Growth marketing or growth hacking has been around for years, especially among startups. The question is do all modern marketers know what it really means, and are they aware of how to leverage it outside the startup frame?
Scaling a business has many challenges, and learning the best strategies to help you grow your company quickly and efficiently is what successful growth hacking strategies are all about. In fact, it’s an agile approach to marketing and business growth, whose goal is to create and establish a nuanced marketing mindset – one that’s innovative, creative, efficient and low-cost.
By creating your own growth marketing strategy, you will be able to leverage current market trends to find better ways to meet your audience’s specific needs.
If you feel like it’s time to reassess and adjust your goals, or simply spice up your campaigns, then this article is for you.
The Growth Hacking Pillars
Growth hacking is a term created to describe the process of growing a business using creative, innovative and low-cost tactics – i.e. hacks, to make your marketing efforts more efficient.
At first glance, building a growth hacking strategy may seem intimidating. However, it’s an essential tool for any business that wants to make the most of all its resources. Once you understand it and learn how to leverage it, you’ll be able to reap the results.
Here are the five growth hacking pillars you need for your growth marketing strategy.
- Analyze Your Current Marketing Initiatives. Do a comprehensive audit, so you can determine the best marketing channels and sources of web traffic, leads, and page views.
- Pick Areas for Improvements. Set specific and achievable goals.
- Find the Best Way to Reach Your Goals. Think about different ways to reach your objectives and how you can experiment with them to find the one that works best for you.
- Collect Enough Data. Run your experiments until you’ve collected statistically significant results. Then evaluate your findings and continue optimizing the process until you reach your desired goal(s).
- Document and Share Your Findings. If you come up with a great growth marketing hack, share it with your team.
If you’re used to traditional marketing methods all this experimenting can seem overwhelming. However, to improve your efforts you need to test the variables to see which ones work best.
Now, let’s see how you can use the key growth hacking pillars to refresh your marketing strategy.
1. Engage in Referral Marketing
Your overall growth hacking strategy should focus on maximizing lead generation and conversion, as well as customer retention and lifetime value. One of the most effective ways to do this is by leveraging referral marketing.
According to Forbes, referrals are the stand-out winner of marketing tactics with the highest ROI, succeeding email and inbound marketing, and PPC ads. In fact, recent research by Review42 has discovered that:
- As many as 92% of customers trust a referral when it is from someone they know.
- Leads from referrals have a 30% higher conversion rate compared to other channels.
- People referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate.
- The lifetime value of referred customers is 16% higher compared to non-referred.
Referrals are highly beneficial for your business growth. They expand your brand’s reach in both a casual and more formal way. Customers can refer peers from the same industry, or they could also refer friends and family, who could be involved in a different industry. Either way, referrals come with a lot of trust, making them an invaluable asset in your marketing growth strategy.
Here are a few growth hacks to leverage referrals successfully:
- You can create a great customer experience with exceptional customer service.
- Focus your attention on your analytics data to find more opportunities for acquiring new traffic.
- Design a shareable product with a shareable user experience.
- Make the referral process easy and accessible.
- Nudge your customers with a referral program.
- Capitalize on social mentions and collaborations with influencers in your niche.
2. Partner with Influencers
When it comes to building your brand, collaborating with influencers is a powerful growth hacking strategy. Social proof and word-of-mouth are crucial to a successful marketing strategy and are also the reason why influencer marketing works so well.
Customers trust friends, peers and people they admire much more than the businesses that sell them the product they use. When done right, influencer marketing can help increase awareness. In fact, according to HubSpot, 49% of customers today rely on influencer recommendations when making a purchase decision, and 71% of marketers admit that there’s a better quality of traffic and customers from influencer marketing compared to other sources.
Here are some tips on how to find and partner with influencers:
- Determine your influencer marketing goals and make sure they fit with your overall marketing strategy.
- Be clear about who you want to influence and create target personas.
- Understand the rules and legal guidelines of influencer marketing.
- Always come back to the three Rs – relevance, reach, resonance.
- Do your research and start slowly communicating with potential influencers by engaging with their posts.
- Collaborate with them to create the promotional content so it supports both their brand and yours.
Whether you own a startup or a small business partnering with credible influencers in your niche is a great marketing growth strategy to take advantage of. It is also much more budget-friendly because they already have an established following, which can be a good potential customer base for you.
