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What Is Growth Hacking, Really? Jeff Bullas on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

Hosted By:
Kerry O'Shea Gorgone
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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If you're anything like me, you've probably had your fill of marketing buzzwords. (And we're not alone: Check out this MarketingProfs compilation of 15 buzzwords to stop using.) But, in many cases, buzzwords describe valuable marketing approaches we can use to help build our brands.

Take "growth hacking," for instance. As Mark Schaefer puts it, "growth hacking" used to be called "successful marketing." But is that really all there is to it?

To answer that question, I enlisted the help of Jeff Bullas, a blogger, author, strategist, and speaker who's discussed growth hacking in depth on his website, (and used it to grow his own successful business, advising companies and executives on how to optimize their online brands).

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

Social media's not just about being social (09:30): "What's the point of social media, really? Well, it's to start conversations about your brand and then build that credibility and trust through them discovering your content and understanding that you are a thought leader in your space. Then the second part of that is actually getting a return on that investment. What's the point of having conversations if all it leads to is just conversations? You've gotta close the deal....

"There's three key things we need to be doing with our marketing. Number one, you need to get traffic. Without it, you don't exist in this digital world. You've got to get that traffic to your website, to your blog, to your digital assets. Once you've got them there, you need to engage them, and that's the content piece....

"But once you've built that credibility and trust, then you've got to get them to commit, make those small commitments that just capture that all-important email. That's the lead. Then finally is to actually take that and make that next commitment, which is getting them to commit to buying something from you, because at the end of the day, social media's not just about having conversations.... There's got to be an ROI, a return on investment."

Be smart about choosing channels (16:44): "Coca-Cola has a 70/20/10 ratio...which was about doing seventy percent of marketing that was safe, twenty percent was sort of a little bit out there, and ten percent that was really out there and then seeing what worked... It was basically a priority to do testing... We've still got to test different tactics. We've got to find what works. You've got to make sure you're not just doing it for its own sake."

Experiment with social media, but don't take your eyes off the prize (sales) (17:45): "As social media marketers and content marketers, a lot of us have been distracted by the promise of social media and what it could do.... We're distracted by vanity metrics; in other words, 'This is how much sharing we're getting, and this is how much traffic we've got, and this is how many comments we've got,' and they're all great. They're all part of the process, but I would say that 90+% of content marketers and social media marketers are not paying attention to...converting that trust and credibility in traffic into sales."

To learn more, visit, and follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBullas.

Jeff and I talked about so much more, including the business benefits of guest blogging and social media measurement tools, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by GoToWebinar:

GoToWebinar—a leader in online events—is one of the easiest and most effective ways to connect and convert your target audience. You can generate qualified leads, establish thought leadership and build brand awareness for up to 1,000 attendees. GoToWebinar helps businesses worldwide reach over 40 million people each year.

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

This marketing podcast was created and published by MarketingProfs.

This episode features:

Strategist, speaker, and influencer Jeff Bullas, author of the book Blogging The Smart Way: How to Create and Market a Killer Blog With Social Media. Follow Jeff on Twitter.

Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is a lawyer, podcaster, speaker, and writer. As Director of Product Strategy, Training, she oversees sale and distribution of MarketingProfs' premium training products. Kerry also hosts the weekly interview show, Marketing Smarts.

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