Over the past few years, the term “growth hacking” has significantly grown in popularity. Even though, many people have no idea what growth hacking actually is. Most assume that growth hacking is just a fancy name for marketing but the truth is that there’s so much more to growth hacking than just marketing. What exactly is it and why do you need it?
What Even Is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking has only one goal: generating growth. Whether that’s increasing revenue, getting more people to download an app or sign up for your newsletter. The difference between “traditional” marketing and growth hacking is how the process is approached. With growth hacking nothing is off-limits and the process is focused on experimenting and continuously implementing and improving strategies rather than following a previously agreed-on strategy. That’s why, an ideal growth hacker needs to have very specific skills — creativity, data analysis and some technical skills. And that’s because usually, a growth hacker implements all the new strategies on their own so they need to be able to control the full process. There are several big companies known to have used growth hacking strategies, the list includes Dropbox, Airbnb and PayPal. What’s so appealing about this approach and how it can help your business?
Why Is Growth Hacking So Good?
Before I tell you about specific cases when growth hacking significantly helped a business so you can check out some tactics and maybe implement them for yourself, there are three main benefits of growth hacking that’d I believe are important when considering growth strategies.
- It’s cheap. Growth hacking, in its nature, uses what you already have and makes the most out of it. This also means constantly improving your landing pages, copy and everything else that can be used to generate sales.
- It can be done by a single person. There’s no need for an army of marketers to execute growth hacking strategies which means it’s even cheaper but besides the cost, it also allows you to work quicker and you don’t have to waste time or resources on recruiting people.
- You can see whether something is working. A huge part of what growth hacking is about is gathering and analysing data. To move quickly and improve your methods, you need to constantly measure what’s successful and adjust as you go. That’s why, with growth hacking, you always can control ROI.
Practical Use Cases And Strategies
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. What you’ve been waiting for — specific use cases and results from companies who have used growth hacking.
How Airbnb Utilized Craigslist
Airbnb, after their first round of funding, went straight into growth hacking to maximize their number of users. They discovered that listing similar to what Airbnb offers were often posted on Craigslist. So they started encouraging users to share their Airbnb listing on Craigslist as well which has driven people from Craigslist to visit Airbnb. This shows very well how with a low cost email strategy you can drive millions (literally) to use your product.
HubSpot: Inbound Leads Made Into Customers
You’ve probably heard of HubSpot, they make the world’s most popular inbound marketing software. Their strategy was centred around giving people free content — guides, tools, webinars, blog posts. With a relatively low cost they have increased their revenue to $186 million in seven years. Sure, seven years might be a lot but then again, so is $186 million.
How PayPal Got 4 Million Users In 4 Months
PayPal noticed that people needed a little push to sign up. So they started giving out small amounts of money (at first it was $20, then $10 and at the end $5) to everyone who signed up. They have tested out several different strategies and this one proved to be the most effective (and judging by the results it was extremely effective). Even though they invested money into this strategy, the return of the investment was huge and PayPal is still one of the biggest players when it comes to online payments.
Make Growth Hacking Work For You
One thing that’s true for both growth hacking and traditional marketing is that you still need to work out the strategy that works best for your specific business. A great growth hacker will test out multiple ideas before settling on a goldmine. But even with this trial and error process, growth hacking will bring you results faster and at a lower cost than traditional marketing. So, there’s the answer — that’s why you need growth hacking.