Growth hacking. A term us marketeers have heard time and time again. But now, more than ever, this buzzword is totally relevant. So prepare yourself to hear a whole lot more of it.

2020 was a year for businesses to survive and adapt during a time that was both unexpected and extremely difficult. With a vaccine being rolled-out and hope on the horizon, many businesses have rebuilt a stronger foundation, with growth being a key target for this year.

Enter: Growth Hacking. Though this term has many misconceptions, fear, and confusion around it, its meaning is actually pretty simple.

The term “Growth hacking” was first coined by CEO and Founder of GrowthHackers, Sean Ellis, and refers to data-driven methodology and a collection of SMART marketing techniques with the fundamental aim of rapid business growth.

The term was given rise from the Silicon Valley startup space, where founders had limited marketing budgets to work with. As such, startups had to come up with innovative new ways to grow their businesses quickly, while on a budget. 

The growth hacking process involves the continuous experimentation and implementation of different marketing strategies that are purely focused on growing the consumer base at exponential rates.

But how in the heck is this different from normal marketing strategies?” I hear you say…

Traditional marketing versus growth hacking

The difference between traditional marketing techniques and growth hacking lies in the rapid rate at which work is carried out and techniques are switched up. Growth hacking also usually requires more of a technical mindset. It’s all about continuously delving into the data to discover what works best to boost customer engagement, retention, sales and ultimately business growth.

Many of the techniques used by growth hackers focus on Pirate Metrics, aptly named due to the metric initials “AARRR” which refer to the following:

  • Acquisition: The process of  getting new customers
  • Activation: Convincing customers to engage with the product
  • Retention: Keeping customers and reducing churn
  • Revenue: Monetization from your business
  • Referral: Turning customers into advocates

How do I put growth hacking into practice?

According to HubSpot, at its core, there are five major pillars to growth hacking which they have defined as the following:

  1. Evaluate current marketing initiatives. Do a full audit that determines your best sources of leads, traffic, and page views. Figure out which channels are working for you.
  2. Set achievable goals. Determine where you’d like to improve these numbers, and start to think about how you can do so.
  3. Plan experiments to test your hypotheses. Come up with two, three, four, or twelve ways of testing your theories, and how you can reach your goals.
  4. Let it run. Experiment until your results are statistically significant. You can also continue optimizing until you reach your goals.
  5. Document your winning results, and share them with your team. Growth hacking is all about improving what you already have. If you come up with a game-changing tactic, spread the word.

Growth Hacking Strategies 2021

So, we’ve discussed the fundamentals of the term “Growth Hacking”, now let’s explore a few ideas and strategies your business can easily put to the test this year.

Discover and use social media platforms your competitors aren’t using

If you’re a startup in a competitive market, it’s going to be a whole lot harder for you to dominate the goliaths of the social media world than if you were in a niche market. Instead, you should consider seeking out the smaller social networks – those of which the majority of your competitors may not be active on. The Dots is a great example of a smaller social network for those in the creative industries. By investigating lesser-known social media platforms, you can ensure your brand is a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond….

Host a giveaway

Social media giveaways in 2020 hit an all-time high, with brands and influencers from all kinds of industries realising the opportunities of growth from using this growth hacking strategy. People love a freebie, and giveaways are a fantastic way to boost brand awareness and drive engagement at rapid speed. 

Offer your audience a freemium option

 A growth hacking strategy perfectly catered for the software or SaaS businesses of the world centres around making a freemium option available to your audience. This is where you offer basic services for free, with users required to pay extra to unlock additional features, functionality and services in the premium membership. 

This is a fantastic strategy as it gets customers on board with a free version of your product or service and thus opens up the opportunity to upsell a higher, premium version. This was a strategy that saw Spotify achieve high levels of success. 

The music streaming platform offers a freemium streaming service to users in which they are able to enjoy music without pay a dime. They do, however, have to listen to ads – which is where Spotify make their revenue on top of cash subscriptions.

Create a sense of urgency

There’s no doubt that if you’re looking to drive growth, then urgency is one of the most important tactics to master. We all know it works. Black Friday and Boxing Day sales are hugely successful in the UK because once those type of eye-popping deals are gone, it’ll be at least a year till something just as good comes along.

You may have heard the term “FOMO” a lot – and it isn’t just a buzzword used by Millenials. The term, which means the “fear of missing out” is a real phenomenon experienced by many people. 

Many brands seek to benefit from this psychological mechanism by utilising various limited-time promotions. Amazon is an example of a company that has excelled in creating a sense of urgency with its “Lightning Deals”. These are promotional offers that last a short period of time. They often target deals to customers who have viewed the product previously in order to compel user action.

Growth hacking is a great technique to supercharge the growth of your business, whatever its stage. Need help actioning a growth hacking strategy? Get in touch with us today and let us help you skyrocket your business in 2021.