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Interview with Dima Lylyk, Head of Growth at Rails Reactor

Rhythm Singhal By Rhythm Singhal in Interviews on

Dima Lylyk is the Head of Growth at Rails Reactor, they build high-tech data science and machine learning solutions for growing digital products. They work with Fortune 500 companies and startups, such as Giphy (world’s biggest GIF search engine), DataXu (AdTech giant), and more.

Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.

I started my marketing journey back in 2015 as a pre-sale manager for a mobile development studio. My duties were pretty simple to understand – just find people on the web, reach out to them, and convert them into Sales Qualified Leads. It took me a couple of months to build my first few success cases. Even though the task was straightforward and I was successful, I felt something about the process was wrong.

That’s the time when thoughts about the value of building trust before reaching out to anyone started popping up in my mind. I desired to become a marketer.

And I did. I started blogging, I started sharing my content, putting it in front of people, bringing new fresh traffic to the website. Soon I became team lead for a great marketing team, where we did all of this at scale. The content team was crafting amazing articles, the SEO-manager and SMM-managers were distributing it, and the email-marketer kept a warm touch with those who wanted to hear more from us. The salespeople were happy with the leads we provided. Everything worked well and life seemed to be all rainbows and unicorns.

Well, one day each of us bumps into reality. Once I switched projects, I realized that some marketing techniques might shine only for specific value offerings and for specific audience types. Switching jobs required for acquiring new skills and bumping it up.

With trial and error, I grew. For different purposes, I experimented with different approaches. Some of them shined, while others not so much. And here are my takeaways for young marketers.

What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?

Content writing – Writing an article might seem terrifying. Beautiful words might not come in a flow. And that’s fine. First, make a brief structure, five subtitles should work well. Then start writing anything, don’t pay attention to how it sounds and ties together. Write all your thoughts for each subtitle in a straightforward manner, write your first draft twice as long as required. And then, after your thoughts are on paper, it becomes much easier to optimize it, to abandon phrases of low value, and to replace a few paragraphs with a single, powerful, and beautiful sentence.

It worked for me and might work for someone else. You never know if you don’t try.

Social Media – Don’t post for the sake of posting. You might find advice to post daily so you can pop up in front of your audience every day. Well, it might sound smart, but what if you can’t produce quality content with that speed? Most people fall into posting some random shit, and the result is they are the ones who deliver shit every day! So adorable:) Take care of your audience and bring only value.

SEO – Don’t try to overkill your pages with keywords. I know this advice is a no-brainer. Just if you, my reader, are still doing it – abandon this immediately. Neither your readers nor search engines will love it. The same with backlinks read about anchor text ratios.

Crowd marketing (i.e. Quora, Reddit, other forums) – Don’t waste your time on replying to any question about where your content might fit. Analyze in advance the questions that will bring the most traffic and engagement. Use DataMiner for this purpose, I’ll elaborate on it below, in the tools section.

Growth Hacking – Growth hacking is hot, that’s true. However, some of us might fall into a desire for playing around with growth hacks because of our personal interest, at the same time forgetting about the goals of our product/company. Please think first what you need to achieve, and only then think whether a traditional approach or a growth hack will support the goal.

Analytics (even though it’s not a channel, but an important part of your daily routines) – Switch from analyzing vanity metrics (DAU, MAU and similar) to specific ones. For example, discover your power users, analyze how users navigate through your funnel, discover what stops them from converting and much more. I wish I could give you some specific metrics, but they all depend on the product, on your flow and funnel. Search on the web for what your competitors analyze – this might help a lot.

Would you like to share a few words about any marketing software that you use?

There are a variety of tools, they all differ and much shine. I want to focus on those that are interesting, deliver unique or rare value, and are not commonly known yet.

Phantombuster – My biggest discovery of the last year. It allows you to collect valuable information from social media. Want to have a list of Facebook profiles of those who follow your competitors? – Vualia. Want company info from LinkedIn of those who download your lead magnet? – You have it. Want a list of all profiles who liked or shared your tweet? – Gosh, it’s just a matter of a few clicks. I love this tool, it helps to automate any social activity.

DataMiner – Another tool to get data. I mentioned it in the ‘Crowd Marketing’ section. You go to any website and manually create a rule for which data should be extracted from the website. Example, you might set the rule to extract Quora questions on a specific topic with the question itself, link to it, followers, answers, views of answers and more. When you have such a list, you just select those questions with the highest activity and abandon all the others. It helps to focus on what matters.

FlowXO – Also one of my favorites. Helps to build cross-platform chatbots for any communications, easily and with a variety of great options. Far more advanced then Manychat or Chatfuel.

Tilda.cc – helps you build beautiful websites and landing pages without any coding.

Buzzstream – automates your PR and influencer marketing.

Zapier – integrates any data flow between your tools.

From the tools I selected, you might get the feeling of my style:) I believe that marketers should focus on creativity. All the rest should be automated. Tools allow this.

Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.

Always be learning! Learn what others do, learn what competitors do, learn what your customers want, and most important – learn from your failures, they’re your best teacher. Be willing to acquire new skills. And remember, in order to become an absolute expert in any field, you need approximately 10,000 hours. But in order to become the one who can somehow perform a new activity without any previous experience – you need only 20 hours. That is, you can learn how to build chatbots in 2 days, how to build websites in 2 days, automate your data in 2 days, make a pro video in 2 days. Imaging how much additional time you’ll free up for creativity!