With start-ups facing immense pressure to grow quickly in a highly competitive market space, founders today sleep with one eye open, constantly monitoring data that indicates their growth and profits. Unfortunately, growth often boils down to advertising and marketing efforts and not every company has a marketing budget that runs in millions. Growth hacking, a concept that came into being almost 6 years ago, helps start-ups expand without having to rely on costly avenues like print media and TVCs.
Growth hacking essentially means using non-traditional methods to ensure your consumers are not only aware of your brand, but also engage with it. It is, in a nutshell, a smart way to leverage commonly available marketing tools to make sure everyone knows your name.
You can effectively growth-hack by pivoting your marketing efforts to include:
Content marketing is one of the strongest tools a digital marketer can use. It’s a great way to spread the word about your services or products without having to make a huge financial investment. Based on your industry, you can greatly benefit from these content marketing activities:
- Adding valuable and sharable content to your blog
- Guest blogging on relevant sites
- Writing whitepapers and e-books
- Leveraging social media marketing
- Publishing podcasts
- Collaborating with influencers
- Running give-aways and contests to increase product sampling
- Using tools like email marketing, SEO and ORM to interact with your customers
Product Marketing tactics help you establish your brand or product as valuable, thereby building a stronger user base than you had before you started. The following product marketing activities can help you grow:
- Creating FOMO by issuing an invite-only system to sign up
- Giving customers incentives in exchange for referrals in ways that benefit the new user and the referrer
- Gamifying any on-boarding process to increase consumer engagement (this works especially well when you’re offering SAAS)
- Creating relatability and product-envy through affiliate marketing
What you absolutely cannot compromise on while growth hacking!
Growth hacking isn’t just about using available social media tools and technology smartly. Anyone can do that. What will make your brand stand out from your competitor’s is the value that you ultimately offer. An act as simple as offering continued discounts to consumers that refer a certain number of new customers to your brand can set you apart from a competitor that offers a single discount. Of course, start-ups can’t afford to bankrupt themselves in the pursuit of offering discounts, which is why you must first prioritise a specific marketing goal before picking a growth-hacking strategy to follow.
Don’t worry about competitors that offer flash, if you’re certain that you offer substance. Value wins in the end, and consumers always pick brands that they believe are in their best interests.