Growth hacking is more than a buzz word used by startups. The terms bootstrapping, startup, and growth hacking tend to all go hand in hand. The common denominator among all of these terms is using creativity to enhance business growth. Since many times funds are low, growth hackers are tasked with using out of the box techniques to acquire new customers and retain current ones.
A true growth hacker is never content or fully satisfied with the company’s current positioning. In fact, it’s actually their job to ask the questions that nobody else will.
- Why is this PPC campaign not converting?
- Why aren’t our tweets getting shared?
- Why aren’t free subscribers converting into paid users?
- Why is our competitor outranking us in the search engines?
These are all questions growth hackers have to ask. More importantly, they are problems that they must be able to solve. Squeezing the most out of every marketing campaign is what growth hacking is all about.
To get started with growth hacking, you should be aware of three things:
- Where your customers are
- What your customers want
- How to talk to your customers
Once you have a response to these three issues, you’ll be able to take advantage of these strategic growth hacking techniques.
Social media is perhaps one of the top growth hacking mediums there is. Information flows through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn every second. These outlets give users a way to share their likes, favorite products, and thoughts. Your job as a growth hacker is to make sure they’re sharing information about your products or services.
This is done by:
- Including social sharing buttons in blog posts
- Having a “share this” page after a customer makes a purchase or download
- Encouraging users to share emails if they’re subscribed to your newsletter
- Incorporating social media into your actual products (great for SaaS companies)
2: Push for viral-ness
Mobile social games are great at making their products go viral. How do they do this? By rewarding users that share the game with their friends. The popular mobile game from EA, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, allows players to collect more virtual currency by inviting their friends to connect with their account. By nature, players want to advance through the game quickly so they have motivation to promote the game to their friends. As a result, their friends refer the game to their friends and so forth. Using this model that focuses on virality, Tapped Out has gone on to produce revenues of around $50M since its launch.
Reaching out to industry influencers and even exploring the possibility of partnering up with similar companies can do wonders for growing a company. You can leverage the customers of your partners or influencers to help grow your customer base.
Partnerships can involve trading ad space, launching a contest, or having an influential industry blogger review your products. Once you have built up a foundation for your network, whenever it’s time to launch a new product, you can send an email to your networks to promote it for you.
4: Remarket to existing customers
Acquiring brand new customers is great, but your current customers can also be a source of growth for your company. Collect the email address of every customer who purchases from you or signs up for a free subscription. Convert the free subscribers to paid customers, and try to resell to current customers.
5: Guest Blogging
Speak directly to customers and become an authority in your industry by guest blogging. Find blogs that your ideal customer visits and write a guest post that speaks directly to them without being promotional.
This is done by providing high quality information and insight into the industry. Blogging is a proven technique for generating new business. According to Incubate, 57% of companies that actively blog have been able to acquire a new customer as a result. Also, companies that blog generate an average of 126% more leads than those that don’t.