GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #59

Get the Latest Growth Hacks and More Insights Delivered Each Week: Sign Up Here.

🎃 Special Halloween Edition: Growth Hacks Based on Fear 😱

Home Alone gif

😱 Very Scary Growth Hack #1 – Fear of Being Rejected!

Listerine’s 1920s ads turned bad breath from a fairly common minor flaw into halitosis, a condition that made you into a social pariah, sexless and alone.

Consumers were rendered so effectively insecure that Listerine’s sales rose “from $115,000 to more than $8 million” in just seven years.


😱 😱 Even Scarier Growth Hack #2 – Fear of Death = Shockvertising:

Non-profits and public service announcements use this tactic often. Using horrifying or discomforting images along with alarmist headlines gets a real visceral reaction from people.

Examples include anti-smoking ads featuring real ex-smokers displaying the ravages of throat cancer and Buerger’s disease, and commercials that show the awful consequences of texting while driving.

Fear is used in these ads for one simple reason: because it works. In 2012, the CDC reported that one week of scary anti-smoking ads prompted 50,000 smokers to quit.

fear of missing out

😱 😱 😱 The Scariest Growth Hack #3 – Fear of Missing Out!

One clothing company has this all figured out. This online retailer tested a limited next-day shipping offer against another version in which the limited offer wasn’t shown.

The limited time shipping offer boosted sales by 226%.

All it took was one line of text with a countdown and somewhere around 45 seconds to install it.

But to take full advantage of scarcity to increase your sales, you need to fully understand it’s power.


In Depth Articles:

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Fear

How “Scary” Sells With Fear Based Marketing


Sign Up for Even More Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Sales

Small talk

The 7 Facebook Ad Designs That Defined 2017

When you have over 5 million businesses competing for ad space on a platform that boasts over $9 billion in advertising revenue, you can pretty much guarantee there will be successes and failures.

The reasons a Facebook ad is a success versus one that is not can often come down to design.

People browsing through their News Feeds are going to be stopped by something that catches their eye.

And what catches their eye often leads to a purchase.

In fact, 93% of customers base their purchasing decision on just visual appearance.

So what qualifies as good Facebook ad design?

Well, that’s where studying the brands with an effective Facebook marketing strategy is important.

By studying those that did well, certain trends emerge of ad design elements often used.

We compiled these trends into one easy list that you can use to help optimize your own Facebook ad campaign.

We’ll show you the design and why it was effective in driving engagement and motivating buying decisions.  

These are the seven Facebook ad design trends that defined this year in social media marketing.

1. Testimonials & Reviews

People trust other people when it comes to their purchasing decisions.

88% of those trust online peer reviews just as much as personal recommendations.

This year saw the rise of the review and testimonial Facebook ad.

Review Facebook ad
Image source:

Presenting rave comments right in your Facebook marketing copy and/or the visual itself helps to build trust with customers.

It’s especially effective to highlight customer testimonials instead of media reviews, as people are more likely to trust someone like themselves.

2. Customized Visuals

Though this isn’t an option for all businesses because of high production costs, if you can design your own Facebook ad visual it’s worth it.

Remember, 93% of people buy on visual appearance alone.

It also matters for branding purposes: Color boosts brand recognition by 80%.

Custom illustration Facebook ad
Image source:

With a custom illustration in your Facebook ad, you can give your brand an aesthetic.

You can also use it to engage users more effectively and earn their business.

There are a few, cheaper ways to create these custom Facebook ads if you don’t have an in-house digital designer.

Online tools like Canva offer a simple platform for design, or you can use sites like Upwork to find freelancers at reasonable rates.

3. Color Gradation

We don’t need to talk again about how important visuals are in Facebook ads.

But when it comes to color, there’s one trend that keeps on repeating: Gradients.

Gradient Facebook ad
Image source:

Gradation is so successful thanks to the role it plays in the overall consumer psychology.

Just as with the psychology of SEO, the psychology of Facebook ads is a study of how users subconsciously interact on the platform and what innately appeals to them or not.

