1. Build relationships with influencers

Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy, NOT a short-term strategy! Why? You need to build a brand, and you also need to build relationships. No influencer is going to promote your product without existing credibility.

Once you do build relationships and credibility as a product, influencer marketing is a really good strategy to increase your growth rate.


2. Start measuring the ROI of influencer marketing

Now you have credibility and budget for an influencer marketing campaign, how can you test and measure an effective ROI campaign? Every product’s and team’s goals will be different, but these metrics you need to measure.

  • Impressions and engagements
  • Brand mentions
  • Conversions
  • Trackable links (Google UTM tag manager)
  • Promo codes
  • Correlation (this entails correlating the time of posting with increases in sales or installs).

Each of these metrics needs to be broken down by each influencer, each campaign and frequency of posts. Some influencers will perform and others won't, so it’s all about measuring and testing with a tight budget, before going large.


5. Repurposing content



Every good marketer and entrepreneur should know about the 80/20 rule but again, I see content being wasted over and over again. Repurposing content just means finding new ways to recycle your content for more distribution efforts. Some benefits and examples of them include:


  • Finding a new audience by exploiting a niche online community
    • Example - Share a SlideShare doc or promote a new eBook through subreddits ( or Facebook groups which are great niche communities to get started with - there’s essentially a community for every topic now.


  • On-page conversions
    • Example - Use marketing toolbars such as HelloBar to promote a new eBook in exchange for a user's’ email address.


  • Keeping content fresh
    • Example - Did you just do a post on the “Top 15 mobile apps for 2017"? → Convert 15 of these apps into 15 slides and upload to SlideShare. SlideShare is a great channel and you can link it back to the original blog. SlideShare is particularly popular for time-poor executives. 


A big thank you to Dan for an awesome guest post, I can't wait for the next two! 

See Dan's Recomazing Profile here


If you're interested in joining in the growth hacking movement click here to find the next Growth Hackers Sydney event.



Topics: Influencer Marketing, Content Marketing, Growth, Growth Hacking, Dan Siepen, High performance teams, Mixpanel, Analytics, Chatbots, Retention

Freya Hunter

Written by Freya Hunter

Is the Conversation Party Starter @Recomazing, communications guardian, community manager, resident social media geek and office DJ.

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