From Zero to Hero: How Growth Hacking Marketing Transforms Startup Businesses
From Zero to Hero: How Growth Hacking Marketing Transforms Startup Businesses
The year 2020 was a challenging year, especially for all business organizations due to the pandemic. Now, more than ever before, marketers must get creative to accelerate growth in the face of the ever-evolving global business landscape. This is when growth hacking marketing comes into play. It is a useful marketing tool that tends to focus on implementing the most cost-effective and efficient strategies to attain rapid growth, especially for business organizations that are on a tight budget.
Let’s explore what exactly growth hacking is.
What is growth hacking marketing?
The term “growth hacking” was first coined by Sean Ellis, founder and CEO of GrowthHackers, in the year 2010. Growth hacking marketing can be defined as an umbrella term for all the cost-effective strategies that are implemented especially by startups and small business ventures to accelerate growth.
A small business organization or a startup often tends to lack the funds that are required to start a large-scale marketing campaign. Hence they need to be more creative and innovative if they want to achieve faster growth cost-effectively. A business organization takes time to grow naturally with traditional marketing strategies. However, with the help of growth hacking strategies for startups, small-scale low-cost but effective solutions are implemented. This in turn saves a lot of money, time, and resources.
What does a growth hacker do?
A growth hacker is a person who tends to use creative and economical strategies to help a business organization grow and retain more customers. He or she should be able to work with programming languages, handle data, and design. A growth hacker should focus not just on reaching and bringing in new customers but also on the retention of existing customers using an innovative and creative growth-hacking marketing strategy.
Key Skills of a Growth Hacker
Some of the essential skills that every growth hacker should possess to achieve success in that field are as follows-
- A growth hacker should have basic technical knowledge
A growth hacker need not be a genius at coding. However, they should have a basic technical knowledge of coding, programming, and web languages such as CSS, HTML, and PHP. It is essential because it will help a growth hacker to experiment with various things on a website. A growth hacker can make necessary changes and implement important growth hacking strategies for startups to accelerate business growth without having to rely on a developer at any stage.
- A growth hacker should have essential design skills and UI/UX knowledge
A good user-friendly interactive design tends to make a huge difference in how a website performs. Information should be displayed appealingly and effectively is a website for better client retention. A growth hacker does not have to be a master in design however a growth hacker should be able to inspect and make necessary changes and implement important growth-hacking marketing strategies to increase online visibility. With design skills and UI/UX knowledge, growth hackers can provide a better customer experience which in turn would help in the overall growth of a business organization.
- A growth hacker should have good knowledge of various growth hacking tools
With the advancement of technology, there are hundreds of growth hacking marketing tools, plugins, and extensions. A growth hacker should have a clear understanding of various growth hacking tools such as StoreSEO, Pagefly, Crazy Egg, etc. which will help a business organization to grow faster.
- A good growth hacker should have good analytical skills
Analytical platforms such as Google Analytics tend to come in handy to get data on what works and what does not. However, a growth hacker should be able to comprehend and make use of that piece of information for formulating an effective growth hacking marketing strategy. With solid analytical skills, a growth hacker can easily identify what is working and where there is scope for improvement for a business organization to grow and prosper.
Types of Growth Hacking
Various types of growth hacking marketing methods are as follows-
- Viral growth hacking
With the advent of technology, most business organizations try to connect with their audience group on various social media platforms for better online visibility. This involves posting on social media accounts and getting people to like share and comment which in turn would help to increase online engagement exponentially.
Viral growth hacking marketing is similar to going viral on the internet. The only difference is that instead of social media posts this viral effect is applied to product sales.
Say, for instance, a business venture has 5 customers. Each of those 5 customers goes on to share that product with 5 of their friends who then again share the product with 5 of their friends and the cycle goes on. This is known as a “viral loop”. To set up a viral loop, it is always advisable to create a product that the customer would naturally want to share like WhatsApp. Users will share it with their friends as they will want their friends to also sign up so that they can talk to them in the application. Furthermore, not just applications, there can be other encourage sharing such as incentives and referral programs.
- Paid growth hacking
Paid growth hacking marketing is loosely based on traditional marketing techniques that many people are already familiar with. Paid socials, promotions, giveaways, and content marketing can be an effective marketing strategy although they require a minimum capital investment.
- Sticky growth hacking
The main idea behind sticky growth hacking marketing for a business organization is to make sure that the existing customers should “stick” to their product. Rather than continuously trying to gain a new client base, business organizations should focus on creating something that makes the existing users come back for more. Social media posts on Instagram and Facebook can be considered “sticky” products because they have a low churn rate and encourage regular engagement.