The idea is to tap into how a consumer thinks in order to present them with the most relatable, compelling content.

Color is a crucial piece of this Facebook marketing puzzle.

Contrasting colors can boost conversion rates 60%, and gradation allows for more subtle contrast.

4. Carousel Feature

When Facebook introduced carousel ads in 2014, it drove down cost-per-conversion prices 30-50%, and cost-per-click prices down 20-30%.  

Since expanding to mobile ads in 2015, the carousel format continues to be popular among Facebook advertisers.

The feature essentially allows a slideshow of images to appear within a single ad.

This allows for a deeper visual dive into a brand’s product or service.

Carousel Facebook ad
Image source:

The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.

As a result, using a carousel Facebook ad is a great way to tell a lot about your brand in an easily digestible manner.

You can expect an increase in brand recognition, awareness, and engagement as people understand what you’re offering more fully and clearly.

5. GIFs & Stop Motion

It was only in February of this year that Facebook introduced the ability to add GIFs to their Facebook ads.

Since then, though, this feature has taken off and become one of the defining social media design trends of 2017.

GIF Facebook ad
Image source:

GIF is a cheaper solution than producing an entire video for your Facebook ad.

It’s also one of the most powerful visual platforms in existence:

Use your creativity to create GIFs that tell a story about your brand, highlight a product, or really do anything else relevant that will capture users’ attentions.

6. Comparing to the Competition

Though you should review the competitor rules before taking on this strategy for your Facebook marketing, there has been a definite rise in the number of comparison ads.

By comparing your brand to another, you are clearly showing why yours is the better solution.

Essentially, these Facebook advertisements act as visual value-props.

Comparison Facebook ads
Image source:

Without explicitly spelling out why your brand is better, the visual element used makes that clear.

And we all know how important the visuals are in Facebook advertising.

You don’t even necessarily need to compare your own business with another.

Consider comparing situations that your product or service improves, such as Cleanly’s above.

They demonstrate the difference between not using their service and having to go to the laundromat vs. having your laundry delivered in the comfort of your home with their service.  

7. Flat Designs

A flat-laying Facebook ad plays into a person’s preference for organization in a visual context.

Basically, people want to see things that are placed carefully, symmetrically, and/or evenly on a layout.

Flat design Facebook ad
Image source:

This tactic is especially useful for retail and clothing brands.

They can show off an entire array of products, including recommending style combinations in an attempt to upsell.

The flat design also makes it possible to present products that can appeal to more than one demographic.

For example, you can show shoes for men, women, and children in a flat layout all within a single Facebook ad.

Though you can expect to see some of these trends change as we move into following years, one thing they all have in common is captivating visual content.

Having visuals in your Facebook ad that draw users away from your competition and towards your brand instead is crucial.

Looking at what other businesses are doing with their ad designs is a great source of inspiration for optimizing your own Facebook marketing strategy.

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #58

Get the Latest Growth Hacks and More Insights Delivered Each Week: Sign Up Here.

Growth Hacks:

ninja gif

Growth Hack #1 – Google Ads: Level 100 Ninja:

Jonathan Dane recently shared the secret of the Single Keyword Ad Group in Google Adwords.

It decreased his costs by 70%, increased his click thru rates by 300%, and helped him outrank competitors who bid more.

Here’s how:

1. Create a new Ad Group

2. In order to force an exact match, add your keyword phrase like this:
+CPA +firm +Chicago
“CPA firm Chicago”
[CPA firm Chicago]

3. Add your exact keyword phrase to your title and URL. Write benefits in the first line and call to action in the second.

4. Add all negative keywords that appear in the search term report into each ad group level in order to exclude long tail search terms

VOILA! You’ve got a single keyword ad group ready!

Growth Hack #2 – Got an Idea? Sell a Phantom Product First:

In 2016, Pokémon GO beat Twitter’s daily active mobile users in 4 days – it also beat Google Maps’.

Here’s what Mashable uncovered while investigating their phenomenon – They validated the idea 2 years before creating the product.

