In the world so wide, we are all intertwined by various networks. To take advantage of these networks you may not need a good tool but a clever hack. Rishabh a serial entrepreneur talks about growth hacking strategies used by top growth hackers at Mapplinks to leverage digital channels for rapid growth. If you are interested in smart tactics to gain advantage for your business, do listen to this webinar. Click here to listen.
And here’s the Q&A from the session:
Q1. What is the Script? How to run it?
A1. There are two types of script that run, the back-end script and the java script. The java script runs on the search results page and it’s going to pull out the twitter user names, dates, first names and the tweet text and organizes them in a google sheet. That’s simple because it’s all on your browser. You can import this into a tool to schedule automated tweets to these people or you can import this into your own job and run it in the back-end and then tweet to these people. If you are a back-end developer, you can use a tool like Hootsuite to run this bit.
Q2. Is this a paid feature on twitter?
A2. No, you can extract all the data for free. When you are running a script or if you are making your own script (you might have to pay a developer) but this is not a paid feature. The bulletin search is public, I don’t know why many people don’t use it but that is the advantage, that is the growth hack, that is the opportunity for us. The URL that you go to is “search.twitter.com”, however you can put this query anywhere on the twitter search. It is absolutely free.
Q3. Can you please elaborate on advance search or opportunity on twitter?
A3. Typically, what you do is, you put a keyword and search for it. Advance search lets you use “and/or” operator and other bulletin operators. Just to give you a brief there are different features in advanced search; you have bulletin, you have dates, so you can have a duration, you can select that I want to see tweets from this month to this month because if you are promoting a campaign which is time bound you might not want to get results that’s 3 years old. It also has multiple options for emotions (Positive/Negative etc.) I also have a list of bulletins operators you can use. You can just google “Mapplink twitter advance search” and you will get the list or Shibani can forward it to you later or you can tweet me. There is a huge list of “and/or” operators but what essentially you will be using for this growth hack are going to be three things, the first thing is you need to use “and”, for example; you put “Looking for and growth hacker”, growth hacker is the keyword for me because I am selling growth hacking. The other thing you will be using is “Or”, you can say “Looking for or I need (I need is a good keyword to search for)” That should be enough for you to start getting leads. Just to give you an example if I put “looking for and growth hackers” and I limit the search for 2017 and run a script, I get around 400 leads in a day. The good thing is that, this is a never-ending lead generation source because people keep tweeting with their requirements, If I run the script once a week, I do not need to have a traditional lead generation process in place. Also, the other advantage of this is they are very qualified because I am putting keywords as “Looking for” in this case.
Q4. Is extracting or pulling out the data through a java script like email id is somewhat data laundering?
A4. I am not pulling out email id’s here. Let me explain like this, I can have someone from my team to copy paste the usernames from this list or I can have someone go and reply. For example, I have this person Jared, who says what mobile nation is looking for, so I can favorite this, I can follow this, and I can reply to him, but it is going to take me a lot of time to do this for hundred people. I make it easier by running a script. I am not getting any data which is not available on the page itself or not getting any data which, you cannot get manually without having to go hacking into the system. It’s the same job that you would do manually and automating it makes it easier for me. One of the things which is very important in Growth Hacking is you can use Growth Hacking for both ethical and non-ethical reasons, but we are going to stick to the ethical ones which means we are just going to use technology to speed up things or to improve our lines by making less manual efforts and not to hack into the system and get email ids. That’s absolutely not what I am doing here. If they do have their email ids in the tweet I would be happy to have a script pull out those email ids from the tweet because that means they want me to send them an email. I am helping them, I am helping myself and I am not getting any data outside of what’s available publicly. Most of these tweets are public that’s why they are showing in advance search so go ahead and just run these scripts, it doesn’t matter. There are different growth hacks, there are growth hacks which are unethical as well, but we are not talking about those hacks in this webinar.
Local Search Ranking
Q5. Doesn’t google block using same numbers in different listings?
