Growth Hacking Steps. Are you surprised with the way some small tech companies and lean startups became titans in their markets within a short time span? How they have managed to reach that unicorn status?
Do more with less, this is what Growth Hacking is popular for! Another reason for its popularity is “It actually works”. No matter if you are a startup or eCommerce store, Growth Hacking tactics will help your business to attract more customers and boost conversion rates with the least amount of resources.
First thing first!
So what growth hacking is? Why it has fanfare followed by a long parade of startups, eCommerce stores, and even government institutions?
Growth hacking utilizes creativity to generate leads, increase online traffic, and optimize marketing processes. It is a process that involves experimenting with marketing and product development strategies to assess what works best for your business, which ultimately helps you in managing and expanding your business on a substantially larger scale in a fraction of the time.
What typically a startup aim for? What are there make or break metrics? GROWTH! This is what growth hackers too aim for. Using analytics, creativity, and innovative methods to grow exponentially the customer base is an ultimate goal of a growth hacker.
7 Growth Hacking Steps
Wondering can it be applied in your business? The good news is, yes it can be. Here’s the simple process to do so:
1. KYC: Know Your Customer
Traditionally getting away with a mediocre product was possible if you just marketed it enough, but now it is extremely difficult, the world knows about your product much faster than you imagine. What if anything goes wrong with your brand? How do you protect your brand from bad PR? Getting feedback is imperative. Get your product out, start gathering feedback, validate it, and keep modifying your product-market fit regularly.
2. Hit the target
Before reaching the target audience, your product is initially required to successfully pass through innovators and early adopters. So target these small groups and communities explicitly who would get the maximum benefit from your product. Turn to pirate metrics to measure a few key growth-drivers and ignore everything else at this point.
3. Scale Customer Acquisition
Figure out what works best for your product out of three work engines: Going viral, sticky growth, or paid campaigns. While all three of them work but the degree to which they work depends on the product you are selling. Here going viral and word-of-mouth category refers to earned media and includes social media, the sticky growth includes channels such as search engine optimization (SEO), public relations (PR), and content marketing, while paid channels can consist of offline or online ads, affiliate, and influencer advertising, sponsorships, and retargeting campaigns.
4. Create that “Aha-moment” through Activation
The core purpose of the activation step is to give the customer their first “aha-moment or experience” of the new product or service. To provide such moments it is essential to link the product or service features that reflect the value for the customers and matching the customer’s needs and wants with the product or service. Here a growth hacker will map out the customer journey into the activation phase with the help of a well-defined path to ensure customer activation benefits from high conversion rates and a good customer experience.
5. Benefit from customer loyalty-Retention
Acquiring new customers is expensive compared to retaining customers and benefiting from their loyalty. So at this stage of the funnel, it is important to look at the churn rate. Growth Hackers track why customers are using your product or why they drop-out based on the collected data from tracking systems, or by directly interviewing the customers.
6. Grow with Referrals
A referral is when a current customer or user refers to the company’s offerings to their family, friends, colleagues, or network. It is one of the most cost-effective ways and works through word of mouth and promotions. Growth hackers use key metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Viral Coefficient to measure the willingness of promotions and referrals.
7. Revenue: The ultimate goal
The main purpose of awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, and referral is to generate revenue by combining all stages of the funnel and this stage is important in terms of pricing and costs. It is essential to optimize the pricing strategy that meets customers’ expectations and matches the value which the product or service brings.
Growth hacking isn’t just a technique, it is an ambition of developing your business, in such a way that it becomes one of the most powerful in the whole world, that too with fewer financial resources. It is the power to promote your business differently, in this dynamic business world. So how to do it right? The list of growth hacking tactics is long but the most famous strategies are:
1. SEO: A strategic content creation along with accurate and unique titles, meta-tags, load times, responsive design, etc. can generate traffic and ultimately growth.
2. Blog: Customer Studies, Market Studies, Company Insights, etc can help to promote thought leadership and brand exposure.
3. Webinar: Learning-focused and Marketing focused Webinars is another growth hacking technique to generate traffic.
4. Email: Newsletters, Referral, and Reactivation mail can increase brand exposure. Among all growth hacking plans, email marketing is proved to be one of the best hacks and never gets out of date as people rarely change their email addresses.
5. Social Media: Sharing relevant content via social networks can help in generating traffic and enhance brand exposure. But handling too many platforms can be cumbersome. There are several tools available that can bring synergy between your company’s blog, e-commerce site, email campaigns, and more by syncing different platforms.
1. Search Engine Marketing: Google Adwords, Bing Ads, etc can immensely help in generating traffic. If you want to concentrate on your core business and do not have time to look into it. You can form a business partnership with another digital marketing company that will advertise your product in exchange for a certain cost.
2. Paid acquisition: Display ads, Social ads, Quantcast Ads, Premium Publishers takes your traffic to next level as they are easily visible and hard to ignore. Guest posting and influencer marketing is also a favorite hack of growth hackers for using other bloggers’ or influencer’s audiences along with raising the reputation or influences of their start-ups on other sites.
3. Affiliate programs: Content-based, Coupon-based, & Price Comparison Affiliate Websites are perfect examples of affiliate programs. You can also think of leveraging on the client’s recommendations.
Certain hacks can work well for one company but might become ineffective for another, which is why A/B test (conversion rate optimization) is considered one of the most amazing techniques as it helps in conducting different experiments on landing pages for optimizing the conversion based on viewer’s responses.
Measure what clicks
It is crucial to measure and track how successfully or badly your growth hacking campaign goes. Besides customer satisfaction and experiences, growth hackers use metrics that measure both the growth of products and company along with customer satisfaction which include daily net changes, core daily actives, and cohort activity heat map.
Once you figure out what works well, which tactics to follow, and how to measure them regularly, acknowledge your competitive landscape, as it is crucial to showcase why your company has a competitive advantage in any respective market. Beware of the changing factors in your competitive landscape. This will position your brand for quickly adapting and leveraging its strengths. Following your competitors without any action plan will fail to drive desired outcomes. Hang out at the same platforms where your target audience hangs out and keep watch on your competitors to stay informed.
There are a host of growth hacking strategies; however, no single hack can address all pain points or is ideal for all businesses. Growth hacking offers a fresh new take on the traditional marketing ideologies and is a cost-effective way of realizing a fresh marketing strategy specifically applicable to startups and smaller businesses. In order to have a solid platform for growth hacking, certain conditions should be met, like having a website and social media marketing presence, integrating the marketing communication through one channel, creating a ubiquitous corporate message across all platforms, and streamlining the marketing communication. Leverage on the right tactics and wonder the difference in no time!