January 24, 2014
Growth Hacking your Business
One of the buzzwords, or buzz"phrase" of 2013 was Growth Hacking. What is growth hacking? How can I growth hack my business? What are the benefits over traditional marketing? Well, we are about to cover all of this for you. Let's make 2014 a great year for you!
What is Growth Hacking?
Growth Hacking is when a marketing person or business has thrown out the playbook of traditional marketing and replaced it with only what is testable, trackable, and scalable. They use tools such as e-mails, pay-per-click ads, and blogs instead of the typical advertisements of commercials, publicity, and money. While their marketing brethren chase vague notions like "branding" and "mind share," growth hackers relentlessly pursue users and growth—and when they do it right, those users beget more users, who beget more users. Think of the way you were taught to do marketing in business school, and erase it. Growth Hackers are the inventors, operators, and mechanics of their own self-sustaining and self-propagating growth machine that can take a start-up from nothing to something.
How Can I Growth Hack my Business?
The best way to start growth hacking, is by asking your customers questions. What is it that brought you to use my services or product? What is stopping you back from referring other people to us? What's missing? What's do you love? Don't ask random people or your friends—be strategic about it. Use tools like SurveyMonkey, Wufoo, or even Google Docs, which make it very easy to offer surveys to some or all of your customers. "Virality at its core is asking someone spend their social capital recommending or linking or posting about you for free. You're saying: Post about me on Facebook. Tell your friends to watch my video. Invite your business contacts to use this service. The best way to get people to do this enormous favor for you? Make it seem like it isn't a favor. Make it the kind of thing that is worth spreading and, of course, conducive to spreading." - Growth Hacker Marketing
What are the Benefits Over Traditional Marketing?
Quicker and cheaper. Simple as that. Growth hacking is making a product that people will market for you. Making it so simple for people to refer your services or bring in new clients that you don't have to spend time and money on building your brand.
Example of Growth Hacking
"Take Dropbox. Today it has more than 100 million users, but when the file-sharing service began it was not even open to the public. New users had to sign up to a waiting list to be invited to join. In an effort to drive these sign-ups, the founders crafted a demo video that walked potential users through the service. They didn't hire some production company to produce an expensive or elaborate video that they jammed down people's throats through widespread ads. They made the video themselves and they made the right one for the right place. Knowing the outlets where they intended to post the video (Digg, Slashdot, and Reddit), they filled it with all sorts of allusions and references that those communities would love. As a result, this homemade video was enormously popular with these potential users. It immediately made the respective front pages, it drove hundreds of thousands of new visitors to the special page Dropbox had set up for this purpose (GetDropbox.com), and the waiting list went from 5,000 users to 75,000 users nearly overnight. It was all trackable, all visible, and highly effective. As they grew, they figured out another strategy: Dropbox, for instance, offered its customers a 150 megabyte storage bonus if they linked their Dropbox account to their Facebook or Twitter account. It's also why the site offers a 125 megabyte bonus to users who send Dropbox just ninety characters of feedback about the service—now you're involved and participating. (Personally, I've earned something like 625 megabytes of free space, which makes me a happier user, more likely to refer friends, and keeps me "stuck" to the service. It's the kind of marketing that, just a year ago, I'd never have considered marketing.)" - Growth Hacker Marketing