Growth hacking is a digital marketing strategy aimed specifically at gaining fast-paced growth, for startup businesses who need a launchpad into the market.
Traditional marketing can have a very broad focus and while it’s extremely valuable for established businesses, it’s not as necessary early in a startup’s life cycle. Startups don’t need someone to ‘build and manage a marketing team’ they need rapid growth and they need it yesterday.
Every strategy, tactic and idea is focused on the task of growing and expanding. Of course, traditional marketers care about growth too, but not to the same extent as a growth hacker. The power of a growth hacker is in their obsessive focus on a particular business goal. By ignoring marketing concepts more relevant to established businesses, they can achieve the one task that matters most early on.
Growth hacking steps
1. Define Actionable Goals
Everything begins by focusing on narrow, actionable goals, which enable the growth hacker to avoid a focus that is so broad it becomes meaningless. Of course the overall goal is growth, but you don’t attain that kind of end-result without breaking it down.
2. Use analytics and metrics to track your goals
Now that you’ve broken your goals down, how do you know if you’re actually achieving them? Are the appropriate analytics or metrics in place? Without analytics in place to measure everything, goals are kind of empty. Furthermore, analytics will give you valuable data which can change your goals in the future as your growth hacking starts to pay off. You could be measuring things like:
- Website traffic
- Daily Active Users (DAU)
- Social media followers and engagements
- Leads and enquiries
- Pay Per Click performance
3. Start experimenting with marketing
In order to achieve certain goals or tasks you may need to experiment; there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to what will work for your particular startup. If you for example want to increase website traffic, then there are many ways in which this can be achieved. You could for example run three different Google ads with wording that targets your market in a slightly different way and see the results of each. You can then run the ads again but in a more similar way (the one which worked) but this time changing something else like the image or call to action. Do you see where I’m going with this? Eventually you’ll end up with an ad which is optimised to help you achieve your goal.
This type of experimenting can be used with different aspects of marketing:
- Search engine optimisation
- Pay per click advertising
- Social media marketing
- Tone of voice
- Email marketing
- Sales techniques
- Calls to action
4. Key performance indicators
Every business has different KPIs that helps them to understand how things are going with their digital marketing. If you are selling for example software subscriptions, a KPI would be how many new subscriptions you have sold that week. Another KPI could be how many people canceled their subscription that week. A KPI is a number that matters to the business for obvious reasons and by simply looking at it you can get a sense of the health of the business at that stage.
5. Learn and adapt
Like with most marketing strategies, you should learn and adapt your growth hacking strategy over time. You can learn from your analytics, testing and KPIs, and adapt your strategy as you go forward – marking off tasks/goals which have been achieved. You’re not expected to get it right first time, it’s rare that anyone does, however, to survive in a competitive landscape and to overcome the perils of business startup, you certainly need to adapt.