New Growth Hacking trends you must know (Updated August 2020)

The world of growth hacking is never still: channels are in and out faster than fashion trends. Not only that, but the various tools are continually changing and updating. If you add Google’s mysterious algorithm, it is a lot to keep up with on a day to day basis. How on earth do you know between all that noise what you should know and shouldn’t?

Picture of the autor Thomas Stoffer

Thomas Stoffer

Growth Hacker

Don’t worry; we’ve got you. Every month, we will be updating this article with a summary of the latest updates and must know. Our growth hackers will scour hundreds of articles, tweets, and slack channels with their peers to make sure they give you the crucial insights of what you need to be keeping an eye on. Let our team of fifteen do the research, and you can focus on the highlights. 

Each time we will highlight a few of our experts and their views on what you need to know. 

August 2020

1. Server-side tagging in Google Tag Manager

At DotControl, we strongly believe a solid measurement setup is one of the key pillars that you need in creating growth. So, the moment Google announced server-side tagging, Natalie believed this might be something that could change the landscape of digital analytics for good


But what does server-side tagging mean? Well, in short, it means that the action is not done on the client’s computer, but it’s done on a webserver. Since you have full control over a server-side environment, you have access to more ways to clean your data, improve tracking and improve page loading speed.

Although Natalie does not yet know the true implications for the future, there is a huge potential in server-side tagging that could solve a lot of issues we’re facing concerning the way Google Tag Manager currently works. If you want to read more about the pro’s and con’s of server-side tagging, please refer to this article.


Natalie Jamieson – Growth Hacker (Specialised in Measurement & Analytics)

2. The future of TikTok

Since the beginning of 2020, TikTok has been growing at an incredible pace. However, recently the popular app got involved in an uproar about the apps’ way of handling data on users’ clipboard and location. With the U.S. government threatening to ban TikTok, after already being banned in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh, a lot of rival apps like Triller, Byte and Dubsmash are getting more appealing.

While most users worldwide are still using TikTok, the perceived appeal is mostly found through the interest of more established names in the social media landscape, who clearly try to anticipate a possible ban. Dubsmash, which was founded in Germany, would have been in talks with Facebook and Snap (Snapchat’s parent company). Also, Instagram recently introduced its TikTok competitor Reels.

Unfortunately, we don’t possess the power to look into the future. But we can offer you a few tips if your TikTok content is currently thriving:

  1. Ask your followers to also follow you on other social media channels. Do make sure you have different and interesting content on these channels as well.
  2. Start looking for a platform which could potentially replace the efforts you put into TikTok. Because when the app would get banned in a country you target, TikTok’s user base would not download a new app overnight.

Siyana – Visual Designer @ DotControl

3. A tool which writes Regex strings for you

Ever struggling to find the regular expression you need on Stack Overflow? Well, that time might be over (or at least some time you can do at a later stage). Why? Well, Thomas stumbled upon a nice tool which translates plain English into the regex string you desire. By describing what you would like to solve, and adding an example, the tool will automatically provide you with the correct regex.

If you would like to start using the tool right away, that’s not really possible (yet). The tool is currently in early access, but you can request access through the link on this website.



Thomas – Growth Hacker (Specialised in organic channels & UX Research)

4. Hotjar – new Google Optimize integration

How many of us wondered why one version of your A/B test is winning over the other? Hotjar found a solution to that.

They’ve just launched an integration with Google Optimize which lets you see session recordings per experiment. This means qualitative insights into winning experiments and developing better hypotheses for future tests. Read more here.



Thomas – Growth Hacker (Specialised in organic channels & UX Research)


July 2020

1. Google Shopping for Free?!

Benthe is on the edge of her seat waiting for this next trend to come to the Netherlands. If you are an e-commerce company you should be feeling the same. Why? Google Shopping is soon going to be free! No this is not a joke, soon you’ll be able to use Google Shopping for free rather than just having to pay, no strings attached. This has already been rolled out in the U.S and is expected to be rolled out in the Netherlands before the end of the year. So to avoid you falling off your seat in the meantime we have two tips:

  1. Make sure your product feed is in the Merchant Center if you haven’t done so already.
  2. Check out the following article of Marketing Facts (Written in Dutch) to learn more. 

