What is Growth Hacking?
In order to gain success in an increasingly saturated market, you must ensure your brand stands out. To achieve this individuality, you must find a gap in a market, find a solution to fill the gap, and go nuts.
Growth. We hear it all the time. The thing is, though, most of these processes and methods to help your company grow cost a fortune if you’re contracting assistance from an outside source. Or, perhaps you’re attempting to execute an idea that in the end will push you over budget (we’re looking at all of you, Startup owners).
Growth Hacking is somewhat of a happy medium; a nice meeting of the two, right in the middle.
Growth Hacking is a relatively new term coined by Sean Ellis, entrepreneur and, eventually, CEO of the company he created named after the concept itself: ‘Growth Hackers’. The concept itself primarily encourages businesspeople to strategize and methodically find a way to “...acquire as many users or customers as possible while spending as little as possible” (optinmonster.com). Spend as little as you can while having the most significant impact and retrieving the highest possible profit.
You’re currently utilizing one of our Growth Hacking methods right now. Can you guess what it is?
How can we apply it to our business?
Get everyone involved. Create things that can be shared, reposted, and moved to extend your company’s reach as far as possible.
We recently wrote about Design Thinking and how beneficial it can be when incorporated into marketing and entrepreneurship in general (<-- that was a Growth Hacking method, by the way). We found that by applying the Growth Hacking method to Design Thinking, the outcomes end up being much more valuable due to the personalization of the curation. Design Thinking consists of an intricate process to create something that will satisfy your customers because it was created with the customers’ needs at the forefront of its design. If you implement something that was made with the customer in mind, where could you go wrong?
Using the Design Thinking method to help birth ideas for Growth Hacking will ultimately lead to the ideal method of creating an idea to help everyone, while still allowing your business to stay afloat, financially.
For example, Tesla motors was created for the notoriously saturated automotive market. More specifically, it was curated toward the environmentally conscious , but still luxury seeking consumer. And yet, despite not being the first fully-electric car in the industry, they managed to become the leading one due to their emphasis on luxury combined with high-level technology. Of course, the conceptualization and execution of the Tesla vehicles came with many complexities and caveats, but the company still became extremely successful because they created something that people didn’t even know they wanted or needed. Nor did they know if it was even possible.
The key to Growth Hacking is discovering a method that suits your company and will provide you with extreme growth at a minimal cost. In addition, whatever you decide to create has to be an entity that will grow continuously throughout its existence.
Firstly, you need to find a method to reach your customers while simultaneously ensuring that it will be one that they enjoy.
A great example of a Growth Hacking device was implemented a few years ago by none other than Facebook. The implementation of mentions throughout the platform was a breakthrough for social media in general. It allowed people to constantly include and invite their friends to see what they’re looking at, or just to the site in general (NeilPatel.com).
If you introduce something new to your company and it is not received well by your audience, your entire brand and its reputation are on the line. For example, in 1985 Coca Cola introduced ‘New Coke’ (simply just a reformulation of the same ‘original’ Coke) to help compete with Pepsi. After being completely rejected by Coca-Cola fans, they removed it from the shelves as quickly as they could. The worst part, though, is the fact that this operation wasn’t cheap. And because it flopped and was so unsuccessful, it was more than a detriment to the brand than anything. Because the brand was already huge at the time, it was a survivable mistake. However, not all companies get so lucky. New Coke was created spitefully, to compete with Pepsi. It was not created with their consumers in mind. This is an excellent example to keep in mind as a lesson and not one to follow...
Growth Hacking in Marketing
Your goal is to have your company be the most successful and have the most reach possible, no? The key to igniting (punny) the flame to get you on your way is growth. You need to grow in all directions: online, offline, in all demographics, on all platforms, outlets etc. Start with something simple, like adding a share button to a video on your website. It’s completely free, and can do absolutely nothing but spread the words about your brand.
- Content marketing: creating interesting blogs relative to your industry but applicable to all.
- Be available on all platforms, so your content can be shared everywhere. The platforms are free!
- SEO: Search Engine Optimization, share content scattered with relevant keywords to help boost your website to the front page of google. You want to be one of the first sites they see.
- Be friendly :) It will rub people the right way and provide friendships easily, therefore leading to potential collaborations.
- Use quotes, articles, information sources, etc. from other influencers or companies that you admire in your website’s content. Contact them letting them know that you’ve cited their content, too. Making friends and staying relevant. A win-win!.
While we’re here on the topic of ~free things~, we published an article containing several free resources if a marketing agency is out of your budget. You know, just to help you get started. :)
There are so many methods to use in order to gain reach without spending a dime. The fact is, though, you might have to invent someone your own. And you know what? All the better if you do.