Growth hacking is a term that is often used in the business world, but what does it actually mean?
“Growth hacking” is a term coined by Sean Ellis, founder, and CEO of GrowthHackers, in 2010.
In an earlier post, we had written about how to assemble your startup dream team and the people you need to hire to build a successful startup.
A growth hacker is someone who is responsible for finding innovative ways to grow a company. This can be done through various means such as online marketing, social media, and even PR.
Growth hacking is all about thinking outside the box and finding new and creative ways to get people interested in your company.
The benefits of growth hacking
Growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing, product development, sales, and other channels in order to identify the most efficient ways to grow a business.
Growth hacking can be an extremely effective way to quickly scale a business.
By rapidly testing and iterating on different growth strategies, a company can optimize its growth and achieve significant results in a short period of time.
There are many different benefits of growth hacking, but some of the most notable include:
– The ability to scale quickly and efficiently
– Increased awareness and visibility for your company
– Improved customer acquisition and retention rates
– A more efficient use of resources
If you’re looking for ways to quickly grow your business, growth hacking may be the answer.
Also, check out our post on different business diagnostic tools you can use to assess your startup business.
The role of a growth hacker
A growth hacker’s role at the intersection of marketing, coding & data.
They use creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses increase the number of customers they have.
Often growth hackers are also termed growth marketers, but growth hackers are not just marketers.
Growth hackers are an important part of any marketing team, and their ultimate goal is to help a company reach its maximum potential. Their role is to help the company grow at any cost and this can come in many ways – maybe a tweak in the product, maybe an unexplored marketing channel, or maybe a niche social media network.
A growth hacker is someone who uses creative, low-cost strategies to help businesses grow by acquiring and retaining customers.
Growth hackers are not simply marketers, but anyone involved in a product or service, including product managers and engineers, can be a growth hacker.
- Growth hackers focus mainly on strategies & tactics related to exponentially growing the business. They use creativity, analytical thinking, and social media to help the company grow its customer base.
- They hypothesize, prioritize and test innovative growth strategies. They work to find new and innovative ways to increase traffic and engagement on a company’s website or social media pages.
- They analyze and test to see what’s working.
The ideal growth hacker is someone who understands how to prioritize growth, find channels for customer acquisition, measure success and scale the growth of the company.
Growth hackers are an important part of any marketing team, and their ultimate goal is to help a company reach its maximum potential.
The skills of a growth hacker
Being a successful growth hacker requires having an entrepreneurial spirit, strong problem-solving skills, and a willingness to experiment with new approaches.
It is also important for growth hackers to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies, trends, and best practices in their field.
With the right combination of skills and tools, growth hackers can help companies reach their goals and generate organic growth.
- Growth hacking requires creative thinking to identify opportunities for growth.
- Growth hackers are also expected to work closely with other teams, such as product, marketing, and engineering, to develop strategies that will drive organic user acquisition and engagement.
- Ultimately, a growth hacker’s job is to find ways to accelerate the growth of a company by leveraging existing resources in innovative ways.
- They require an understanding of the customer base, creative problem-solving, and an ability to think outside the box.
- A growth hacker must be comfortable experimenting with different approaches and be willing to take risks in order to achieve success.
The growth hacker’s toolkit
A growth hacker’s toolkit includes:
- Analytics tools: to track acquisition channels, conversion rates, customer lifetime value and other essential metrics
- A/B testing tools: to test different versions of products and marketing campaigns
- Content management systems: to create and manage content
- Social media management tools: to help manage a company’s social media presence
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools: to optimize the discoverability of a company’s web content and products
- Email marketing tools: to engage customers with promotional emails, such as newsletters and coupon offers
- Payment processing platforms: to enable customers to securely pay for products or services
- Data visualization tools: to help make data easier to comprehend and analyze
- Project management software: to manage tasks, deadlines, and milestones.
An understanding of analytics and data science is also beneficial for growth hackers, as they will be expected to use data to make informed decisions about product development and marketing strategies.
What are some common Growth Hacking tools?
There are a few common Growth Hacking tools that can be used to drive more traffic and conversions.
One of the most popular Growth Hacking tools is Google Analytics. This tool can be used to track website traffic and conversions. It’s a valuable resource for Growth Hackers because it allows you to see which marketing efforts are driving results and which ones aren’t.
Another common Growth Hacking tool is A/B testing. This is a powerful tool that allows you to test different versions of your website or landing page to see which one performs better. A/B testing can be used to improve the conversion rate of your site by testing different designs, copies, and calls to action.
Finally, another common Growth Hacking tool is heat mapping. This tool allows you to see where people are clicking on your website and what they’re interested in. Heat mapping can be used to improve the design of your website and make it more user-friendly.