Everything started as a Google April Fools Day joke back in 2014. They published this video and it gained over 6 million views within a couple of weeks (16 million in 2014). This video collected over 16,000 comments = feedback from future customers.

They used this as proof of a market before they built their product.

Dropbox did the same. First they created a video about a nonexistent product. Then they gained email addresses. Only after that did they create their real product.

It’s a priceless example on how to achieve Product Market Fit before wasting money on developing an actual product.

YouTube ranking graph

Growth Hack #3 – Get Your YouTube Videos to Rank!

A study by found a strong correlation between COMMENTS on a YouTube video, and how highly it ranks for YouTube search queries.

Get your audience to participate (or get your friends to help!) and watch the views pour in!


In Depth Articles:

The Inside Story on How SurveyMonkey Cracked the International Market

How BuzzSumo Achieved $2.5m Annual Revenue in its First Year: Case Study in SaaS Growth

Sign Up for Even More Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Sales

Tips & Tricks

6 Awesome Facebook Advertising Hacks to Increase ROI

We’ve heard the numbers:

Yes, Facebook advertising really is the gold standard of paid social marketing.

And it’s for good reason that 62% of marketers recognize Facebook as their most important advertising platform.

With ROI from Facebook ads only continuing to increase year over year, brands are able to enjoy success now more than ever.

Results from Facebook marketing can range from up to a 55% increase in sales revenue within six months to reaching 20 million people and earning a 2X return on ad spend within a single, 7-month Facebook ad campaign.  

There are many elements that go into a winning Facebook ad, though.

Here are six quick tricks for optimizing your Facebook advertising strategy and maximizing your ROI.

1. Switch Up the Facebook Ad Format

Nowadays, people are less convinced to click through an ad that has only a single, static image.

Video ads on Facebook have become increasingly popular, with over 100 million hours of video watched daily on the platform.

Videos have been shown to increase purchase intent by at least 70%, increase brand awareness by 65%, and increase ad recall by 74%.

Just a few things to keep in mind when you launch video ads on Facebook:

  • Use captions – subtitles increase video view time by 12%.
  • Keep it short – according to Facebook, people prefer videos that are 15 seconds or shorter
  • Track results and optimize – Use the Page Insights feature of the Facebook Ads Manager to analyze how your video ad performed and make adjustments for improvement.

Done right, a Facebook video ad like San Francisco Travel’s can yield 3.8X return on ad spend and a 49% higher conversion rate.

2. Send People from Your Facebook Ad to Designated Landing Pages

Directing users that click on your ad to just your Facebook Business Page or website homepage is not the best way to convert them into paying customers.

Instead, create landing pages for each ad set and audience segment.

LP impact on FB ad lead generation

Businesses with over 40 landing pages, whether they’re B2B or B2C, enjoy far more new leads.

Even companies that increase total landing pages from just 10 to 15 total experience a 55% growth in lead generation.

Given Facebook’s extensive audience targeting tools, you can show different Facebook ads to different groups of people that direct to a specific landing page suited just to them.

This is all part of an ad targeting optimization strategy that can help you nurture existing leads while capitalizing on new ones.

Facebook ad to LP

LP from Facebook ad

Once you have a landing page optimization strategy in place, this quick Facebook ad hack can be implemented for greater conversions and higher ROI.

3. Use Emojis in the Facebook Ad Copy

Emojis aren’t just for expressing that you ❤️ 🍕 or would prefer 😴  over 🎉.

They can (and should) also be used in your Facebook advertising strategy.

Studies have shown that using emojis on Facebook increases engagement:

  • 57% increase in likes
  • 33% more comments
  • 33% greater shares

emoji in Facebook ad

Use emojis in the headline and within the Facebook ad copy itself.

Explore Emojipedia for the ones that work best for your brand and message, then copy and paste them directly into your ad. 

4. Vary Your Facebook Ad Color Palette

Standing out among the millions of businesses advertising on Facebook means catching users’ attentions.

This means bringing it back to basics and literally catching their eye with colorful graphics.

color in Facebook ad
Image source:

There are two strategies you can take with utilizing color in Facebook ads:

  • High contrast and bold colors
  • Minimalist, light images on an almost white background

Keep in mind the psychology of color and what will resonate with your target audience.

