Most of those who are at the beginning of creating growth hacking strategy for their business are looking for quick hacks. They look through the Internet to find out how other people do it with the hope that some of that would work for them. There’s no mistake in such behavior. Growth hacking is difficult. At least when you at the entrance. However, what I would advise isn’t only to look for examples but to learn how to see similar patterns behind the scope of them.
The reason why I want to draw your attention to the patterns is simple. They are nothing but rules that often work in the background without being formulated and put somewhere in verbal form. The number of such rules is changing dynamically as the alignment of forces in the world of marketing and growth hacking is a highly unstable thing. However, it’s always essential to be able to grasp the relevant one. This is what we are going to do in this article.
Top things to get focused on
1. The platform
I’m in a hurry to explain to you what I mean here about platform not to let you get confused. It’s a very important issue. Think for a moment about where you are going to go to show up and get people interested. If thinking about it made you face another question – whom do I want to make interested – you’re on the right way.
A platform is a place where your target audience is.
Picking incorrect platform means that you are not reaching those who might be interested in hearing from you. That’s why it’s that important. You cannot successfully build your brand’s social presence without understanding it.
Where should you start to make it right?
With creating a profile of your average customer. This will help you understand where you can catch up with him (her). Marketers call it buyer persona. Usually, such profile includes detailed information from the age, gender, background to the field of work, interests, hobbies. It sounds quite difficult to handle but fortunately, there’s a bunch of services that give away templates that can help a lot (check Hubspot’s one here).
Let’s look at a few examples.
Zyngawith its popular social games, AirBnBwith the accommodation opportunities, Netflix with their picturesque series and movies. Do you think that their platforms should be all the same? Of course, not. As their audiences differ, their platforms should be different as well. Guess which platform fits which company.
Whether you are right or not – let’s find it out. Logically, Zynga interested in drawing the attention of users while they are in social networks would focus in the first instance on strengthening its presence exactly there. It looks quite straightforward with Zynga, however, not everyone is so lucky.
Craiglist is a website that works as a catalog of digital advertisements popular in the USA. In 2008, when AirBnB was at the beginning of their way to customers, they could hardly pick any better way to spread information than to turn to advertising. That times in renting apartments were about switching from the classical advertising to new digital ways. And Craiglist became the best fit.
You can hardly find anyone who hasn’t watched anything on Netflix.Teenagers and adults of any age range would find something to talk about next day with their peers. Where can you reach most of the audience? What kind of information can make them tick? Usually, the answers to these questions are intertwined. Netflix’s answer is Twitter. This is where they can post short sentences about the latest news to make their subscribers want to find out more.
2. Viral loop
It can sound confusing but hold on – I will explain it. When you are at the beginning of your path, you may want to get the first cohort of users. However, while moving further you realize that you need something that can help you spread the word with the help of the existing users base. Even better, you may want to find the way to help existing users to spread the word about you with fewer efforts and certain benefit.
I’m sure you already know a bunch of a good example but you may not be able to instantly recall them. Let’s do it together.
Payoneerassures that they are one of the simplest services to get paid across the world. They say: “Make money through your network”.And give you (as well as your friend) $25 when your referral gets first $100.
Another way to encourage people to invite friends is Dropbox’s one. They started with alpha-version that was nothing else but video. In 2007 it was amazing. The co-founder of Dropbox said:
“Devices are getting smarter—your television, your car—and that means more data spread around. There needs to be a fabric that connects all these devices. That’s what we do.”
he waiting list counted more than 50 000 prospects inspired by the idea that data could follow them wherever they would go.
Besides, Dropbox is one of the most famous examples of creating a viral loop. They have been successfully spreading the word by means of the referral program. And still, Dropbox gives you the opportunity to get up to 32GB of free place by inviting friends to join you. The examples don’t end up here.Uber, PayPal, Evernote, Fiverr and many other companies leverage this possibility to get more users.
Viral doesn’t always imply giving away something, even though it tends to be the most endearing for the customers. There are different examples to follow like giving away coupons and even gifts, like T-shirts for example. To the simplest examples like inserting logos and reminders whatever the company is concerned with. Examples you may want to take a look at are Hotmailand Groove.
“PS: I Love You. Get Your Free Email at Hotmail” – this simple sentence at the end of each email anyone sent via Hotmail earned more than 1 mln users in half a year and popularity Hotmail couldn’t imagine at such scale. It was a simple but influential trick.
Groove is the help desk software. Besides, they share their ideas and lessons learned from the road. Here’s the one that they shared with us. After they inserted “powered by” on everything they make, the number of users became to rise in a surprisingly rapid way.
3. Side products (useful tools)
Nothing can tell better about the company that its deeds. If you can build something that potentially can be useful for many people, it’s definitely worth doing. Even if you earn money in a different way, making useful tools that make a life of your customers easier, is the best step to drawing their attention.
Of course, you don’t start with the idea only. Instead, you take it and make your research to prove it. If you find out that customers may get interested, you need to critically define how much you’re ready to spend on the side products (from the sides of time and finances). If the numbers are appropriate, you can start working on the basic version.
Let’s recall such examples like Hubspot and Quicksprout. The first one is popular for lots of marketing tools, learning academy and blog for such specialists like marketers, growth hackers, entrepreneurs and just all those involved in business development process.
Quicksprout led by Neil Patel has tons of content that worldwide specialists use to grow and get inspiration. He likes to say: “Create content that teaches. You can’t give up. You need to be consistently awesome”.
The idea about picking perfect hacks in the perfect time is utopia. In fact, it’s nearly impossible as you need to pick them naturally along the way by trying and failing. To someone, it just comes earlier than to rest ones. However, it doesn’t deny the need for continuous learning from influencers. Step by step, you are developing the way of seeing things like the person you may want to become.
I gave you a list of the most powerful tactics that yielded success and popularity to many companies. It doesn’t mean that the examples are there for you to copy from them entirely. Instead, you can put them through the filter of your product specificity and knowledge of the audience and get the hack that would bring you results you don’t even expect.
As you can see, hacks can be born only in your mind. There’s no way to make them happen to you except learning and improving yourself.
Growth Hacking: From the Process to the Tactics. Have you ever noticed how focused sometimes you become on the particular result?
Understand your target audience: whether your business is B2B or B2C oriented. So, what would you start with? Choose Channel of customer acquisition.
Back to growth hacking, how can we define traction? It’s a primary evolutional phase every startup undergoes. Let’s think about it for a moment.