Growth hacking is a relatively new term and describes a type of marketing style that encourages fast, sustained growth with very little cost. Growth hackers are commonplace today in the startup technology industry where there are dozens or even hundreds of companies promoting a similar app or service. Growth hackers are those who find a creative way to effectively promote growth quickly.
While growth hacking is particularly popular among startups, it is possible for small businesses to apply the same tactics to promote growth and build their audience around a particular product or service. Growth hacking is not all about gaining new customers, but also about finding ways to keep existing customers happy.
In order to fully understand growth hacking, it?s best to look at a few examples of companies who leveraged their products for exceptional growth. Dropbox, one of several cloud storage options available, lets it?s users earn free additional storage space for referring friends. Another company, AirBNB, used automatic free listings on Craigslist to drive traffic to their own website.
Growth hackers, limited by resources and lack of funding, are often forced to think outside the box to find new ways to promote growth. Oftentimes they leverage product features as incentives, or find a way to exploit an existing service to promote their brand.
Growth hackers are often more deeply involved in product development than your average marketer, and therefore can identify or even develop product features that will promote growth. Techniques sometimes need to be built into the product; such as a way to reward users for referrals like Dropbox. These features must be discussed at the product development level.
One key point to note about growth hacking is that change is inevitable, and the more you are able to predict the better off your company will be. Effective growth hackers know and recognize that their techniques will eventually lose steam or fail to work anymore, and are constantly working to identify new ways to promote growth.
Growth hacking, when successful, results in thousands or even millions of new users or customers. Successful businesses will be able to reduce churn and improve customer retention by offering a great product or service. Communication and a continual evaluation of your businesses? strategy are necessary functions following the completion of a growth hacking campaign.
Several startups have failed to deliver after a successful growth hacking campaign, experiencing explosive growth early on, but failing to provide a sustainable product or service. Brands and product or service offerings need to mature and evolve as the customer base grows.
Small businesses can apply the basics of growth hacking to their own marketing strategy. Growth hacking requires creativity, and originality is important. Evaluate your businesses? goals and identify new avenues that can help you reach your targeted customer base. Identify your goals, and continue to find new ways to exceed them.
Consider the value of your product, and whether there is something about it that people will tell their friends about. Exploit that feature to get more people talking about or using your product. Don?t be limited by the small business mindset?think big and you can achieve great results.