In an exclusive interaction, Vaibhav Sisinty, LinkedIn Influencer, Strategic Content Creator and Growth Hacker, speaks about how leveraging ‘Growth Hacks’ can help brands scale business, how creating niche and valuable content will enhance a business’ reach and sales, how strategic content creation helps in saving marketing overheads and how to integrate performance marketing in your communication. He also shared his thoughts on the recent ASCI guidelines for influencers Advertising and on what Indians are doing wrong on LinkedIn.
Vaibhav has worked with more than 60 startups globally and helped them with their growth and customer acquisition strategy. He has delivered 100+ workshops on Growth Marketing Hacks for leading corporates and top-tier colleges in India.
He launched his first-ever digital marketing setup in 2013 – CrazyHeads, at the age of 19, while he was in his second year of engineering. Within three years, CrazyHeads went on to service over 100 digital startups from key markets like India, USA, Australia, Brazil, and Singapore.
He joined the marketing team of Uber India when the USD 40 billion behemoth had just started its operations in the country. By strategically applying growth marketing techniques and brand collaborations, Vaibhav helped the brand scale up its operations from 100 rides per week to over a million rides per week. Post which, he was promoted as one of the senior members of the Growth team of Uber South America where he helped the brand scale up its operations across Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Argentina.
Post Uber, Vaibhav joined Klook as its head of Marketing in India and the Middle East. At Klook, Vaibhav was in charge of customer acquisition and user engagement. In his one-year stint with Klook, the brand grew from 7M to 24M USD revenue.
He has launched three courses on Growth Hacking – LinkedIn, FB Chatbots and Instagram (Visit sisinty.com to check them out).
How did you start your entrepreneurial journey? What are the various ventures you have backed?
I have had this entrepreneurial spirit in me since my childhood. I did a lot of stuff to earn money when I was a kid because I didn’t like asking my dad for the smallest of things like playing a game in a cybercafe or going to a movie with friends.
My first ever venture was Discovering Android, a blog that I started in 1st year of my engineering. With 3 more members in the team, we clocked a million views on the blog in just 6 months just by using SEO. But later Google banned us, which is a completely different story.
Then in the 2nd of the year of college, I started Crazy Heads a Digital Media Agency, one of its kind which later on went on to win the “Fast Emerging Digital Media Startup of the Year” award and served 100+ clients from India, the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, etc in 3 years.
However, in 2015, I decided to exit Crazy Heads and jump to the next big opportunity coming which is joining Uber. Worked there for 4 years and I was able to help them scale from a mere 100 trips per week to a million trips a week by implementing growth hacking strategies!
After my stint at Uber, I joined as Head of Marketing for Klook in India & ME and helped them clock $27M a year business.
And now, I am building a startup in stealth mode which has already generated half a million dollars in revenue. We are launching soon!
What are the ‘Growth Hacking courses’ and how will they help individuals, start-ups, and corporates?
Growth Hacking is a fairly new term that has come into existence only in the last decade. I didn’t even know if there was a term like this even when I was doing stuff that growth hackers should do. But I don’t see a lot of people in India doing Growth Hacking the right way or interested people don’t have the right resources to learn the skill.
This led to me condensing everything I have learned in the last 7 years working with companies like Uber and Klook and consulting 50+ startups with Growth.
Till now I have built 3 Growth Hacking courses (Chatbots, Instagram, LinkedIn) and 1 Mentorship Program where I take an execution-driven approach to help them kick start their growth hacking journey!
How can traditional family businesses use social media to improve their reach and sales?
Most traditional businesses never tried to leverage social media to their advantage. But it’s more important than ever. The last year has rapidly changed how businesses across the world operate. Without an online presence, it is almost impossible to sky-rocket their business.
The best way to get started is by creating content in their specific niche. Create valuable content.
As an expert LinkedIn influencer, what are some things that Indians are doing wrong on LinkedIn?
