Yes, I’m being cheeky with the linkbait headline, and for good reason. It seems like lately everywhere you look you see a “X ways to blah blah” post full of BS on every topic imaginable. Sadly, with more and more businesses catching on to the content marketing trend, the “content” part of it somehow got lost along the way and we’re left with catchy headlines that lead to articles filled with spam.
I really don’t like buzzwords or acronyms. Partly because I can’t remember them (I have the memory of a fruit fly), but in many cases because I just like to call a spade a spade. One such buzzword that drives me absolutely bonkers is “growth hacking.”
A few years back when the term was first used, growth hacking actually meant something. It was a blend between marketing, engineering and data science, where clever people did things differently than they have been before to achieve phenomenal results for their website or business (either literally inventing new ways to stimulate growth or using old tactics in new combinations or in new ways). Now pretty much any form of marketing is being referred to as growth hacking and I, for one, think this is wrong.
Here’s an interesting bit of research from eMarketer. Based on a Forbes survey of US senior-level marketing executives, email and e-newsletters are more effective in generating conversions than SEM. That is, if your overall online marketing budget is less than $1m. For the bigger budgets SEM performed just second to SEO, as expected. To be honest, I was expecting a much bigger spread in favour of search in both categories.
If you have limited money to work with and your email and newsletter base exists mostly due to opt-ins on your site, friend referrals and other targeted ways of obtaining email addresses, then email and newsletters should work great for you. Search is an easy, cost-effective, targeted and fast way to diversify your marketing mix, however, and I’m a firm believer that all online marketing budgets should include it.
If you’re new to search, I suggest checking out the Google AdWords Learning Center, which contains easy step by step instructions to get into SEM.
Here’s the full article from eMarketer.
UPDATE: I’m so sad that Wave died :(. I really liked it. Yes, some aspects made it into Google Docs, but it’s not the same. RIP Wave. I still miss you four years later…
So I haven’t even played around with it yet but I already consider Google Wave one of my favourite things. If you live under a rock and haven’t seen the demo (included below), Wave is like a combination of gmail, instant messaging, document editing, photo sharing (and so much more!) in one handy package. It lets you streamline your online conversations into neatly organised events. There’s a slim chance I will get to attend the developers demo this Friday and I’m burning with excitement!