There are certain colors that appeal to men more than women, and others that are the least engaging.

Do your research, conduct A/B testing, and hone in on the right color palette for your Facebook ad campaign.

5. Show Proof Directly Within Your Facebook Ad

People trust the opinion of others.

In order to build that consumer confidence, include social proof like testimonials and influencer quotes in your Facebook ads.

When it comes to influencer marketing, 33% of people say that a social media influencer is their most trusted source for their purchasing decisions.

And 84% of consumers prefer to hear about other people’s experiences with a brand before they buy.

social proof in Facebook ad
Image source:

Facebook now lets brands boost content from influences and celebrities in their ads.

Take advantage of this feature and other forms of social proof in your Facebook marketing to build trust with users.

When people relate to your brand and they have enough confidence to purchase your product, it results in a boost to your bottom line.

6. Hook Them With Your Facebook Ad’s Headline

70% of Facebook users will only read your ad’s headline before sharing it with others.

You need to make sure to hook them right from the get-go with compelling and concise headline copy.

Facebook ad headline

Facebook recommends 25 characters or less in the headline, and 30 or less in the link description.

In order to craft a headline that gets people to click, try employing these best practices:

  • Ask a question – Formulating your Facebook ad headline as a question sparks intrigue and makes the user want to click through for the answer.
  • Solve a problem – Build value in your ad by briefly stating how your product or service solves a consumer pain point.
  • Make it a listicle – Numbers help people make sense of your ad and helps tease the content to make users click.
  • Use command words – Directives like “Get” and “Try” will help motivate people to click through and inspire a sense of urgency.

Maximizing your ROI with Facebook advertising doesn’t have to be a long, complex process.

Start by employing a few of the hacks above, A/B test your Facebook ads, and track the results for a truly optimized campaign.

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #57

Get the Latest Growth Hacks and More Insights Delivered Each Week: Sign Up Here.

Growth Hacks:

click gif

Growth Hack #1 – Get Higher Clickthroughs:

Low click throughs on your ads / emails / content?
Maybe you’re being too salesy too soon.

Baby steps:
1. Build trust by: being educational, sharing a secret / perceived insider information, offering something valuable for FREE (for now).
2. Grow trust EVEN MORE by overdelivering more of the same and following thru on original offer.
3. Go in for the sell with psychological triggers.

Source: 500Startups

Growth Hack #2 – The Perfect Video Length:

Wistia analyzed 564,710 videos and more than 1.3 billion plays. Here’s what they found:

1. Videos up to 2 minutes in length get the highest engagement.
2. Engagement is the same between 1 second and 2 minutes.
3. There is significant drop-off between 2 and 7 minutes (every second counts).


A/B testing

Growth Hack #3 – How to Do A/B Testing Correctly:

Half or even the majority of your A/B testing won’t product mind blowing results that will 10X your conversion rate. That’s normal.

GOOD a/b testing:

1. Focuses on 1 BIG thing, not a micro improvement you waste 1 week finding out
2. Happens in weekly iterations
3. Runs on a big enough sample size – at least a few thousand visits
4. Doesn’t get cut short just b/c you think you “know” the results
5. Shows you what’s wrong as well as what’s right

In Depth Articles:

We Analyzed 1.3 Million YouTube Videos. Here’s What We Learned About YouTube SEO

Using free products for lead generation


Sign Up for Even More Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Sales

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #56

Get the Latest Growth Hacks and More Insights Delivered Each Week: Sign Up Here.

Growth Hacks:

be clear gif

Growth Hack #1 – Be Super Clear with Calls to Action:

ContentVerve has a case study showing that adding a few clarifying words can significantly increase conversion:

Changing the CTA copy from, “Get Membership” to, “Find Your Gym & Get Membership” increased click through to the payment page by 213.16%.


Growth Hack #2 – Contests that Receive 40% More Subscribers:

“$500 giveaway” vs “October $500 giveaway”.

