Growth Hacking Strategies for Startups to Ensure Desired Leads

Growth hacking or growth marketing is an experiment-driven approach to identify the most effective way to promote your brand widely. In order to keep your business always a step ahead, you have to plan something out of the box. And growth marketing can help you with that.

Entrepreneurs always aim to reach their potential consumers and increase their revenue within a short time period. Therefore, you must emphasize your marketing strategies to get quick exposure in today's business world. To establish a unique identity of your business you must come with some creative solutions.

Growth Marketing is not only about traditional marketing or promoting products and services.

Growth Marketing is all about growing your user base by doing continuous experiments, collecting reviews, improving quality and ultimate growth of the business.

You can leverage the power of Growth Hacking to reach a huge audience and increase brand awareness.

Proprietors sometimes get confused to choose the right Growth Hacking strategies to grow fast. Today we will show you 10+ proven Growth Marketing Methodologies that will worth your expenditure.

What is Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking is a comparatively new and creative marketing technique focused on growth. It is an experiment-driven tactic to get a massive growth in a short time period on a minimum budget. The term “growth hacking” was coined in 2010 by Sean Ellis, founder, and CEO of GrowthHackers.

The main objective of Growth Hacking is finding a cost-effective way to acquire a large customer base. In this methodology, all parts of your business will work together and find an effective way to generate more sale.

growth-hacking-strategies

You would have to mix engineering, data, design, development, marketing, and analytics in order to find the most attractive, cost-effective and quick way to grow rapidly instead of following the conventional techniques.

Who is a Growth Hacker

Who-is-a-growth-hacker

A growth marketer is someone creative and knowledgable of technology and analytics. He has a great understanding of buyers persona, market condition, design, coding, analytics along with traditional marketing approaches.

He must have the power to bring something new and effective from continuous testing and customer feedback. The growth hacker is capable to analyze the data and find out the best way for rapid company growth.

A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scable growth

Sean Ellis, CEO and Founder of GrowthHackers

The growth hackers usually follow the techniques of reverse engineering, A/B testing, SEO, conversion optimization, email marketing, viral marketing, and content marketing to get huge growth in the consumer base.

And the main formula that every growth hacker uses is —
Product + Growth = Impact

growth-hacker-strategy

In short, a growth hacker is a compact package of marketer, programmer and data analyst to get maximum consumers at a lower cost within a minimal time period.

His aim is fixed on only one thing: Company Growth.

Growth Hacking Strategies vs. Digital Marketing Tactics: Get the Difference

growth-hacking vs digital marketing

There exists a fine line between Growth Marketing tactics and Digital Marketing techniques. Confusion may arise among the entrepreneurs in which one should be picked or which one is actually beneficial for them.

Actually both of them are important to boost-up your company growth.

Digital marketing often works with the already established strategy of marketing where the outcome is quite obvious and constant. On the other hand Growth Hacking involves finding something innovative by experimenting with different ideas.

The Growth marketer uses these testing data to analyze the consumer satisfaction level and come up with an improved solution to retain more consumers and make them loyal advisor. These loyal advisors will help to take the business to the next level.

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Instead of focusing only on driving traffic to a website like traditional marketing, Growth Marketing focuses on the full customer journey. From arriving on site, engage with the product or service, find a WOW moment, come back and buy again and work as a referral, Growth Hacking works in every step to influence the users.

The mindset of a Growth Marketer is the same as a scientist. They continuously test and analyze the data according to their hypothesis and don't stop before getting satisfied results.

Here, the experiments that fall down are not considered as failures, preferably its a step closer to get the desired output.

Growth hacking emphasizes more on the process rather than the outcome.

12 Best Growth Hacking Strategies Every Startup Should Follow

Every business should have a strong Growth Hacking plan to break the ground and grow the business rapidly. Here we have listed 13-proven Growth Hacking Strategies to boost your user base and drive the growth line upward.