A5. What I have done is I put different addresses, but I put the same number. It becomes easy if you are going for a virtual office. Just a week back I took an address from a virtual office in Singapore because I heard that there is a lot of requirement for growth hacking in Singapore. They gave me their office phone number and I told them if someone calls, I would need an answering service (which is as cheap as 10 dollars a month) and they will redirect the calls for me. The returns from this are much greater than the investment you put in. However, you will notice that most people are going to come on your website, especially if you are in a business-like mine, but if you are in a business where you need people to call you, I suggest you have a mobile number and you put it everywhere. Prepaid sims are cheap in India, you can use that to your advantage. That’s an opportunity for you. You can have different sims in different places. The point is if you rank in a city for the first results, the advantages will outgrow the process that you have to go through. If you need any help in terms of scaling it, feel free to tweet me as well.
Q6 What are LSI search options?
A6. Just go to “lsigraph.com” that’s a good website where you can get started. What it means is that you are looking for semantic keywords as google just doesn’t necessarily look for the word density anymore. They don’t care if you have the same keyword a hundred times (which is not good). Semantic keywords can help you go a long way. You can use synonyms of keywords or keywords which are related to a specific keyword or keywords which people also search for when they search for this keyword. Those are the things which fall into that category. I think that’s more of a SEO thing, so I am not going to go too much in depth, but LSI graph is what I use. It’s a straightforward tool which lets you put in a keyword and it gives you all these LSI keywords, which you can put in your content. The idea is when you create a content you first choose your main keywords and put that into this tool, you get the LSI keywords and you put that back in your content so that you have a good SEO optimized piece of content.
Q7. We are a professional training organization offering different courses. With google search if we have same office with different courses then google doesn’t show the duplicate address then what do we do?
A7. The same office is basically like the same address which is going to be only one listing. Again, the idea of this was to have multiple addresses but if you are optimizing for one specific address then you cannot optimize for all your courses because you have limited fields where you can enter content. When you go inside you see listing names, listing address, listing category and listing keywords. However, I do have a tip for you; we had a similar problem with one of our clients which was doing coworking, accelerating as well as incubating. They were selling a lot of services. What we did is, we spoke to people in the coworking space and asked them to review the business and when they review the business we asked them to include those keywords in the reviews because as a business when you are posting the profile, you don’t have enough place to include all the keywords. Let’s say if you are selling five different courses, you can probably include keywords related to two or three courses but then two or three courses will be missed out. What you do is, for these two courses where you could not optimize the google my business listing, you go to the students who are taking these courses and ask them to review a course. Don’t ask them to review the academy itself or don’t ask them to review the institute because that is already taken care of. You ask them to review that specific course so that the keywords related to that course will at least come in the review section. Google also scans the review section for keywords when they show up your result in the local pack. That is how the SEO for the local pack works. For instance, you will see that I have around 19 reviews and if you look at the reviews, most people are talking about growth hacking because I have a very strong focus on growth hacking. However, Mapplinks Academy which is my education business also sell SEO courses, they have review of courses where people are saying your SEO courses are great. You cannot optimize all the courses and all the keywords in the listing itself, so you should optimize those keywords in the review section. That’s the way to go about it.
Side Project Marketing
Q8. Side project to be on the same domain or it’s a different sub product linking back to the original?
A8. I prefer to keep it a separate domain or a separate product, but yes, always have a link back to the main product. I also keep the branding the same. For instance, if you look at Pablo it still has buffers branding or if you look at the website grader it still has Hubspot’s branding. Unsplash however has a link, which goes back to Crew. There must be a link back. It could be on a separate domain, but it needs to have two things, one is the similar branding even the parent logo can be included, and the other thing is the link back to the parent product website.
Q9. Can you show a form type you use?
A9. Just go on typeform.com, I use the same one or you can go to mapplinks.com and see the side project that we have. The reason I use type-form is because its visually more appealing, it has very high conversion rates. Small side project like “app versus website” and “how much does an app cost” works well for me if I am selling my services as Mapplinks (a service company that sells websites). We just ask how much “does a website cost” and people fill in their information and that is a very qualified lead for us because this person is looking for how much to pay for a service that we offer. All these basic cost calculators and forms can be built by using type forms.
