B2B Growth Hacking 3 of 4 – Finding Your Target Market

B2B Growth Hacking 3 of 4 – Finding Your Target Market

 

Getting Going

OK so you have a B2B product/service you want to growth hack and you have read the first and second posts in this series about B2B Growth Hacking and are ready to get going…fyi the fourth post in the series is here

 

Dipping Our Toe in The Water

We are going to need three things to get going;

1. To have an optimised destination for our growth hacking traffic.

2. A blog.

3. An initial idea of who our target market might be…

Once we have those three things we can start to test and learn on how to communicate with our target market most effectively.


Top Tip – start small. We want to be as targeted as possible as we start to test and learn so we need to break our problem down into manageable chunks.

For example…when Workteam started rather than starting with “SaaS software to increase employee engagement” (which it is) it picked one element of its’ offering, which was managing employee time off, and started with that. It was a much more manageable problem.

Top Tip – a blog is very, very important. It will be a great place to publish interesting/useful content 2-3 times a week and you can easily add a plugin to capture and add email addresses to your email list.

For example…when gro.team started we used SumoMe to automatically capture and add email addresses to MailChimp on our blog . The Pro version of SumoMe (which is needed to integrate to MailChimp) isn’t cheap at $29/month and they will bill you a year in advance.

B2B Growth Hacking – Setting Up A Landing Page and Goal

We need a landing page on our web site optimised for the search engine phrases we have chosen to point our traffic at that has the tags for Google Analytics and ideally Hotjar installed so we can see what happens when they get there (see the second post in this series).

We also need to define a goal in one or both of those tools so we can measure success.

We will eventually need a page per phrase but one page across all the initial phrases will be good enough to get going.

Once we have these things in place we can start to post some content and start testing…

 

B2B Growth Hacking – Finding Your Target Market

If you don’t have have existing content then you will need to create a post that says something interesting/relevant/useful/funny around the “need” your product/service is designed to fill.

 

Top Tip – video is very effective content and using sites like GoAnimate they are much easier to create than you might think. Make the soundtrack first and re-record until you’ve nailed it in one take. Then put the animation to the words. It will take about a day per minute to create great videos like this one from Workteam.

 

Remember to have a call to action (“CTA”) on your content and link to your optimised landing page. Once you have your content post it from your company page on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Top Tip –  publish your content as an article post on LinkedIn rather than sharing it as an update. It will appear in your connections’s notification feed and you will be able to access enhanced analytics about its’ reach.

Definition – Reach is usually defined as the total number of different people exposed, at least once, to a something (usually a piece of content) during a given campaign time period.

If you are starting from scratch you may need to spend £50-£100 on Facebook boosting your content to get enough reach. If so don’t target the audience – yet. Let’s start off with an unbiased sample.

Now we have content out there that should be relevant to our target market we can start to use the analytics capabilities in Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Analytics to learn about the reach and effectiveness of our content, and who and how people are responding to it.

 

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a three-five day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

Please also see the first second and fourth posts in this series…

How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

How to track Google search engine keyword ranking for free

A lot of sites will track your search engine keyword ranking for you but they can be very expensive (the best known one charging $150/month) but the good news is that you can do it for free by taking advantage of what is now called the Google Search Console.

Google Search Engine Consolesearch console

Google has been changing its’ web master tool set offering frequently lately and it has been hard to keep up. Firstly it brought all the tools together under the “Web Master Tools” banner but has now renamed that to what it is now calling Search Engine Console.

Adding Your Site

The first thing you need to do (if you haven’t already done so) is to add your web site to Search Engine Console here. (You will also need a Google account to do this).

Search Engine Console Home

It’s a fairly painless process to add your site (now) and once it’s done you will see it listed at the Search Engine Console Home.

Google recommends creating a “Property Set” for your web site and adding the main variations of its’ URL as web sites but you can do that later if you want to.

For instance we have a Property Set called gro.team with these web site permutations listed within it – http://gro.team, http://www.gro.team, https://gro.team, https://www.gro.team You only need to add the https:// versions if you are using SSL (and you should be) of course.

Click on the name of your web site/property set and it will take you to the status page.

You should investigate any errors/warnings you see if there are any but if not we can happily click on the Search Analytics Bar and voila here is what we’re looking for…

Search Engine Console Search Analytics

You should now see something like the above with the keywords your site is currently indexed on Google for listed as a column on the left hand side and and Clicks (by default) listed on the right hand side. There is a huge amount of useful SEO information here so let’s have a look…

Clicks – what traffic actually arrived at your site from Google.

