Starting a brand-new business? You’ve got quite a challenge ahead of you.
Not only are you dealing with the learning curve that comes with a fresh, untested company, but you’re also facing a massive amount of competition. If you want any hope of achieving your entrepreneurial goals, then you’ll need a plan on how to grow your business to a point where it can survive and thrive in the marketplace.
The answer? Growth hacking.
What is Growth Hacking, Anyway?
The term “growth hacking” was coined by Sean Ellis back in 2011 to refer to unconventional methods that businesses can use to accelerate their growth. This exciting technique combines creativity, analytics and innovation to drive faster returns on your marketing spend. With careful planning and some out-of-the-box thinking, growth-hacking gives you the potential to accelerate your company’s progress in any industry.
Many businesses have already explored a wide variety of potential techniques for growth hacking, ranging all the way from video marketing to psychological strategies. Here, we’re going to cover just some of the critical growth hacking campaigns that today’s startups can use when “slow and steady” just isn’t the right path for them.
Let’s get started.
1. Teach your Customers about Your Product
One of the biggest issues that today’s customers have with buying from a startup is that there’s a risk involved with purchasing something unknown. People aren’t going to be sure of what you’re selling or how it works. That’s why one of the best growth hacking strategies you can use is to be educational.
Dollar Shave Club, one of the world’s best-known shaving companies, launched a video to help explain their product to their customers. Crucially, the video didn’t just highlight the benefits of the product; it also drew attention to the unique personality of the brand, helping customers to fall in love with the idea of the company.
Finding a fun way to teach your customers about your product and also offer an insight into your brand personality is an excellent way to drive growth. Two years after it began, Dollar Shave Club had already made $20 million, and it tripled that number by year 3.
2. Give an Incentive for Referrals
Referrals are one of the fastest ways to grow a startup because customers are more likely to trust their friends. Research suggests that today’s consumers are far more likely to buy products or services that are recommended by someone they know and trust.
While you can always wait for your customers to discover the delights of your product and make the referral on their own, that can take a lot of time. If you want to speed things up, then you’ll need to give your customers something intriguing to convince them to act.
For instance, Dropbox knew that it needed to stand out as a provider of cloud storage services. With that in mind, the brand decided to offer its customer additional storage space, provided that they would refer a friend from their network first. The result was sensational growth for Dropbox, to the point where the company is now the go-to solution for cloud storage on the market.
Remember, you don’t have to give your clients something big to encourage them to refer, something as simple as a small discount, or an extension on their free trial could be enough.
3. Don’t Target Everyone
Finally, remember that great growth hacking isn’t just about reaching as many people as possible, it’s about making the right connections, with the right customers. Start by solving a real problem for your customers, then avoid burning through all your marketing budget at once by targeting the people who are most likely to generate growth.
For instance, when Hubspot began, it was one of many companies claiming to help businesses with their marketing concerns. Rather than just offering the same thing as everyone else, Hubspot decided to give their customers one of the things they needed most – a way to create buyer personas.
After creating the free resource, HubSpot used targeted marketing to get it out to the right people, like innovators, early adopters and influencers that could share the tool with more followers. Taking this highly focused approach improves your chances of getting bigger returns with a smaller budget.
What’s more, while the service was free, it did ask for a customer’s email address. This meant that Hubspot could continue to connect with the people interested in their service and nurture them into leads.
Ultimately, growth hacking is a process that requires startups to try new things and explore different strategies. However, if you happen to come across a plan that works, like the 3 options above, you could find that you accelerate your path to success in no time.
Try using a handful of growth strategies to take your business to the next level, and you’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish.