The goal of every startup is to grow as big as possible as quickly as possible. Although there are a variety of methods for driving fast growth, some of the most successful startups across the globe have leveraged the power of growth hacking. Such startups include Dropbox, Craigslist, Quora, Airbnb, and even the mighty Facebook. These highly successful companies are now able to claim an extensive customer base of billions of customers without relying on traditional marketing methods such as print ads or television. Dropbox spent very little on advertising, but quickly evolved to become the best overall startup for 2011, acquiring more than 200 million users primarily using growth hacking techniques, according to KISSmetrics.
While growth hacking often uses a variety of methods, including launching pages, social media, and email marketing, its ultimate goal is to use whatever works. The primary strategy in growth hacking is that proponents of this method do not have the time to waste on traditional marketing plans. Instead, they experiment and test to find the marketing technique that works best for their business model. The ultimate goal of growth hacking is that your service or product, whatever it may be, will eventually be able to market itself without your needing to put in additional time or money. The tips below can help you get started on growth hacking your own startup.
Leverage Built-in Sharing
Among the most important growth hacking methods you can utilize for launching your startup is by giving your customers the ability to advertise on your behalf through sharing and distributing your content via their social media channels. This means making your content easily sharable on various social media platforms by integrating sharing buttons. Essentially, this allows your users or customers to do your marketing for you. This method is often successful because it builds trust. When people endorse a product or service, it means they are recommending it to other people they know. This increases the chance that a new user will discover your product, and trust your brand. The easier it is for users to share, the more likely they will be to do so, giving you the benefit of free marketing.
Identify Where Your Target Customers Hang Out
Identifying target customers is a vital part of any marketing campaign. With growth marketing, the goal is to identify not just target customers, but also the places where those particular customers are most likely to spend time online. The primary driver of growth marketing is to avoid wasting time. With this method, you can avoid wasting your precious resources marketing to people who are not likely to purchase your product or service. Marketing in the right places helps you to target your ideal audience as well as their friends, who may also be interested in your product or service.
When your goal is to grow your startup as easily and quickly as possible, partnering and even piggybacking off the success of other companies can provide the momentum you need. While it would not make sense to partner with competitors, it does make sense to form partnerships with complementary brands. Partnerships can also be built on a reciprocal exchange. For instance, you might agree to pay a percentage of your revenue in exchange for prospects your partner sends your way. You might also find that endorsements are another way to help your startup go viral and grow quickly. In order to make this method work, focus on finding an endorser whom your customer base already knows, likes, and trusts. This could be a well-known expert, or an everyday individual who has built a strong following.
Growth hacking is built on the principle of experimenting, learning from your efforts and making changes where necessary. Tools such as Unbounce and Optimizely give you the ability to experiment with different marketing approaches to determine which choice is more popular with customers. Keep in mind that while data is a vital element of growth hacking, it is important to ensure that you do not become paralyzed by too much data. All of the data that you utilize should be actionable.
When implemented properly, growth hacking can provide your startup with the tools needed to grow at a rapid pace.