If you work in the marketing sphere, you understand how important it is to expand your company's audience and boost your online visibility. While retaining your existing customers is also an essential goal, growth is usually a top priority for small and mid-sized businesses.
One of the best ways to meet this objective is to implement growth hacking tactics, which are marketing strategies that aim specifically to increase sales. You should understand what growth hacking is, why it matters, and what techniques you can incorporate into your marketing strategy to achieve the best results.
What Is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking is the rapid testing and implementation of a variety of techniques with the goal of generating leads and increasing conversions. These tactics involve advertising, design, development, and analytics, so a growth hack plan is an all-encompassing marketing campaign.
A growth hacking campaign is usually an intense, short-lived strategy that involves experimenting with a wide variety of tactics. As soon as you have an idea of which techniques work for your brand and which don't, you discard the unhelpful plans and focus on the effective ones.
The goal is to achieve as much growth as possible in as little time as possible. Growth hackers are less concerned with long-term results and more interested in achieving immediate success. Then, this initial increase in customers and sales can help propel the company into a more measured, sustainable marketing strategy.
Is Growth Hacking Still Relevant?
Online marketing is a constantly evolving field, so marketers sometimes wonder if growth hacking is still a relevant and worthwhile strategy. Although the phrase isn't quite as trendy as it was a few years ago, growth hacking tactics are just as helpful now as they were in the past. They might even be more relevant now than ever because of how competitive the internet has become for entrepreneurs.
Growth is essential for practically all companies, but it's especially important for small and new businesses. When your brand is barely generating enough sales to sustain itself, you have to work quickly to increase conversions. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs go out of business within just a few months because they haven't achieved the growth needed to pay their bills. A growth hack strategy can help you outpace your competitors and establish your presence in your industry, which lays the groundwork for future success.
What Skills Do Growth Hackers Need?
Growth hackers are marketing experts, but not all marketers are growth hackers. The job requires a unique combination of creativity, intensity, and attention to detail. If you hope to create and implement a successful growth hack campaign, you should be prepared to embody these qualities.
One of the most important characteristics of a growth hacker is the ability to think outside the box. The goal is to beat the competition, so if you can only come up with strategies that everyone else is using, you won't stand out from the crowd. To growth hack effectively, you should use your knowledge and experience to create unique, unusual marketing ideas for your business. Although not all of these ideas will deliver results, you should be unafraid to try them out until you find the one that works.
A strong sense of perseverance is key for growth hackers, too. A growth hack campaign requires an extreme amount of effort and dedication for a fairly short amount of time, so you should be willing to devote yourself to the job while you experiment with different tactics. Growth marketers don't get discouraged when an idea fails. Instead, they find a learning lesson in the experience and continue on with the next strategy.
Examples of Growth Hacker Tactics
A number of well-known brands have successfully used growth hacking tactics to gain notoriety. Here are three famous examples:
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club's marketing team is behind one of the most famous brand-related viral videos of all time. Their ad, which has received more than 27 million views on YouTube, uses irreverent and unexpected humor to advertise their razors.
This video was certainly risky as some viewers might be put off the dark humor. However, Dollar Shave Club knows their target customers, and they trusted that most of their audience would love the video. Their team was right, and their sales skyrocketed after the ad launched.
Hotmail's growth hack strategy took place much earlier than most other viral campaigns, but it was highly effective nonetheless. At the end of every email, Hotmail included the default signature line, "PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail." Readers who clicked on the link were directed to the sign-up page so that they could create their own Hotmail accounts.
This simple line was eye-catching enough that it encouraged millions of users to sign up for Hotmail. Throughout the 2000s, Hotmail was the biggest email provider on the web.
When Uber launched, it completely disrupted the traditional yellow cab industry. The main factor behind its massive success was its referral marketing strategy. Existing users earned a credit for each customer who signed up with their code, and new customers earned a credit for signing up with a referral code. This created a strong incentive for users to promote the app, and it brought a wave of new customers to the business.
A more recent example would be Clubhouse, which rose to popularity in 2020 and 2021. The social audio app combined its unique offering with exclusivity to attract new members at an astounding pace. The only way to join Clubhouse was to be invited by another member. Being part of an app and social network that not everyone could use made it feel more exciting and unique.
