Growth hacker marketing is a concept introduced by Ryan Holiday, the bestselling author of many books like “Trust Me, I’m Lying, Ego Is The Enemy, The Obstacle Is The Way. Holiday has been one of the biggest buzzwords of the past few years and the future of PR marketing and advertising in the industry. That’s unlikely to change in 2021, which is why so many people ask themselves, “What is growth hacker marketing?
Consultants, marketers, and entrepreneurs view growth hacker marketing as the best way to grow a business or startup company. At the same time, some people even call it “the future of marketing”, but what does it really mean?
Every new online business has to consist of (at least) one developer and one marketer. You need someone to develop the product, and you need someone to put it in the customers’ hands.
Since many startups are run on a tight budget in the early stages, paid marketing campaigns are often out of the question. Instead, marketers need to invest time and capital to grow.
Hacking Growth, authored by Sean Ellis, showed various means of trying a variety of marketing ideas to build an engaged user base as quickly as possible. Serial entrepreneur Neil Patel writes: “Growth hackers understand the latent potential of software products to spread, and it is their responsibility to turn that potential into a reality.”
Whether you are aiming for a successful product launch or you want to grow your business. Companies from Dropbox to Airbnb have successfully used the future of PR marketing and advertising and used hacking growth techniques to make their startups great companies today.
This article will give a clear definition and explanation of what growth hacking is and how it works.
Let’s start with the definition
What Is Growth Hacker Marketing?
You may think that you are a marketer, but the reality it’s important in this modern economy to develop into a “growth hacker.”
So what is a “growth hacker”? A growth hacker is a results-oriented marketer with an obsessive obsession with growth.
More concerned with achieving their growth goal than following prescribed processes, “hacking” (experimenting, adapting, modifying) products and campaigns in search of growth. And like hackers, they learn by testing; a trick is only a good trick if it works in the real world.
A growth hacker is a results-oriented marketer with an obsessive obsession with growth.
Popular with online consumer brands (Uber, Amazon, Evernote, Instagram), “growth hacking” will be the top concern of all marketers if a company is striving for an increase in purchases of their product or service. Growth hacker marketing, a primer on future advertising, argues that only using a street vendor-style test-and-learning approach to generating growth can marketing regain its wits, uses, and purpose.
For a long, we have been consumed under a mountain of brand nonsense: brand adaptation, brand awareness, brand recall, and brand recognition. Marketers should speak the language of business, not that of brands. We need to forget about “vanity metrics,” establish growth as our true north and use evidential value as a guide that is easy to understand.
How to Use Growth Hacking for Success (Examples)
Find a distribution system to hack
In the early days of building a startup company, you need to find an existing sales channel to hack to enable purchases. What is a sales channel? Your target customer will already see what they need here and make a purchase. For example, when Airbnb first launched, they came up with two ways to use Craigslist, which at the time was the number one place where people were temporarily looking for accommodation.
First, Airbnb directed traffic to its listings by encouraging new users to post their listing on Craigslist linked to their Airbnb page. This made two essential things possible. First, as new startups, they didn’t have many people who came straight to the Airbnb page to find temporary accommodation.
They could have paid thousands of dollars to promote their website and find apartment hunters, but instead, they created their free traffic by getting their users to post to Facebook through the Airbnb app with just a few clicks. Of course, they had to invest time in developing this technology, but it enabled them to get traffic to their website right away. Once there, someone interested in the property signed up with Airbnb to contact the advertiser.
This allowed them to increase their customer base and website traffic without spending any money on paid advertising. Then the problem of creating and expanding the inventory offered on the website was resolved by contacting people who post directly on Craigslist and asking them to sign up for Airbnb.
Leverage The Distribution Channel(S) You Already Have
As soon as your startup has gained momentum in whatever industry you are in, you can start using the sales channels available to you. First, you can ask your new user to refer a friend for a reward during the registration process. For example, Dropbox increased new customer signups by 60% when it began offering customers 500MB of additional free space every time they referred signs up for the service.
The referred person also gets the extra space, which incentivizes them to use the referral link instead of simply going to the website and registering themselves. That way, Dropbox can better track the origin of your logs. They then take their user incentive strategy one step further by offering additional storage space when users explore the social sharing features and share information with friends via Dropbox & social media.
They also incentivized sharing photos and videos through Dropbox, which allows them to reach new customers through word of mouth from older customers. With these incentive-based growth hacks, they saw an instant 60% increase in new signups, and that adoption rate has been stable ever since.
Help Your Existing Users Create New Business Channels For You
If you’re in the B2B (business-to-business) space and it doesn’t make sense for you to run a referral program like Dropbox, consider running a referral program like Heap Analytics. With Heap, you can increase the number of visitor sessions they can track for free from 2,000 to 40,000 by simply adding the Heap badge to your website’s footer. This provides instant Heap visibility to all website visitors visiting your users’ websites.
Make Your Brand Exclusive
In the early days of your startup company, you may not be ready to process thousands of new registrations depending on your industry, and you may not want to either. Your product or service may not be tested and ready to use by more than a small group of individuals at the same time. Of course, you don’t want to turn away interested parties.
What’s Your Alternative?
Well, you could collect their data, such as email addresses, and notify them when you’re ready to open your platform to more individuals, but by then, they might have forgotten who you are and why they wanted to sign up in the first place. The best way to handle an influx of traffic that you can’t handle yet is to create a sense of exclusivity. Instead of saying, “Please sign in to be notified when the registry opens,” you can say:
- Membership is now closed
- Ask for an invitation
- Apply to join the community
Using these words that add a touch of exclusivity will help people remember you. You can also use a limited availability/waiting list as a method to increase brand awareness.
