What is Growth Hacking? (And How to Leverage It for Your Startup)
The term “growth hacking” refers to various online strategies that are used to grow your business. It usually applies to startups that need maximum growth in the early stages, but with a small budget.
Working within a startup takes different areas of focus, such as planning, testing prototypes, and marketing. This may involve in-house teams, or you can outsource elements like your digital marketing. And growth hacking is just another tactic you can use to help your startup flourish.
In this article, we’ll discuss why your startup needs growth hacking, and how you can implement it in your work.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking involves collecting and using data from marketing campaigns, social outreach, and split tests in order to optimize your sales funnel and provide a better customer experience. You’ll want to focus on getting the maximum number of customers as quickly as possible, but without spending too much of your money or resources.
Growth hacking strategies use analytical software, new technologies, and marketing automation to optimize your business’s growth. And, as outlined in a recent Demand Gen Report, marketing automation alone can boost your sales by 14.5%.
The focus should be on acquiring new clients and reaching potential buyers for your services. There are several strategies you can use for this, including building a community and email marketing. The idea is to grab more attention and retain new customers over time.
Many startups use a pirate funnel for quick growth. This involves the AAARRR method, which stands for awareness, acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. The goal of these strategies is to attract as much web traffic as possible and then turn the traffic into users. Businesses should then try to retain these customers by keeping them happy with their services.
How Can Your Startup Benefit From Growth Hacking?
In the early stages of growing your startup, you’ll want to set a number of customers you want to attract in a certain period of time. For example, your goal might be to acquire 10,000 customers in the next six months to a year.
This might seem quite easy to you, but even getting your first thousand customers can be difficult in the beginning — especially if the market is competitive.
This is where growth hacking comes in to ensure the best results. You may use aggressive tactics to help you reach your goals. Here are just some things that growth hacking can help you with.
Identifying Your Business Goals
Focusing on growth hacking can help you to identify your business goals. Although, it’s likely your main focus is acquiring as many clients as possible with the least amount of effort and expenditure.
You should work on one area at a time so you can direct your undivided attention towards a singular goal. For instance, this may include choosing a new social platform and building a profile on it. With the right approach, you will be able to stay on track and reach your goals in a stipulated amount of time.
Discovering New Product Ideas and Business Models
To acquire a certain number of customers, you should set goals with the SMART approach. These will be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to help you get your desired results.
New growth hacking methods will help you experiment. For instance, you may use customer feedback to change the features of your services or products. This may lead to finer products for your future customers.
Reaching Your Ideal Customers
Your startup will have an ideal customer, and growth hacking will help you to identify who that is. It will assist you in creating a buyer persona you can keep in mind when trying to attract and earn the loyalty of your customers. Moreover, it may generate new ideas to promote your services for a certain group of customers.
For instance, consider the audience’s age, interests, income, occupation, problems, needs, habits, obstacles, likes, dislikes, and motivations. This will be very helpful when devising your marketing strategies.
Conducting Competitor Social Media Research
You’ll want to analyze your competitors’ businesses and their growth strategies. Growth hacking will allow you to look at their social media profiles, followers, content strategies, and more. This will give you a better idea of how to ensure your customers will engage with your content and provide you with positive feedback.
Developing a Content Strategy to Attract Your Ideal Customers
After learning about the competition, you may use growth hacking to create a social media campaign, email marketing strategies, and referral programs. These will help to increase your customer engagement and conversion rates.
Growth hacking will allow you to combine data and experimentation to see what helps you achieve the most with the smallest budget.
Setting a Budget and Finding Resources
Growth hacking will enable you to set goals and work towards them. This will give you an idea of the budget that you may need for smooth social campaigns, A/B testing, email marketing, referral code discounts, and SEO services. As a result, you will have a clear picture of how to allocate your budget towards various mediums.
Using Efficient Strategies
Because growth hacking involves studying relevant data and monitoring your competitors’ activity, it can help you to identify what works and what doesn’t.
You can also use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track and improve the traffic that comes from your SEO campaigns. These tools will enable you to analyze data and change your strategies for your startup. Keyword research tools can help you to create content that people are actually searching for, too, as they will help you to identify the right keywords to boost your SEO.
Growth hacking will also help you to improve your email marketing to generate leads and get more customers. It can help you to build a massive email list, which is important as this form of marketing has the best ROI at 122%.
Improving the Overall User Experience
Your website’s user experience can have a huge impact on your startup’s success, and growth hacking analytics will help you tailor it with your growth goals in mind. Moreover, you will be able to design your website to be much better, keeping in mind any customer feedback and current trends.
4 Ways to Leverage Growth Hacking Like a Pro
Now that you know what growth hacking is and how your business can benefit from it, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can leverage it for your startup.
With Content Seeding
Content seeding involves posting content across the internet in various locations for more visibility and sharing. It is a strategic sprinkling of content on different channels so your target audience will see it and become interested in investing in your startup. For your content seeding strategy to work effectively, a different type of content should be posted to different channels.
For instance, you’ll need different content to share through TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and email. The goal of content seeding is to gain new customers from different platforms.
