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Growth Hacking: “An Entrepreneurial Tactic for Business Growth”

By Alex Beckis, 4/8/2015

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Are you launching a new business venture? A business with an online presence? A business that can be classified as a start-up?

If so, discover the concept of  growth hacking.

Growth hacking boosts business growth in the early stages of operation. Read on to discover what growth hacking is all about. Learn about its definition and ideas.

It was Sean Ellis, the founder of Startups-Marketing, who coined the term “growth hacking” and it focuses on an action plan designed to achieve a specific growth objective.

Growth hacking focuses on one growth objective at a time. You pursue this objective with a set of strategies and actions that will yield tangible business growth.

Growth hacking has been successful for technology start-ups who need to satisfy venture capital investors. Tech Beach identifies growth hacking as a marketing technique that uses creativity, social metrics, analytical thinking and tools to sell products and gain exposure. The action plan combines creativity, analytics, measurement and testing.

An example of a growth hacking plan

You can design a growth hacking plan as follows:

  1. Identify a growth objective such as increased traffic, increased sales, lead capturing, improved conversion, or higher return on investment.
  2. Identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the chosen objective.
  3. Define and implement the tactics required for achieving the specific objective.
  4. Set up Google Analytics to measure the performance indicators.
  5. Create reports that measure progress.
  6. Use split testing to improve results.

The difference between inbound marketing and growth hacking

Growth hacking, as distinct from inbound marketing, focuses on new ideas and strategies, or the ability to strengthen an existing strategy to achieve better results.

Align the action plan with a single growth objective and identify the key performance indicators associated with that objective. The tactics used will most likely involve SEO combined with website analytics, content marketing and split testing.

Start-ups can use social media marketing instead of print, media and TV advertising. This latter type of advertising can be prohibitive in cost. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or other preferred channels.

Growth Hacking Tactics

Growth is not an actionable goal; action plans should focus on a company’s sales funnel. Analytics are also a crucial part of growth hacking.

The targeted goal or objective

Select a goal and identify the associated metrics to monitor. Actionable tactics may include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Organic traffic growth
  • Paid traffic conversion rates
  • Churn rate
  • Opt-in rate

These metrics are part of a company’s sales and conversion funnel

The sales funnel

A sales funnel serves the purpose of attracting visitors, engage visitors and convert visitors to buyers.

The best strategy is to focus on the top part of the sales funnel which is where you attract visitors. What are the best methods to build traffic and attract visitors?

The response rate for direct response advertising has declined during the last ten years and now produces a click-through-rate (CTR) as low as one percent. Ad blindness is a fact of life.

Give your targeted audience unique and valuable content. Include a strong Call To Action (CTA) that motivates people to opt-in to your mailing list in return for a free give-away.

However, it is difficult to attract organic traffic to a website and organic reach on channels like Facebook is now down to a miserable 4%. Use inexpensive and targeted advertising on channels like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to achieve better reach.

Engage with people who share or comment on your posts, promote your give-away and encourage people to opt-in.

Finally, build actionable items and metrics into the sales funnel and turn visitors into paying customers.

A suitable reference is Neil Patel’s post titled “How to Build a Conversion Funnel that will Triple Your Profits.”

Analytics

Use Google Analytics analyze traffic and conversion rates. Several commercial tools provide more analytical details but Google Analytics will do the job required.

Google tutorials are available for those not familiar with analytics.

    • Track daily traffic.
    • Set up conversion goals and track these.
    • Monitor visitor’s time-on-page and bounce rate.
    • Track events like sign-ups.

Set up specific goals for tracking the metrics defined in a growth hacking action plan.

Summary

Small business enterprises and start-ups face difficulties in competing with larger, established competitors who have the resources to dominate traditional marketing channels. Use innovative practices that are different from traditional marketing to reach a target audience and acquire visitors to the sales funnel.

This is where growth hacking and its practices may be the right solution for success.

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