A Guide to Types, Stages, and Strategies of Growth Hacking
Growth hacking, also called growth marketing, is the process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product developments to spot the most efficient and effective ways to enhance a business. It is an encompassing concept for the methods that businesses utilize to achieve scalable and fantastic development, as well as a perspective on using the best solutions to reach optimum growth. It is replacing billboards and commercials on television with unconventional thinking and fresh marketing ideas.
A few experts from the marketing world refer to this phenomenon as one of the best ways to build one’s brand and company while some experts may choose traditional marketing methods. It’s a simple yet effective way to make sure your product or service reaches your target audience in frugal ways.
Many companies maintain a separate team to handle this marketing division. People working in this team are called growth hackers. Growth hackers use specific tools and software to track the latest trends, updates, and news about the business. They use social media, email marketing tools, and SEO to cover a wide base of customers.
Why is Growth Hacking Necessary?
Staying outdated is harmful in any business. To catch up to the latest trends and reach the new age customer base requires a different set of approaches. It is particularly important for start-up companies as well as young companies. It is a quick and cost-effective process compared to the existing marketing model in today’s world.
Many companies especially new businesses are not out in the open and require a rapid marketing idea. This is where growth hacking is of immense help as it is a smart technique to gain momentum in the market and attract investors for any start-up.
Growth hacking helps to create a snowball effect and to propel the business to great heights in a short span. Most firms must pursue aggressive design to stay ahead in the rat game. Hence, this technique is automized with continuous marketing that gives the desired results which in turn leads to higher productivity. Finding a solution is mostly based on data and is faster than regular marketing.
Difference Between Traditional Marketing and Growth Hacking
Is growth hacking truly more beneficial than the standard marketing plan? One cannot draw a clear line between the usual marketing ideas and the newer ones as it is a subpart of marketing. It is more of a new-age formula that seems to work quicker and sometimes better than its predecessor.
- Gives results faster
- More of a trial-error method hence the risk is higher
- Helps to grow the business instantly
- Highly recommended for start-ups and newbies
- Takes up a lot of time and resources to set up a market team
- More focus on long-term goals and doesn’t work as a quick-fix
- Lesser risks but output take time
- Suitable for corporates, big organizations, and start-ups
- Expensive as it needs more time
As seen in the above pointers, both ideas have pros and cons. There is no fixed marketing plan that gives 100% results for any company. Depending on the products and customers’ needs, the company can decide which strategy suits their company.
Types of Growth Hacking
There are many ways to increase revenue once you learn more about all this. On a broader note, it can be classified into three groups. Read about them.
1. Paid Mode: For companies that have a set budget for marketing, the paid version is the best way to go. It is a method that is already in use in many established offices. It is all sorts of paid content marketing for social media, ads, promotions, and giveaways. This method may not be useful for start-ups or companies that do not have proper marketing finance.
2. Sticky Mode: This is apt for someone who already has a fair share of customers. As the name suggests, it helps your customers to stick on to you. It is the skill of keeping your followers constantly engaged on your social media pages such as Instagram and Facebook. It focuses more on existing clients rather than gaining new consumers.
3. Viral Mode: This routine as given in the word ‘viral’ suggests making your products go viral or in other words popular. You may have heard a post going ‘viral’ on social media wherein it is shared by hundreds or even thousands of people all over the world.
Similarly, it is possible for your products to reach many more people if certain ways are applied to them. With this technique, you create a ‘viral loop’ unlike the natural ones that you see online. It could be done through referral programs, discount coupons, freebies, and incentives.
Who is a Growth Hacker
The main objective of a growth hacker is to grow the business in an upward direction using many marketing tools. It is likely that a growth hacker may conserve or engage his users to keep them coming back to his site. Running various types of social advertising is vital for any growth hacker.
Email marketing, affiliate marketing, viral marketing, social ad campaigns, etc can be used by the hacker. The person can combine any two or more ways for a better outcome. Beyond just a job, a growth hacker should enjoy the work he carries out. It needs to be a hobby as well as a passion to perform many trial-and-error methods.
Different Stages of Growth Hacking
There is not one specific approach to creating your own success story while using this marketing tool. However, a common formula that is applied to assess a company’s modus operandi is using the Pirate Funnel method.
This is also known as AAARRR Funnel which is a 6-step framework built specifically to assist start-ups in identifying the flaws and loopholes that cause all of their marketing and sales efforts to be in vain. AAARRR is an acronym that stands for Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Revenue, Retention, and Referral.
These Six Steps Will Help Any Start-up to Grow Its Business Rapidly. Read About These Steps in Brief.