This may also help in boosting your SEO, brand awareness, and getting people interested in using your services. Content seeding can be conducted in many forms, such as through social media or by securing editorial links.
Let’s take a look at what you need to consider when content seeding through different mediums.
Come up with some blog post topics that are relevant to the products or services you offer. Then, put together a content marketing plan that outlines what you’re going to write about when. This plan should also include which keywords you’re planning to target with each piece. Readers should start to find your blog content through search engines and you can also share it on social media.
People might even share your blog posts and leave comments if they find the information interesting. This will contribute to your growth hacking by bringing more awareness to your brand. Also, people who land on your blog will be more likely to check out and pay for your service afterwards.
Creating a YouTube channel is an effective way to connect with your ideal audience. You can add videos describing your services and products, or may even want to start a how-to series to provide non-promotional value for your target audience.
Overall, the audience will learn more about your brand and choose to invest in it if you’re providing them with genuine value. This will help in growth hacking by converting YouTube viewers into clients.
Facebook and Instagram
If you haven’t already, create Facebook and Instagram accounts to connect with your target audience. Keep a definite goal in mind and try to generate web traffic that will lead to sales.
Make sure you create content that your ideal customers will truly connect with, and try to give them a reason to like, share, and comment on your posts. For this, jump on current trends, address your customers’ pain points, and promote your product in exciting ways.
This should help you in your growth hacking mission, as you’ll reach a wider audience and earn more sales as your social profiles grow. And make sure you always add links to your website to your posts and social media bios to drive plenty of traffic to your site.
Depending on the type of business you run, you might also want to devise an influencer marketing strategy. This will allow you to connect with the loyal fans of internet personalities. Work with influencers who are very relevant to what you do, and let them in on your goals so they can help you raise awareness of your brand in the way you would like.
You can use search engines like Google, as well as your favorite social media platforms, to find popular and credible influencers in your niche. When you reach out to them, make sure it’s clear how they will benefit from your campaign, and make sure your proposal is unique so it stands out in their inbox.
You may use Google or social channels to find credible ones. Ensure that your proposal to work with influencers is valuable. Make your proposal stand out and ensure your email is approachable.
This is to ensure that the campaign helped to reach the desired goals. It will also encourage you to nurture your connections and retain them for future campaigns. Use your social media accounts to post relevant content and create different content for all to stay in the public eye.
Build a Social Media Community
Work to create a social media community that is as passionate about your startup as you are. This will help you build trust with customers and ensure they feel connected to your business. Learn from your past social media strategies and know that people work with those they like and find genuine.
Ensure that you have an open line of communication between you and your followers, and make it clear that you welcome feedback and suggestions. You should also engage with your community by sharing new ideas and plans for the future — this will help your target customers to feel valued.
There are some simple but effective techniques you can use to build your social media following, including placing your social handles on your website or business cards. This will help to show that your brand is welcoming and accessible.
You should also think about what kinds of problems your target customers have and try to solve them with your social media presence. For example, you could share helpful blog posts, instructional videos, how-to guides, and more. You’ll want to make your social media activity customer-focused so your business can thrive and grow.
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It is an outstanding service that brands, content creators, and startups can use to connect with journalists and secure more coverage. HARO helps with growth hacking as it will help you to send authority from popular sites to yours. When you work with HARO reporters, they will publish the content on websites and typically add a backlink to your website.
When you use HARO, you will be cold pitching to journalists. If they like your pitch, they will get in touch and help you gain authoritative links from websites such as Forbes and Times. However, this may take a long time and may get tricky in the beginning with a slower response rate from professional journalists.
Apart from this, HARO will also allow you to show your expertise and create some hype around your services and products. All you have to do is sign up, and you’ll start to receive emails from HARO with requests for comment. These will be from any field, including business, technology, lifestyle, and healthcare. Scan your HARO emails for new leads that are relevant to your work and respond quickly.
Before responding to a request, it’s also worth researching and checking the domain authority of the media outlet you’ll be mentioned by to ensure they’re credible and will provide you with high-quality website traffic. After a successful attempt, you can share the post through your blog, email, and social media. You could even add an “As featured on:” badge to your site.
Partner With Another Company
Partner with another company to share audiences and reach people you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. The key is to not look for a direct competitor, but look for a partner that complements your business. You may reach out to these potential partners via email or phone call.
Have ideas to pitch so that the potential partner understands your goals and their role. Moreover, you can promote each other’s sites and apps or bundle your services together.
One successful example of partnering with different companies is Uber and Spotify. Music streaming app Spotify enabled its users to become DJs on their Uber rides so they could listen to the music they liked.
This creates a positive experience for the user and encourages them to use more of the companies’ services. As a result, this contributes to the main goal of growth hacking by attracting more customers and also leaving them with a good impression so they’ll come back. Overall, co-branding should be about being creative in choosing your partners.
There you have it: everything you need to know about growth hacking and how you can leverage it for your startup. To grow your business, you need to set achievable goals, monitor your progress, and tweak your strategies whenever appropriate.
There are lots of techniques you can use, from growing a social media following to content seeding. Take these tips on board and it won’t be long before you’re attracting plenty of customers who love your products or services.