Growth hacking or How to make your success explode
Lately, growth hacking became a buzz word. Yet, not everyone who talks about it understands its real power. Some think of it like of a magic wand, which will solve all marketing challenges. The others consider it too hard to use in their processes. Both of them are mistaken to some extent. Even those, who call themselves “growth hackers”, not always are good at it.
To make things clear, I have analyzed the trends for you and compiled the best industry practices together. I hope that by the end of this short guide, you will not only clarify, what growth hacking is. And I want to believe that you will become a top-notch growth hacking expert.
What is growth hacking?
Before getting started with some useful marketing tips, let’s find out first, what growth hacking means. Though the term is relatively newish, there are many interpretations of it. The most precise and complete as we see it, is as follows:
Growth hacking is a quick mixing of various marketing channels and testing the efficiency of each. Usually, the most commonly used channels are cost-effective, e.g. email marketing, social media, viral strategies etc.
Thus, as it comes out from the definition, growth hacker marketing stands out for:
· the speed of implementation;
· high efficiency;
· quick and tangible results.
Sounds pretty nice, for you are not spending too much on advertising. Besides, you can see whether this or that activity is performing well or not at once. As opposed to traditional marketing approaches, growth hacking contributes to higher conversion rates. That happens because you can define your customers’ attitude to your ads instantly. And the best thing about it is that you can immediately adapt your key messages and strategy according to that feedback. Sure, if you manage to properly process it.
Now that we are done with the definitions, let’s proceed to the most common marketing rules. By the way, they are obligatory to follow if you want to become a true growth hacker.
What comes first — content marketing or SEO?
The eternal holy war between content strategists and SEO experts seems to have no ending. The first ones claim that content is the king. The second ones continue to state that search engine optimization is prior. We won’t try to arbitrate them; we’ll just have a look at each of the tools.
How to make the most of the content marketing?
Growth hacking is hard to imagine without content indeed. No one will deny that how you describe your products and services is of no less importance than the products and services itself. If you manage to produce truly engaging and fascinating story, it will definitely spark lively customers interest. Here is a small list of content marketing tips, which define an ideal piece of information for your users:
1. Be concise. Don’t try to retell them “War and Peace”. At least, if you do not have some Easter Egg hidden behind each word. Otherwise, they will fall asleep on the first page. Or shut down your website and unsubscribe from your newsletters forever. To avoid that, follow the next steps:
· Tell them just what you want to say and what they want to hear. No more, no less.
· Try to put any idea into maximum 5 words. If it doesn’t fit 5 words — it’s a bad idea.
· Remember, that everything can be cut down even more. Not only your budgets.
2. Provide value. That is so obvious. And still, so many marketers (unfortunately, growth hackers as well) fail to bring that value to their customers. The trouble seems to be that they are looking at themselves, rather than looking at customer needs. Undoubtedly, you are nice, so are your products and services (otherwise you wouldn’t have launched them). But your customers don’t want just see, how beautiful you are. They want to see, how your products and services solve their pain points. Go ahead, tell them about it! You will be really surprised with the outcome.
3. Be clear. “One year ago, me and a friend of mine have been drinking some tea at my place…” What? What do you want to say? Now we’ll tell you the horrifying truth: nobody wants the pre-history. Everyone wants to see the results. What is more, the results, which will be beneficial for this very person (see point 2). Forget about telling your customers what color of dress or suit you were wearing on, when an idea to create your product came. Let them neither get lost in the amounts of information nor guess, what you have meant.
Is SEO that important?
How many pages in Google do you usually surf, before finding the necessary link? The research, conducted by Mediative proves, that 76% of searchers click only on top 4 links they found. You may have the best blog or website, lagging on the last search pages. So, who will look for it? And how the people will know that you have the best products and services if they even haven’t found them?
That’s why SEO is an inevitable part of growth hacking. Show up or die, that’s it. So, have a look, what SEO tips you can acquire to make your awesome content visible:
1. Use metadata properly. Choose relevant keywords only, write the right titles, provide descriptions that really reflect the page contents. And try not to overload pieces of information with keywords. Always mind that you are writing for people, not for machines. It means you shouldn’t put it this way: “buy the [best product ever] for the cheapest price for the [best product ever] and find the best product ever in [my location]”. Are you serious? No one will read this sentence to the end, I hope. I’ve tried to and almost died. Don’t ever repeat it in real life if you want to stay safe and sound.
2. Optimize for mobile devices. Currently, there are 4.61 billion mobile phone users. Each of them could be your potential customer. You won’t want to miss anyone, will you? Here’s why you should double-check your website looks good on smartphones and tablets.
3. Use images. You will prefer to look at a pretty girl or kitten rather than reading the boring text (even if you really need that text), yeah? Believe it or not, your customers love pictures as well. The relevant image, inserted into the article or blog post, simplifies the way they perceive the information. And even if the people won’t like the information — don’t mind. All in all, kittens are just cute ;)
What other tips do you have for me?
Yaaaaaaaaay! Why are we so happy? Because, if you have read it up to this point, you are at least alive. What is more — you are right, we have some extra internet marketing tips, which will help you to succeed in growth hacking. Not to drag feet, here they are:
Tip #1: Spread the word about yourself, using different social media platforms. Don’t hesitate to research, what platform your customers use most often and be there! Engage them with great videos, lovely images and valuable pieces of information. Do everything possible to make them share.
Tip #2: Apply A/B testing to your website and mailing campaigns. The clickthrough rate will hint you, what content your customers prefer most. Test everything you want — call to actions, headlines, pictures, the text itself and even colors. And may the best man win.
Tip #3: Use mobile app marketing to the fullest. According to Flurry research, 90% of the time on mobile is spent in apps. Looks impressive, huh? Maybe the time is now to think about creating your own app? If not, consider promotion via the existing ones.
Tip #4. Support the existing customers with targeted emails. To marry doesn’t mean to be happy, right? So many companies give up on their existing customers while pursuing the new ones. Don’t be one of them. Cheer your customers up with relevant emails. Show them you love and need them. They will feel comfortable by knowing that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Tip #5: Make your content go viral. It’s the icing on the cake of growth hacking, though the toughest one. Such content — be that videos, articles or small ads — must evoke emotions. Such content should cause an irresistible desire to share it with friends. It really needs some efforts to create that piece of information. But, believe us, it is worth doing.
That’s just a small piece of marketing tips — partially adopted from the others, partially based on our own experience. In fact, what we love most about growth hacking is its flexibility. You have virtually no limitations for experiments with different activities, tactics, and channels. You can combine them, use them alone or switch between them within minutes. And each one will benefit to your commercial success in its own manner.
I hope these pieces of advice were useful for you and suggest you to share, what experience have you had by trying some of them? Subscribe to my Medium page to get monthly portion of hints that will fuel your marketing strategy. Or check out some social media hacks I’ve prepared for you previously!