Benthe – Growth Lead (Specialised in SEA & SEO)

2. Tiktok creates new interaction opportunities

Tiktok is on a roll just like Linkedin in releasing new advertising options; TikTok For Business. They now give the option to brand to interact with content & creators with different options:

  • Brand effects (creators can add directly 2D, 3D effects created by brands to their own content)
  • HashTag challenges (very popular on the platform)
  • Brand Takeovers
  • Interactive polls

They also just launched AR into the platform. Definitely experiment with one of the above options if your target audience is on Tiktok.

Source: BusinessofApps


Jade – Growth Hacker

3. Repixeling... 2.0

There is a new way to retarget relevant audiences... who visit other website. The new tool, Repixel 2.0 works with partners that you can then retarget. This is not only interesting to try when we want to easily target a specific audience but also as a partner making your website’s visitors available for others to target (so basically a new way to monetize your website). They claim it follows global privacy regulations, so we are curious to give it a go! Learn more via their website.

Source: ProductHunt


Thomas – Growth Hacker (Specialised in organic channels & UX research) 

June 2020

1. A Different Type of Conversation on Linkedin 

We talked about LinkedIn last month and we will talk about it again this month, even twice! That is because there is just a lot going on at LinkedIn. As a result, we’ve been experimenting with it more and we are seeing great results for both our B2B and B2C clients. 

One of the newest features that Fay has been eager to test is the conversational ads. Whilst they are still in the beta phase they seem very promising. This feature lets you to send direct messages with one or more CTA that can lead, for example, to a leadform. This allows you to have a more informal conversation with your target audience and offer them options as to the next step.



Learn more what is possible here

Fay - Growth Hacker (Specialised in SEA & Paid Social) 


2. LinkedIn’s Expanding Retargeting Options

LinkedIn is reeling with so many updates that Justyna veered from her usual domain to rave about the new retargeting options she has been testing out for her clients. 

Source: LinkedIn Ads


It is now possible to retarget users based on: 

  • Video Engagement – 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% 
  • Form – Open or Submitted 

The B2B journey is a long one and LinkedIn can be an expensive option. By adding these additional options, LinkedIn adds the possibility to engage with users that are earlier in the funnel. Learn more about the results other companies have gained whilst testing this out here. We can’t help but be curious about what LinkedIn comes with next. 

Justyna - Growth Hacker (Specialised in content, email marketing and automation) 


3. Time to Discover a new Type of Ad 

Don’t worry Google, we haven’t gotten so starstruck by LinkedIn’s updates that we’ve forgotten you. We’ve noticed you’ve been busy too with expanding on your Discovery Ads. Discovery ads were launched last year but are now available worldwide on the following platforms: 

  • Youtube 
  • Search 
  • Gmail 

Rather than target a specific keyword, Google will target users based on their intent instead. This allows your brand to be ‘discovered’ by the right users at the right time. These are as easy as setting up a display ad, you’ll see when setting up a new campaign the campaign type “Discovery Ad”.  You can find out more about Discovery Ads on Google’s own blog. 



Benthe – Growth Lead (Specialised in SEA & SEO)

4. Featured Links in Featured Snippets

It is not only ads that are adapting but Google has also updated Featured Snippets. One of the challenges with SERP is that it often keeps users on Google rather than sending them to your website. Great for Google, not always equally great for your website. That makes their latest update an interesting one. After clicking a featured snippet Google will automatically scroll to the content of that featured snippet on your page. In some cases, it will also be highlighted as well. This not only sends users directly to your website but we believe will also reduce negative engagement as they immediately find what they are looking for as well. Learn more about the update in SEJ’s covering of it

Thomas – Growth Hacker (Specialised in organic channels & UX research) 



May 2020

1. Tell your stories via LinkedIn 

We’ve seen a growth in short-story like content and tools: Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Stories. So, it didn’t entirely surprise us that LinkedIn jumped onboard with their newest functionality... Stories. They were just released this month in the Netherlands. 

