Growth is a vital part of creating a business. Quick growth is especially important for tech startups, seeing as they depend on it to attract investors and get their business off the ground. Growth hacking strategies are a must in modern business. Here are a few of the best ones.
What is a growth hacking strategy?
Though the term itself is relatively new, growth hacking is, simply put, devising the optimal way of marketing and growing your company. Growth hackers don’t have to necessarily be trained marketing specialists, but they need to have their finger on the pulse of current and up-and-coming marketing trends.
Growth hacking strategies are often unexpected and unconventional. This is what makes them hacks: it’s something people wouldn’t think of, but works best.
Having a clever and impactful growth hacking strategy is essential for small businesses, as they are a fantastic way of generating traffic and customers, which in turn make the profits soar. However, implementing growth hacks doesn’t always guarantee success. Growth hacking goes hand in hand with taking risks, so you must be willing to experiment and learn through trial and error.
But how to create a growth hacking plan that will best serve your brand? That largely depends on your customer base. If your company is primarily B2B oriented, then naturally you’ll focus on channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube, or other bigger platforms.
If your brand image is more informal, and you offer products and services aimed at individuals rather than companies, a more personal approach would be a better idea.
Below we will take a closer look at some of the best growth hacking tactics and where they might be the most effective.
Create and connect with your community
Having a flourishing community is one of the best ways of hacking growth. Think of it this way: we all love to belong. And in the ever-expanding world of social media, various online communities are beyond count.
Everything you could imagine has its aesthetic niche, complete with the almost mandatory suffix -core (including the why-would-anyone-want-that clowncore). So, creating your community might seem easy. But, upon a closer look, it’s anything but.
The sheer amount of different aesthetics, most of them popularized by social media like TikTok and Instagram, makes it difficult to find your unique voice and make it heard. It’s therefore imperative that you listen to your customer base. The best way to create a strong community is to gauge what is the common thread among your customers. And it’s not only the basics such as age, gender, or profession.
Your community should be based on common ideals, tastes, and in some cases even life experiences. It’s all about creating a touchstone that your customers can relate to on a deeper level, even if it might be something as pedestrian as shoes (pun intended).
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One of the best examples of creating a strong and devoted community is Vans. The company has a long history, and despite more than 50 years of its existence, it remains fresh and appealing to its target demographic – young people with a penchant for creative pursuits.
The company was founded in California in 1966, and from its inception, it fostered and reaffirmed its target demographic and the ideals that connected them. Vans sneakers are the shoes of skateboarders, surfers, BMX riders, musicians, teenagers, and preteens and throughout its long history, the brand never lost sight of that. The ideals and values remain the same – creativity, playfulness, and freedom of expression.
It’s funny how little teenagers change with every generation. We’ve all been misunderstood by our parents (“it’s not a phase, mom”), and we all desperately wanted to be the cool kids who hang out at the beach, ride skateboards and bikes, and create art and music. And so, with every new generation, the iconic sneaker gets a new legion of devoted fans.
Another great way of creating a community can be organizing online events, such as digital art exhibitions, or even calls for short stories. Naturally, this is where the power of social media comes into play. Social media allows brands to interact with their customers on a personal level, via tweets or mentions.
Although some might consider email to be an outdated form of marketing, they would be spectacularly wrong. It’s been reported that 59% of customers say that emails influence their buying choices. That’s quite the number for a supposedly outdated piece of media.
Email campaigns can be incredibly effective growth hacks. Not only do they allow you to have a personalized touch when it comes to relationships with your customer base, but they’re also one of the most cost-effective growth hacking and marketing strategies out there.
There are many different kinds of promotional emails. Using the right one will bring more traffic to your business, and therefore more profits. Here we will take a look at the most popular ones.
Personalized emails that welcome a potential customer can go a long way. They can help introduce your company and establish a rapport. Furthermore, they help your brand be more memorable.
This also fosters familiarity with the customer, which is one of the main ingredients in turning browsers into buyers. Studies show that 82% of buyers will buy products or services from brands they’re already familiar with.
Abandoned cart emails
This sort of email is a great tool for giving the buyers on the fence a gentle nudge toward buying the product. If a customer has put items in their cart, yet left the site without completing their purchase, an email reminding them of the items they wanted to buy can be a great incentive.