Step 1: Awareness
This step is vital for business owners who are setting up a customer base. Being aware of your customers and how they reached your website is crucial. You have to learn about different ideas to attract and retain customers longer. Engaging your visitors is key to converting a visitor into a customer.
Find out how many people visit your site and for how many seconds they browse your site. Analyze what they are looking for by offering some suggestions with a quick Q&A or with a welcome mail. For an already established business, the first step may be skipped as customers are already aware of the product.
Step 2: Acquisition
This is the step where you convert your visitors into your leads. Now, you should analyze the efficacy of your ads, social media marketing tools, website traffic, and your conversion rate. Find out which route is recommended for your line of business. What works for others may not work for you.
Hence, it becomes important to comprehend the exact kind of marketing that is most promising. Collect all the data available to determine the channel that yields the highest number of end users. At this stage, you can discuss within your team, and brainstorm to bring in fresher and crazier ideas that might work. Influencers are also a great way to go to bring more attention to your business.
Step 3: Activation
The next step would be to grasp the number of people who have been loyal to you after their initial visit. Being interested in your product/business, they would have signed up for your email promotions, read, and commented on your blog. They may have also installed the app to try it out. At this step, if they feel the UI is too hard, they will opt out.
It becomes acute to keep a close eye on the smoothness of your website or app. Check if there are too many forms to fill in or too many questions to answer which will make the visitor disinterested. Make the necessary changes to your system and keep the session short and sweet. Remove unnecessary fields often to simplify the entire process.
Step 4: Retention
Considered to be the toughest step in this model, perhaps for any business is retaining its customer. It is one of the most challenging tasks in today’s world. Again, there are umpteen ways to maintain a healthy client retention rate. You can follow whichever suits you the best. You can mix and match like Facebook and emails, a better sales team coupled with social media promotions.
Step 5: Referral
Once your buyer is all set, next comes a recommendation or referral. Imagine you try a new restaurant and absolutely loved the dining experience. Won’t you recommend it to your friends and known acquaintances? Yes, you would. Similarly, if a user had a happy and satisfactory experience with your website/app, he will certainly spread the word out to the world.
To motivate your end-user to circulate your business, you can give some freebies such as a discount coupon, referral points, and upgrade to a better plan. Referral schemes are a sure winner in terms of profit.
Step 6: Revenue
For a successful venture, the revenue generated after all the expenses is the key point to determine if it’s a hit or a miss. Take your time to read all the data, and compile it to identify areas that require better focus. Check how your target audience is reacting to any changes in your system.
Find out if they are glad about your service or if there are areas that need a scope for improvement. The whole funnel may look tedious, but it is the most efficient way to rectify your errors at every step of your operation.
Conduct studies frequently to avoid any major losses pertinent to marketing flaws. If you simply adhere to the AAARRR funnel model, the chances of losing users or business opportunities are very minimal.
You can also learn about the best Online Digital Marketing Courses
5 Simple Strategies to Follow for Your Organization
1. Social Media:
In the competitive world we live in, any kind of marketing plan works. With this being the case, social media has become an inseparable part of people’s daily lives. Hence, using social media for marketing is one of the smartest options. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc have a ripple effect that travels miles in the blink of an eye.
Once you start monitoring and posting on your social media accounts regularly, you will have a religious follower base. This will cause a sticky effect on your users. They keep track of multiple marketing moves that involve content management strategies, SEO (search engine optimization) methods, and creative social media ideas.
A separate budget is set up for the Facebook and google ads that are monitored consistently. The growth hacker keeps a close eye on movements happening across all the platforms.
2. Visuals Work Wonders:
Concise information is the need of the hours. It is said that the online attention span of people is hardly a few seconds. However, visuals such as images, graphs, and infographics are a simple yet quick way to grab the reader’s focus. It is easy to retain the viewers by making striking visuals.
Videos are a great idea to keep users from losing their patience. Use short, informative, quirky videos instead of long and slow videos. People are not ready to watch lengthy videos even if it is useful to them. Live streams, Popup live, and embedding videos on the website can also be done.
3. Don’t Miss the Tag:
Experts have a strong opinion about using hashtags. Don’t miss tagging all your media posts, be it blogs, posts, or videos whenever you use them. This is an effective yet tricky method to attract more views. Before using hashtags, here are some pointers.
- Do not overuse it
- Always include your brand name in the tag
- Don’t forget to use related tags that are in trend
4. Stay Classy:
Think out of the box to stand out in the online world. Content is king and unique content is the key to survival. Study your existing users’ patterns to understand which strategy is working and which is not. Don’t forget to read the complaints where you will know about the real-life problems being faced by the app or website. Resolve any technical issues and glitches to make the customers’ experience a pleasant one.
