Growth hacking is the process where fast analysis takes place across the marketing funnel, product development, sale segments, and other business areas in order to identify the most efficient way for business growth. Consisting of marketers, developers, engineers and product managers, a growth hacking team specifically focuses on building and engaging a business’ user base. It is a way to drive large leads on a low budget, and while it may seem complex, growth hacking is actually built on the same principles as traditional marketing.
Growth hacking is not a substitute for digital marketing - the two are essentially linked. They both emphasise on creating new ideas, experimenting with them, and measuring the results in order to accomplish goals for businesses. They share the same fundamental principles and even the same metrics: increased engagement, conversion and retention.
A marketer can analyse an overall goal of building brand awareness, whilst a growth hacker, on the other hand, can set a goal of increasing social sharing by 50%. In other words, marketing activities can have a broad focus to encompass any part of the funnel, whereas growth hacking depends on setting highly defined yet achievable goals in order to reach a specific outcome.
Posting content on forums to directly reach your audience is one option of growth hacking. Another option is building recognition for your product through a viral campaign of infographics or free giveaways. You can literally do whatever it takes to succeed in growth hacking – new ideas can come all the time and work very well.
How do you increase conversions and build a user base for your product? You would definitely want to spread the word to people who might be interested in what you are promoting. Ask yourself these questions: Does your audience visit specific webpages? Does your audience read certain forum or blogs? One way to reach out to them is to keep contactable – let visitors contact you and share their thoughts. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience to direct you questions. It will help answer your question on what they need, and also to refresh them on what they really want.
A huge principle of growth hacking is to integrate with social media by reaching out to channels that already have a large audience base. This is usually how viral growth occurs, because most large social networks are the initiators of viral growth. Viral growth can’t be faked – content will only go viral if they intrigue interest. Communities such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have wide audiences that cover many areas of interest and users who are always glad to share content. Thus, these are good area to focus on when trying to grow an audience. Try to replicate the same style of content by browsing these platforms and studying the type of content people are frequently sharing.
Create real value - Your campaign needs to be real, valuable, interesting, and also help to solve real problems. Spamming campaigns are not working anymore as Internet users have gotten numb to the sight of them, making users shun them instead. Users will simply come to ignore a campaign if it has appeared too many times, to the point of annoyance. Improve retention rates for your current site before reaching out to external communities to gather more visitors, as there is little effect gathering new visitors if you can’t even keep your existing ones.
Analyze the data and improve on the campaigns that are working best. The best way to learn is to study other sites and try your own ideas. Be creative and willing to take the chance to explore and try new ideas. They may or may not work in the beginning, but the experience will allow you to improve in the future.
There is no necessarily right or wrong method to growth hacking – the more you try out with new methods, the more you will learn. With progress, it will get easier to replicate your successful results.