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What is growth hacking?

Julianne Leybag
10 August 2017 4 minute readShare
Growth hacking

Growth hacking has become a popular term among start-up businesses, but what exactly is it and how can businesses benefit from this marketing phenomenon? Read on as My Business discusses growth hacking and some of the top growth hacking techniques for businesses.

While growth hacking is a relatively new concept and may seem like just another buzzword in the marketing sphere, it isn’t surprising to see a lot of misconceptions surrounding the term.

Due to its simplicity, cost-effectiveness and its ability to help businesses achieve optimum growth, it had become popular among startups and digital marketers.

What exactly is growth hacking?

What does growth hacking mean and how does growth hacking work? After becoming the go-to person in Silicon Valley when setting up processes and systems that induced growth among businesses, pioneering growth hacker Sean Ellis coined the term in 2010.

Growth hacking puts a premium on business growth, with every process, system and strategy tailored to induce growth. More specifically, growth hacking can be seen as a combination of digital marketing and web development with emphasis on analytics, marketing techniques, product development, social metrics and creativity.

These all give birth to growth hacking strategies that are scalable, effective and profitable without making a significant dent in business finances.

Is growth hacking better than digital marketing?

While digital marketing and growth hacking technically operate on different levels, these two concepts are intricately meshed with each other that the combination of both concepts can actually lead to better results for businesses.

Growth hacking is all about experimentation: by taking risks and by thinking out of the box to implement unconventional marketing techniques,  these strategies can lead to higher growth rates for businesses, additional profits, better market visibility and better competitive advantages within industries.

While growth hacking is similar to digital marketing as far as principles and methods are concerned, what makes them different is the scope of their goals. While the focus of digital marketing tends to be broader and covers all bases in order to help the business boost its market visibility, growth hacking works on a specific set of goals and carries out a set of specific set of tasks to achieve growth.

How can I implement growth hacking in my business?

While growth hacking may seem like a very lucrative strategy for businesses, it is only successful if the strategies strictly adhere to a tried-and-tested framework and are implemented at the right time.

While hiring a growth hacker is usually the easy way to go for businesses who want to achieve optimum growth, learning how to implement growth hacking is undeniably a formidable skill to have especially for business owners.

Here are three growth hacking principles that can be used by both new and experienced business owners:

  • Attract new customers
  • Engage website visitors
  • Acquire and maintain a loyal customer base

Attract new customers

To attract potential customers, there are a lot of ways that are easy and cost-effective at the same time.

Firstly, create digital content that is both optimised and engaging. Digital content must be customised to the needs of the business’ audience—it is important to study the market’s current conditions and pinpoint which market needs can be addressed by the business.

Aside from high-quality content, experiment with graphic design and infographics. While optimised content is definitely a major driver when it comes to growth, leveraging content with visuals that are eye-catching and aesthetically-pleasing can definitely boost site views and overall growth.

High-quality content and graphics can be further leveraged by utilising digital marketing techniques that can increase the number of business customers. Using forum marketing strategies, a business can join a public forum catering to their specific industry to build their online reputation.

However, keep in mind that a lot of people in these forums look for specific answers to their queries and are not looking for companies marketing themselves. Business owners can instead try to answer as many questions as possible, with solutions pointing to services offered by the business.

Engage website visitors

With the number of free web hosting services that abound the internet, it’s almost impossible to encounter a business without a website or a social media account.

Aside from creating an online presence, business owners and growth hackers must also know how to maintain an online presence. They should learn how to make their online presence flourish instead of letting it fade away due to faulty marketing strategies.

If a business has the foresight to include a “Shop Now” tab in their website, then all is well and good. However, as a majority of first-time site visitors aren’t there to immediately avail of the business’ products but are there to explore the business and what it offers, focusing on customer engagement is an important part of any growth hacking strategy.

Growth hackers and business owners can maintain customer engagement by way of email marketing, an easy and fast way for businesses to make their products and services known to website visitors. Instead of directly selling the business’ services, go for soft selling instead—advertise promos, exclusive deals and discounts that can grab the attention of customers and compel them to visit the business’ website.

Acquire and maintain a loyal customer base

In the growth hacking industry, A/B testing or split testing pertains to conducting a series of market experiments that allows businesses to improve their website’s conversion of landing pages based on site visitor responses. This is usually done by businesses who already have a considerable audience base.

While it is virtually impossible for businesses to please the entirety of their audience, they can find out what makes the majority of their customers tick by improving their products and services depending on the preference of the majority.

Once the business gathers the results from the split testing, this data can be used to focus on strategies that further leverage a site page that had performed better against other pages.

What is growth hacking?
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Julianne Leybag

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