While sitting at my favorite writing spot in Tel Aviv today trying to come up with an interesting topic to write about I came across a discussion on Inbound.org that I thought was interesting. The discussion was created by Mary Green, the Content and Community Manager of Inbound.org, who asked, “the holidays often cause a bit of a lull in business, especially B2B, how do you change marketing tactics or your expectations for upcoming holidays?”. I thought this was an interesting questions because it hints at some major challenges marketers struggle with during this time of the year.
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Let me start by saying that I’m a huge Buffer fan. I’ve watched the company closely over the last 3 years and have been able to learn a lot by analyzing their marketing and product development. Like tens of thousands of other marketers and social media enthusiasts out there I love their blog and regularly recommend their posts to friends and co-workers. I thought it would be a fun exercise to analyze Buffer’s content marketing strategy and offer my two cents on what I would do to supercharge their already incredible efforts. In this post I’ve listed 3 tactics that Kevin and the rest of the Buffer content team can use to gain more Buffer users, strengthen their brand and grow their reach.
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Growth doesn’t end at signup

November 15, 2014

On 3 November I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the speakers at a growth hacking conference held in Tel Aviv. I received a lot of positive feedback on my talk so I decided to turn it into a blog post. The topic of the talk was the importance of user activation and retention and how it relates to growth in the long run.

User optimization is all about plugging holes in a leaky bucket

The most fundamental question that needs to be asked about user activation and retention is why are they important? Why should valuable resources be invested in these two areas instead of marketing or R&D? A great example that illustrates the importance of user activation and retention is that of SocialCam. SocialCam was founded in San Francisco in 2011 and quickly grew to over 16 million users. They managed this by leveraging Facebook’s social graph and by using a number of very aggressive tactics like forced sharing of user’s content on their Facebook walls. The graphs below show the number of visitors to SocialCam’s site. SocialCam was really good at gaining new users but very poor at keeping them around. A great analogy for the issue that SocialCam had is a leaky bucket. SocialCam had a really leaky bucket. I believe it is our job as growth and product hackers to plug the holes we have in our buckets and the way we do this is by focusing on user activation and retention.

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Back in January 2007 I played my first hand of online poker and I loved it. Since then I’ve played over a million hands online and been through a myriad of experiences that only poker grinders can understand. I was thinking about many of these experiences last night while sitting at a bar waiting to go dancing with my girlfriend. By the end of my time sitting at the bar I had come to the decision to quit playing online.
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I believe that poker players can be divided into two main categories. The first category is the amateur poker player which makes up the vast majority of players in the world, probably somewhere around 80-90%. The amateur player plays once a week with his buddies and a bit online when he has both the time and the itch. The amateur player loses money each month playing poker but that is fine with him because the utility he is getting out of the cost makes the losses worth it. Another characteristic of the amateur is his disinterest in improving his poker skill level.
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I recently passed a milestone in my quest to beat 100NL online. That milestone was playing over 500,000 hands of online cash game poker. The truth is that I’ve played more than 500,000 hands of cash online in my life but these 500,000 make up the vast majority of my online cash game experience. I decided to dive into this data and write up as detailed a post as possible to help share some of the hard facts (data doesn’t lie) about grinding micro and low stakes cash game poker online.
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All the hands played in 2013

The poker year in review

December 29, 2013

At the end of last year I was going through a very difficult time poker wise. I was fed up with the sickening variance in online tournaments and couldn’t make money in live games if my life depended on it. Sometime in December, I can’t remember when I decided to take a break. Like many times before I told my poker friends that I was done and putting the game behind me. It was only because I took this break that I was able to reflect properly on this game called Poker and what it meant to me. I decided that online tournament poker wasn’t for me. I understood from watching other pros that the variance was insane and that even the best can go a few months before hitting that one score that changed everything. I wanted to play a game where the skill advantage was obvious to me and that it would make a real impact on a consistent basis. I turned to cash and decided to take an entirely new approach.
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too many choices

Earlier today I revisited a YouTube video (the video is embedded below) of a talk Guy Kawasaki gave on gaining social media followers. During the talk Guy gave an example of how Virgin America should use their social media accounts to promote Las Vegas instead of promoting themselves (this was a hypothetical example given by Guy). Why would an airline want to promote a travel destination and not their own brand or service? Well as you already know, if a brand does nothing but talk about itself, you as the content consumer will unfollow the brand because you are getting little value from these self promotion posts. Guy explains that Virgin America has a route from San Francisco to Las Vegas so if it succeeds in getting some of its followers excited about Las Vegas (by providing interesting content which is of value to their demographic) some of them may decide to fly to Las Vegas, and maybe they will buy Virgin Atlantic tickets. It is the “maybe” in Guys example that is so critical.

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