Impressions – How many times your site was displayed in the results for that phrase. This shows you the volume for that phrase (i.e. how popular it is) so if these numbers are large it may be worth targeting these phrases for more attention. Conversely if these numbers are very low it may be worth focusing on more popular phrases.

CTR – Click Through Rate. The ratio of display to click. Google uses this as a signal into its ranking algorithm (we think).

Position – What we’re here for. If you click in the box you’ll see your average ranking for that phrase over the time period stated under “Dates”. You may want to focus on one particular country by setting a country in the Countries drop down. Helpfully it is listed from highest (1.0) to lowest. I’m sure you’ll get some surprises in the list – apparently we’re ranking for “give us a job” ha ha.

It’s definitely worth having a look at the “Other resources” page from the Search Console Home Page…there are a lot of useful things there.

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy (and more successful) clients we can tell you about…

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

B2B Growth Hacking 2 of 4 – Getting Started

Getting Ready

OK so you have a B2B product/service you need to growth hack so let’s do the first things first…there are some things we need to know and some things we need to do…

If you need a quick intro to growth hacking have a look here …please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.

 

B2B Growth Hacking Task List

[su_list icon=”icon: square-o”]

Fact Find

  • What is your primary geography – The UK? USA? Needless to say this affects the growth hacking approach needed. Google is very dominant in the UK with an 86.94% market share according to statista.com but is much less dominant in the US with a market share of 63.6%.

  • What is your target company size – 1-10 employees? More than 1,000? Smaller companies tend to have low barriers to purchase but can be very price sensitive whereas big companies will have the resources but can be very difficult and bureaucratic to transact with given their approval cycles…

  • What is the target “subject area” if there is one? Google Analytics talks about in market segments like Travel/Hotels & Accommodations, Software/Business & Productivity Software, Employment/Career Consulting Services…

  • What is the target customer role? CEO? Head of? Manager of people? Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your B2B service will only be purchased top down. A lot of products/services can be adopted by teams/individuals bottom up.

  • What is the target customer persona? Is there a demographic that your typical customers fit given the nature of your product/service?

Site Pages

  • HTML5 responsive web site – we need landing pages and a funnel. Can be existing or new.

  • LinkedIn individual/company page – an effective LinkedIn presence is very important in a B2B context.

  • Facebook company page – depends a bit on target customer persona but Facebook can be an important weapon in our armoury.

  • Twitter page/account – should probably be part of the toolkit but results can be underwhelming.

  • Instagram/Pinterest account – nice to have and generally underused in B2B growth hacking.

Analytics

  • Has a Google account been created?

  • Has the Google Analytics JavaScript code been added to each page on the web site?

  • Has the gro.team Growth Hacker been added to the account?

  • Has a goal been created? An alternative is to set up a funnel in Hotjar (see later).

  • What is the daily/weekly/monthly session and conversion baseline?

Visitor behaviour (usage heatmaps, session recording, conversion funnels)

  • Has a tool like Hotjar been implemented? Implementation can be as easy as adding a JavaScript script tag to each page (in the same way Google Analytics is implemented).

Email

  • Has an email list management list tool such as MailChimp been implemented?

Search Engine Optimisation

Ten’ish target keyword phrases to generate search engine traffic need to be selected.

  • Using the Google Keyword Planner or similar tool the optimum search phrases need to be selected.

  • 2 – 4 word phrases will probably be optimum. Single words will be too generic and competitive.

  • Ideal phrases take the form <actions><product/service key benefit> For example gro.team is working with Workteam which is SaaS software that helps companies and managers improve employee engagement. A good keyword target phrase for Workteam might be “increase employee engagement”.

  • Optimum keywords are the ones that deliver maximum traffic at minimum competition levels. The Google tool will tell you the average search volume and AdWords Cost Per Click bids which is a good proxy for how competitive the phrases are.

  • One of our other posts here shows you how to track your keyword positions for free (the best known web site charges $150/month).

Content

A draft content creation and publishing plan needs to be created.

  • What kind of content will be created and what “voice” will it use?

  • Who/how will the “foundation” content be created?

  • Who/how will the “front of mind” content be created?

[/su_list]

Ready to go?

Ready to growth hack? Need a hand? How much does interim B2B growth hacking cost?

Not that much actually. It depends on what the singular target is but to double/treble traffic, sign ups, customers or whatever we would need to do a three-five day deep dive with you followed by a campaign execution phase of one-ten days a month until the target is reached. That normally takes 2-6 months depending on the start and end points.

We won’t take an engagement unless there is an #highROI up for grabs and you will end up “hugely up on the deal”. We really think that the more people we help become more successful the more successful we become…

If any of this is of any any interest why not give us a shout on hello@gro.team or +44 (0) 800 246 5735 for a friendly informal chat about your biz dev needs?

