[Intermediate – 107] What is Growth Hacking?

The Best Definition and Techniques to Become a Growth Hacker

The majority of people have never heard the term “growth hacking” before, and if they have, they probably aren’t able to define it. For startup developers and entrepreneurs, though, growth hacking is an essential marketing term that needs to be both understood and utilized.

Growth hacking is the process of selling products and increasing brand awareness using tested metrics, creativity, and analytics. Therefore, a growth hacker is the person who solves marketing issues in a unique and innovative way, pushing a metric using proven methodology. Essentially, a growth hacker is the brains behind a successful business marketing strategy and plans how to drive products and business growth. The biggest difference between growth hacking and regular marketing are the tools that are available and the challenges presented; an established company probably has a whole lot of data that they can already work with, whereas a startup company might not. As such, a startup company is going to have to grow the business by hacking – or using out-of-the-box thinking and approach styles.

Successful growth hacking isn’t easy – it requires a slew of creative approaches, critical thinking ability, and a collection of metrics and hard data. However, when done right, growth hacking is the key to marketing and an essential component of business prosperity. For some growth hacking techniques and tips that can help to grow your business, read on:

Define Your Goals

Without a set of specific goals and business aspiration, a growth hacker has no jumping off point to start with. As such, the first step in growth hacking technique is to lay down some very specific, action-oriented, obtainable goals. While the overall goal is obviously business growth, that goal needs to be broken down into smaller, more meaningful goals that will eventually lead to the overall goal’s success.

For example, if your company wanted to grow their number of Facebook followers, a broad, generalized goal might be to double the number of Facebook followers within a six-month period. But, this goal is too broad. So, when you think about retention instead, with a smaller number of new users being the overall goal. However, the point is still being missed – instead of thinking about what the end goal is, you should think about how the end goal might be achieved. If your current follower base responds well every time you post a video, then a more achievable goal would be to post one extra video per week, and to ask followers to share the video. Not only would this help with retention, but it would probably be instrumental in growing your follower base, too.

Start Tracking Progress

Once you’ve set a number of manageable, action-oriented goals, the next step is tracking those goals’ progress. If your goal was to increase your video output by twice your current output rate, then here are some things to think about:

  • How do you currently track content creation (blogs, articles, videos, photos, etc.)?
  • Is specifics of the content tracked ( a type of content, length of content, topic of content, etc.)?
  • Do you track how the content is viewed (smartphones, tablets, computers)?
  • Do you track who views the content (user demographics)?
  • Do you have a plan in place for how to track increases in content traffic?

If you haven’t thought about all of the metrics and data above, then you need to start doing so immediately. Without metrics, goals can’t be monitored, and without monitoring, changes and adjustments can be made to better meet goals. Tracking progress is the second step in growth hacking technique.

Focus on Content Hacking

All of your marketing efforts will probably revolve around content in one way or another, and so improving your content wherever possible is essential to watching business goals soar. This can be especially true if your business is just starting out, and you don’t have a lot of quantifiable data to work with. If you’re not large enough to have a huge customer base that can be analyzed, then you can start focusing on content hacking to help your audience base expand.

Content hacking is a major growth hacking technique and is essentially the process of writing great, shareable content that utilizes all of the practices of great SEO and great content marketing strategy. For example, one of the easiest ways to improve content is by writing great headlines. A headline should be short, succinct, and serve as a hook that draws the reader in, making them want to read more. If the headline gives it all away from the start, the user will have no motivation to read the content below the headline.

Another hugely important part of content hacking is creating content that is shareable. Adding buttons for sharing, Tweeting or liking are essential functions that should be on all pages of content. Asking for social media shares as part of a call to action – and making it easy for the user by putting a button right where they can see it – is one of the simplest ways to rapidly expand your audience.

And, of course, a focus on content hacking wouldn’t be complete without a sentence or two about creating a better content copy. If your content is usually about 400 words, a way to create better copy would be to lengthen it to 1,000 words, which has been proven to be a more successful content length. Of course, writing well – good grammar, punctuation, and spelling – will also improve your content, as will writing content that’s interesting, engaging, and tells a story. Of course, blogging often is also key, and you should never fail in posting a blog that customers have grown used to expecting. Set a blogging schedule and stick to it for more success.

Growth Hacking Techniques Summarized

Growth hacking doesn’t have to be mysterious as it sounds. While it can certainly be challenging, understand growth hacker characteristics and strategies can make becoming a growth hacker much more straightforward. Essentially, remember that growth hackers are thinking about growth, about data, about opportunities, about SEO, about virility, and about how to make all of these things work together. By defining goals, tracking progress, and focusing on content hacking, you can begin growing your business today.

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