If you’re a marketer (or you work in a startup) chances are you have heard of the term”growth hacking”.
Sean Ellis coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010 and in a few years it has become extremely popular. Check out the Google Trends graph below.
A growth hacker is somebody who is heavily focused on growth. Their goal is to install scalable growth strategies. Growth hackers are often marketers who know how to code. In our opinion, being able to code is just essential in 2015. Every marketer should know how to code (even at a basic level) to understand what it takes to build landing pages, websites, APIs and more.
In 2015, growth hacking is very popular and marketers quite easily use the term to define a growth tactic rather than a real “hack”. This is quite normal as growth hacking as a discipline matures. We get to a point where a lot of marketers are data driven and analytical and have more of a Growth Hacking spirit than before.
Most of the great “hacks” have been put together by creative people without any cash. They didn’t have advertising dollars to spend and had to look for unexpected growth channels. Most famous “growth hacks” include Hotmail’s tagline, Mailbox’s waiting list and PayPal’s referral program to name a few.
At Onalytica we always look at how topics and communities evolve on social media, we have done this for B2B Marketing and Content Marketing just recently. We were amazed by the huge volume surrounding the Twitter discussion on Growth Hacking. It’s one the biggest online discussions we have ever measured for our blog and we analysed 1,208,004 tweets from 84,198 Twitter handles.
WHAT ARE THE TOP GROWTH HACKERS SAYING?
We reached out to some of the top 10 influencers to ask them for their ultimate growth tip. We spoke to Patrick Cines (#2), Brian Balfour (#5), Casey Armstrong (#9), Nichole Elizabeth DeMere (#10) and Lincoln Murphy (#12). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on growth hacking, SaaS and marketing! (click on the names to see their Twitter profiles)
“Start building SEO and optimizing your website for conversions from the get-go. SEO is a long term play and Google, being the billboard of the internet, is your best friend. So what does that mean? Put up as much relevant content as possible. It’s hard work, but you can become a thought leader in your space. Once you have those eyeballs on your content, you optimize your site for better conversions.
I prefer LeadPages.net It’s an amazing tool to just build SEO or increase conversion off of SEM/FB ads and doesn’t cost a lot compared to some of the other tools out there. If you’re not using customized landing pages off for your SEM/FB ads, you’re burning money.”
“Focusing on individual tactics is like chasing shiny objects. Focus on creating a team and process that is great at understanding your growth model, choosing high impact areas, brainstorming ideas, testing those ideas, and then learning from those tests. If you nail that, you will win in the long run.”
“When looking at other growth hacks, focus on the “why” — for instance, with Dropbox, they obviously took the double-sided referral program to another level, but then seemingly every startup under the sun copied them with zero to little success and wondered why.
Think about why it worked for Dropbox, then how you can put your own spin on it, or not implement it at all.
For instance, most people want free cloud storage and know their friends do, but do your friends want you to refer them your on-demand-hipster-beard-trimming-in-your-car app that is only available in San Francisco? Maybe. But maybe not. Same goes for the “hacks” that worked for Facebook, Twitter, Uber, or any other company out there. Focus on the ‘why.'”
“Before anything else, identify your ideal customer. Lincoln Murphy’s Ideal Customer Profile Framework is a great resource that will help you get this right”
“There are basically two ways to drive growth: net new customer / user acquisition and expansion within your existing customer / user base. I spend a lot of time on the latter since that’s a captive audience and if they bring in others, there’s research (and science!) that says those they bring in will be better customers… and the simple act of advocating for you actually makes referrers better customers or users, too.
To do that, I work to understand the organic network effects that exist within the world of the customer or user… and then exploit it for gain! (in a legal and ethical way, of course) One of the most common methods of exploiting the customer or user’s network is the “invite a colleague” process. This is one of those super-common tactics across all product types and categories with millions of people referring their entire network for a few extra virtual goods in the latest mobile game sensation… but in B2B, the typical use case is full of problems.
But I’ve cracked the code for making the “invite” system in B2B super-effective at driving expanded use within a customer organization and/or driving expansion beyond their walls. I go into a lot of detail in this post, but the TL;DR version is to ask them to invite their colleagues at the right time (after they trust your product) and to ask in the right way.”
MAPPING THE GROWTH HACKING COMMUNITY
We were very interested in seeing which Growth Hacking professionals and brands were leading the online discussion, so we analysed over 1.2M tweets matching the following query: “growth hackers” OR “growth hacking” OR “growthhackers” OR “growthhacking” OR “#growthhacking” and identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion.
We discovered a very engaged community with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation, be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.
Also interesting to note that the brands take the lead (at least in volume) in the growth hacking discussion. In our past analyses on marketing related subjects we have often found the opposite to be true.
TOP 100 INDIVIDUALS
We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top 100 most influential individuals in Growth Hacking. It wasn’t a surprise when we saw Sean Ellis at the top of the list. He is one of the main drivers behind the growth hacking revolution and has created an awesome community with Growth Hackers.
Other great growth people in the list include Nilan Peiris, Patrick Cines, Casey Armstrong, Brian Balfour, Andrew Chen, Karol Pokojowczyk and actually all the people on this list ;). If you’re interested in growth hacking be sure to follow these people.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||PageRank (Normalised)|
|11||@sabben||Peter van Sabben||2.87|
|48||@kamilrextin||Kamil Ali Rextin||0.93|
|53||@RBwalksintoabar||Richard RB Botto||0.85|
|54||@darnocks||David Arnoux. Growth||0.84|
|63||@jose_garde||Jose Javier Garde||0.73|
|69||@marshawright||Marsha Wright (228k)||0.62|
|75||@RKWDC||Robert K. Williams||0.58|
|78||@vincentdignan||Vincent Dignan ?||0.54|
|85||@rdkhatch||Ryan D. Hatch||0.48|
|88||@jjimenez||José M. Jiménez Shaw||0.45|
|97||@noordinaryco||Robin La Pere||0.4|
TOP 100 BRANDS
Growth Hackers take the first spot, this community has really been the driver behind the growth hacking discussion in the last years. Other great brands include, Product Hunt (#5), Planted (#8), BetaList (#9), Kissmetrics (#13) and many more. Check out the full list below.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||PageRank (Normalised)|
|36||@Inboundorg||Inbound Dot Org||0.67|
|42||@GrowthHackTalks||Growth Hack Talks||0.52|
|51||@B2Community||Business 2 Community||0.41|
|53||@SmartGrowthHack||Smart Growth Hacking||0.38|
|58||@growthhacktop||Growth Hacking News||0.33|
|59||@GrowthHackerPro||Growth Hacker Pro||0.33|
|60||@growthhackertv||Growth Hacker TV||0.32|
|64||@senginepeople||Search Engine People||0.3|
|70||@iGrowthHack||Growth Hacker News||0.27|
|71||@poweredbysearch||Powered by Search||0.26|
|79||@RyanAcademy||DCU Ryan Academy||0.2|
|80||@GrowthHackingz||Growth Hacking Tips||0.2|
|82||@sbizhour||Social Business Hour||0.2|
|86||@GrowthhackAsia||Growth Hacking Asia||0.19|
|90||@workhomeaddict||Growth Hacking Life||0.18|
|92||@justforward_co||Mobile App Marketing||0.17|
|96||@SmallBiz_promo||Grow your Business||0.16|
At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to provide great insights for digital communities. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Machine to Machine, Wearables, Internet of Things, …) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!
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Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The individuals and brands listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around growth hacking.
The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations are independent of a user’s number of followers, but we do filter our lists based on how much a user is engaged in the conversation and the influence they drive through their networks.