At the time of writing gro.team is #1,#2,#3 and #4 on Google UK for “interim growth hacker” and we have lots of happy clients we can tell you about…

Please also see the first third and fourth post in this series.

Wednesday’s Win – An IMA Outstanding Achievement Award!

Wednesday’s Win – An IMA Outstanding Achievement Award!

Yay…our website has been awarded a 2016 IMA “Outstanding Achievement” award by the Interactive Media Council.

 

ima-laurel-text-2-oa-large

The IMC is a nonprofit organisation of leading web designers, developers, programmers, advertisers and other web-related professionals from around the world. The Interactive Media Awards competition is designed to elevate the standards of excellence on the Internet.

It doesn’t get much better than that…apart from “Really Outstanding Achievement” maybe ha ha…

 

 

The Top Tech Trends Now…

The Top Tech Trends Now…

At gro.team we are working with quite a few clients and this is our latest , irreverent as usual, look at the biggest Tech trends we’re seeing at the moment…

 

All tech jobs are software jobs now.

Forget it if you want to get your hands on hardware or, heaven forfend, do something manually. Software is abstracting everything away. We don’t mind though, everything is definitely getting easier. If you’re not using software to do your job you soon will be.

Everything is a Product not a Project now.

The bad old days when everything was considered as a project and managed using specifications, Gantt charts, risk registers and so on have gone forever. Now everything is a product and has a product owner. Even things that aren’t really products.

Everybody uses The Cloud now.

Not using The Cloud because of “security”? More fool you. Your competitors are taking advantage of increasingly powerful PaaS (Platform as a Service) offerings, powerful management consoles, variable cost and capacity and so on.

Agile is everywhere now.

The Agile sceptics have lost the argument and given up. Rightly so – they were wrong. It really is much better to deliver early and iterate, work closely with customers and favour working software.

BYOD has won the argument now.

People won’t put up with old, dumbed-down, hardware and software anymore. Any IT Team still issuing and managing homogenised kit is an unpopular team making work for itself.

https://interim.team picture of hacker

The Future of Hacking and Why Small Businesses Should be Taking It Seriously

An interview by Hiscox with gro.team  CISO Phil Cracknell

————————————

 

Cybercrime can and probably will be used as a tool to compromise the financial infrastructure of entire countries, says cyber-security specialist Phil Cracknell.

From business protection to cyber wars, Phil gives us his insight into the future of hacking and how we’re all more at risk than we realise.

What’s probably most concerning about all of this, is that small businesses play a crucial part in many major cybercrime plots. They’re easier to hack than the big corporations, and they’re usually connected to larger supply chains giving hackers a way in to the top.

 

It’s time to look at the bigger picture with cyber security

Yet, when it comes to what’s motivating hackers, it’s not all about money – although it can often be traced back to that. If you’re stealing the recipe for the next wonder drug or the designs for a Grand Prix team’s car, you’re clearly motivated by money. The same goes for music and films. The Sony hack in 2014 is a good example of that.

But then you’ve got your cyber wars, which are taking place every day. People are hacking governments to steal information and secrets in the same way we have spies and double agents.

I just came from a ten-month assignment at a train company in the UK, who are going ahead with plans to move all of their signalling to the train cabins instead of a central signalling centre. So if two trains need to stop for another to pass by, the three of them will negotiate between them who gets to go first. Bring a cybercriminal with a vicious motive and the ability to hack these trains into the equation, and you’ve got a very dangerous situation.

It will take a catastrophic event to lead to reform

My prediction for the future of hacking is that there’ll be a massive event that’ll lead to loss of life. Several terrorist plots involving cybercrime have already undoubtedly been foiled, and it’s only a matter of time before one takes hold. They might be very simple or they might be very elaborate. For example, there have been blackouts in North America and Ukraine over the past few years. These are cyber-attacks against the critical national infrastructure, which is why governments are investing so much in cyber defence. They’re considering it as one of the top threats now. If you can take over a drone, you’ve got control – it doesn’t matter about the size of armies because they rely on communication and intelligence. If you can control that, you can send them in the wrong direction to essentially shoot each other.

There’s still a widespread disregard for cyber security because it’s not in peoples’ faces yet. But an event like this would lead to major reform.

There’s an ecosystem of hackers and we need to be wary of them all

There are many ‘smaller time’ hackers that do it more for the kudos it gives them in their network rather than aiming to carry out organised crime. But they’re still dangerous. These opportunistic hackers are often groomed by other, more serious hackers who’ll tell them to attack a certain IP address. And the smaller-time hackers will do it because they believe they’re doing a valuable job in taking down a bad organisation or similar. There’s a bit of a ‘we’re going to take over the world’ attitude. And while these small attacks are taking place there’ll be a much bigger one happening in the background. We refer to this as ‘noise’ – it’s people rattling the door handle, but in real terms.