A research project that analyzed 3 million visitors showed that, when you specify the month of the contest, conversion rates increase by an astounding 40%.


credit cards

Growth Hack #3 – Credit Card Now vs. Credit Card Later:

Totango released an interesting study that showed the difference between asking for credit card info upfront versus asking for it later.

The results?

By dropping the credit card requirement, they were able to increase front-end signups by 500% and overall paid customers by 50%.


In Depth Articles:

How to Win on Facebook: 8 Lessons Learned From Analyzing 1 Billion Posts

How Clearbit Conquered the Welcome Email


Sign Up for Even More Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Sales

GROWTH HACKS Tips & Tricks

Taktical Growth Hacks – #55

Get the Latest Growth Hacks and More Insights Delivered Each Week: Sign Up Here.

Growth Hacks:

Dr. Evil gif

Growth Hack #1 – Get Bloggers To Quote You:

The Taktical team tested two different email outreach approaches:

First: Direct pitch. “Hey quote us”

Second approach: Send one email with the soft “feel”, “… I liked your article … I created something that can be of additional value… Would it be ok to pass along? …”

2nd email (if “Yes”) – A link to their piece of content.

The direct pitch (#1) got a 16% reply rate and the 2-step email sequence (#2) – 40%! That’s a 2.5 times higher rate.

Source: Taktical Team

Growth Hack #2 – Reduce Landing Page Leaks:

On a true landing page (ie, not just your homepage) there are no menus or ANY OTHER LEAKS off-page except your CTA.

When sending paid traffic:

– Include the obligatory privacy policy elsewhere on your domain; don’t link it off the landing page.

– Echo your campaign’s offer, copy, and segmentation. DON’T land them on your catchall homepage.

Source: 500startups

walk sign

Growth Hack #3 – When in Free Trial Mode, Force Users to Keeping Moving Along:

ProdPad had a 30-day trial.

By analyzing user behavior, they found that they could predict by day 9 if a user would convert into paid.

So they tried an experiment:

They decided to cut their trial period to 7 days. However, users could earn more free trial time (28 days max) by completing simple onboarding tasks like “add a product name”, etc.

Their overall conversion rate increased by 200%!


In Depth Articles:

23 SEO Tools That Will Increase Organic Search Traffic

7 Actionable Customer Support Hacks to Boost Retention Rates


Sign Up for Even More Tips and Tricks to Help Increase Sales

How To Guides

How to Succeed at Ad Targeting on Snapchat

It’s a misconception that Snapchat advertising is the least effective form of social media marketing.

In fact, users spend twice as long using Snapchat per day than they do using Instagram.

Also, Snapchat excels where the future of social media advertising is heading: video content.

Here’s why video is the future:

  • 80% of consumers said they’d rather learn about a product or service through a video rather than text
  • Almost 52% of marketers name video content as yielding the most ROI
  • Close to 92% of millenial internet users in the U.S. are predicted to consumer digital video in 2018
  • The total number of digital video viewers worldwide will exceed 2 billion people by the end of 2017
millenial digital video consumption
Image source:

Snapchat users watch over 10 billion videos per day, compared to Facebook’s 8 billion.

There’s no denying the social media platform has solidified itself as a leader in video advertising.

Ensuring that your Snapchat marketing strategy is reaching the right audience is essential.

It lets you capitalize on the 2X higher visual engagement, 80% lift in website visit duration, and 5X higher swipe-up rate Snapchat advertising offers.

In order to achieve results like Kraft that earn 28 million-plus views and a 13% lift in purchase intent, you need to know how to successfully target your Snapchat ads.

Choosing the Right Snapchat Ad Format

Snapchat offers social media advertisers three distinct products: Snap Ads, Lenses, and Filters.

Snap Ads are the only format that offer brands the ability to use their own data or third-party analytics instead of Snapchat’s own.

Therefore, we’ll only be discussing Snap Ads in the rest of this post.

Within the category of Snap Ads, format options for your Snapchat advertisement are based on goal and include:

  • App Install
  • Web View
  • Long-form Video

Snap ad formats
All of these offer you the ability to incorporate video into your Snapchat advertising campaign.

