I don’t think I need to tell you that 2020 has forced us all to adjust how we live our daily lives and do business. We as a society have learned a lot and have found new ways to do business. But, unfortunately, this knowledge we have learnt doesn’t necessarily translate into a strategy to take with us moving forward. Some of the things we have learnt may not be sustainable as we move forward into 2021 as they were reactive to the climate we were forced into.
The general theme of 2020 was to survive and adapt so that when we got our feet under us again we could rebuild a stronger foundation. Next year we will need to change how we think and what we do to grow. It is not about looking at old strategies and basing new strategies off them. What we have done in the past may not work moving forward. But how are we supposed to plan for a new form of uncertainty? One way to achieve this is through growth hacking.
Growth hacking is the process of rapidly experimenting and implementing different strategies that are focused on rapid business growth. Growth hacking achieves results fast and with minimal expense. The “hacking” part comes with finding clever shortcuts that bring big results.
Key To Success
Growth hackers are typically obsessed with strategies that grow their business and finding new ways to implement and tweak strategies. Through this process, they can squeeze out every last drop of growth before they move on to the next strategy. They start by setting priorities of getting new customers and scaling the business. Next, they develop, implement, track, and test new ideas to achieve this success. The difference between this and normal strategies is the rapid rate they work at and switch between ideas.
Many of these strategies from these types of growth hackers focus on “pirate metrics”, called so because of their initials; AARRR.
It is not only fun to say and call yourself a pirate, but it is also effective. AARRR stands for:
- Acquisition: getting new customers
- Activation: Convincing customers to use the product
- Retention: Keeping customers and reducing churn
- Revenue: Making money
- Referral: Getting current customers to refer new customers
Before You Begin
Before you start there are a few things you need to figure out. You can’t just start blindly throwing darts at a board and hope something hits. You need to know where the dartboard is and then aim for it. The same goes for growth hacking.
Who Are They?
You need to know who your audience is so that you can find them. You are going to need to know some general information about them such as position, experience, demographic area, and depending on your product and industry potentially age, gender, education, etc. Then you need to discover how they would interact with your website. Where on the website they would interact with and their thought process. Finally, you will need to know their values, goals, challenges, and pain points.
Once you have this information, you can build your customer profile(s) and tailor growth marketing strategies to particular buyer profiles.
What’s Their Journey?
Not only do you need to know who your customers are, how they interact with your site, and what their problems are. You also need to know their journey. It doesn’t do much good if you know exactly who you are looking for but you don’t know what path they are on. It becomes a wild goose chase at that point.
Your customer’s typical journey is comprised of:
It is this last one that you need to be present for or else that conversion is going to be for someone else. You want to add customers into your growth funnel and help them through their journey but not bombard them. Everyone has had experience with that one sales rep that was too pushy and you left due to that experience. You want to help them with their information seeking and be there when they need to pull the trigger on a solution.
It’s time to go back to marketing 101. Ensure that all the goals you are setting are SMART. In case you forgot what that is, SMART stands for:
Anyone can say they want to grow a lot and overnight. But without something tangible to track and measure, a time frame, and a specific goal to reach you are just saying words. You must know what you want to achieve and how it contributes to your growth. Then, work out how you are going to measure it and set a time frame for this strategy before you move on.
Now let’s get to why you clicked this post in the first place.
Growth Hacking Strategies
Hack Your Email
There is a reason Email marketing is so readily used. It has a great ROI! For every $1 spent on email marketing your ROI is upwards of $38 and can have an ROI of up to 70:1. With these numbers, it is easy to see why businesses still invest heavily in email marketing. It is also why it is so important to grow your email list. If you are not actively using methods to further grow your email list you are leaving money on the table.
One reason this is such a good growth hack is that you can start doing it for free. There are tools that you can use that are completely free (in low volume) until you get large enough to upgrade. Or even tools that charge a low rate for businesses with a small amount of data. Tools such as Visitor Queue track your website visitors and provide contact information.
Another way you can grow your email list is through lead magnets such as exit-intent popups. For example, if a visitor is about to leave your page you can prompt them with a popup enticing them to stay or fill out your form based on a deal, newsletter subscription, webinar, etc.
Discounts or Incentives
As a growth hacker, you cannot ignore the power of social media or the trusted word of your customers. Using your social networks and popular review sites you can have your customers and audience do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Having your customers either share you/your work on social media or having them leave you reviews is invaluable. It’s the same reason why you look at the reviews on an Amazon product before you buy. You trust those who have used the product/service as the company can say whatever they want, doesn’t make it true.
Now, some do not need a push to share your company on social media or leave you a review, where some others may need some kind of incentive to do so. Offering a reward of some sort can be that slight nudge in the right direction for some consumers. This is a very low cost for your business in comparison to what you stand to receive in terms of new customers.
Do You Want To Play A Game?
Creating games for onboarding is a great growth hack that many companies use (including us). You can reward users for success using the product and keep them interested in sticking around. You can also reward them for having other users sign up and use your service, which helps your business grow faster. Word of mouth from customers is more valuable than what your business says, as discussed earlier.
To use this strategy you will need to create an onboarding workflow that helps users get to know your product. Ensure this content encourages them to spread the word. A good tool for gamifying your onboarding is involve.me. There are plenty of games and activities you can use to engage your audience and it will all depend on where you are placing the game and who your audience is.
Be Helpful For Free
Build an insanely helpful free version of your tool and allow for a full version to be trialled easily. This way your audience is able to see the functionality of the full tool easily and not have to worry about being hounded. But also allow the free version of the tool to be helpful so they can use the free tool until they reach a position where they depend on the tool and now need full functionality.
This is a smart strategy as the tool will meet the needs of your core audience and it will build brand recognition and goodwill. This also adds the correct people to your email list and means you can promote your paid service. This point now reverts back to the first point.
You can’t beat contests as a tool for raising awareness of your company and your products/services. Who doesn’t want a chance to win for doing little to no work?! The catch: you are a winner no matter who wins the final prize. Now you are able to gain awareness, a loyal customer from the winner, and now you have the contact details for those who entered. And those who entered are the ones who could use the product/service.
Now, how can you start this strategy?
- Offer an account prize for a Twitter contest in a simple sweepstake and ensure your contest complies with Twitter’s promotional rules.
- Images work well on Facebook and Instagram, so share an image of your product/service and request likes or comments in exchange for content entries. Again, ensure your promotion complies with Facebook and Instagram guidelines.
- Instagram can also be used for the themed content contest. Link to a hashtag where users tag your Instagram profile. This way you get in front of their audience as well.
Want even more exposure and contact info from this strategy? Let your social media audience and website visitors get multiple contest entries by completing different promotional tasks. Have them listen to podcasts, watch videos, like pages, etc. This way you get them exposed to more content and even if they don’t win they know more about your brand.
Well, there it is. You have some of the best growth hacking techniques to grow your business. It is important to remember that growth hacking is always changing, evolving, and you should be implementing, tracking, and changing strategies often and quickly. This allows you to grow fast and keep growing. Happy hacking!