Small businesses aren’t immune to cyber threats

SMEs need to remember that even though they’re small in size, if they’re part of a larger supply chain, they’re still vulnerable. Anyone that supplies to trains, buses, planes, energy companies or any other organisation considered critical to the national infrastructure could provide a way for hackers to get into where they want to be. The last four biggest hacks in the world – Sony, AT&T, eBay and Target – were able to happen because of a third party supplier being compromised. And if enough small businesses were attacked it could threaten our country’s entire financial infrastructure.

It’s also become quite common for smaller businesses to be targeted with ransomware, which is a type of malicious software that blocks access to a computer system or encrypts files on it. It’s used to demand money from people and only when they’ve paid up can they have their files back.

Most big organisations would be able to repel a ransomware attack but that’s not the case for smaller ones. They find themselves with encrypted files and unable to run their business, meaning the only real option is to pay the money.

Seek external help to keep your business secure

If you own a small business you probably don’t need to employ a security expert full time, but it’s wise to seek external help to guide you and check that you’re secure on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to seek specialist help and contract a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).  They’ll help you with things like patching, which is a method used to fix known vulnerabilities in computer systems – often used by hackers as a way in.

It’s also important to get the culture within your business right. Training your staff to spot an attack is key because relying on technology is often not enough. For example, at a basic level all staff should be aware of what spam emails and fake webpages look like. Plus, while anti-virus and firewall programs can detect viruses and system vulnerabilities, you can’t rely on them to protect you against cyber-criminals actually tricking you in person, otherwise known as ‘social engineering’. Getting a professional in to deliver a training session for your staff is a good way to make sure they’re clued up on this.

Social engineering is a very common method of getting credentials

Imagine the scenario. A British Telecoms (BT) engineer turns up in full uniform at your business premises. They claim that your main phone line is down due to a problem in the area. You check the line – it’s dead. Your customers can’t get through to you and you’re losing money by the minute. How likely are you to let the engineers get on with their job and fix things? You’re probably just grateful there’s someone there to help. But what if they weren’t real engineers? Hackers have been known to create crises for businesses, like cutting their phone line, only to turn up and ‘save the day’ a few minutes later. What they’re really doing is getting potentially unlimited access to the business’s network. This is a classic example of social engineering.

There only needs to be a few key things in place for people to fall for this kind of activity. For example, a hacker may ring up a company and speak to one member of staff to get hold of some seemingly harmless information. They’d then ring back on another line and speak to someone else, using this information to convince that person that they’re legitimate. Having a few details to hand such as employees’ names and dates of birth means people are much more likely to trust them.

This is a very common way of stealing credentials and plays a big role in large-scale hacks. In most of the major hacking scandals to have taken place, there will have been an element of social engineering to obtain information. Sometimes this takes place electronically, known as phishing. So a hacker will create a fake web page that looks like it’s legitimate, which will ask a user to change their password.

Always be vigilant when giving out your details

To avoid being socially engineered, always be wary of who you’re giving details to, whether it’s on the phone, in person or online. If you receive an email with a link in it asking you to change your password for something like Facebook, don’t follow it. Instead, manually type the Facebook URL address into your browser and see if the website asks you to change your password that way. It’s important to never follow the link because it could either take you to a fake web page or allow something like ransomware to be downloaded onto your computer.

Cyber insurance is going to change the world

Hacking activity is spread far and wide, and is being used for multiple different purposes across the globe, some of them very sinister. But it’s not all doom and gloom. This is why I think cyber insurance is going to change the world. I genuinely believe that if you’re a small business owner, cyber security should be up there at the top of your list of priorities. It’s not an optional extra, just like business insurance isn’t. And when you look at the bigger picture, you can see why.

Are Developers Eating The IT Job Market?

Are Developers Eating The IT Job Market?

Back in the bad old days there were lots of IT job roles.

We had people to manage Solaris (but not Linux) servers, people who managed Cisco (but not Juniper) kit, people who managed Oracle (but not SQL Server) databases and on and on…

Now it seems all we need is developers.

The most effective QA these days is automated via software.

With The Cloud we don’t manage hardware any more and with emerging approaches like Software Defined Networking the need or opportunity to get up close and personal with underlying infrastructure is getting increasingly rare…

Genuinely effective software that writes software is a little way off so I think the message is that if you want to enter or thrive in the IT job market these days add coding to your skill set (whatever your current role).