Pre-launch

  1. Follow Your Biggest Competitors
  2. Build a Social Media Community Around Your Brand
  3. Email-marketing
  4. Leverage Adjacent Markets
  5. Offer Discounts to Beta Testers.
  6. Create a hype or follow the trend

Post-Launch

  1. Launch on Product Hunt or Similar Platforms
  2. Leverage Q&A Sites like Quora, Reddit, etc.
  3. Leverage Referral Marketing
  4. Focus on Content Marketing 
  5. Use Clients Feedback to Improve Service
  6. Work with Influencer

Let's start the discussion.

Scann Your Competitors Strategy

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You will get competitors in every industry. As a startup business owner, you should keep an eye on your competitors. To run a business successfully you have to identify your business competitors first. Then analyze their marketing plan and other strengths to make your business stand out.

Moreover, you can come out with a better approach in front of your target audience by cracking the potentiality of your competitors.

Your competitors are not only who do the same business, but also who provide the substitute or same type of products. Also with the growing usage of the internet now you may have to fight with the companies from different localities, countries, in fact, all over the world.

Though the scenario does not small anymore. You have to think deep and bring something unique to compete with the rest. In addition, you must understand the tactics and business policy of them and then offer something alluring and tempting to your consumers.

Therefore, by knowing what your rivals are up to you can develop a cost-friendly promotional strategy for your business.

Build a Social Media Community Around Your Brand

Social Media becomes a popular platform for spreading the brand voice to a huge population. Through these platforms, you can introduce your brand, interact with your audience directly, get their feedback, communicate with your industry influencer, understand your competitors and so on. As a result, it gives you an opportunity to build a community of people who holds the same views.

It's undoubtedly better to scream your voice in a crowd than space.

social-media-community

So before launching your product you can create groups or forums on different social media and promote your business. In order to do this, you can update interesting posts, create any buzz, arrange contests, broadcast ads, create and join similar groups and so on.

Email-marketing: Powerful Tool for Growth Hacking Strategies

email-marketing

Email marketing is an effective way to acquire, engage and retain users for your business. You can create a hype about your products or services even before launch by sending attractive emails to your potential audience.

At first, you have to collect an email list of your target audience with whom you want to introduce your business. Then plan something wisely based on your audience nature, age, geographical area, liking, requirements and others. In this way, you can understand your user's preference and convey your information in an appropriate way to them.

As it gives you an opportunity to communicate with people directly you should send emails at least once in a week before launch. It will create potential consumers for your business prior to your launch. Also, you can take the email marketing service of Mailchimp to make the email list and send them to users effectively.

Leverage Adjacent Markets

Often people confused the concept of adjacent marketing with white space opportunity. White space opportunity is like innovating a new market for your existing product.

Marketing Calendar 2019

The adjacent marketing, on the other hand, uses your skill and capability to create more sales in your existing channel. While you think about your business's current market, you consider the intersection of Product, Customer, and Application.

Suppose a Software COmpany produces a wide range of plug-in and add-on for WordPress. They have good community of clients. Now they can create some other relative elements like WordPress theme to serve their clients more efficiently and broaden their market. It will create potential sales growth within their skill and ability with less risk.

Giving Discounts to Beta Testers.

Offering promotional giveaways always be an outstanding marketing tactic in the business world. Also, you need to test your product's compatibility before launching it commercially.

Therefore for the beta tester, you can offer something tempting. In this way, you can convince people to use your products or services and collect real reviews from them. Later, you can utilize these reviews to improve your service quality before going widely. It will minimize the chance of customer dissatisfaction and maximize the sale.

Furthermore, it's not always easy to make people ready to use your products specially when they are already obsessed with another one. So, you have to analyze their requirements and bring out something innovative and alluring that they cant refuse.

Create a Hype or Follow The Trend

There is a high chance before you a lot of people are doing the same business and serving the people for years. So, it's not possible to drag all their clients towards you overnight.

You must create curiosity among your target audience first. This also goes the same if you bring something totally new, nobody does before. In that case, you also create an interest among the people for your products or services.

Its a comparatively easy yet productive way to promote your business. However, you must think something outstanding to draw the attention of your audience. It should be innovative and capable to allure your target audience at the same time.

Launch on Product Hunt or Similar Platforms

product-hunt

Product Hunt is a trustworthy and popular site to share and discover new products. By promoting your business on Product Hunt you can manage 10,000+ web visits per week.

