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Growth Hacking: Ultimate How-to Guide to Growth Hacker Strategies & Tactics

How do you get your product in front of as many people as possible? First, you have to get creative. You need to think outside the box and try new things, even if they seem outlandish. And this is precisely what growth hackers do.

This post will share some of the best growth hacking strategies and tactics from my personal experience as well as from other marketers who’ve succeeded in growth hacking. Bottom line, growth hacking works.

What Is Growth Hacking?

Growth hacking refers to strategies and tactics that accelerate the growth of a company or product. Growth hacking is often associated with startups, as they have limited resources and need to find creative ways to grow their business quickly. However, growth hacking can be used by companies of all sizes to achieve rapid growth.

Growth hacking requires growth hackers who have overlapping skillsets
Image Source: Grow with Ward

Growth hacking is about finding creative ways to increase revenue and user base while spending as little money as possible. Many people think of growth hacking as an alternative to traditional marketing methods, such as advertising and PR. But growth hacking can be used in conjunction with these methods for even better results.

The term growth hacking was coined by Sean Ellis in 2010 to describe the process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to achieve explosive growth. In other words, growth hackers are laser-focused on finding and implementing creative ways to grow a user base rapidly.

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

Fundamentals of Being a Growth Hacker

Growth Hackers Are Innovative

One of the critical aspects of growth hacking is innovation, finding new and creative ways to reach and engage your target audience, which could involve anything from developing new marketing strategies to launching new products or features.

Growth Hackers Focus on Scalable Growth

Another vital aspect of growth hacking is scalability, which refers to growing a business quickly and efficiently without incurring high costs. For a business to be scalable, it needs to have systems and processes that are easily replicated as it expands. Growth hackers are always on the lookout for ways to automate and streamline processes so they can be easily replicated as the business grows.

Growth Hackers Are Customer Focused

Another key element of growth hacking is user connectivity, which involves connecting with users on a personal level and understanding their needs. This helps you create a better product that meets their needs and encourages them to keep using it.

What Is the Difference Between Growth Hacking and Growth Marketing?

So what’s the difference between growth hacking and growth marketing? The terms are often used interchangeably, and while there is overlap between the two, there are nuanced differences. Growth hacking is a more experimental approach focused on quickly finding effective ways to grow a business. In contrast, growth marketing takes a more holistic view of the customer journey from customer acquisition to retention.

Growth teams: growth hackers vs growth marketers

Both approaches are data-driven and focus on growing a business efficiently. However, growth hacking is typically more associated with startups as they look for creative ways to scale quickly with limited resources. Conversely, growth marketing is more common among established businesses with the resources to invest in long-term customer acquisition strategies.

So if you’re looking for quick results with limited resources, you may want to try some growth hacking techniques. But if you’re interested in taking a more comprehensive approach to growing your business, then you should focus on growth marketing. The best way to approach this is to use a combination of both methods in order to get the best results.

What Are the Benefits of Growth Hacking?

A company that practices growth hacking can increase user adoption and revenue rapidly through various methods. If you can implement growth hacking techniques in your business, you’re much more likely to see success.

Customer Acquisition

A key goal of growth hacking is to acquire new users quickly and efficiently by using creative marketing techniques to reach potential customers where they are most active online.

User Adoption

A successful growth hacking strategy will increase user adoption of the product or service offered. This is achieved by making the product or service easy to use and accessible to potential customers.

Rapid Growth

Growth hacking can lead to quick and significant growth for a business, as it focuses on achieving rapid results through growth experiments and innovation.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Growth hacking can be an extremely cost-effective way to grow a business, as it often requires less investment than traditional marketing strategies.

3 Successful Growth Hacking Strategies

1. Fall in Love With Your Customer, Not Your Product

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving u an opportunity to do so.”

A customer-focused approach is essential for any growth hacking strategy. Unfortunately, to their disservice, entrepreneurs and marketers are frequently infatuated with their products. This often results in tunnel vision, making it challenging to detect blind spots and spurring defensive behavior toward consumers who offer observations.

Growth hackers love their customers!

Let’s get real for a moment. If you can’t handle constructive criticism, you won’t ever grow your business. You might as well close up shop and return to living in your parents’ basement. Yes, I’m thinking of a particular tech founder I worked for as the VP of marketing and sales. Unfortunately, his enormous ego kept him and his company from the tremendous success that was completely achievable.