You might actually enjoy it as well…it really is a creative process and very satisfying.

If you’re going to learn one language learn JavaScript (not Java). You can use it on HTML web pages and on back end servers via Node.js.

If you’re more of a platform services sort of person learn golang. It rocks and is taking over the server side programming world…see here

GDPR – one bite at a time…

GDPR – one bite at a time…

Similar to the old Data Protection Act, under the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data controllers and processors are required to “implement appropriate technical and organisational measures” to keep data secure.

They should be taking into account “the state of the art and the costs of implementation” and “the nature, scope, context, and purposes of the processing” as well as the risk in terms of “likelihood and severity” of a data breach – sound prescriptive but suitably vague? It is and it doesn’t end there…more to follow.

What the British NHS Can Teach the Rest of Us…

What the British NHS Can Teach the Rest of Us…

Recently for the first time in my life, I was a patient in a hospital. I won’t bore you with the details but after a quick trip in an ambulance and a brief sojourn in Wexham Park Hospital ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) I’m back home and well on the road to recovery.

 

Given the generally negative narrative around the NHS in the UK my preconceptions ahead of my visit were of dedicated staff probably doing their best given challenging circumstances.

 

What I was surprised and delighted to find at Wexham Park ITU was a high performing team using state of the art approaches to deliver amazing outcomes.

 

Wexham Park ITU has chosen to work based upon self-organised cross-functional teams, real time dashboards, virtual hierarchies, agile-like rituals, and a culture of empowerment and accountability.

 

At Wexham Park ITU patient care appears to be organised physically and logically around what I will call “pods”. Each patient has a bed space at the end of which is the nurse’s station. The nurse’s station has a PC, keyboard, screen and phone and is adjustable for sit-down or stand-up use.

 

The nurses seem generally to be allocated 1:1 to patients although it looks possible for a nurse to float between patients 1:2 if the pods are adjacent.

 

This nurse:patient 1:1 relationship is the foundation of the operating model used so successfully at Wexham Park ITU. The nurse’s responsibilities are simple and clear – they are there to care for this one specific patient.

 

The nurse’s feel total ownership and accountability for achieving positive outcomes and are supported rather than constrained by all other processes and activities in the ward.

 

During quieter periods nurses self study the conditions affecting their patient – further improving their knowledge, capabilities and effectiveness. (The nurses told me that this more “technical” style of nursing tends to attract more male nurses which only helps create a stronger and more diverse team).

 

The nurses use the terminal in the pod to read and update patient KPI data in real time into what would be called a “dashboard” in other contexts. Charts/graphs were available in real time and information was presented in a very clear and accessible way. Blood tests results took 1-2 hours before being available on the “dashboard”.

 

This real time people-technology relationship is critical to how the unit wants to work and I think they would struggle with the old “clip board at the end of the bed” approach (they went paperless three years ago).

 

The unit’s approach to cleaning also spoke volumes to me. Needless to say the ward was spotless and that was because it was continually being cleaned. They didn’t batch cleaning up to be done after more “important” activities were finished but integrated cleaning into and alongside all other activities…continuously. (An analogy with QA as part of software development is illustrative..good software development teams integrate testing so well that it’s hard to spot it. Other teams throw software “over the fence” at the end of the sprint to QA).

 

During the twice daily doctor’s rounds the “dashboard” is used to get everyone up to speed on patient status and collaboratively discuss and record next steps. The respectful way the doctors interacted with the nurses made it very clear that they were valued members of the team whose opinion was sought and listened to. The doctors also took the time to explain their reasoning – further improving the contribution the nurses will be able to make to their teams in the future.

I saw very little evidence of any hierarchies at Wexham Park ITU…talented people were organised into cross functional teams with common goals and clear roles and responsibilities.

 

Morale was high and people laughed and smiled their way through what must have been some very tough situations. They were self-aware and took time to help develop each others knowledge and experience for the collective good.

 

I think Wexham Park’s ITU shows that high performance can be achieved pretty much in any context by great people working in great ways.

 

I for one am very grateful that Wexham Park’s ITU have set themselves the challenge of operating at the level they have and consultants like Omar Touna and Clare Stapleton are role models for the rest of us in terms of their passion, ability and positive impact they have on other people’s lives.

 

We need too avoid so much negativity whenever the NHS is mentioned in the UK. Of course what it does is so important that we need to hold it, and ourselves, to account but we also need to celebrate success and recognise world class performance when we see it.

 

Congratulations and thanks Wexham Park ITU..you guys are showing how it’s done.

 

Rorie Devine is the CEO of gro.team who help people and teams achieve their aims and be successful.