The beginning is the most important part of the work: Plato. This couldn’t be truer in the life of an entrepreneur. Maybe you’ve created a masterpiece in the world of technology, or you’ve come up with a groundbreaking product that would change the lives of millions. My point is, getting people to see your idea in all its brilliance and consequently have them reaching for their wallets is the most important, but also the hardest part. Standing out from the competition and getting people to believe in your product enough that they are willing to pay for it is a full-time job itself. That’s where growth hacking comes in.
So what exactly is Growth Hacking?
The term was first introduced back in 2012, and even though it sounds complex, it’s actually really basic. So, growth hacking strategies represent all things related to marketing that you would normally do, but in a much accelerated form. Normally it would consist of two things – your creativity, because it involves constant thinking about what else you can do to attract new customers, and the power of prediction – to somewhat anticipate what the buyer wants, what’s going to get him to respond well to what you’re selling. It’s different for every type of merchandise or service, and what works well for one company can be pretty much pointless to another. It’s your job to select the right strategies that will benefit your business. I’m going to give you a few that have proven to be universally successful and you can go from there.
1. Embrace Social media
It’s one of the cheapest ways to attract the audience. If you’re a new company, you probably already know that you need to present yourself to the online community. Virtually every company has profiles on Facebook, Twitter or a website. Social media is beneficial for so many reasons: you can communicate with your customers, let them know about special offers or announcements, find out what interests your buyers the most, feedback, and the list goes on and on. Most importantly build your own community and true fans on Social media.
2. Build Honest Relationships & Network with Key Influencers
Building key relationship is a very important step. Who should you build relationships with? Well how about everyone! You can never have too many friends. Try to network at events, network on social media, blogs, forums, slack groups. Network with social media influencers, journalists or anyone with an audience in your niche.
3. Pre-launch Teaser & Explainer Videos
A short video explaining what your product is and what it does, but in an interesting and humorous way can also do wonders. Keep in mind that your video has to be unique somewhat to attract the right audience, otherwise it’s just a waste of time and money.
4. Look and Feel
I don’t know about you, but I care about how something looks. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a Website or a cereal box, look and user experience is very important. This is how your customer thinks: if they didn’t put effort into making it look desirable, they probably didn’t put much effort into the quality, either. You can also take a well-known thing and redesign it in a modern, never-seen-before way and catapult to success. Bottom line is – invest in the appearance.
5. Give Aways
Did you ever notice how people eat more when there’s free food around? Apply that in your marketing strategy. People are likely to take something, even if they’re not really interested in it just because they don’t have to pay for it. Essentially I’m telling you most of us are scrooges, but in this particular case, that’s good for business.
Take Pinterest, for instance. In its early days, people were able to join only if they were invited by another existing user. That whole ‘exclusive club’ approach helped in great length Pinterest become what it is today. It’s kind of like reversed psychology – I tell you that you can’t have something, which makes you want it even more.
We all want to be winners, but at the same time, a lot of us are not really prepared to work for it. Play that to your advantage – give people a small task to perform (such as including a hashtag with your brand’s name in one of their tweets) for a reward or sorts. It’s 2 in 1, really – you get social media exposure as well as a greater number of customers.
8. Special offers
Another thing that’s illogical about people is that they will buy a product they don’t particularly need if it has a discount. Then there’s that whole buy-two-get-third-one-for-free thing. If you can get them to believe that they are buying something special or that they will get a great bargain, you can do wonders.
It’s a great way of marketing without any of the usual marketing strategies on your part. It will cover three huge things – not only will you gather the money you need without having to take away from your personal savings, but you will get an insight on how interesting your idea is to the masses, as well as gathering a crowd of potential customers when you launch your product.
10. Reaching out
Sometimes, the best way is to get down to it and contact the customers yourself. I didn’t mean it literally – your employees are the ones who are probably going to do it, but nevertheless, sending out e-mails or straight up dialing the phone to tell people who you are and what you’re selling, well, it works.
11. Partnering up
Here’s how Tuc did it (it’s a company that makes crackers, FYI): when they first started, they partnered up with Milka who is a much bigger company and created a new product that combined the Milka chocolate with the crackers. To be honest, it tastes funny, but it’s great for exposure.
12. Being the best
This is probably the hardest strategy since it’s not technically about marketing – be the best in your field and you will get recognition. By beating all your competitors when it comes to quality, people will have no choice but to want to own the product.
From big strategies to minor ones, the pile of growth hacking strategies is seemingly endless and the best part is that it’s only limited by our imagination. Whatever you can come up with that can be used to expand your company is a valid strategy. So, start brainstorming and executing.