When you hear the word ‘hacking’ it probably conjures up a pretty radical image in your mind – which is hardly surprising since it is often used in a negative way. In the business context, however, hacking refers to streamlining your path to success. It’s about using radical, out-of-the-box, and original ideas to produce a measurable result.
WHY GROWTH HACKING?
People see advertising everywhere – on their desktops and mobiles, on billboards, in newspapers and magazines, on TV, on their way to the shops, and so on. Which means that getting your marketing efforts noticed is no walk in the park.
People can also get a little cynical about advertising and marketing, especially if they’ve been let down before. After all, nobody likes a lot of hype that doesn’t deliver the goods! So even if you provide excellence in every way – how do you get people’s attention so that they notice?
Growth hackers use a variety of methods to grab people’s attention in new and different ways. It involves being a bit radical, standing out, taking people by surprise, or even being a bit shocking. It might involve using humour, entertainment, artwork, videos, billboards or performing unusual acts. For instance, whatever you think about them, the use of random acts of kindness certainly creates some surprise and gets people talking!
EXAMPLES OF GROWTH HACKING METHODS
- Optical illusions – people are always fascinated by things that ‘trick’ their eyesight by not doing what they expect, such as 3D street art. Magician tricks could be another idea.
- Giant replicas of products in unexpected places – anything from giant drink cans and ice creams to footballs and cricket bats.
- Websites and videos that go viral – the trick here is to make your site or video so exciting and interesting that you don’t have to push it, because people will share it themselves.
- Sky ads, giant hot air balloons, crazy billboards, or messages inside products.
Growth hacking should be cost-effective. It’s a matter of originality, passion and imagination. In fact if you play your cards right, your message will spread organically – all at little or no cost to you!
WHAT ABOUT ONLINE MARKETING?
Growth hacking is often done primarily online. Ideas include:
- Giveaways – everyone loves a freebie! An example might be to give away a free product for the first 50 people who comment on your social media post, or who share your link. This can not only get people sharing and talking, it may also mean that people continue to share the news to others about your products.
- Create or post more videos on your site that will capture people’s imagination. If you lack the skills or the budget for this, royalty-free videos provide a cost-effective option to get you started.
Of course the most important element in all this is delivering on what you have promised as a brand – bad reviews can spread as fast as good ones!
Do You Think Like a Growth Hacker?
If you are running a small or medium sized business and competing with the big guys you need to be able to market smarter not harder. You need to think like a Growth Hacker. If you don’t know what I mean you will by the end of this article. Without clever, well designed marketing strategies you will find it hard to beat your competitors on their terms.
It is essential to build a loyal customer base. One great way to build loyalty with your customers is to remember them after completing business with you. Often business people spend so much time with clients winning the sale and then forget them once the transaction is complete. Don’t forget the value of the customer and the possible repeat business that could be won. It’s much harder to find a new customer than it is to win repeat business, presuming of course that your product or service is of reasonable quality. When you have a powerful database it opens you up to many cost effective strategies.
BUILD A DATABASE
Building a database of prospects and customers is an important asset for building an effective Growth Hacking strategy. It’s about building a marketing process, not a once off or random series of events. It’s based on proven, measurable techniques and some intuition.
Growth Hacking is about cost effective marketing strategies that don’t strictly follow traditional marketing and advertising techniques. A successful hacker brings together new ways of thinking to achieve your marketing goals. It is essentially a strategy for promoting your business and your brand while generating profits in creative ways. While Growth Hacking has become quite a popular term, many businesses are not implementing this way of thinking in their own businesses. It is a way of thinking with creativity and openness to new ideas. Many business owners use these techniques to increase word of mouth and publicity while using other traditional avenues for other marketing purposes.
GROWTH HACKERS ARE ENTREPRENEURIAL
Growth Hacking is well suited to the Entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurs tends to be creative, energetic and imaginative while building their businesses into a lean, mean, profit generating machine. Hacking is a way of achieving conventional goals in unconventional ways. It’s about achieving the maximum results with a minimal budget by approaching your marketing from many different angles that cost next to nothing. Social Media is just one tool often used since it is designed to reach many with little cost.
GROWTH HACKERS TAKE CALCULATED RISKS
When investing in any marketing there are always risks involved. Sending the wrong information to your customers or prospects or sending it at the wrong time could have a negative impact on your business. Imagine receiving a viral marketing message that others found funny but you found deeply offensive. Is it likely you would purchase anything from that business? Of course not. Walking that fine line is what makes Growth Hacking exciting and challenging. You must take a calculated risk.
Imagine sending a funny email that everybody forwarded to their friends with your website link on it. Imagine projecting your brand on the side of the largest building in Melbourne the night after the AFL Grand Final. Imagine if your business could get noticed in a way nobody else has ever tried or even thought of before. How much more business would these types of strategies help generate? What would that mean to your bottom-line?
If you have any ideas for your own business you would like our opinion on please feel free to comment below. It would be interesting to see what ideas we could come up with together.
This content was originally published on Omnific Design before we rebranded as Uplift 360.