Various growth hacking marketing strategies
The majority of growth hacking marketing strategies tend to fall under three main categories-
- Product Marketing
Product Marketing strategies are useful to make the product more appealing and build the user base for a startup or a small business organization. They include:
- Using an invite-only signup system and Leveraging the fear of missing out (FOMO) by using an invite-only signup system
- Gamifying the user onboarding process to make it more enjoyable and interactive and offering various rewards
- Offering attractive incentives for referrals that tend to benefit both the referrer and the new user
- Affiliate marketing, which will also use content marketing growth tactics
- Content Marketing
Content marketing can be considered a low-cost growth-hacking marketing strategy by which a business organization can get the word out about its products. According to recent data, content marketing revenue is all set to reach 107 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2026.
Some typical content marketing activities are as follows-
- Start writing a blog to create valuable and shareable content.
- Do guest blogging.
- Create attractive social media content.
- Write ebooks
- Conduct podcasts
- Run webinars
- Organise giveaways and contests
- Contacting bloggers to review the products
- Joining important forums and online groups
- Interactive influencer marketing
- Use email marketing to build a strong rapport with all the customers
- Improve online visibility with the help of good SEO strategies
Also read: Exploring the Future of SEO AI in 2023
Along with the strategies mentioned above, growth hackers can also use social advertising and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to promote their business.
Understanding the growth hacking process
The main aim of growth hackers is to experiment with new innovative ideas to achieve massive growth quickly and cost-effectively. Growth hacking marketing is applied to each of the 6 stages of the pirate funnel. This can be considered as a principle framework of a growth hacker that is used to identify various growth opportunities for business organizations.
For better understanding, the 6 stages of the pirate funnel are as follows –
- Awareness – This gives an idea to a business organization about how many people are they able to reach and through which channel i.e. email, social media, SEO, and much more.
- Acquisition – This gives an idea to a business organization about how many people are visiting their website. In addition, what are the channels that are driving traffic to the sites?
- Activation – This gives an idea to a business organization about how many customers are interacting with the website, and how many people are taking the first important step (E.g. sign up, install an app, share or comment on the posts).
- Retention – This gives an idea to a business organization about how many of their customers are coming back for a second/third/tenth time to use the product or services.
- Revenue – This gives an idea to a business organization about how many of their customers have started paying for the products or services and how much they pay.
- Referrals – This gives an idea to a business organization an idea about how many customers are referring their products and services to their friends.
A growth hacker tends to analyze each stage of the funnel and collect important information to formulate an effective growth hacking marketing strategy to overcome the various problems and increase the overall revenue of a business organization.
Various benefits of growth hacking
There are a lot of ways by which growth hacking marketing tends to be advantageous to a business organization apart from providing low-cost solutions.
Some of the benefits of growth hacking marketing are as follows-
- Provable ROI – Growth hacking marketing is driven by data that a business organization tends to use to run experiments and measure its performance. By tracking performance they can easily see which growth strategies are working well, and which are not. They will get a full picture of the effectiveness of the various techniques employed and can concentrate only on those strategies that give better results.
- Improvement of products and services – Growth hackers tend to test various growth-hacking marketing strategies at frequent intervals. They keep learning more about the audience group – their preferences, demands, interests, and more. This in turn leads to a deeper understanding of how to improve services or products for a better outcome.
- Adjustable strategies – In today’s fast-paced ever-changing business environment, the strategies that worked well a few months ago might not work and can stop giving the desired results. Growth hackers should keep an eye on the overall performance of the business organization and revamp old underperforming growth hacking marketing strategies as and when required.
- Low-cost solutions – The main aim of growth hacking marketing is to use the limited resources available to a startup or a small business organization most economically. It may involve the use of the best SEO techniques, writing impactful content with high search volume keywords, etc to increase their Google search ranking and online visibility.
The difference between digital marketing and growth hacking marketing
Digital marketing and growth hacking are two strategies that are often used by a business organization to increase its online visibility. While many people might find them similar at first glance it should be kept in mind that they are actually very different from one another and should be approached differently.
One of the main differences lies in the objective. Digital marketing tends to focus on using various digital channels and technologies to market and promote services and products. On the other hand, growth hacking marketing is more focused on finding innovative out-of-the-box solutions to grow a business organization.
Another difference is that digital marketing is typically more strategic, with careful planning and execution of promotional campaigns while growth hacking marketing is more experimental and iterative.
A few examples of growth hacking marketing
Some examples of innovative tactics that have been used by some well-known business organizations are as follows –
- Twitter – Automated notification email feature
- LinkedIn – One-click endorsement feature for all existing connections
- YouTube – Provides embed codes for easy sharing of YouTube videos
- DropBox – Rewards existing users with a ‘Refer-a-friend’ feature for inviting new ones with additional storage
- AirBnB – Used Craigslist feature to find and market to people who are looking for affordable accommodation
Growth hacking marketing can be considered a perfect way for the business organization to increase productivity with minimal resources and cost-effective tactics. To employ this framework, growth hackers need to be creative as well as have skills in data collection, analytics, and digital marketing. Get started with growth hacking marketing today!