5. There are certain ways in which it is possible to generate fresh leads using ways other than social media. Read some of the easy ways:
- Referral bonuses are a preferred option by many companies.
- Partnerships, attending and hosting conferences, pre-launch email listing, and studying your competition are all methods of keeping your brand thriving constantly.
- Create a sense of exclusiveness which is every client’s favorite by suggesting offers and rewards made specifically for them.
One more interesting approach is to keep the “one metric that matters” (OMTM) in check. Though there are a vast number of marketing tools to choose from, only a few methods will actually work out. These tools are niche-specific, hence thorough research is an integral part of a promotion. After finding the OMTM, the product can be further enhanced to meet the market standards.
Resources Required for Better Understanding
Though you may find ample information online, finding a trustworthy website or a book to understand growth hacking is tough. However, you can find some important pointers to spur your knowledge. A common resource cited by all experts is the growthhackers.com website.
You will get a plethora of ideas through their workshops and mentorship programs. They cater to almost any kind of industry starting from pharmacy to retail. Their world-class team and management tool are key to the success of growthhackers.com. Alternatively, you are free to visit growthhackingresources.com to find many types of resource material.
Many expert bloggers will keep you posted about all the latest developments. Also, for a meager amount, you can then use the complete package consisting of research, website links, images, description, and many more. To become an expert in this area, you surely need to follow Growthhacker TV on YouTube.
Many latest developments, tools, and strategies are discussed constantly which will help you keep updated. There are over 100 episodes from experts broadcasted on their channel. There are multiple books available both online and offline depending on your preference.
Some of the renowned books that will propel your career are ‘The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, ‘Growth Engines’ by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman a few books which will teach you better ideas for better techniques.
For a Quicker and Faster Learning Outcome, You Can Follow the Following Ways:
- Quora has many queries that explain all the critical topics in a simple and layman’s term
- Quicksprout is like a bible written by Neil Patel and Bronson Taylor about all the nuances you need to learn.
- Colibri.IO is also loaded with notes about becoming a good growth hacker.
- Udemy has some courses that will make you a professional hacker sooner.
Also, read about the best Digital Marketing Courses in India
Examples of Growth Hacking
If you look around you, you will end up spotting plenty of organization that has successfully implemented this marketing technique.
Facebook: With over 2 billion users, this platform has got all the right strategies working for it. They keep making small suggestions and notifications which push you to act at some time. Facebook initially encouraged people to add more friends while also collecting personal data and giving more personalized solutions which are hard to ignore. They also give the option of tagging your location and friends to keep up the eagerness.
HubSpot: Eric Peters, a renowned growth marketer helped HubSpot Academy to signup students in large numbers. Emails sent to students were customized by a team of experts which was highly successful.
Slack: An accidental discovery by Stewart Butterfield, Slack is one of the topmost apps for official communications. How did it become a global success? An already famous founding partner made things easier. Also, minimal features, following up user feedback, and organic referrals are some of the reasons for its triumph.
FAQs About Growth Hacking
Q1. Is Growth Hacking expensive?
It is a flexible marketing idea. You can set your own budget and a team of experts. The team can comprise one person and can go up to 100 people.
Q2. Is there any professional course to study growth hacking?
Growth hackers give a comprehensive course for beginners. You can find many online courses to learn the skill.
Q3. Is growth hacking a good career option?
Growth hackers are one of the highest-paid professionals in social media marketing. It is only set to grow manifold as there is no slowing down in this business.
Q4. Are there any eligibility or limitations?
Anybody can become a growth hacker. There is no specific qualification required. The basics of marketing would be an added advantage.
Creativity in marketing has become vital to prevail in today’s fierce competition. You must have the right marketing team and experts who can offer unique content and ideas. Keep trying out fresh concepts that will attract more users. When donning their creative thoughts, start-ups should be aware that change is inevitable to keep the product up to date, perhaps it is unavoidable.
This can range anywhere from a small UI change to a complete user interphase overhaul. For the successful growth of any organization, marketing and sales work hand-in-hand. Depending on the market needs and new products available, the teams should be agile, proactive, and on their feet always. The size of the marketing team doesn’t matter.
The rate of efficacy of the team to observe and steadily implement the changes is key to success. Keeping the social media handles busy and lively is mandatory. Engaging and rewarding your ardent followers will help you reach more people organically rather than through paid promotions. Receive feedback and complaints from your clients seriously to work on it.