Be the First in Digital World- Growth Hacking- Future of Digital era.
History of Growth Hacking:-
The term “growth hacker” was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. He said that it stemmed from his frustration when hiring replacements for himself.
Sean had helped a number of internet companies achieve incredible growth, and a few of them even had an IPO. Needless to say, Sean became the guy that the valley went to when they needed to grow their user base, and he would take equity and payment in exchange for his services. He essentially became a one man growth shop, setting up systems, processes, and mindsets, that could be maintained after he left. Eventually, he would hand over the keys to his growth machine to someone else, and he would ride off into the sunset. This is where the problems started.
While searching for his replacement he would often receive resumes that were legit, but not relevant. They had marketing degrees, and they had marketing experience, but they were still missing something. Sean knew that the kind of strategies he employed did not represent the typical playbook used by traditional marketers, and if he gave them the reins it would not be a good fit.
A traditional marketer has a very broad focus, and while their skill set is extremely valuable, it is not as necessary early in a startups life. In the first phase of a startup you don’t need someone to “build and manage a marketing team” or “manage outside vendors” or even “establish a strategic marketing plan to achieve corporate objectives” or many of the other things that marketers are tasked with doing. Early in a startup you need one thing. Growth.Sean asked for marketers. He got marketers. So Sean changed what he asked for. The title of hiswatershed blog post was "Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup" and the idea was born.
What is Growth Hacking and How it Works?
A growth hacker is not a replacement for a marketer. A growth hacker is not better than marketer. A growth hacker is just different than a marketer. To use the most succinct definition from Sean’s post, “A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth."
Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. Growth is the sun that a growth hacker revolves around. Of course, traditional marketers care about growth too, but not to the same extent. Remember, the power of a growth hacker is in their obsessive focus on a singular goal. By ignoring almost everything, they can achieve the one task that matters most early on.
This absolute focus on growth has given rise to a number of methods, tools, and best practices, that simply didn’t exist in the traditional marketing repertoire, and as time passes the chasm between the two discipline deepens.
The Growth Hacking Process:-
What you actually need to think about is the process that can be tested, measured, and scaled.
In order to come up with a growth hacking process, it’s necessary to define the most important areas of your project that directly affect the growth.
If you have an eCommerce website those areas could be:
Customer Acquisition – bringing people to your website.
Customer Engagement – people finding your product.
Customer Activation – people registering and buying the product.
Customer Retention – people returning and buying something again.
After defining your key areas, you’ll need to set a goal for the area that currently has the greatest impact on growth and progress of the project.
If it’s retention, your goal can be to improve it by 20% in the first month.
The next step is to brainstorm how to achieve this goal.
For example, you can do it with email notifications, re targeting, and loyalty cards.
When it comes to email notifications, you can try “thank you” emails, email notifications for similar products, or emails with information about discounts.
You will test your ideas and implement the best solution.
With analytics and data you can measure actions, track behaviors, optimize the user experience, efficiently repeat past successes, and better predict the future.
This whole process is about practice and experimentation in order for you to achieve stable and long-term growth. You get to set your objectives, run an experiment, use some growth hacking tools, measure the effects, and move quickly towards new objectives in order to find uncovered growth options for traffic, sales, retention, views, backlinks, shares, comments and more.
The ultimate goal is to find exactly what works for you—which channel and tactic delivers the highest ROI and then completely focus on it.
After a couple of years, when your project becomes successful, someone will probably write that you did it overnight, with that ultimate growth strategy.
Growth Hacking Strategies :-
One of the most common growth hacking strategies for attracting new users is leveraging ‘giants’ on which your target audience hangs out. This is exactly what
Airbnb did with the Craigslist platform integration.
Moreover, statistics say that businesses that use partnerships to access large, established audiences have six to one return on their investment. Partnerships in the online world include integrations, access to user base, cross-promotion, etc.
Dropbox increased their signups by 60% with a referral tactic. Namely, they offered their existing users the possibility to get more storage space. How? By inviting their friends to join Dropbox. Those friends would then get extra storage space, as well, if they used a friend referral link to sign up to Dropbox.
This way, they spread the story about Dropbox all over the world.
Skype did a similar thing using a viral loop tactic. When people start using Skype, they invite their friends and family in order to stay in touch with them, who then do the same, i.e. invite their own network to join Skype.Keep this in mind: just because these strategies worked for someone else, doesn’t mean that they will work for you, too. You need to try them out and test them to see what works and what doesn’t.
The Difference Between Growth Hacking and Digital Marketing?
Like we mentioned above, growth hackers and digital marketers may use the same channels and have similar personal traits, but their ideologies about work are very different.
Digital marketers are usually focused only on customer acquisition, while growth hackers focus on all phases of sales/product funnel.
While marketers follow a long-term path and focus on a brand and connections, growth hackers are focused on one thing only—growth.
Building a brand requires a lot of time, but it can be destroyed in a second. That’s why digital marketers don’t have a high tolerance for risk, but growth hackers do.