The Best Growth Hacking Tips for Marketers
The best growth hacking tactics for your brand will depend on your industry, your product or service, and your target demographic. You should be prepared to test several strategies before you find the one that launches your brand into widespread growth.
Here are eight growth hacking tips to boost your sales in 2022:
1. Niche Social Media Platforms
Having a presence on the main social media platforms is critical, but one way to beat your competition is to focus your marketing efforts on niche social websites. These platforms are often dedicated to a specific industry, so you can ensure that your content is being viewed by people who are interested in your product or service. For example, The Dots is a networking website for artists and creatives, and Stack Overflow is a popular platform for IT professionals.
2. Collaboration With Other Companies
Partnering with another company is a mutually beneficial strategy that has the potential to double your audience overnight. If you sell physical products, you could collaborate with another brand by bundling your products. Alternatively, you could keep your collaboration digital by writing guest posts on each other's blogs.
The key is to work with a company that's relevant to your niche, which ensures that much of their audience will be interested in your business. However, the company should be distant enough from your brand that you're not in competition with them.
3. Creative Content Marketing
Making content is a core component of any marketing strategy. When it comes to growth hacking, you should focus on unique and creative content. For example, interactive content is an excellent way to engage with your website visitors and help them learn more about your brand. You could offer quizzes or questionnaires that reveal the perfect products for them, or you could even create an interactive game or video for your website.
Video content is more popular than ever, too, and it provides an opportunity for you to showcase your brand's personality. Long videos are effective for giving tutorials on your products, but short-form video content is best for grabbing the attention of a new audience. Don't be afraid to embrace humor in your video content. You should be true to your brand image, but making viewers laugh is one of the best ways to ensure they remember your company.
User-generated content can boost engagement and attract new customers, too. For example, you could create a hashtag for your audience to share their photos or videos on social media. Another option is to host a contest so that your customers can showcase their creativity.
4. Influencer Marketing
People trust the social media influencers they follow, so investing in influencer marketing can be a great way to expand your audience. Reach out to influencers who are highly active and revered in your industry. It's typically better to work with an influencer who has a smaller platform as they tend to have more loyal and dedicated audiences. You can offer a promo code as an incentive so that customers who hear about you from the influencer get a discount.
Customers love freebies, so offering gifts is one of the best growth hacking tactics. Keep in mind, though, that being too generous with your gifts could backfire and reduce your profits. The goal is to offer an enticing gift that doesn't majorly impact your bottom line.
A social media giveaway can bring attention to your brand and increase your follower count. Companies usually require that the participants follow, comment, or share a post, which boosts engagement and improves your visibility on the platform. Another creative growth hack is to include a small gift when new customers make their first purchase.
6. Free Tools
Helpful, free tools bring traffic to your website. From there, a portion of these users will continue to explore your brand's content, and some of them will become customers. If your tool becomes popular enough, it can lead to a dramatic increase in brand recognition and conversions.
Think of a problem or question that many people in your industry face. Then, brainstorm ways to offer a solution to this problem via a free tool. For instance, this could be a comprehensive infographic with useful data, or it could be a quiz that helps the user find the right product for their unique needs.
7. Short Opt-ins
Getting users to sign up for your email list or mailing list can be difficult, but it's an excellent way to make a long-term connection with potential customers. To encourage more people to sign up, make your opt-in form as short as possible. Don't ask for a full name or a phone number unless it's absolutely necessary, and make the information simple and straightforward. The easier it is for a website visitor to sign up, the more likely they'll be to complete the form.
8. Community Events
If you operate a brick-and-mortar business, connecting with local customers in your community should be one of your main priorities. While the internet is an incredibly valuable resource for marketing, you shouldn't underestimate the importance of face-to-face contact with potential customers. Local fairs and markets are great opportunities to showcase your brand in-person. You can also seek out industry-specific conventions in your area.
Launch Your Next Growth Hacking Campaign
Growth hacking may seem like an overwhelming process, but it can be an effective strategy for achieving exponential growth. If you work with a small or emerging business, you need to think outside the box to find innovative techniques for growth. Once you find the campaign that sets you apart from the competition, you can focus on maintaining your customer base and planning for long-term success.