Growth Hacking is one of the hottest and most sought-after skills of today’s startups. But what exactly does it mean? The N-House Community had the privilege of inviting industry veterans, He Rui Ming and Jun Wen Lee to answer that question and more at our weekly Wicked Wednesday entrepreneurship event. Rui Ming is the Creative Lead at 99.co and Co-Founder of The Woke Salary Man, while Jun Wen is a Product and Growth Manager at Card Up.
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth Hacking is a relatively new form of marketing focused on growing reach and following. It is used widely by startups and emphasizes using low-cost and untraditional tactics, that larger companies might not have the flexibility of doing. It is very much a process of trial-and-error, where one can possibly incur failure before finding the tactic that works for a particular scenario.
How Does One Hack for Growth?
Our panelists also shared a few important considerations for growth hacking.
1. Be human — have good EQ and empathy
Your audience wants to be able to relate to your brand. This means companies should avoid complex and technical industry jargon or information. Find a way to keep things simple and deliver the content while injecting your unique personality.
A pro-tip for doing this is to leverage on the latest trending topics in social media and build your campaign around it to gain traction. However, do exercise discretion when trend jacking, and avoid sensitive topics or making fun of people inappropriately.
2. Be a publisher — provide value to your audience
Always think of what value you can provide to your target market. For example, an airline looking to promote its flights to certain destinations could go one step further and compile a list of activities at those destinations.
Being helpful means nothing if your audience can’t find you though. Always strive to be present — that is, always be there when people search for something related to you. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in.
3. Stand for something
If you truly believe in something, don’t be afraid to say something controversial. Many brand’s marketing campaigns tiptoe on the safe side and they are unwilling to offend anyone. As a result, they come off very bland. Growth hackers should strive to do things differently from their competition, to be refreshing while making people feel uncomfortable.
Of course, don’t just offend for the sake of it, but let your audience know that you stand for something for real. The people who agree will love you, the people who will hate what you say will hate you anyway.
4. Build a community
Social media is great tool for doing this. Brands should ensure a good representation of themselves online as this is the perception that people will have of them. Another way to supplement this community building is to get advocates or influencers, host events, or form collaborations.
If your marketing budget doesn’t allow for advocates or events, focus on providing quality content and let people share it for you. One of the most important types of communication is word-of-mouth.
5. Have a product that actually works
After all, no amount of marketing can save a product that is deeply flawed.
B2B Growth Hacking
For the lucky minority, growth hacking comes in the form of creative content that goes viral instantaneously. But for the majority, building channels that are sustainable is important to reach these clients. For small SMEs, segment the channels by structuring the marketing strategies very tightly according to the different industries and customer profiles. Personalization is key in B2B marketing as the conversion for one customer is way more valuable than B2C.
B2C Growth Hacking
Differentiating unsafe material and safe material could impact the brand image and marketing efforts in B2C outreach. Many brands that jumped on a trending topic recklessly has backfired. But these are just part and parcel of marketing efforts. Behind every ten thousand posts posted Mothership or SGAG, there are probably a million other posts that get little views despite the effort. Quoted from Rui Ming “Sometimes you need to throw shit until one stick [not literally]”
Marketing on a low budget
Creative content is still the most reliable marketing technique. People will have naturally share hilarious or interesting content. For example, Jean-Claude Van Damme did the iconic split between two Volvo trucks.
At the end of the day, try to look beyond Facebook Ads as a marketing technique. The algorithm might change overnight and sometimes the numbers might be inflated for selfish reasons. Organizing events and pay attention to SEO can go further than building a logo on Facebook.