Growth hacking sounds self-explanatory doesn’t it, but what does it really mean beyond achieving growth? After all growth is what we are all striving for – more customers, more visitors, more business, but it isn’t easy to achieve.
Wikipedia describes the term ‘growth hacking’ as achieving growth creatively with a limited budget and as most new businesses are undercapitalised but brimming with energy this sounds like an marketing ideal solution. But the big catch is that is a people strategy, not a tactical strategy.
You need the right mix of energy and talent to build the growth hacking mind set. Some folks are just not creative or lateral thinkers so you need to find the rare few who think out of the box, genuinely need new challenges every day and love to master new skills. So here are some tips on how to build up your team of hackers to trigger this amazing effect in your business and make marketing magic.
Is a growth hacker someone who hacks their way through a problem? No!
A ‘hacker’ is an ingenious software rebel – three qualities that can actually create exponential growth when combined correctly.
A ‘growth hacker’ is ingenious, clever, someone who thinks outside the box. Smart managers need to hire players who will be original, inventive and challenge the status quo. If you don’t push the boundaries you will never move beyond the norm, so get in front of the trends and grow or fail fast.
The ‘software’ quality alludes to the traditional meaning of the term hacker, someone who changes computer code to gain access to restricted systems or programmes. Be on the lookout for people who are native to the land of technology and who can shape it to suit their needs. Smart managers should hire people who can reverse engineer a problem to find the solution. People who love tinkering with systems and programmes to find out how something works and who can improve or leverage technology to meet the goals of a business.
Lastly you need a rebel, or a rebellious spirt in the mix. You need someone who will fight for the right causes and always ask why? A rebel is constantly on the lookout for opportunities, ways to exploit inherent weaknesses in the market or competitors, things others may have missed. Rebels love to champion the customer, so often the underdog in traditional business, because they know that without the customer there would be no product or service. Ingenious rebels with software skills know customers are the key to real growth and that once you understand your customer you can activate the best marketing tool on earth – the personal recommendation.
Social media and viral marketing
You can talk to customers now via social media more effectively than ever before so work hard on making them (and your team) brandchampions. Get people talking about your product or service and how fantastic it is with small and personalised swag. Make it interesting, so that the swag itself inspires conversation. ”Oh my god you are never going to believe what my SEO company gave me the other day – my very own Google cardboard glasses.” Be your own best brand champion as well, every day, all the time.
Tweet #growthhacking along with your ideas or brand and see how many people favourite or retweet you; those same people might be able to help hack your own growth – get networking.
SEO and SEM
Search engine optimisation. Conversion rate optimisation. Don’t forget to play the odds to succeed. Make sure your website is going to be seen by your customers. How can you get your URL out there? Listen to your customers via feedback channels as they have the best ideas. Track your customer journey and find ways to make it smoother, more engaging. Adapt your product or service to the feedback you are getting, never stop optimising, for search, for conversion, for better results.
Learn as much as you can
Don’t throw anything away. All information you can gather on your customers is useful so make sure you collect it and then find a way to use or ‘optimise’ it.
Have good content marketing
Tell your customer what they want to know, whether it is about your product, team, or the latest TV series. Engage with them on their terms and create a space where they can talk to you whenever they want. Good customer relations is the best public relations. But try and make everything you do a growth opportunity or a ‘story’. Are you moving locations? Make a noise in your new neighbourhood, give your customer’s maps from you old to your new location. Make difficult customer actions a game. Plant QR codes along the route and giveaway prizes for customers who make the trip to your new location and uncover them.
Make the most of everything you do
Take photos, video, share customer reviews or anything you do, new stock, new staff, a catalogue photoshoot, events etc.
Develop a visual brand
As you build up your marketing collateral make a library of the characters, icons, logos and images you have so you can use them in different mediums. Reconstitute those elements again and again in different ways (more make the most of everything) by animating them, or adding sound effects, make a funny Gif, or combine images in a slideshow. Your brand imagery is the most accessible part of your marketing plan for most people. We choose to consume marketing at a subconscious level and mostly with our eyes – make it delicious.