Big shot, Right!

Well, if you want to get introduced with huge traffic and make public exposure overnight this type of platform will be the right choice. But its not a piece of cake to get featured on Product Hunt or this type of other platforms. You have to find someone who has already submitted a similar product on Product Hunt. Then, you have to convince him/her to submit your business on the platform.

However, it may seem a little bit complicated to you but expose your business to the global audience it is the best way.

Leverage Q&A Sites like Quora, Reddit, etc.

Now, to promote your business on social media and get interacted with the audience about your products or services become so common. Undoubtedly it's an effective way to go close to the mass people. But the excessive use of social media marketing for businesses creates a hole in the consumer's mind. They often get confused and can't decide in the crowd of massive advertisements.

In this circumstance, sites like Quora and Reddit can help you out to introduce your business in an innovative way. You can search for the queries related to your business and join the conversation. Make sure that your product is capable to serve their demand. In addition, you can explain broadly how your products will meet their needs.

On the other hand, Reddit will allow you to expand your network in your desired community. It's a big chance to get connected with your audience where you can introduce your business globally.

Leverage Referral Marketing

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We usually love to get reviews from our family and friends. You can adopt this mentality to elevate your promotional activities Therefore, you have to make people convinced to use your products and scream the reviews to others.

Use your clients as your referral. In order to do this, you can offer some discount coupons or anything beneficial for them. Big companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber all of them use referral marketing to promote their services.

As it's like a chain reaction and also trustworthy, it can bag you huge traffic for your business dramatically.

Focus on Content Marketing 

growth-hacking-strategies

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach involved with creating and distributing informative, relevant, and consistent content to attract, interact and retain a specific group of people. Content can be a piece of article, image, infographic, audio or video to create profitable customer action.

The CMI says content is one of the most effective ways to promote a business. Almost half of all marketers plan to use content to reach their customers.

You can increase your brand awareness, leads, and conversion rate by designing useful and valuable contents for your clients.

At first, you have to analyze your buyer persona and then develop your content team strategy according to their preference. Always try to keep your content straight, simple, attractive and beneficial for your audience.

Use Clients Feedback to Improve Service

If you can tap into what hooks your audience you will get a flood of appreciation for your products or services. In order to improve the quality of your product, it is the best way to get reviews from real users.

You can conduct events, online contests, google forms, surveys to get the thoughts of your clients over your services. Later, it will lead you to generate next business strategies to acquire and retain more users.

Moreover, it will help you to build up a sustained relationship with your customers.

Work with Influencer

Influencer Marketing can increase brand authenticity to build trust among the users. That is the reason global brands like Adidas and Colgate-Palmolive have been using this marketing tactic for years and working with many social influencers accordingly.

According to a Linqia study, 86% of marketers have used this methodology to grow their business, and 94% of them found it effective.

You can work with influencers who have huge fan followers from your target audience. They will promote your business to those people online or offline. Marketers from all industries are working with influencers to boost their social activities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other social platforms.

For local exposure of your brand, you can enroll with local celebrities who will throw your brand voice broadly.

There are so many alternate ways to expand your business largely. Here, we mentioned the 12-best potent tools for your brand exposure.

Live Growth Hacking Examples That will Make You Amazed

There are a lot of well-known companies who have used the Growth Hack Marketing strategy to drive incredible growth.

DROPBOX: Dropbox offered extra storage space to customers who referred them, giving their customers an incentive to complete tasks on Dropbox, offering existing users more free space for linking their Dropbox account to Twitter and Facebook. They have now more than 500 million users.

PAYPAL: They offered 10$ for each customer sending an invitation to a new user and he/she accepted that. The new user also received the same amount as a welcome bonus. This company increased its business by 7% to 10% daily and gained 5 million users by 2000.

REDDIT: The owner created an illusion of being popular and populated by uploading huge content under fake user accounts.

FACEBOOK: They planned to encourage users to add their contacts and send emails to those contacts if they were mentioned or tagged on any Facebook post. Now, they have more than 2 billion users worldwide.

DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB: They used the video marketing strategy to promote its new service of sending people new razor blades monthly for just $1. The video got viral and become popular overnight. The video has more than 25 million views until today.

Hence, you will find so many examples like these on the web.

You can follow the proven Growth Hacking strategies cracked by well-known global companies or bring something out of the box by analyzing your user perspective.

Final Verdict

For reaching out to a huge audience and increase your brand value you would plan for strong Growth Hacking Strategies. Especially entrepreneurs should emphasize on growth marketing to introduce their products or services widely.

The Growth Hacking Strategies we have discussed above will help you to expand your business within a short time period. You can leverage the power of growth marketing to upward your profit margin and amplify user experience.

Furthermore, we live in this digital world technology makes us handful with productive tools that are helpful for any startups. Hence now it becomes easy to develop any strategy, analyze the data, getting feedback and implement them accordingly.

11 Growth Hacking Examples That’ll Help You Gain Traction

Growth hacking, often addressed as ‘growth marketing' as well, refers to the strategies, processes or mindsets that are solely intended for one thing – GROWTH! Although it may just sound similar to marketing strategies, there's a fine line between traditional marketing and growth marketing. Unlike traditional marketing, growth hacking focuses on more innovation, more experimentation, and more adaptation.

Sean Ellis coined the term ‘growth hacker' in 2010. Sean is a serial entrepreneur and business advisor who helped many startups achieve incredible growth. He pointed out that besides the basic strategies, some breakthroughs are essential to gain early exposure, wider user-base, or simply, accelerated growth for a business. Hence the need for growth hacking.

If we dig deep into the success stories of well-known companies today, we'd see many of them could hit the jackpot early, thanks to some brilliant growth hacks. Even, they also try new hacks from time to time in order to speed up the wheel. Let's get inspiration and ideas from some great growth hacking examples set by them.

Some Proven Growth Hacking Examples

Whenever you search the internet about growth hacks, you might be seeing the examples of Airbnb's hack on Craigslist users, or Hotmail's “PS-I love you”, or Dropbox's referral campaign. But we're not going to share the same examples again and bore you. We're here with some of the greatest yet less shared growth hacks done by different successful brands over time.

1. Storytelling approach from Dos Equis

Mexican beer company Dos Equis started an advertising campaign in 2006 named – The Most Interesting Man in the World. In this ad, we see American actor Jonathan Goldsmith going through some impressive events. So, when our mind starts considering his life as really exciting, he delivers the punch line, “I don't always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” With this approach, their sale saw a leap of as high as 26% in the USA that year. The punch line went viral on the internet as well.

Snap of Dos Equis TVC

2. Tinder's campus maneuver

The famous dating app Tinder used several marketing hacks to find its early traction. And they got the outcome as expected. Better say, more than expected. That's why for our next example, we have chosen Tinder's growth hacking strategy for customer acquisition.

The then marketing lead, Witney Wolfe personally visited several sorority houses in the USA, did her presentation, and convinced the girls to join Tinder. Then she showed the app to their male fraternities. Obviously, they didn't take much time to join after seeing all the familiar girls already on the app.

Tinder's web login page

Tinder also threw parties in many colleges. Installing the app was the only requirement to attend those. Result? Tinder’s user base hopped from 5,000 to 15,000 overnight.

3. Unique Business Model by Red Hat

The growth story of Red Hat Software teaches us a very important thing – “staying true to the vision pays off”. We all know Red Hat brought an evolution in the software market by establishing the open-source idea as a business model. But after gaining huge credibility, it wasn't still profiting anyway near like the tech giants. But they listened to their customers, didn't follow the competitors. They preferred to stay small, didn't change the business model in order to scale faster. In an interview, Bob Young, the co-founder of Red Hat said that, “If Microsoft’s earning $40 billion worth of sales, and if we're a $4 billion-a-year market, because nine out of ten of the people that use our operating system aren’t going to pay us, we’re quite happy with a share of a $4 billion-a-year market”.

