What is growth hacking?
There is a despite need for this guide because the growth hacking is so misunderstood. Few Concepts of Growth Hacking as polarizing as revolutionary. While reading this guide you must have few questions in your mind that are: Is it marketing in reality? Is used to increase salaries? Is it a Future of Internet Products? Let’s Figure it out.
A Short History of Growth Hacking a Controversial Concept.
A “Growth hacking” Concept is coined by Sean Ellis in 2010. Sean had helped a number of internet companies getting incredible growth, and few of them had even an IPO. Sean become that guy when any company starts up their business and needs to grow their user base they hire him for their equity and payment in exchange of services. He became one-man growth shop. Setting up system, process and mindsets that could operate by someone after he left. There is position where problem started. Sean said that is why he stemmed this phrase from his frustration when hiring someone is replacement of himself.
While searching for his replacement the resumes he receives are not relevant. They had marketing degrees and experience but they lack of something.
A traditional marketer has a very broad focus, while their skillset is very valuable, it is not needed is the early life of startups. In early life of startups is only growth.
So Sean asked for marketers and wrote a post on title of “Find Growth Hacker for your Startups” and the idea has born.
A Growth is not a replacement of Traditional marketer. It is not better then marketer. It is just different than marketer. Sean once said that “The growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth”.
Every decision that a growth hacker is made is for growth. Every strategy, every tactic is attempted in a hope for growth. Of course traditional marketer care about growth, but not in the same extent.
The full focus on growth hacking has given rise to the tools, methods and best practices, that simply does not exist in traditional marketing.
Traditional marketer has skills on traditional products but internet has created new redefinitions about the word product. For thousands of year a product has been a physical product. But now they are invisible in the form of software products. Products are used to be as cars, shampoo and guns. But now Twitter is a product. Your accounting software is a product. This is responsible for the new age of growth hackers.
For the first time, a product can be act as an adoption of its own. Like a Facebook has a feature to share their product to their friends and family in other get experience out of it. Shampoo can’t do that. A product like Dropbox gives you free storage if your friends sign ups to it.
Seam Ellis who coined the word “growth hacking”, was also the first person in charge of growth of Dropbox. He understands about internet products.
The Internet not only redefine product also redefine Distribution. Those who has a knowledge of how people flow on online traffic would be able to use that knowledge for that growth of their product.
When Highways builds all around America in 1950’s. Mcdonald’s understood that interstate roads were a new channel to increase the customers and by taking advantage of that. Exits are littered with golden arches. This is the example of offline growth hacking.
The internet is the modern counterpart to this analogue. Here are the basic examples to better understand:
- Instead of ways of motorways providing to the way of local business we have search engines to find digital business. The person who knows SEO can avail this opportunity and drive traffic to their websites
- Instead of the roads way to the local movie theaters, new we have YouTube to browse.
- Instead of the streets to the houses of our friends house we have social networks like Facebook in order to socialize with them.
Growth Hacking in Practice.
Up till now we have talked about philosophy of growth hacking talked about history and definition of growth hacking now we are discussing the real world example of it.
That is Airbnb. So
As many of you know, they allow anyone to convert their bedroom into hotel bedrooms and allow them to give these for rent to strangers or travelers.
It’s an amazing idea, but growth hacking is what who makes it on the map.
They leverage Craigslist, a platform with millions of visitors looking for accommodations, to increase their user base. When you are filling out the form on Airbnb to list your bedroom for giving them for rent they give you the option to also post ad to craigslist to create inbound links to Airbnb Platform.
The Future of Growth Hacking
One more note on future. For now, growth can be applied to startups only. But eventually growth hacking will be becoming the part of fortune 500 companies. Startups generally lacks resources, and the established relationships. However, growth hacking tactics can also be applied to larger corporations. Growth hacking returns an incredible result without resources imagine what can It will give with resources.
Myths and Truth About Growth Hacking
There are many Myth about growth hacking let talk each of them one by one.
MYTH ONE: Growth Hacker must be a Programmer
It’s simply not true that growth hacker must be a Programmer. Growth Hacker does not have to be a programmer, But A Growth Hacker Usually need a Programmer in his team.
MYTH TWO: Traditional Marketer Cannot be a Growth Hacker
In a bad way, Growth Hacking becomes a sort of religion, marketers are viewed as an opponent, instead of a close ally. If anything, a growth hacker is a marketer which has restricted his activities to growth alone. Then It is yes.
MYTH THREE: You Must Unethical to be a Growth Hacker
Most growth hackers don’t even have to ask the question what is ethical., They are getting their products to public through their knowledge and They build harmless product features. It’s smart not unethical.
We have talked enough about what isn’t growth hacker is? know we should talk about what the growth hacker is?