Doing so means taking advantage of the 64-85% of people who are more likely to convert after watching a product video.

Once you’ve started advertising on Snapchat, it’s time to hone in on who are the right people to target.

Targeting Your Snap Ad by Demographics

Like Facebook, Snapchat offers a wider range of pre-set audience demographics to select from when targeting your Snapchat ad.

Age, location, gender, and all of the other standard options are present.

Where you can really get the most from your Snapchat ad targeting, though, is with the advanced options.

The DXL Advanced Demographics offer just that.

Snap Ad DLX demographics

This and the DXL Shopper Categories offer Snapchat marketers access to third-party data that you can utilize to optimize your ad targeting.

With more specific behaviors ranging from ‘New Parents’ to ‘Online Shoppers”, you can more precisely reach engaged and motivated consumers.

Additional preset behaviors were introduced when Snapchat rolled out a series of updates to its Ads Manager platform in September 2016.

These new targeting options, termed Snapchat Lifestyle Categories, are based on Snapchat’s own data compiled from how users interact in the app.

Snapchat ad predefined audience
The data is gathered from Snapchatters’ behaviors that include the Discover channels and branded Stories that they view.

Snapchat Advertising: Audience Match

Along with introducing Snapchat Lifestyle Categories, Snapchat rolled out Audience Match and Lookalike Audiences at the same time.

Audience match allows Snapchat marketers to upload a custom list of email addresses or other identifiers directly into the platform.

This information is then used to create custom audiences that can be tracked and targeted based on their mobile ID.

edit custom audience - snap adedit custom audience pt. 2 - snap adedit custom audience pt. 3 - snap adedit custom audience pt. 4 - snap ad

Snap Ad Audience Match matches customer information owned by the brand with Snapchat’s own user data.

As a result, businesses advertising on Snapchat can create more effective custom audiences and launch retargeting strategies from directly within the platform.

Snapchat Advertising: Lookalike Audience

To expand upon the Snapchat ad targeting options of Audience Match, Lookalike takes this set of users and targets those with similar behaviors, demographics, etc.

lookalike custom audience

With this feature in particular, Snapchat marketers can expand their audiences – not just reach current ones more effectively.

You can decide how closely you want the Lookalike Audience to resemble your current consumers when choosing the Lookalike type:

  • Similarity: Smallest audience that most closely resembles your existing user base
  • Balance: Medium-sized audience that’s intended to be a balance between pre-existing customers and extending the reach further
  • Reach: The largest audience size that has the least resemblance to your current customers but offers the most reach

Snapchat Ad Targeting by Engagement

The last notable targeting option available to businesses advertising on Snapchat is Engagement Audiences.

This most recent addition to the suite of Snapchat ad targeting tools lets you target users that have previously engaged with one of your Snapchat marketing initiatives in the past.

snap ad targeting types
You have three options within Engagement Targeting, based on the type of Snapchat ad you previously ran:

  • Target users that engaged with Snap Ads
  • Focus on those who interacted with a Geofilter
  • Target Snapchatters that engaged with a Sponsored Lens

Let’s use one of Gatorade’s Sponsored Lens Snapchat ads as an example.

Gatorade Sponsored Lens
Image source:

Once Gatorade finished this campaign, they could create a Snapchat Engagement audience that targets only those that interacted with their Sponsored Lens.

The new campaign wouldn’t have to be another Sponsored Lens.

Instead, it could build upon whatever the previous Snapchat ad campaign advertised or accomplished.

Using Snapchat’s Engagement Audience tool is a way for you to target consumers that have already expressed interest with your brand on Snapchat.

Essentially, they are the “low-hanging fruit” that all Snapchat marketers dream of.

Succeeding with Snapchat ad targeting is the key to unlocking the ROI and engagement potential of the 92% of millenials that use the app.

Snapchat continues to roll out improvements to its ad platform and partner with third-party data providers.

As a result, Snapchat advertising agencies and brands can expect to have even better ways to measure success on the platform and optimize their Snap ad campaign results.