The best way to handle an influx of traffic that you can’t handle yet is to create a sense of exclusivity.
Create a Sign Up Frenzy Using Scarcity
Much like exclusivity, scarcity drives subscriptions and sales because people are afraid of missing out. You know, FOMO.
On your startup’s homepage or product pages, try words like:
- Limited offer
- Supplies running out
- Sale ends soon
- Today only
- Get them while they last
Leveraging scarcity to increase conversions is a proven marketing tactic that businesses in most industries of all sizes successfully use.
Here is an example from Williams Sonoma, which used “quantities are limited” to increase sales. Even if there is no limit to your quantities, you can still say that there is a need to increase sales over some time. Unless you’re an eCommerce store, you can promote message scarcity by using messages like:
- Open to X number of people ONLY
- Only X registrations are left
- Registration closes on X [date]
Every three months, registration is made available for a limited time before being closed again, and a waiting list is created.
How To Become a Growth Hacker
What Does a Growth Hacker Do?
Andrew Chen, in his book, believes that, as a growth hacker, you need to work quickly and therefore be as independent as possible. Thus, a growth hacker must be able to program, manage data, and design. You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but you have to understand the basics to do most of it yourself.
As a growth hacker, you need to work quickly and therefore be as independent as possible. Thus, a growth hacker must be able to program, manage data, and design.
It would help if you have a wide range of know-how-knowledge because this is the best way to find your main problem and its cause. Then comes the creativity to find solutions to this problem, and finally, a growth hacker needs technical skills to make these solutions a reality.
“Growth Hackers must have 20% of the total knowledge necessary to do 80% of the job” author Ryan Holiday said; therefore, it is much more efficient to master the basics of primary and general growth hacking skills and possess a large arsenal of growth hacking tools while learning the specific skills in the workplace.
Technical Skills a Growth Hacker Has:
- Build landing pages
- Design and understand colors, fonts, branding, etc.
- Run ads on channels like AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- CSS and HTML basics.
- Use tracking tools like Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and Hotjar.
- And there are several more concepts and approaches, such as conversion rate optimization (CRO), artificial intelligence (AI), web scraping, chatbots, APIs, etc.) that may be used.
A Growth Hacking Mindset
The question “What is growth hacking?” It’s such a tricky question because, above all, growth hacking is a way of thinking / working commonly known as the “growth hacking mindset.”
A growth hacker puts the goal above the means; Growing your North Star Metric is your primary goal, and a secondary channel, technique, or tool is used to achieve it. This is why author Ryan Holiday believes growth hackers need to have a wide range of knowledge and skills.
Having a growth hacking mentality means:
Speed > Perfection: It’s better to see if something has potential quickly rather than building it from start to finish only finding that you misunderstood your customers. You see, this comes back through experimentation.
Make data-driven decisions: You may increase your efficiency by utilizing data. What’s the best place to spend your energy and money to make the most difference? Based on the results of our trials, what change would be most beneficial? Which kind of user is the most important?
Continually improving (both in business and personal): New bottleneck surfaces must be addressed every time your company expands. You develop a high degree of “Learnability” as a result, which means that if you don’t know how something works, you Google it.
How Do Marketers Upgrade Themselves to ‘Growth Hackers’?
Get your PMF Right
Growth hacking starts with product-market fit. The only way to know if your product will meet market demands is to test it out and see what works.
Start with the Press Release rather than the product if you want to get to something that will work. This keeps your attention on the market and not on your firm or its products.
After that, draft a FAQ. Then create a prototype and put it through its paces. For example, before finding a successful solution, AirBnB went through several rounds of hacking and testing (individuals wanted just the bed, not the breakfast).
Find your Growth Hack
By testing and learning, hacking growth discovers a product worth selling. However, once you’ve found a product with an excellent PMF, you’ll need to spread the word about it.
A prototype and pilot method is the best way to determine what works and doesn’t in your marketing. Uber, for example, discovered that offering free vehicle rides during conferences, free deliveries (such as BBQs), and free trip gift cards worked well. Uber has expanded through ‘hacking’ the notion of sampling rather than spending money on expensive advertising efforts.
Viral goods are every marketer’s dream, but a basic science is underlying them. This is what satisfied clients have to say. Provide expectations-beating experiences to promote word-of-mouth if you want your product to become viral (instead of your marketing or ad agency). Growth hackers, on the other hand, can manipulate this process to speed it up.
Make your goods prominent (every Apple Mac is delivered with Apple stickers) and provide a referral scheme to help grow your business. As an illustration, when Dropbox launched its customer referral program, signups increased by 60%.
Retain and Optimize
Growth hacking is a long-term endeavor. To expand a business, you need repeat consumers who will also refer their friends to your product or service. So, from the standpoint of a growth hacker, client retention might be your finest customers acquisition approach.
As a result, a 5% improvement in customer retention usually results in a 30% increase in profitability. Fast-growing companies like Uber place a high value on innovation that improves both the customer’s experience and the return on investment for the firm.
Hopefully, by now, you are envisioning ways to build your startup using these tricks or variations of these tricks that you developed yourself! Growth hacking is Silicon Valley’s best-kept.
Mass market products are different from online software and services – it is much more challenging to test and learn a growth hacking approach when mass-marketed products and campaigns are from large advertising agencies. But growth hacking offers some excellent advice for traditional marketers as well.
The idea that product development and marketing teams should be brought together makes sense for any market-driven brand.