TRUTH ONE: Growth Hackers Are Extremely Analytical
Analytics are the blood the flows through the veins of a growth hacker. Whatever they do foreground or background it would be on the base of analytics. Without analytics the growth hacker becomes naked. Here are some ways growth hacker use analytics:
- Analytics Keep Growth Hacker Honest
- Analytics shifts the focus of Growth Hackers
- Analytics Makes Success Repeatable
- Analytics Predicts the Future of Growth Hackers
TRUTH TWO: Growth Hackers Are T-Shaped
When it’s come to the skills possess by the growth hackers then its shape like a Capital T. The flat horizontal part of the T represents the various knowledge and skills that a growth hacker will be familiar with. You need to know a little bit about
psychology. You need to know a little bit about viral loop. You need to know about this and that … You got the point.
Additionally, you must have some the skills which creates a vertical line of the Letter T, the skills you are expert of. The skills you are dominates.
But Professionals are not like that. They not like T shape they like V shape. As they master at 20 to 30 skills that makes V shape not like 2 or 3 of T shape.
TRUTH THREE: Growth Hackers are also Right Brained
Growth hackers spend too much time on talking about analytics it true but they are also right brained they are creative too. They innovate and create new idea too on the bases of project.
The Growth Hacking Process
Before we should talk about growth hacking tactics we would talk about the Growth Hacking Process. There are definite steps in the mind of growth hacker while in the process of the growth hacking while attempting to growth are company.
STEP ONE: Define Actionable Goals
STEP TWO: Implement Analytics to Track Your Goals
STEP THREE: Leverage Your Existing Strength
STEP FOUR: Execute The Experiments
STEP FIVE: Optimize The Experiment
STEP SIX: Repeat
The Growth Hacker Funnel
If you put the oil into the car you know what is the funnel. The funnel has the wide opening on the top. The opening becoming smaller and smaller while the oil enters into the engine. A funnel is a way to guide something which is uncooperative like liquid. If you are building a product, then your task is to guide people towards a particle goal. You must employ a funnel if you to do your visitor to do what you want.
Levels of Funnel
A goal of the funnel is to get visitors. This is the act when someone or user first visit on your web site. At this point these are called only visitors. These are not members or users because they don’t some type of relationship with you. They are just strangers just visits your site. There are only three ways to get some visitors to your site it Is called three P’s. Push them, pull them or use the product to bring them.
Three steps of Funnel:
STEP ONE: Get Visitors
STEP TWO: Activate Members
STEP THREE: Retain Users
The Three P’s to Get Visitors
You want to get new visitors to your site? There are three ways to get web traffic. No More, No Less, Pull People in, Push People in or you can use product to get people in. There are three Pâ€™s to getting People into your site. Following is the difference between them
The first way to get visitors to your site is to pull them into your site. There is the way where you give them reason to come to you. you draw people to you. You didn’t have to go and find people online, but rather, they found you.
It is bit more aggressive than Pull as its implies by its name. Instead of attracting people. You go to them and push them into your site. Until someone ads your ads no one can watch a Youtube video, or if someone search on the search engines some keywords and found some ads related to search terms. You and find where people are and get them from there to your site.
The third way to get visitor or get traffic is through product itself. If you have ever invited your friend to any social networking sites like facebook, twitter, linkedin or others you can understand how the new visitor visits into site and get membership on these sites. Everyone that use the site can get more visitors to use the product.
As you think about the pull tactics you should the one thing which is common in the pull tactics that is the cost of these tactics can only be measured in time or personnel, but you are not paying to get the visitors
Pull Tactic 1: Blogging or Guest Blogging
One of the true way of getting traffic to your site is blogging or guest blogging. Blog are perfect to send you a traffic for number of reasons:
- Blog posts easily indexed by google, and these are keyword rich
- Blog post have compounding effect the more you write posts more you will get results
- Blogs are usually based on specific niches or subtopics
- Blog Post can read through RRS readers, so there is the inbuilt mechanism to their distribution to readers
- Blog posts are great at informing about your product to other people
- Blog owner are always looking for guest postings.
Pull Tactic 2: Podcasting or Guest Podcasting
Another great way to getting traffic to your site is podcasting or guest podcasting. When you hear someone it is even better than reading their thoughts you are given into their minds. Like blogs, podcast have different inbound distribution mechanism, but blogging and podcasting are different in the lens of getting traffic
- Podcast are not easily indexed by google
- It’s hard to go to the website which are mentioned in podcast as compare to blog post.
- Podcasts are fewer in number and have smaller audiences
Pull Tactic 3: Ebooks, Guides and Whitepapers
Some people use large chunks of energy at spread out intervals and produce different that are little bit more monumental. This is a good and valid tactic in which you provide ebooks, guides and whitepapers in order to receive good amount of traffic to your site
- It is easy to ignore a blog post but if there is a ebook, guide or whitepaper on such a niche or topic it’s hard to ignore.
- Ebooks, guide or white paper have high perceive value you can provide ebooks, guides or whitepaper in exchange of an email address it helps you to create an email list that you will eventually work for your funnel.