Growing a business is all about acquiring new users. And one of the best ways to do that is by providing an exceptional customer experience. When your target market has a great experience with your product or service, they’re much more likely to tell their friends and family about it. Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful and can help you rapidly grow your user base.

To create an exceptional customer experience, you must first understand your target market and what they value. Once you know this, you can focus on creating a customer-focused product or service that meets their needs.

2. Experiment With Innovative Approaches

Many marketers play it safe by following what other companies are doing or sticking to traditional marketing approaches. But if you want your business to grow, you need to start thinking outside the box. That’s where growth hacking comes in. Growth hacking is all about experimentation. You must be innovative and creative, always trying new things and pushing past your comfort zone. And, of course, curiosity is key. A good growth hacker is always asking questions and looking for new opportunities. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but you are a marketer, not a cat, so get out there and question everything.

The growth process requires growth hackers to be experimental when trying growth hacks.

To be an innovative growth marketer, you must have the right mindset.

  • Open-minded and willing to experiment
  • Creative
  • Not afraid of failure
  • Always be on the lookout for new ideas
  • Comfortable outside the comfort zone of traditional marketing
  • Hungry to learn new ways of doing things

3. Test, Measure, and Optimize Everything

If you want your business to succeed, you may need to growth hack your way to the top. A huge part of growth hacking is testing, measuring, and optimizing your marketing efforts. Why is this important? Because it allows you to track your progress and ensure that you’re on the right track. By monitoring your key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics, you can identify what’s working and what’s not. And then, you can optimize your efforts to get the best results possible. It’s the only way to ensure that you’re reaching your goals.

A good growth hacker tests, tracks, and optimizes everything in the growth process.

Testing allows you to try out new ideas and strategies without making a huge commitment. You can simply abandon the test and move on if something doesn’t work out. But if something does work, you can roll it out on a larger scale and start seeing some serious growth for your business. So don’t be afraid to experiment! Testing is essential for any growth hacking strategy. Try different things and see what works best for your business. Then, with a little trial and error, you’ll surely find some growth hacking success stories of your own.

By measuring your campaigns against your goals and KPIs, you can see what’s working and what isn’t – allowing you to make necessary adjustments to your campaigns to maximize your ROI. Additionally, measuring and tracking your marketing efforts will give you valuable insights that you can use to improve your future campaigns. So if you’re not already doing it, start measuring and tracking your marketing efforts today!

Optimizing your marketing campaigns can help boost conversion rates, reach a wider audience, and save money on ineffective strategies. In addition, optimizing your campaigns on an ongoing basis can help you keep up with the latest changes in the marketing landscape and ensure that your campaigns are always relevant and effective.

6 Growth Hacks to Launch Your Company Into the Stratosphere: Practical Growth Hacking Tactics and Techniques

Growth Hack #1: Offer a Freemium Version of Your Product or Service

Freemium refers to a product or service that is offered for free, but with additional premium features available for a fee. A standard freemium model is to provide a basic version of the product for free, with paid upgrades available for those who want more features or functionality. This can be an effective growth hacking strategy. It allows you to acquire users quickly and upsell them on the paid features.

One of the best growth hacks is to offer a freemium version of your product.

A great example of freemium in action is Grammarly. They offer a free version of their AI-powered grammar and writing tool, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan with more rich features such as writing tone suggestions and full-sentence rewrites. And it’s worked like gangbusters for them, helping them grow into one of the most prominent writing tools in the world.

So freemium may be worth considering if you’re looking for a growth hacking strategy that can help you acquire users quickly. Make sure that your free version is compelling enough to attract users and that your paid upgrades offer enough value to justify the price.

Growth Hack #2: Give Away Something That Has Value to Your Target Market

Any growth team looking to grow its company’s customer base should consider offering free resources as part of its growth hacking strategy. A great example of a company that does this well is HubSpot. They offer a variety of free ebooks, software tools, and other resources on their website. By providing valuable content for free, they attract new visitors to their site who are more likely to become customers.

A growth hacker knows that offering free resources is one of the best growth hacks.

This is an effective way to grow a business because it allows the company to reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers. Additionally, it can lead to word-of-mouth marketing as satisfied customers tell others about the great resources they found on your website.