These are just a few of the most common Growth Hacking tools. There are many other tools available that can be used to drive more traffic and conversions. The key is to find the right tool for your specific needs.
What are some common Growth Hacking strategies?
There are a few common Growth Hacking strategies that can be used to drive more traffic and conversions.
- One of the most popular Growth Hacking strategies is content marketing. Content marketing is a type of inbound marketing that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
- Another common Growth Hacking strategy is social media marketing. Social media marketing is a type of inbound marketing that uses the power of social media to attract more leads and customers. By creating and sharing valuable content on social media, you can build relationships with potential customers and drive more traffic and conversions.
- Referral programs are another effective growth hack. By offering incentives for users to refer your product or service to their friends, you can quickly expand your reach and grow your customer base.
- Finally, another common Growth Hacking strategy is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a type of inbound marketing that helps you improve your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can attract more organic traffic and drive more leads and customers.
These are just a few of the most common Growth Hacking strategies. There are many other strategies that can be used to drive more traffic and conversions.
The key is to find the right strategy for your specific needs. By using the right Growth Hacking strategies, you can take your startup from 0 to 100 in record time.
Famous examples of growth hacks
Dollar Shave Club
If you’ve ever seen Dollar Shave Club’s now-famous video, then you know how powerful videos can be in marketing. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick summary: the company pokes fun at other razor brands for their high prices and unnecessary features by asking simple questions like “Do you like spending $20 a month on a brand named razor?” The video quickly went viral with 26 million views.
If you want to reach your target audience and show them how your product is the solution they need, think about a problem in your industry and produce content that outlines how your brand could solve this issue. In today’s day and age, video marketing is an especially effective way to showcase personality and get across any message you have for potential customers.
Dropbox’s onboarding process and referral program are known for being creative. The marketing strategy is quite simple. By gamifying the onboarding process, people are rewarded with more storage space in the cloud.
Dropbox implemented a simple but effective growth hack: offering 500MB of extra storage space for each customer referral.
This resulted in a 3500% growth in just 15 months.
Hubspot created a free tool that grades your site’s key performance areas such as SEO and mobile optimization. It then provides you with tips to improve your site.
This tool was shared amongst people, gained many backlinks and accumulated quite a bit of attention on social media platforms.
Hubspot utilized this one tool to grow their email list by 15,000 users.
A useful growth hacking technique is creating free tools like this one. By solving a problem for their target audience, brands can launch their product on platforms such as Product Hunt and get exposure for free.
Do you remember the era of FarmVille, MafiaWars, or Zynga poker? These were the Facebook games that made addicts out of our friends, parents, and loved ones.
Zynga re-engineered this by offering three choices to the user: grind, spam, or pay. Well, since people didn’t want to pay to continue playing games, they started to terrorize their friends by spamming them with invitations.
This became popular very quickly, but Facebook eventually stopped the spam.
If you want to create successful marketing campaigns, think outside the box and try new things.
Uber is another great example of successful growth hacking.
No one likes having to flag a taxi down after party-ing hard or being caught in the rain. At first, Uber focused on providing service during these prime times. The company offered free rides to people at SXSW, the South by Southwest Interactive festival, to build brand awareness and attract new customers.
They also fought an uphill battle with yellow cabs by highlighting Uber’s advantages, such as easy payment options and lower prices.
After the initial users of the service returned, they offered a $20 free ride to new users in order to increase popularity. Things developed rapidly from there–now we see taxis as an endangered species.
If you want to be successful, it’s important to understand your competition, customers and the market you’re in. Use this knowledge to come up with clever strategies that’ll help you stand out from the crowd.
The company offered free rides to people at SXSW, the South by Southwest Interactive festival, to build brand awareness and attract new customers.
Uber also implemented a referral program that encouraged customers to invite their friends over with rewards such as free rides or discounts.
The combination of unique marketing strategies and creative growth hacks is what ultimately helped Uber become the success it is today.
Buffer is a great example of an app that helps people manage and schedule their social media posts. The company grew its user base from 0 to 100,000 mostly because of the impact guest blogs had on third-party sites.
They also implemented an ingenious invite page that allowed users to connect with all their friends on multiple social media platforms simultaneously. This was extremely effective, enabling Buffer to acquire thousands of customers with minimal effort.
How to measure the success of your growth hacking efforts?
There are a few key metrics that you can use to measure the success of your growth hacking efforts.
- The first is website traffic. Keep track of how much traffic you’re getting to your site before and after your growth hacking campaign. If you see a significant increase in traffic, then you know your campaign was successful in driving more people to your site.
- One way is to look at the number of new users or leads generated. This measures how many people you’re reaching with your growth hacking efforts. If the number of new users is up, then it indicates that your campaign was successful in bringing new users to your site or app.