- Ebooks, Guides and whitepaper can also be spreads Through social media as well.
- Ebooks, guide and whitepapers are written in order to educate people about your products.
Pull Tactic 4: Infographics
Visualization are the very powerful tools they spread through social media and get traffic to your site following points should be considered while creating infographics:
- Select a good topic
- Find the right data
- Analyze the data
- Built the narrative
- Come up with the design concept
- Polish the design
- Distribute the Infographics
Pull Tactic 5: Webinars
The offline world has seminars but online world has webinars. This are very useful channel at bringing new visitors:
- A Youtube video can be watched at any time but people must attend webinars. Webinars are usually live.
- Webinars usually have limited seats. It shows that the content of webinar must be very important and useful
- Webinars educates people. And usually ends with the offer which gets the visitors into your site can became members.
Pull Tactic 6: SEO
In a sense, all the tactics we have covered here so far are incredible in the form of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) point of view. As you create a content of any kind search engine realized that you are the authority of the content, and will rank high on certain keywords.
Pull Tactic 7: Social Media
One of the way to gain traffic on the top of the funnel is the social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc.
- Don’t follow or unfollow on the social network just to get their attention you must have any kind of relation with them.
- Don’t buy any kind of followers they are not of your market
- Engage with people who actually knows your products
Pull Tactic 8: App Marketplace
One of the channel to gaining a lot of visitors is through app marketplace. The Apple Store and Google Play is the marketplace. Where you can buy different types of smartphone apps which can be helpful in order to get site visitors.
We have already covered pull tactics. So, we are now discussing push tactics for getting visitors. While utilizing the push tactic you are the content being consumed. And you pay for ads in this category. In this you do not tweet to get traffic but people see tweet ads in other to visit to your site or people don’t watch youtube video but watch youtube video ads in order to get site visitors.
Push Tactic 1: Purchase ads
At first glance, ads may not seem like a growth hacking but ads are definitely a place to the distribution of your product. Sure if you purchase ads without any strategy, doing nothing to gain edge, void of creativity and the process of testing, then you will be like everyone else. There are many different ways to purchase ads. Many people though there are only Facebook, Twitter, and Google to purchase ads in order get visitors. But, there are many more platform from where we can purchase ads. Like there is also a Linkedin from where we can purchase ads. There has been an explosions ads network over the last few years.
Push Tactic 2: Promo Swaps
Cross promotion with other companies is one of the easiest and free way of getting traffic to your site. If you find a company that deals in your niche and targeting your demography, then considered them. There are plenty of ways that you could coordinate to promote each other.
Push Tactic 3: Affiliates
Another way to get visitors toward your site is by affiliates marketing. This is a way where on reaching a certain goal for you will get commission on it, Goals are like sign up for trail version, visiting a website or becoming a member.
There are a number of platform who do headache of technical side of affiliate marketing and easily get up and on side of finding affiliates to promote your product.
One of the most exciting aspect of growth hacking is the ability to use the product itself to get new visitors. Pulling the visitors on the top of funnel is good. And push them also good thing. But, it is something magical about using the product its self to drive traffic. When done it can have the effect which cannot be replicated with push and pull methods alone.
Product Tactic 1: Network Invitations
Many people already on their social networks in various places. We have friends on Facebook. We have followers in twitter. We are connected to business relation on Linkedin. We have list of email addresses of our friends on Gmail. We have phone numbers of our friends. We can use our ability to use pre-defined networks of relationships to our advantage for getting visitors. We can use following contacts of visitors you increase the user base of our product or website
- Phone Contact
- Email Contacts
- Social Contacts
Product Tactic 2: Social Sharing
One of the most powerful way of getting visitors to our site is to engage with customers or friends on social sharing sites. This tactic is more about to talk about your product on their social network.
Product Tactic 3: Backlinks
No Doubt, backlinks are the one of the main factor of increasing Rank on search engine. We can utilize this and create relevant and quality backlinks as much as possible to get your site get into the first page of our site
How to Activate Members
Here are some possible activation goals:
- Get their email address
- Get them to create an account
- Get them to read something
- Get them to comment on something
- Get them to share something
- Get them to buy something
- Get them to fill out something
- Get them to watch something
- Get them to interact with someone
- Get them to friend request someone
- And many more
So, the conclusion or the briefly theme of this guide is that with the passage of time internet becomes more and more mature and is the time of web 2.0. we can operate internet on smartphones as ability of internet broadband and 3g/4g technologies.
Now web applications are cross platforms and hybrid which runs on any platform through browser or smart phone apps and new technologies like growth hacking are being introduced day by day.
It creates a new career path in order to grow new tech startups and since few years we have many case studies of viral loops on different company’s products and they have rapidly grown to millions of visitors in few months and we are seeking for new unicorn tech companies like Facebook, Hotmail, Dropbox, Instagram or Snapchat.
Bye for now.
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