As the world of technology continues to change typical marketing ways, companies have been on the lookout for innovative methods of growing their numbers. One of these strategies is known as growth hacking, and though the name appears misleading, it is actually a fully legal process involving a combination of technical practices. These include the influence of science, data analysis, advertising, marketing, and engineering. The modern approach has grown popular amongst businesses worldwide as the term ‘’growth hacking’’ is used more and more frequently in the marketing realm. 

In this post, let’s discover what exactly is growth hacking and how you can use it to amplify the size of your business. 

What is Growth Hacking?

The idea of growth hacking is to greatly increase the scale of your company at maximum cost efficiency, within the shortest period of time manageable. It can be perceived as a sort of evolution of what marketing provides, however encompassing different focused methods.

Essentially, growth hacking works by using tools called KPI’s, or for those who are not familiar with the term, Key Performance Indicators. These can be any quantifiable numbers that are then evaluated within a defined time range and manner. In other words, a sustainable way of tracking progress and carrying out experiments, providing reliable analysis that allows for your business to successfully reach the next level. 

In growth hacking, strategies should be sustainable, scalable, and repeatable. Though working closely with experimentation, these are scientifically analyzed and goal-driven,  never a mere shot in the dark.

The difference between traditional marketing and growth hacking

Working with growth hacking and traditional marketing may appear similar, however, each category calls for a different profile of skills. 

Traditional marketing usually demands someone who carries the following background areas:

  • Creative
  • Economic
  • Artistic 

A typical marketer doesn’t do much overviewing. Their decisions are based on guesses that rely mostly on hierarchy and opinions. They are data-informed, however traditional in discovering growth solutions. 

A growth hacker, on the other hand, tends to bring forth a T-shaped kind of skill set. This means being familiar with a large number of topics and dominating a couple of them, including all forms of channel expertise such as content marketing and SEO, marketing foundations such as copywriting, statistics, Html, and A/B testing, as well as solid foundations such as behavioral psychology, storytelling, research, and branding. 

Though it is not necessary to be masterful of each aforementioned skill, having a bit of knowledge about each area is fundamental to making growth hacking successful, as this concept is all about wide experimentation and optimization. 

Growth hacking as a form of business expansion is nowadays very common amongst startups, and many companies have developed an entire growth hacking team that is constantly under action. It is often cheaper and faster than the traditional methods. 

What to focus on when growth hacking

Growth hacking follows a clear line of ideals. These include:

  • Setting a clear objective 
  • Developing professionally intuitive hypotheses 
  • Running experiments to conclude the effectiveness of set hypotheses 
  • Using tools such as analytics, tests and automation 

Following these criteria, the idea is to dig for holes and methods in the current system that provide an opportunity for positive upgrading, and consequently, overall business growth. 

To set a clear objective is foundational; actions always should be taken with a purpose in mind, otherwise, they are merely actions without a directive drive. 

With the participation of experienced professionals, intuitive hypotheses can then be set according to imaginatively calculable expectations. This is crucial because once tests are running through automated tools of analysis, you may compare results between A and B, and the previously set hypotheses can be concluded as either successful or unsuccessful. You may discover what variable impacted the turnout of this idea, and further use this overview to run new experiments. Repeating the process is what then creates room for optimization in every tested area. 

The four steps of growth hacking

The processes of growth hacking are composed of four main breaking points:

  1. Product Market Fit 
  2. The Growth Hack
  3. The Viral Lift
  4. Optimization

Product Market Fit 

The title says it all. This is about creating a product that actually fits the audience’s needs. There must be a clever positioning between your product and the market. 

To make your product victorious, you must first understand the people. What do they need? What do they want? What are their buying habits? How can you best speculate these desires?

Sean Elli’s 40% rule is a great tool to guide you in this process. This is carried out by creating surveys and questionnaires to your audiences, asking them how they would react if your product no longer existed. If at least 40% respond with disappointment instead of indifference, then your product is fit for the market! 

The Growth Hack

This is where everything comes into a deeper ‘’what if’’ question. In this stage, you may ask yourself the following:

  • What would have happened if we did xxxx differently? 
  • What if we added xxx to the product?
  • What if we used xxx tool in the process? 
  • What if we worded things differently?
  • What if we targeted in a different way?
  • How would things turn out instead?

It is through this critical analysis you will get into new ideas for optimization. And those who know to look beyond a stubborn mind realize there is always room for improvement and innovation! 

In what ways can you now adjust your methods according to the test results? What can you create or change that might bring about different results? Continue speculating, continue testing, continue optimizing. This is the idea of growth hacking. 

Tools for Business Expansion

A commonly used strategy is referral marketing. This is using your own customers as brand advocates. Their job is to invite friends to participate in your brand with simple word-of-mouth. In return, they then receive rewards for the inviting action, such as a 5 or 20$ bonus. This is easy to fulfill and a win-win situation for everyone, generating big benefits without much effort on your side of things. Companies such as Uber and Paypal have grown significantly utilizing this technique. 

Other common strategies include content marketing and scarcity principles. Big companies such as Facebook and Linkedin have incredible success stories fueled by a growth hacking mentality, showing just how efficient and viable business expansion can be!

Julia Arguello Busch – Ninja Partners 

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