- Another metric you can use is conversion rate. This measures how many people are taking the desired action on your site, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. If you see a spike in conversion rate after your growth hacking campaign, then you know it was successful in driving more conversions.
- Revenue is a key metric. Keep track of how much money you’re making before and after your growth hacking campaign. If you see a significant increase in revenue, then you know your campaign was successful in driving more customers to make purchases.
- You can also measure the growth of your user base. Keep track of how many new users you’re getting on a regular basis. If you see a significant increase in new users after your growth hacking campaign, then you know it was successful in driving more people to your site.
- Finally, monitor customer reviews. See what customers are saying about your product or service before and after the growth hacking campaign. If you see an increase in positive reviews, then you know your campaign was successful in driving more customers to leave positive reviews.
All of these metrics can be used to measure the success of your growth hacking efforts. By tracking these metrics, you can see which growth hacking tactics are working and which ones aren’t. This will help you fine-tune your campaigns and get the most out of your growth hacking efforts.
What are some common mistakes people make when growth hacking?
- Failing to define success metrics: Before you start any growth hacking efforts, it is important to lay out clear and measurable goals that you want to achieve with your efforts. Without these key performance indicators (KPIs) in place, you won’t be able to measure the impact of your strategies or understand what changes need to be made in order to improve.
- Not leveraging data correctly: Data can inform every aspect of your growth hacking strategies, from identifying the right channels to use for customer acquisition to understanding user behavior and optimizing conversions. It’s important to have access to the right type of data and know how to analyze it accurately so that you can make data-driven decisions and track the progress of your efforts.
- Using a one-size-fits-all approach: Growth hacking strategies need to be tailored specifically for each platform or channel in order to maximize their effectiveness. This means understanding the nuances of each platform, creating content that is optimized for its audience, and testing different strategies to identify what works best.
- Ignoring customer feedback: Listening and responding to customer feedback is essential for any successful growth hacking strategy. By understanding how customers are using a product or service, as well as what they want from it, you can more easily create strategies that improve user experience and increase conversions.
- Not measuring impact: Measuring the effectiveness of your growth hacking efforts is critical. Without understanding which strategies or tactics are working, and which are not, it’s impossible to know whether the time and money invested in a particular campaign is worth it. Regularly tracking key metrics will help you identify areas for improvement and optimize your efforts accordingly.
- What has worked in the past might not work in the future: It is important to stay abreast of digital trends and identify new opportunities for growth. As the digital landscape changes, so will the strategies that work best for growth hacking, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest developments and adjust your tactics accordingly.
- Not executing quickly: Growth hacking requires a fast-paced approach to experimentation and optimization. If you’re not taking advantage of opportunities quickly, you could miss out on valuable insights that can help inform more effective tactics down the line.
- Not leveraging existing networks: Many businesses have networks of loyal customers and influencers that they can leverage for growth hacking efforts. By tapping into these networks, you can increase brand awareness and drive more customers to your product or service.
- By avoiding these common mistakes, businesses can ensure that their growth hacking efforts are successful and generate the desired results. With a clear strategy in place and an understanding of what works best for each platform or channel, businesses can maximize their investment and get the most out of their growth hacking strategies.
Salary of Growth Hackers
The average salary for a Growth Hacker is $85,000 per year. However, salaries can vary depending on experience, skills, and location.
Growth Hackers who are just starting out in their careers can expect to earn around $50,000 per year. Experienced Growth Hackers can earn upwards of $100,000 per year.
Growth Hackers who are skilled in multiple areas, such as marketing, coding, and data analysis, can command higher salaries. Growth Hackers who are located in Silicon Valley can also expect to earn higher salaries.
The bottom line is that the salary of a Growth Hacker depends on a number of factors. If you’re interested in a career in Growth Hacking, it’s important to consider all of these factors before making a decision.
The future of growth hacking and where the industry is headed
In the past few years, growth hacking has become one of the most popular buzzwords in the tech industry. Promising startups and tech companies have been using growth hacking techniques to achieve explosive user growth, and established companies have been scrambling to catch up.
So what is growth hacking, and where is the industry headed?
Simply put, growth hacking is a data-driven approach to marketing that focuses on achieving rapid user growth. Growth hackers are constantly experimenting with new ways to acquire and engage users, and they use data to track their progress and optimize their results.
The growth hacking industry is still in its early days, but it is already starting to mature. A growing number of startups are hiring full-time growth hackers, and established companies are starting to take notice. As the industry matures, we can expect to see more growth hacking case studies, tools, and best practices emerge.
So what does the future hold for growth hacking? It’s hard to say for sure, but one thing is certain: the industry is here to stay.
A growth hacker is a vital part of any company that is looking to scale quickly and efficiently. If you are looking to start or grow a company, you need to make sure you have a growth hacker on your team.
Also take our short quiz to find out if you have the ideal startup team.