#32 Neil Patel – Is Growth Hacking Dead? Five Tips For Success.
July 27, 2021
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Neil Patel is one of the most influential digital marketing experts in the world. Forbes ranks him in the top ten. Neil is always looking for new ways to improve marketing, because if you stand still, you will start moving backwards. According to Neil, perhaps all good marketing channels come to an end, or at least start to offer lower returns and become more challenging. You used to be able to build a huge company on SEO. Now you can’t. You used to be able to start a company and use paid advertising at a positive ROI from day one, and now in many cases that simple approach will not work. “What about growth hacking?” Neil Patel encourages us to ask. Is growth hacking dead? The answer is, no, but growth hacking is harder. Neil offers five tips to get results out of growth hacking now that the idea is widespread. 


Tip One – What used to work doesn’t work anymore. You need a new approach. 

At first, Facebook grew through referrals. That no longer works. Most good channels keep working, but it becomes more challenging to get results through a strategy that everyone else is using too. You can’t just use the same tactics. Dropbox grew because it offered extra free space for referrals. Now that free service in exchange for referrals is more common, it is not as effective. 


Tip Two – You Need To Design A Product That People Love

You are not going to make growth hacking work with a product that people don’t love. Virality is only possible if you design something that really meets customers’ wants and needs.  For growth hacking efforts to succeed, you must first fine tune your product and make sure it is truly excellent. If people do not love it, they will not want to share it, no matter how clever your growth hacking strategy is. 


Tip Three – Be More Creative

People are inundated with advertising and content. You need to do something better than your competitors to stand out. As an example, Neil recommends creating videos for Facebook remarketing campaigns. If you wow your lead generation drop outs and your cart abandoners with a video that shows them what life will be like when you take that final step, you can significantly boost your conversions. That’s just because not very many people are using video ads for remarketing. Once that tactic becomes widespread, you will need to think of something new to stay ahead of the pack. Invest in delighting your customers in new and more specific ways and you will find ways to make growth hacking work in a competitive environment. 


Tip Four – Experiment With New Channels 

There are always new opportunities coming up. At the time Neil made this video, Reddit ads had been around for a while but were not yet saturated and Quora ads were fairly new. You can also experiment with content marketing on platforms like these. You never know until you try it, and early adopters often find fertile ground in new environments for marketing. 


Tip Five – Build Partnerships

Chances are good that someone else has already developed an audience you would love to reach. And someone probably would love to reach the audience you have built. You can trade access and attention with partners who are in a related area but do not directly compete with you. Neil offers his own business as an example. He sells consulting services and recommends his partners tools. His partners sell their tools and recommend his consulting services. Look for opportunities to cross sell and trade audiences for zero cost growth hacking.