Q10. When you are talking about writing articles and blogs, are you talking about infographics?
A10. No, I am talking about creating side projects instead of blogs. The whole point of the hack was to make a side project which is like a form or has a specific function so that you can be perceived highly valuable compared to your competitors who are just writing blogs. You can obviously imbed the side project in different blogs that’s a different thing, but we are not creating articles, we are creating side projects. The method that you are talking about, infographics is a completely different aspect of things. That is more of a digital marketing process and not exactly a growth hack. Side project is a growth hack because it can be created very fast using something like a type-form and it pushes your conversion ratio up to a 100% as people have to fill in their email ids in order to use this tool. This is not possible with infographics. The reason why I am not talking about infographics is because it functions almost like a blog in terms of lead generation (people might or might not fill the lead form), but with the side project they have to fill the lead form.
Q11. How can the wastage be avoided in the side project marketing? (In reference to people who are just going to use the free service and exit)
A11. That job is usually done by your email marketing tool. What I make sure is that I don’t have a side project with just three fields in a form because then I get a lot of enquiries which do not make sense. If the side-project is “how much does it costs to make a website” and you ask them “How many pages they need in the website” and “Do they need a technology/bootstrap website”. You will see that all these random leads are coming into this form because you have only these three questions. It is better to have more descriptive tool for people who are rarely serious. Usually I have 7 to 8 fields in my tool like; How many pages do you need or if you need a certain function like a card service, checkout, ecommerce integration, social media integration, google maps etc. The more in-depth it is, the more serious people you will get. That would be my number one advice. Just don’t keep the tool very short. I have seen people rush through creating side project, they just put 2 or 3 questions and they get a lot of leads they can’t use. However, this will obviously be taken care of once you do the email marketing campaign to these people. I usually put everyone who has used my side project into a specific drip campaign based on which side project they have used and which option they have selected. For instance, if I am doing “How much does an app cost?”, I have an option to select between an app developer, a business owner and an entrepreneur. If he is an app developer I would put him in to a completely different drip campaign which essentially doesn’t sell directly, but if it’s a business owner I am just going to say, “this is the cost you calculated, and this is how much we are going to charge you, are you interested in our service? (Which is going to be more straightforward)”. It is going to go on a different drip campaign based on what persona the person fits into. That is another thing which you can plug in your side project to reduce waste.
Google SEO Rank
Q12 .The listing links are no follow. Does it still help?
A12. Yes, because essentially you are getting 80 per cent of the traffic for this keyword to see your placement. Let’s say that most of the clicks are going to happen on the top three or four results and then get 20% to 30% clicks on the rest. The first thing that they see inside the page is the content and then they see your add or your listing. You can drive majority of the traffic from there. You can also see the algorithm considers things like the click through rate. If they are exiting the page of this directory to your app, you get all the traffic to your app. You must obviously do a check on these directories/listings. For example, I don’t know if “knowyourmobile.com” is a no follow. I don’t know if the view is XP or not. That’s something you can quickly put in the list through a script and see how it works. I also recommend expanding this hack outside of the first page. Don’t worry that you are going to get less traffic from there. If you have listings on the second and the third page where you think you can put your app, go ahead and do that. With growth hacking the ultimate objective is not to just have ranking but to mainly have traffic and conversions which is why this hack really works well with us.
Q13. What if any company’s rankings are on top instead of directories?
A13. Usually that happens if you are searching for long keywords. For instance, there is a company which sells logistics and you search for “Logistics companies in Bangalore”, you will probably get three companies and seven directories. Imagine, I search for “dating apps” I might get a lot of businesses and very few directories, but when I search for “apps like Tinder”, I have chosen a keyword that will give me a lot of directories. That is what you need to keep in mind. If you are getting too many businesses, you are searching for the wrong keywords.
Q14. How long can this work? Does it need to be monitored to find if these links are still available?
A14. I would recommend running this once in three months. You put the same keyword and make sure you outreach the same way you would do. If the link is still present, ignore that website. Most of the times you will find that the link is active. Once you start ranking yourself, you just must make sure that you have a good CTR and people stay on your website so that google keeps you on the first page of the result.
