Growth hacking is often simply confused as a synonym for marketing. This is because they share many techniques with traditional marketers. However, growth hacking is much more than a mere variation of marketing.
For one thing, growth hackers focus on startups and concentrate on rapid, technologically-given growth techniques. For another, they use creativity and analytical thinkingaround social metrics to gain market exposure for products.
Since their goal is to sell faster, they deploy the following mainstream techniques:
How Growth Hacker's Think
If you were a growth hacker, you would focus on a growth curve. You would alternate periods of strategic and sustainable growth with periods of rapid, unsustainable tactical growth. For instance, you would use search engine marketing techniques for sustainable growth while using a temporary paid partnership for a growth spurt.
You would also understand three things about your customer:
- First, you would understand what they want, desire, and need.
- Second, you would understand where they hang out.
- Third, you would learn the niche-based language that they use in conversations with each other. For instance, those involved in the Software as a Service niche talk about "shiny report tools" when trying to articulate a problem
- Fourth, you would get inside the minds of customer's and ask the following types of questions: How can I save time? How can I get better results? How can I produce more? How can I look good in my company? How can I get some help here?
5 Things Growth Hackers Focus On
If you were a Growth Hacker, you would be particularly skilled in the following 5 marketing techniques and you would continually look for ways to automate work processes to save time and labor costs.
- Organic search. You would ensure that sitemap.xml is being generated in a programmatic way and that it is submitted properly to the major search engines. You would also use rich snippetsbecause it works better and few people have yet caught on to it.
- Blogging. You might create lots of share-able content like top ten lists, useful stuff, and pictures. For instance, Boston.comis particularly good at using pictures. You would also prefer to create content your customers would find useful than talk about yourself too much. While you would not want to automate content creation because it would lose its originality and readability, you would be interested in finding ways to automate idea generation—like Google trends.
- Guest posting. You would leverage your knowledge about technology to put good new content on tech blogs. You would also be proactive about the whole thing by writing first, then offering it to a blog. If they declined, you would then offer it to another blog, until you found a home for it. If you could not place it, at all you would then simply it on your own blog. You know that the SEO value of your guest post will lead to direct leads. As in blogging, you would not focus on automating content, but you would be interesting in finding quicker, simpler ways to generate ideas.
- Content sharing. You would look for ways to share your content. You would get it out there instead of hoping people would come and find it. Your self-promotion techniques might include finding relevant Subreddits and relevant Quora questions. You would also find ways to feed your comments into forums and blog comments.
- Landing pages. You would test landing pages, tweaking language variations, value propositions, and, of course, CTA. You would automate with tools like Visual Website Optimizer or Google Content Experiments.
As you would probably have noticed by now, growth hackers place an emphasis on keeping costs low and finding alternatives to traditional marketing avenues. While traditional marketers might use print media, radio and television, growth hackers are interested in much leaner ways like social media marketing and viral marketing. Incidentally, many of the top social media platforms themselves—like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter--use growth hacking strategies.
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