Initially, I was confused when I heard the term ‘Growth Hacking’. A familiar word for some, an unheard term for most. Like anything with the word ‘hacker’ in it we assume that you must be a very smart person to be able to do it. And while the smartest marketers are doing it, you do not have to be inherently ‘smart’ to partake in this glorious ticket to pushing viral content.
While many of you reading this are ready to dismiss this article as more, ‘business talk’ and ‘marketing lingo’ be prepared to be surprised because growth hacking is a scaling principle from the biggest office firms down to our very own social media presence. We all desire an audience to read, interact with, and share our content; whether that content is branding a product or our branded self. Luckily for us, growth hacking is applicable to both types: and even more lucky for us, it’s building on key principles already discussed on this blog.
Growth hackers are specific individuals focusing on growth above all else. That doesn’t mean focusing on a ‘brand’s overarching presence’ but on the contrary it is not excluding a brands message, it is merely bringing that as well as many other factors together to drive higher LTV(Life Time Value) and leads. For every day Joe’s, it means getting more followers with higher interaction and communication. Dave McCluer is cited providing the 5 most important factors of measurement and focus in growth hacking –
- Acquisition: phase where users come to cite from the various channels you have opened
- Activation, or “the happy experience”: phase where you have been able to make the first visit enjoyable for a user
- Retention: phase where users come back and start visiting the site multiple times
- Referral: phase where you get users to like your product enough to refer it to others
- Revenue: phase where users conduct monetization behavior
These phases are all analytically driven by specific measurements that are constantly being taken and revamped to drive the greatest amount of success. Again, in Layman’s terms, we must take everything we do and attempt to maximize the stuff that works and minimize the things that aren’t working (using some handy tools like Google Analytics).
The main step towards being a successful growth hacker is creating a business system that encourages sharability and believe it or not, growth. This is huge in the mobile app industry and in high tech. Companies like Dropbox offer incentives to connect everything you have and incentives to invite people to sign-up and use the platform as part of the experience: the product drives traffic to itself.
From Ryan Holiday, “Growth hackers are intimately involved in product development. Instead of chasing vague notions like branding or awareness, a growth hacker drives users and clients. Instead of spending money, growth hackers look for scalable growth from viral factors and social sharing. Finally, instead of hoping these things magically happen and customers organically stick around, they ruthlessly optimize and improve efforts based on data.”
All of these things are things I’ve talked about successful marketers do. Ranging from a great SEO to A/B testing every page on the site. The hope is to gain knowledge about everything and never stop improving. Here are 6 quick things to do when applying a growth hacking strategy –
- Increase site speed
- Use social proof
- A/B test to optimization
- Use a bare-bones home page
- Integrate your product with the right platform
- Increase your viral coefficient