Using the new LinkedIn functionality, you can keep your network up to date with pictures or short videos of your day-to-day experiences. It’s also possible to tag coworkers or share your story in a private message to engaged potential customers. Other potential uses are: 

  • Q&As or Ask Me Anything 
  • Sharing tips with your network 
  • Sharing behind the scenes / the fun side at work 
  • Promote events or conferences 

Check out the following article for some more ideas on how to leverage this new feature. 

Rutger immediately had to test it out on Day 1 with a Growth Hacking Q&A. We saw great engagement and reactions through the new stories. We definitely believe more in this than we did in Facebook Stories. 

Rutger van Stigt Thans – Full Stack Growth Hacker 


2. TikTok's not only for your younger sibling 

TikTok has surpassed 2 billion all-time global downloads across iOS and Android devices. The accomplishment comes on the back of a record-setting Q1: TikTok saw 315 million installs. Sensor Tower reports it to be the most downloads any app has ever had in a single quarter. With this type of growth, it's not only a platform anymore where your younger siblings sing and dance to popular songs.  

It has become a platform from which a lot of viral videos originate at a fast pace. One of the reasons for this is TikTok's current focus on organic content. Their "For you" page is the app's first screen. It focusses on videos that you might find interesting, instead of first showing you the content of people you follow (like Instagram). 

How you can use TikTok for your business: 

  • Create organic TikTok content that fits your brand and feels native for the platform. 
  • Use actual employees to be the face of your brand. 
  • Stimulate user-generated content with hashtag challenges.  
  • So never forget to use hashtags in your posts! 
  • Advertising on TikTok, just like other social media platforms, needs tailored content to be truly successful. 
  • Seek collaborations with influencers / content creators with a large following that matches your brand’s target audience. 

Source: HootSuite 

Thomas Stoffer – Growth Hacker 


3. Get Free Access to Google Analytics 360 Features  

Whilst not new, it is definitely not talked about enough! Natalie's frustration comes from marketers hearing about Google Analytics App + Web and thinking, "we don't have an app. Let's move on." Just wait! Despite the name, this new property is worth setting up for just your website.

With the new setup, you can get access to many features that companies usually pay 150K for with Google Analytics 360, such as Advanced Analytics and BigQuery Integration.

Although it is not ready to replace Universal Analytics, we have faith that it will eventually become the new standard. Learn more in Natalie’s article covering all you need to know about the latest measurement developments.

Natalie Jamieson – Growth Hacker (Specialised in Measurement & Analytics) 


4. A new tool to help you see what Sparks your target audience  

We know you love tools, so we couldn't resist finishing off with our latest discovery, SparkToro. It is a brilliant tool for target audience research. Thanks to this tool, you can find out EXACTLY WHERE your target audience hangs out.

It scans the Internet to find out what (and who) your audience reads, listens to, watches, follows, shares, and talks about online. It sounds like a perfect fit for content marketers, SEOs, social media marketers, and PR experts.

Eager to learn about more crucial growth hacking tools? Check out Ward’s favourites here.


Source: Sparktoro 

Ward van Gasteren – Senior Growth Hacker a.i 



April 2020 

1. Spotify Ads are gaining momentum and fast 

Spotify is a relatively new and interesting channel. Whilst they’ve had audio ads for a while now, they have been expanding the options. With 5.2 million subscribers in the Netherlands last year (46% of which pay for a premium account) it is the most popular streaming service. 

Users are also very active, listening on average to 25 hours per month.  

The advertising options are also very broad: 

  • Audio 
  • Display 
  • Video  
  • Podcasts 


Source: Spotify for Brands 


Sound too good to be true? It is. Right now, you can sadly only retarget those who have previously engaged with your ads. Next to that, the audience is relatively young (think 13 – 34 years old), so if you focus on an older target audience, it might not be for you. If your target audience is on Spotify, it is worth testing. 

Check out the options for yourself. As always, start with a few small experiments to see whether it is the right channel for you. 

Benthe - Growth Lead (Specialised in SEA & SEO)


2. Pinterest also expands the options to shop 

Benthe is not the only SEA lover who is being distracted by new and expanding channels. Ninke has also gained a love for a different channel: Pinterest. Especially their new methods of shopping were launched just a few weeks ago. With the Shop tab, Pinterest has made itself more attractive as an acquisition channel and not only awareness.  

Source: Tech Crunch 


Next to that, they have also made Pins more shoppable, offering visual search. Pinterest is really listening to its market in trying to help its advertising customers sell more through these new options. We would recommend learning more about all the new options here and consider running a small test on Pinterest to try out the latest features. 

Ninke - Growth Hacker (Specialised in SEA)


3. Is SEO the new SEA? 

We’ve talked a lot about ads, and don’t worry we are not oblivious to what is going on around us. We realise ad budgets are being slashed left, right and centre like a battle from Game of Thrones. That is why we wanted to highlight a new emerging trend that SEO and email marketing is growing right now.  

Many of us have time right now but not the budgets, so what better moment to improve your email marketing and the undervalued superstar: organic traffic? But how do you turn your Adverting Team into Google Superstars? We will be sharing an article soon on that, so stay tuned. In the meantime, use this time to review your SEO and content strategy and see how you can take this time to approve accordingly.  

Not sure what needs improving? No worries, for just €499 for small websites (<50 pages) and €799 for large websites (>50 pages) we can do an SEO quick scan, and give you an actionable and prioritised list of what to focus on.  

Daphne - Head of Growth Consultancy

4. A cookie-less world? 

A cookie-less world... Great for most internet users as only the disappearance of cookie-walls will already enhance the usability and performance of most websites. However, a tough cookie for marketers and companies reliant on ads. Internet users are more aware and increasingly using ad blockers and taking privacy measures. In addition to that, Apple, Mozilla, and finally Google are restricting cookie usage (partially forced by law). By 2022 Google plans to remove all third party cookies.  

The concerns about privacy and the reduced effectiveness of cookies is something that has been growing in the last years. This will have a significant impact on the possibilities of targeted advertising unless publishers find suitable alternatives. The solutions aren’t set in stone, but options like focusing more on first-party cookies do exist. We handle it on a case by case basis with our clients to see what the impact is and what the options are to solve it accordingly. Check out the following article by Artefact to learn more about some potential solutions.  

If you are not talking about this yet, get together with your team to see: 

  1. Which % of your traffic use browsers impacted by new cookie laws 
  2. How this is potentially impacting your ad campaigns and a/b tests 
  3. How you can better measure results and improve your tracking 

Sander - Growth Hacker (Specialised in SEO)


5. An extension for your extensions  

We wanted to end with something a bit lighter after all those talks about new channels, ad types, changing focus, and non-edible cookies. Literally lighter... how to lighten the load for your Google Chrome. As a growth hacker, I’m sure you are also as addicted as we are to Chrome extensions. Justyna came across a nifty tool we just had to share with you.  

Source: Google Chrome


Extensity is an extension for your extensions (try saying that five times fast). It is the ultimate tool for lightning-fast enabling and disabling all your extensions for Google Chrome. Just enable the extension when you want to use it and disable when you want to get rid of it for a little while.  

That way, you can keep up your extension addiction with your browser speed weighing down.  

Download it for free here. 

Justyna - Growth Hacker (Specialised in content, email marketing and automation)




What trends have you noticed recently? We are always eager to learn, so please feel free to share!