Growth Hacking is the use of ideas and cost-effective marketing tactics to help grow a business, retain an active user base, sell more products and gain better exposure—the term ‘Growth’, as simple as it sounds means to grow or scale a subject. And the term ‘hack’ is the idea or innovation behind the Growth. Or you can think of ‘Hacking’ in terms of life hacks – those little shortcuts that make your life easier.
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Growth Hacking is most commonly associated with online start-ups and small businesses. However, it’s a scalable concept which applies to any business (Online or offline) keen to maintain the Growth and retention of an active user base.
In simple words, Growth Hacking applies to all kinds of business wherever the business needs an idea or innovation to leapfrog in profits and customer acquisition/retention.
The diagram below shows that Growth Hacking is a subset of three things: Marketing, data and tech.
How does Growth Hacking Work?
It’s a common question asked by many individuals and marketers on Reddit and Quora. So here is the answer: For each company, it’s about figuring out why you grow, and looking for ways to make that happen.
Because it’s quite vast and requires a lot of technical knowledge, the process is hard to articulate in just a few words. But raising awareness, bringing customers into consideration stages and finally bringing them on an engagement stage is a key part of Growth Hacking. Either way, the point is to get traffic and visitors, turn visitors into users, and retain those users as happy customers. By whatever legal means you do it is up to you.
How to Start Growth Hacking?
First of all, create your product and test to make sure people want it, and are willing to pay for it. Perform crucial marketing activities to help you gather data to understand your key buyer personas and behaviour, so you can target Growth Hacking tactics accordingly.
Look at these steps here:
- Defining the objective- E.g. Increase sales and reduce marketing budget by 80%.
- Analysing the data- E.g. The past six months of marketing spend suggests that all ATL activities are not generating significant revenue.
- Change in strategy - E.g. Let’s stop all ATL marketing activities.
- Brainstorming new ideas - E.g. Park at least ten new marketing ideas.
- Testing - E.g. testing one idea at a time (Rope in an influencer and conduct webinars to create better product awareness)
- More analysing and testing and the process continues….
These steps can give you a minute gist of how Growth Hacking looks like.
Update your product at regular intervals with the help of customer feedback, so you always know if you’re on the right track. At the same time, market your product with different ways to foster continued Growth, and track the success of those results. Testing, analysing and implementing are key steps of Growth Hacking.
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Skills Needed For Growth Hacking
Growth Hacking demands sound technical knowledge, quick thinking, strong analytical skills and good command in the digital space (Website, Data, SEO, Content, Design, etc.). A Growth hacker does not have to be an expert in everything but has to understand the basics of all to be able to execute and lead the process. Here are all the qualities listed in T-Shape:
Here are some of the great examples of Growth Hacking:
Before becoming the world’s leading cloud storage system, Dropbox had to struggle to acquire each customer. In the start, Dropbox was paying somewhere between 250 to 300 dollar per customer acquisition. At the same time, the services they were offering were only 99 dollars per year. In crux, this marketing strategy was a complete failure.
Then Dropbox came up with the Growth Hacking strategy - Referral programs. Rest is history. It was a great success, and Dropbox grew from 100,000 users in late 2008 to 40 lakh users in early 2010. In just two years, the number of customers blasted and the strategy became viral.
Note: As soon as a Growth Hacking strategy becomes viral, all other competitors try to replicate it. Hence the shelf life of any such strategy is not long.
Craigslist was at a time the most extensive forum where people could rent a house. Airbnb used this insight quite effectively. Airbnb began to place their offer on Craigslist’s platform with a link to their platform for potential tenants who sought more information. So in a way, they redirected all the customers to their website without even knowing Craigslist. And when Craigslist found about this, it was already too late.
Hotmail was the first free email provider in the world, but at a time when neither social media channels nor any viral messaging apps were present, spreading awareness about Hotmails’ free service was tough. So to make people aware of their free service, Hotmail used a fantastic Growth strategy.
At the bottom of all the emails from their users, Hotmail placed the phrase ‘P.S. I love you’ with a link to its website. As soon as recipients visited the website and saw that Hotmail was free, they switched to Hotmail. (After all, nobody wants to pay for Emails. Right!)
The world’s most favourite social media platform is undoubtedly one of the best Growth hack examples in today’s digital space. Let’s take a look at FB’s strategies.
Firstly, they encouraged people to add their friends and family so that they can share content within their circle on Facebook. Secondly, Facebook sent emails to their friends and family, inviting them to create an account with Facebook.
It intrigued many people. They had a chance to create an online circle and that too for absolutely free where some were just curious to know what happens once they sign up and others just wanted to get connected to old pals and relatives.
Both ideas worked and look, where Facebook has reached now.
5. HubSpot Academy
Hubspot Academy is also one of the smartest examples of implementing a Growth Hacking strategy. An insight from HubSpot’s experimentation suggested that the status bar helped users discover new certification courses. Eric (The lead Growth hacker) and his team used different colours to highlight ongoing, completed, remaining and expired certifications. The team also added a status bar to the emails of registered students so each individual would see their progress on various certifications. And this simple idea increased the number of certifications by 18%.
Though there are no Growth Hacking tools, in particular, you can still visit Growth Hackers to experiment with your ideas and make a proper arrangement of all. And if you want to learn all about Growth Hacking Growth Tribe, A e-learning company from the Netherlands, is providing the most extensive and successful course on their website.
In case, you need more help with growing your business, just get in touch with our growth experts at Seagull Advertising. Visit www.seagulladvertising.com for more information.