3. Give Your Content Strategy an Edge
An effective growth marketing strategy includes a competitive content marketing strategy with a special focus on customer feedback and the ease of product marketing. Not only do you need to have a great product, but you also need to market well. This means that your content should be very attractive to your audience, highly engaging, and easy to share.
The key phrase you should take from here is shareable content. The best way to get your message across properly is to nudge your customers into sharing it themselves.
This will help you secure a fool-proof way to spread your brand’s mission, vision and values, much faster while increasing your target customer base. What is more, it’s a great cost-effective way to boost your site traffic, grow your leads, and increase your sales.
Not sure how to make content that is truly impactful and shareable? We have some tips for you:
- Create quality, expert and detail-rich long-form content (blog posts, case studies, webinars).
- Repurpose long-form content into digestible posts to share across your social media profiles.
- Establish positive emotions to encourage higher share volumes.
- Surprise your audience by teaching or showing them something they didn’t expect.
4. Create Urgency
Since the main goal of any marketing growth strategy is to help your business scale faster, and one of the most successful ways to achieve this is by mastering the art of emotionally incentivizing prospects to take action. A tactic that uses urgency to exploit people’s fear of missing out (FOMO).
Why does this work? Generally, when a task is urgent people are more likely to take action quicker, and this is even the case when urgency is artificially created.
According to Smart Insights, to appeal to your audience’s FOMO you need to combine two elements. First, you need to make your product really desirable. Second, you need to create scarcity with an exclusive offer, like a limited number of products available, or a limited time to purchase the product/service at a discount.
Done right, you will be able to significantly shorten your sales cycle. Moreover, you can appeal to impulse and frequent buyers, which can increase your product’s demand and generate sales that otherwise may not have happened.
Here are a few tactics you can use to create urgency with your marketing growth strategy:
- Make the Offer Exclusive. Creating a VIP subscriber list, or make it available to the first 100 people who sign up and refer a friend.
- Create an Incentive. Set a deadline, offer an additional special discount or a freebie.
- Create Scarcity. The less of the product there is, the more people will want to buy it.
- Make It Compelling. Use short, specific, and time-related words, like Don’t miss out, Last Chance, One Time Only, etc.
- Offer a Bonus Incentive. Free shipping, a free trial with another service, a surprise gift, etc.
- Keep the Pressure On. Review your customer journey and spot areas where you can create more urgency, like a timer on the shopping cart.
5. Gamify the Customer Onboarding Process
New customers can be quite reluctant when it comes to onboarding, especially if it feels long and complicated. If you’re a surefire way to activate and engage your visitors, gamification is the answer.
You can apply this to any digital business, but it’s especially useful if you operate in the SaaS industry. When learning how to use a new product, app or a piece of software, some people tend to get frustrated. To avoid this, make it feel like a game.
Additionally, gamification helps improve your retention rate, and what is more, it provides an amazing incentive for users to refer to your products. In fact, it helps create a very positive user experience.
Here are some growth marketing hacks you can use to gamify your customer onboarding:
- Create a Gamified Landing Page. Tell users exactly why they should complete the process and display a progress bar.
- Add an Onboarding Checklist. This will help you keep unfinished tasks present in the user’s mind.
- Celebrate When a Task Is Completed. This will give users a sense of fulfilment and an incentive to keep going.
- Use Badges/Tokens to Show Progress. You can use these to inspire users to adopt additional features.
Read also: 14 Creative B2B Marketing Growth Hacks
6. Invest in Growth Marketing Automation
If you want to take all of the above-mentioned growth hacks up a notch then you should invest in creating a growth marketing automation system. By automating your marketing tasks you free up time that you can spend on other business tasks. Additionally, you can personalize the customer experience, reduce marketing costs, improve your analytics and ultimately boost sales.
You can automate any part of the marketing process from scheduling social media posts, to replying to FAQs and sending out newsletters. How much automation you use will depend on your business goals and needs.
Here are a few growth marketing automation strategies to test out:
- Automate a tutorial demo as an exchange for content information.
- Auto-reply to social media users looking for a product or service you provide.
- Use email automation to send well-timed compelling offers.
- Bring users back to their abandoned shopping carts to complete their purchases.
- Follow-up on purchases with timely emails to reduce the need for direct customer support.
Ask users for feedback.
Growth is a process and it takes time. However, with the right marketing growth strategy, scaling a company quickly in a competitive environment is made possible by using smart marketing tactics. With these, you can significantly shorten the timeline toward your business’s success. This means embracing the process of trial and error, to find the most effective shortcut.
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