Product Hunt Marketing
Q17. “Twitter hack to gain prospects will help acquire influencers for product hunt marketing”. Is that correct?
A17. It’s slightly different, Twitter is just a channel that we are finding product hunt influencers. You are not finding prospects on twitter. You are going to find prospects in the followers of the twitter handles who are hard end influencers. Let’s go through this again; You find influencers on twitter who have the same target audience as you, but these people should also be on product hunt. Now, to make this process easier for you, I will give you a pre-step. Pre-step 1: You go to “producthunt.com” and you find apps which are like yours or are in the same category and you see people who have hunted those apps. The people who have hunted those apps are going to be hunters or product influencers. By using step 2, you can map how twitter handles product usernames and see which one of those have the higher influence. Now you have a person who is a hunter on product hunt but also an influencer on twitter. His followers are going to be your prospects, but that is going to happen when he hunts your product on product hunt. That is how the process works. You have to find people who are both influencers on twitter and hunters on product hunt. The best way to do that is to go on product hunt, look for apps in your category and see who the hunter for those apps are.
Q18. If I use product hunt, is it possible to maintain my brand name?
A18. Yes, Product hunt is just going to list your business/app. You can put your branding (brand name) or a cover image. Imagine, it is something like facebook for launching products, you have your cover photo, you have different photos which you can upload. Ultimately it is going to send people back to your product/link. Your branding is completely safe with product hunt.
Q1. For image hacks should the “logo image” have more content?
A1. It is typically a free image. However, you may not need to put your company’s logo on it, all you need is a credit stating that you have submitted this image with a link-back to your business. It is the fastest way of getting a link-back. It’s fine if you are editing the image but I would avoid putting the logo because it would lower the chances of getting the image into a very high-level blog. For example, when I submit my image to entrepreneur.com and put my logo on the image, they probably might not include my image in their blog. It also depends on the size of the blog that you are approaching. What you can do is, you can reach out to smaller blogs that accept your image, make a list and then take the list to a bigger blog and say these are the blogs where I have contributed my images and received attributions and ask them if they would you like me to do the same for their blog because I think your blog is not visually appealing or misses a visual aspect. If you have a designer or if you can use canva, the process is going to be even better for you and you can do all sorts of things with this growth hack.
Getting Lead Databases
Q16. Any other example of websites like BuiltWith?
A16. Just google “BuiltWith alternatives” and you will get an entire list of tools. However, start with BuillWith because you will get a lot of leads. Once you run out of those leads you go for something else. Typecandy is another one which you can use but that is mostly for retail and ecommerce which is why I didn’t mention it earlier.
Q19. How can we know the growth hacking of our competitors?
A19. One of the things I do is, I analyze where their traffic is coming from. Whenever a digital website is running a growth hack successfully, you will see a spike in their traffic from a specific source which is the source they are using for their growth hack. Similarly, web and other tools let you find where the traffic to a website is coming from. The other thing that you can do is read the blogs of these companies because a lot of times I found that they just publish their successful growth hacks on their blogs. The third thing that you do is you search for the brand mentions. For instance, if a company is doing micro influencer marketing, the influencer is going to mention them on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin (whatever source they are using). There was a fashion company that we were working with that was doing a micro influencer marketing campaign on Instagram and their idea was to give free clothes to these influencers and get a shout out from them. All we did was, we reached out to the same influencers because we knew the hashtag of the campaign, we reverse engineered it and reached out to all these influencers and did a similar campaign. We also expanded the reach to multiple other influencers and we got a lot of leads from there. I think it would also be dependent on the channel, that’s why I mentioned that you need to think like a growth hacker to spy on these hacks and figure out what they are doing. For instance, on twitter you can see what campaigns people are running just by using Tweepy. Tweepy also lets you see private twitter lists of anyone on twitter. Those are the kinds of things that you do. Again, it depends on the channel, similar web is a good one to see the traffic that they are getting and where they are getting it from. Those are some ways to identify what they are doing and of course a lot of research is the best thing you can use.