Most Indians still believe LinkedIn is just a platform for job seekers, whereas it is not at all true. LinkedIn is a mecca for not only finding job offers but also for generating high-quality leads and building a strong personal brand and authority in your niche.
So, people need to start treating the platform as a platform for sharing and gaining knowledge and building a personal brand so that people come to you with job offers and gigs and not the other way around.
That’s what I have been preaching about for almost 2 years now and in the meanwhile helped 40,000+ people in their LinkedIn Journey as well.
What are your thoughts on the recent ASCI guidelines for influencers Advertising?
I feel the guidelines were necessary. It promotes a lot more transparency and trust among the audience, both from the brand and influencer point of view. And both of them should start taking these guidelines rather seriously.
How can strategic content creation save marketing overheads and spur growth?
Content is the No.1 way to reduce marketing overheads online. Period.
The ads costs are only going to go up in the years to come and we as brands and business owners always need to stay ahead of the curve and leverage platforms that are available to us.
It’s extremely important to leverage platforms that are currently providing the maximum organic reach. The fastest way currently to grow on Instagram is by creating Reels. If you genuinely want growth, go Ninja on Reels!
LinkedIn & YouTube Shorts are providing crazy organic reach and it’s the easiest way to save marketing overheads by being here.
Tell us about some growth marketing hacks brands should opt for during these tough times?
I think it’s important for brands to not lookout for “easy” & “quick” ways to grow their business. They don’t exist. What matters is, what you as a brand are doing fundamentally.
Are you building your email list? Are you across all platforms and not relying on a single platform for all your business? Are you leveraging both organic and paid mediums of marketing?
These are questions you need to answer first. After you do the fundamentals right, will come to the growth experiments and that completely depends on what kind of company you are!
Please share a timeline from when you started building your growth-hacking business. What is the setup of your growth-hacking platform like?
Well, I built my first ever growth hacking course on Instagram almost 3 years back. After a grand success, I launched my LinkedIn Growth Hacking course for the international audience which has been the most successful course of mine so far, which has more than 2000 students already.
Later I also built a FB Chatbots Course and now I am running a Cohort-based program where I teach core Growth Hacking from the ground up and I currently have a team of 9 kick-ass people with multiple roles who help me run the show.
What do you believe are the most important pillars of great performance marketing today, and why?
The four pillars of great performance marketing according to me would be Creativity, Growth Experiments, Data & Your Target Audience.
Know exactly who your target audience is and what they need. Don’t just assume what your audience needs. I have gone wrong with most of my assumptions about my audience.
Then creatively position yourself to stand out of the crowd and trump your competitors. My “not that Sisinty guy” and “Grut India” campaigns have been very successful because of one single reason. Because I carefully saw what my audience consumes and talks about and then I turned it into a creative campaign.
This brings us to the next point, which is data. Always focus on Data to talk about what’s going right and wrong with your performance marketing. Like I said earlier, never rely on your assumptions.
And finally comes the growth experiments. When Data is giving your positive signals about a specific campaign, that’s your cue to scale it but that’s not the end.
You see, you never know what might work better than what’s working currently and it’s not necessary that what works in the now, will also work in the future. So, it’s critical for you to keep experimenting on a daily basis. That’s where the real growth happens.
If I asked you to select ONLY ONE platform for the brand- and profile-building for (i) a corporate, (ii) a B2C business for different age groups, which would you choose and why?
There’s no definite answer to this question. But if it’s a corporate or a B2B business then probably they are better off building a brand on LinkedIn first and because 80% of all B2B leads on social media come through LinkedIn.
And probably later, they can start focusing on Twitter (2nd highest) and build a brand there.
For a B2C business, there are a lot of platforms to focus on. Again no definite answers, you will only know what works after you experiment enough.
But on a high level, if your brand caters to the youth and millennials, then Instagram is the place to be in. If your target audience is between 35-60 then Facebook would be a better bet. If you are a women-centric brand then Pinterest is an interesting bet because more than 60% of users are women, which is probably the highest for any social media platform.