Powerful Digital Marketing Strategies: Growth Hacking Part 1
If you look into digital marketing a bit, chances are that you will find a number of buzzwords that really say very little and mean even less. However, one of the words that you are going to have to remember when involved in digital marketing is “growth hacking.”
Born Out Of Necessity
While the definition of the concept depends on whom you talk to, it all comes back to a single thing – growth hacking means that you focus on innovative and low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing. This was not done because it was ‘cool’, but growth hacking was born out of necessity. Remember that a startup is very much different from a corporation.
If you are just starting out, you do not have the funds necessary for a massive specialized marketing team. You do not have a marketing budget with room for error. This means that you have to look for customers in the most repeatable and most affordable way possible. This lead to the development of growth hacking.
It is important that we still look at a growth hacker as someone involved in marketing. However, the tools that they work with and the challenges that they have to tackle are completely different. These are a few of the differences between the established corporations and a startup:
- Startups have extreme uncertainty – When you are working with a startup, chances are that you do not have an idea who your core customer base is. You might not know who is going to buy your product or use your service (if anyone will at all), and what marketing channels are best to reach your audience. Most of the time, the established companies have this figured out already. While corporations are trying to find ways to make their marketing efforts more effective, a startup has to make sure that it even gets off the ground.
- Startups are created to grow (quickly) – While a corporation would be happy with a 5 percent growth on a yearly basis, startups are intended to grow upwards of 20 percent each month. Corporate marketing staff members have a mature business that they want to keep developing, startup marketing means that you have to look at a much smaller base and build that number a thousand times over.
- Startups simply lack the resources – Not only does your startup lack the resources, it also lacks the same brand equity that large corporations have. This is rather self-explanatory. When compared to an established company, you are less well known and have less money.
This leads to the term ‘growth hacking’. This means that as a company, you use creativity, product engineering and analytical thinking in an effort to increase your core metric(s). As you can undoubtedly comprehend, you need someone with expertise in order to be able to fully utilize this strategy.
Some Examples Of Growth Hacking
Before we talk about what you can do to help elevate your potential in our second article, we want to give you a few examples of growth hacking at work. It might be nice to learn a bit more about what this can offer you if you are willing to put in the work. These are some of the success stories:
- LinkedIn – Anyone in marketing knows that one of the things that people love hearing the most is their own name. LinkedIn managed to grow from 2 million regular users to around 200 million users, all by allowing people to search for their own name. By creating a public profile, you could literally Google your own name and be found online. This gives an instant sensation of self-worth, which makes people return.
- Airbnb – During its growth hacking phase, Airbnb used e-mail marketing to continue to grow. They did not use a great deal of advertising, instead relying on tech blogging and word of mouth. They found an established concept (Craigslist) and told people that were already posting on Craigslist that they should list on Airbnb instead. Giving users the opportunity to post their properties automatically in both platforms.
- Twitter – The story of Twitter is one of the best examples of growth hacking. Twitter realized that people were signing up in droves, but were not sticking around for more than a few days. As a result, Twitter decided to invest in itself. It changed the interface around to match the desired user experience. It rebuilt the entire system around what it discovered in these tests. One of the ways that Twitter changed things around was by discovering that people were more likely to stick around if people had around 5 to 10 accounts to follow in their first day on Twitter. This is why you are now immediately recommended a number of different users to follow when you sign up.
There are many examples of growth hacking and how it managed to influence digital marketing. However, you might be more interested in learning how it can benefit YOU. For that, you will have to stick around for our second part.
What do you think? Please join the conversation by leaving a comment below.
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