From Gmail to DropBox, growth hackers are the brains behind the ideas that have pushed start-ups from zero to virality. Growth hackers break into the market using minimum cost and achieving maximum effect. Here are five lessons marketers can learn from growth hackers.
1. Tell a Friend to Tell a Friend
Growth hackers know that referrals are a great way to leverage your existing customer base to generate new business. PayPal achieved 7-10% daily growth through referrals alone. If you already have people who love your business, start a referral program. Some best practices:
- Give Great Incentives: send out surveys to understand your core customers, what they want, and what motivates them to share. Double-sided rewards (where both referrer their friend get rewarded), ensure you attract the perfect audience and create a unique experience.
- Make Referrals Easy: Using Single Sign-on and social logins so customers can quickly access forms. Ask for minimal information during signups, and ensure rewards are easy to claim.
- Nail Your Messaging: Keep your referral message short, clear, and memorable. Ensure your message represents your brand’s value proposition and use two different messages. Conduct A/B testing to figure out which message prompts the most engagement.
Community is Important
For growth hackers, utilizing a loyal community is a great way to boost growth as it provides consumers with the social validation they need when finalizing a purchase decision. Ryan Hoover grew Product Hunt using community building exercises. Here are some successful community-driven hacks you can steal:
- Ambassador Programs: Build a community of advocates to help you reach new customers. Men’s shorts brand, Chubbies recruited college students to help grow its customer base. Your ambassadors should be social influencers and reflect your target demographic. Communicate program responsibilities and what rewards ambassadors will receive for their efforts.
- Online Communities: Build your community on an interest that’s important to your target audience and launch a pilot test. Keep your audience engaged by sharing valuable content, providing a space for real conversations and involving them in co-creation.
- Offline Events: Organize events, or meetups to increase brand awareness. Your event should be experience-driven and focused on your target audience’s interests. Tinder gained traction in its early days by attending sorority events and organizing university parties.
Make Stuff People Want
Wonder how Whatsapp grew to 400 million users without spending money on user acquisition? They had a great product people wanted. Successful growth hackers know that a perfect product-market fit makes marketing easier and helps achieve sustainable growth. Below are some tips from the product-market fit playbook that you can use to ensure you develop a product consumers want:
- Know Your Audience: Identity who will benefit from your product and the problems they’re trying to solve. Know where your target audience hangs out online and which types of content they consume. This will help you to determine the right traction channels to target and which kinds of content to produce.
- Solve a Problem: Don’t start creating products until you have a product-solution fit (i.e a product customers can’t leave without). Ensure you solve a real problem for your audience. Find out how valuable your product is to consumers, by carrying out a survey and use the feedback to improve your product.
- Choose a Good Value Proposition: Your value proposition should give consumers a compelling reason to buy and differentiate you from your competition. Shape your value proposition based on your audience’s pain points and keep it simple.
Be Data Obsessed
growth hackers are obsessed with data and use it to supercharge their growth. Take the guesswork out of your marketing with these tips:
- Be Data-Driven: Establish a data-centric culture by ensuring all decisions are guided by data. Democratize your data and empower employees with the necessary skills and tools to analyze data themselves. Airbnb has a Dataportal that keeps employees data-informed.
- Use Analytics: Invest in analytics to measure what’s working, what’s not, and what to improve. Choose key performance indicators that align with your business goals, set up automated tracking and reporting, and use advanced real-time analytics platforms to uncover hidden insights that can help you to understand your audience on a deeper level.
- Embrace Experimentation: Growth hackers are committed to experimentation-it’s how they win. Adopt a rapid experimentation culture. Define your goals and set up analytics to measure whether you’re hitting your chosen benchmarks. Choose a small set of customers that can act as a data sample to carry out your experiments and learn to fail fast.
The Magic Of The ‘Aha! Moment’
While an aha moment sounds like something Oprah would say, for growth hackers, it describes when new users first realize your product’s value. Here are two things to know when using this hack:
- Find Your Aha Moment: Find people who successfully use your product or service and dig deep into your analytics to identify which set of actions inspires them to continue using your product for an extended period of time. Ask your customers when the aha moment happened for them and use the feedback to supplement your data.
- Lead to the AHA: Guide customers to your aha moment as quickly as possible. You can do this either by directing first-time visitors to the crucial point or nudging them to take a certain step. Remove all forms of frictions like sign-ups.
Adopt The Growth Hacker Mindset
Today’s marketing is about agility and experimentation. Ditch Mad Men era practices and adopt the mindset of a growth hacker. Get creative and see how you can leverage mobile, social, and location-based approaches powered by data and insights. Growth hacking doesn’t have set rules so experiment and don’t be afraid to push the limits.