4. Robinhood's waiting list

Robinhood is a trading app for investors. The launching of Robinhood was a great success thanks to its ‘waiting list' approach. Before making the product available, they announced a waiting list. When someone signed up for Robinhood, he/she was added to the list and was shown a social proof with the current position.

growth hacking example - Robinhood

But there was an option to get ahead in the serial. A referral link to invite friends to the platform. It worked so nicely for them. Within 30-days, they got 1M+ signups!

5. Amazon's name selection

Founder Jeff Bezos nearly started online bookstore Amazon.com in the name ‘Cadabra'. But when he found that his lawyer misheard the word as ‘cadaver', he decided to change the name. This time he targetted to name it with the alphabet ‘A' to feature it top of different lists on the internet. So, he named it after the river Amazon. Don't forget that it was in 1995 when local search engines used to show search results by alphabetical order. So, Amazon used to get top position when anyone searched for a book name. Just what it wanted.

Moreover, back then, Yahoo had a section showing Top 10 Cool Things on The Internet Today in alphabetical order. Naturally, the day Amazon got featured in it, managed to stay on top as well.

6. Lyft's fuzzy pink mustaches

Lyft, a ride-sharing company targeted the word-of-mouth marketing for its early traction. For branding, it took the whimsical way to get noticed. It placed pink mustaches in front of every ride of it. People couldn't help talking about it. On top of that, people were able to distinguish Lyft cars easily from miles away. A small investment created visibility and buzz both at the same time for Lyft.

growth hacking example set by Lyft

7. Profile badges by Facebook

Facebook uses a team dedicated to generating and implementing growth hacking ideas relentlessly. Naturally, it's important for big companies like them. Because, when you already have got a large user base, you need to update your techniques regularly to retain them as well as to attract new ones.

Among numerous growth techniques by Facebook, profile badge is a recent one. When Facebook started providing badges to its users to embed in personal websites, both the numbers of engagement and new signups increased significantly.

8. Reddit's activity inflation

During its initial period in 2005, Reddit did not have enough content to attract people. It's very natural of course. Since it needed to contain lots of content and sources to become credible and popular, it started filling up the vessel with fake accounts. With those accounts, they shared tons of useful links and contents. They created a buzz and ultimately became able to draw people to the platform.

9. Gmail's exclusivity hack

When Google introduced Gmail in 2004, Hotmail and Yahoo were the giants in the email market. Gmail needed to create an early impression to catch up in the race quickly. It used the scarcity hack to do so. It started with around 1,000 influencers who were able to invite friends. Joining Gmail wasn't possible without an invitation. So it was like joining an exclusive club and obviously, it worked.

growth hacking example by Gmail

10. Twitter's homepage

When Twitter already reached around 30 million users, its user growth rate was still slow. So, the growth hacking team investigated into it and came to learn – there's a lot of search in google saying “I don't get twitter”. They looked on the homepage. It used to ask new users few questions just after signing up, like “see if your friends are here”, “see who else is here, start following” and so on. Simply put, the joining process was complicated. They decided to make the process simpler, easier to focus on, using appropriate previews. And guess what? A massive number of new users started to join in every day.

11. Oatmeal's user-generated promotion

Cartoonist Matthew Inman is the founder of The Oatmeal, a website for comics and books. Once after publishing a new book, Inman offered that he'd illustrate the photos of those fans who'd submit him a selfie with the book from Barnes and Noble bookshops. Definitely, this went viral on the internet. With own selfies, people actually generated a real buzz about that new book.

The takeaways

The product-market fit is a must for making growth strategies or hacks work. Before implementing growth marketing tricks, ensure your product meets the minimal product-market fit requirements. If any product doesn't provide value to the users, only tricks can't bring viable growth.

Experimentation is a key element in growth hacking. All the companies mentioned here focused on diverse experimentation. And they succeeded from the one that clicked.

Flexibility is another important factor. Adapting with changes and acting accordingly increases the chance of success.

From these case studies, one thing is clear – there's no certain rule or pattern that you need to follow. You can exploit untapped ways in order to hack the growth for your business. But remember to engage with your customers to understand them, their demands, their pain points. Innovate ways to solve them. If one way doesn't work, don't stress, another surely will.