Another way of ensuring customers buy the things they’ve put in their cart is to send a little discount offer of 5-10%. This is a neat trick, which gives the customers who are on the fence about purchasing the incentive to buy, as well as the feeling they’ve gotten a bargain.
However, when sending an abandoned cart email, you must be careful not to be too sales-y or pushy. If the email is too aggressive in its marketing it might have the opposite effect, and it can alienate the buyer.
A great way to strike the perfect balance is to have funny abandoned cart email subject lines. They can be something silly and punny along the lines of “You hold the key to my Cart”, with a preview text saying that the items won’t be on hold or available for much longer.
We can see a great example from FLO below. The subject line reads: Your Cart Misses You! 🛒, while the preview text is snappy and relatable: PMS doesn’t have to suck. The email has a distinct and visible CTA button which will make the purchase run smooth.
Preorder and sale emails
This is one of the oldest and best growth hacking strategies in the book. FOMO is a powerful thing, and we all have it from time to time. That’s where preorders and limited-time offers come in. Emails with this kind of content appeal to customers’ sense of urgency and loss aversion.
However, this kind of email is the most likely to come across as too pushy, and therefore untrustworthy. You must make sure the email and your site are well designed and presentable, so that customers don’t assume it’s a scam.
It’s important to get your point across and make it easy for the reader to segue into the catalog, but you mustn’t be too insistent. Make sure you note the end of the sale or preorder so that the customer has a clear deadline and an internal ticking clock.
Partnering with influencers in your industry
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing and strongest forms of marketing. It checks all the boxes of growth hacking ideals – the ability to reach a massive number of potential customers in your target demographic, as well as making your brand stay relevant and recognizable in the digital space.
Partnering with an influencer as a growth hacking strategy is incredibly effective, as 37% of customers trust influencers more than brands.
However, partnering with celebrity influencers is costly. They also tend to have a huge following, which means your brand won’t be focused on reaching your intended audience. That’s why the smarter decision is to partner with micro-influencers who are involved and follow industry trends.
Consumers tend to trust micro-influencers more, as they have a smaller and more vetted following. Micro-influencers also have a focused and niche audience, which means your brand will more likely reach a greater number of potential customers within your target demographic. This makes partnerships with micro-influencers one of the best growth hacking strategies you can employ.
Interactive content and gamified onboarding
A tried and true way of keeping customers engaged is interaction. Quizzes, videos, live Q&As, and webinars help you connect with your user base, as well as provide additional information and clarification. It can also help with having a personal touch when it comes to customer relations and building brand loyalty.
Gamified onboarding is another amazing growth hacking strategy that often flies under the radar. We tend to be impatient and hate learning how to use a new product or app. Gamification is the process of coaching new users through the ropes by having interactive and game-like tutorials, which can be competitive and incentivized.
It also helps with attracting new customers. Think of it this way: have you ever used a new app that would give you a small amount of money in exchange for referrals to your contacts?
Gamification can also be reaching different levels within a service, like a loyalty program. Booking.com has a brilliant way of ensuring customers come back to the platform for their accommodation booking. There are three Genius levels, which is incredibly clever because it appeals to our vanity (“Why yes, I am a genius, thanks for noticing!”) as well as our fondness for games and completing levels.
Collabs with other brands
This is one of the oldest growth hacking tactics, yet it is still as relevant as ever. Teaming up with other brands can be extremely beneficial to both parties. Brands in different industries with similar target audiences can boost each other’s engagement as well as sales.
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The most successful brand collabs often have a theme or a joint cause. This will help them come up with a product line that will show off both brands to the best effect. A good collaboration will take the best elements of both brands to create a limited-edition product that’s bound to interest the users.
One of the best examples of a brand that has many collaborations is Lego. The iconic toy company has done countless collaborations, from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter, to Levi’s and Ikea, the latter often being called Lego for grown-ups.
They’ve created something that appeals to wide demographics and brings in even customers that weren’t particularly attached to either brand.
There have been many collaborations in the fashion world as well, one of the most famous ones being H&M and Versace. This showed exactly what is a growth hacking strategy that could take the world by storm. The affordable prices of H&M and the luxury designs and brand name from Versace made a formidable combination, which sold out in only 30 minutes.
We hope these growth hacking strategies will inspire you to find unconventional and unexpected ways to promote and grow your brand, and maybe even devise a clever growth hack on your own.