Digital marketing teams are usually composed of non-technical people that often rely on developers, designers, and data scientists to implement their ideas. On the other hand, growth hacking teams are made of people that generate ideas and execute them from start to finish. While digital marketers sometimes rely on purely intuition and guesswork, growth hackers test, measure, and optimize everything. Their technical background helps them see opportunities where marketers cannot.
As you can see, growth hacking lies somewhere between marketing and technical knowledge, which is why digital marketers can become growth hackers if they have a strong analytical and technical mind.
Personal Traits of a Growth Hacker
A growth hacker needs to be:
Focused – on fast growth, which is the number one priority. They can’t afford to wait and see if longer-term activities will pay off. They need fast results.
Passionate – about their job and growth, which allows them to persist until they find what works the best.
Responsible – about the results and getting a company to the next level.
Resourceful – when it comes to finding new tactics, channels, and unexplored opportunities.
Creative and curious – to think out of the box and experiment in order to find something unique to achieve growth.
Data-driven – to understand and use data, analytics, metrics and statistics in order to improve processes. They don’t guess. They test.
Eager to learn – about new channels and tools which keep popping up constantly.
Intelligent and knowledgeable – so that they can come up with working growth hacks, which require using a number of different tools, channels and sets of skills.
Open-minded – about listening to ideas and gathering inspiration from others.
Brave – when it comes to taking risks.
Growth Hacking Success Stories:-
Airbnb is a website which lets homeowners rent out empty rooms to strangers through a posting on their site. They are known to have the most commendable growth hack because of their ability to reverse engineer Craigslist’s code. Users had the option to post their listing from Airbnb directly to Craigslist. In turn, thecompany saw a spike in traffic. The reason why Airbnb has such a great growth hack is that other companies couldn’t crack Craigslist’s proprietary code. After piggybacking and gaining momentum off of Craigslist for a while, Craigslist eventually fixed their code so Airbnb could no longer post directly. Regardless, the accomplishment had a lasting impact as Airbnb received the attention they wanted.
Twitter, one of the most popular social networking sites to date, struggled to keep a steady user base initially. A large number of people would be active for a few days and then log out for months at a time. Using testing and gathering required information, they rebuilt the site to lure their users back instead of using offers or promotions. They realized that if users select five to ten accounts to follow when they sign up, they would be more likely to return. People are willing to invest time and effort into things they have an interest in. They also realized that tweeting randomly doesn’t keep people around; rather, interacting does.
LinkedIn is a professional networking website. Their growth hack was a simple yet effective one. They allowed users the option to create public profiles. This let people search for them if their name was searched in a search engine. Before this, people who searched a name would need to filter out many irrelevant pages. LinkedIn made it possible to be found.
YouTube, the popular video streaming platform, also had a simple growth hack. They allowed users to share videos by directly copying an embed code they could use to post directly to their blog or website. This generated backlinks to Youtube.
Buffer is a sharing tool that lets users schedule when a post goes live. Their growth hack was done by purchasing the DiggDigg floating bar. This bar follows you as you scroll up and down the page. From here, they made their button an option on the bar which gave the company much-needed promotion.
Hotmail was a popular email platform in the 90s. A positive technique led to their growth hack. Emails sent through Hotmail contained a link which read “PS – I love you.” Once clicked, the link led back to Hotmail’s homepage. People were compelled to click the link and thus sign up for their service.
Dropbox used the strategy of referrals for their growth hack. Being a cloud-based storage host, Dropbox offered free increased storage per referral. Because of this incentive, their user base spread like wildfire. It was a cost effective approach compared to using advertisements to promote their services.
Online social networking site Facebook also had a few tricks up their sleeve. One of their growth hacks was possible through the use of embeddable widgets and badges. Users could post these on their blogs and websites which in turn gave Facebook better visibility. Some of these widgets led to hundreds of millions of clicks as well as millions of sign ups!
Quora is an online Q&A (question and answer) platform where anyone can post a question. Their growth hack was studying the behaviors and patterns of active users on Quora. Using this information, Quora created the same patterns on their website so that other users would mirror the same behavior.
PayPal, the online merchant platform, had a growth hack through eBay. Sellers originally had to post via text that they accepted PayPal. Because of its overwhelming popularity, PayPal made their logo usable for eBay. This logo was displayed next to company giants Visa and MasterCard. Soon, users from all over created accounts since PayPal was thought to be as trustworthy and prestigious as Visa and MasterCard. Other online retailers began using PayPal’s service as an acceptable form of payment because of its rapid growth and popularity.
Do you follow digital marketing trends? Want to create your online presence and build a strong brand, or are you looking for quick growth strategies? If you are having doubts about whether you need to hire (or to become) a digital marketer or a growth hacker, you should define your needs first.
If you are a startup or about to launch a new product/concept, but can’t afford the time and/or money for expensive marketing campaigns, growth hacking is probably the best solution for you.