Remember, mediocre won’t cut it, so make sure your free resources are high-quality and have value to your target audience.

Growth Hack #3: Create Viral Content That Prioritizes Quality Over Quantity

Pumping out content for the sake of content is not a good strategy. Instead, effective viral marketing means creating content that is so compelling, helpful, informative, or entertaining that people can’t help but share it with their friends and followers.

Types of viral content:

  • Videos
  • Challenges
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Contests and giveaways
A growth hacker and growth team will focus on viral content, one of the top growth hacks.

The viral potential of social media platforms makes them an ideal way to promote your content and reach a larger audience. However, it’s important to remember that not all content is created equal. In order to be successful, your content must be creative and unique enough to capture attention and encourage users to share it. And don’t forget to add your hashtags! #GameOfCookies

Growth Hack #4: Leverage Social Media Influencers

As any seasoned marketer knows, growing a customer base is essential for any business. And in today’s digital age, there are several ways to reach new potential customers. One of the most effective methods is through social media influencers. You can reach a whole new audience by partnering with an influencer who aligns with your brand and marketing strategy. And because influencers have already established trust with their followers, you’re more likely to convert them into customers.

A growth hacker digital marketing secret is to leverage social media influencers as one of their go-to growth hacking ideas

But how do you find the right influencer for your business? There are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider your target customer. What kind of person are you trying to reach? Then, look for influencers who have a similar audience. It’s also essential to ensure that the influencer’s values align with your own. After all, you don’t want to partner with someone whose message could damage your brand. If you take the time to find the right social media influencer, you’ll be well on your way to growing your customer base.

Growth Hack #5: Conduct A/B Tests for Better Conversion Rates

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a great way to test different marketing strategies to see what works best for your business. This could involve testing different landing pages, email subject lines, or even different calls to action. By constantly trying new things and measuring the results, you can fine-tune your marketing efforts for maximum impact.

The growth hacking process requires a growth hacker to test everything. It's also a key tenant of digital marketing.

A/B testing is an essential tool for growth marketing because it allows marketers to constantly improve their conversion rates, known as conversion rate optimization (CRO). Marketers can incrementally improve their conversion rates by continually running A/B tests and making small changes based on the results. This process requires a strong understanding of analytics and optimization techniques, but it can be extremely effective at driving growth.

Growth Hack #6: Creating a Sense of Urgency, Before It’s Too Late

One popular growth hacking tactic is to create a sense of urgency, encouraging your customers to take action within a specified timeframe.

A growth hacker knows how growth hacking works, that means creating a sense of urgency.

There are several ways to create a sense of urgency in your marketing campaigns. One way is to offer a limited-time discount or sale, which makes customers feel like they need to act quickly to take advantage of the deal. For example, you might offer a 10% discount to customers who purchase within the next 24 hours. This encourages people to buy now rather than wait, leading to more sales in the short term.

You can also create a sense of urgency by highlighting the potential consequences of missing out on your offer. For example, if you’re selling tickets to an event, you might tell customers that the event will likely sell out and they’ll miss their chance if they don’t act quickly.

Sometimes it’s as simple as the basic concept of supply and demand, another way to develop urgency is to create scarcity by highlighting the limited availability of your product or service. If customers believe your product is in high demand, they’ll be more likely to act quickly. For example, you might allow people to sign up for a waiting list for your product before it’s available. This creates a sense of urgency and can encourage people to buy as soon as the product is released.

3 Famous Growth Hacking Examples & 1 Personal Growth Hacker Experience

Growth Hacker Example #1: How Dollar Shave Club Growth Hacked Their Way to a Billion Dollars

Dollar Shave Club is a company that knows a thing or two about growth hacking. When they first started, they produced a hilarious viral video for only $4,500, featuring their founder. The video was an instant hit; within 24 hours, they had 12,000 new customers. Their growth continued to explode, and Unilever eventually acquired them for a cool $1 billion. So if you’re ever feeling down about your startup’s chances of success, just remember that Dollar Shave Club started with a video and turned it into a billion-dollar business. Never give up on your dreams!

The Ultimate Growth Hacker – Dollar Shave Club

Are you interested in creating a viral video on a budget? Harmon Bros, the agency behind insanely hilarious viral videos for brands like Squatty Potty, offers online courses that will teach you how they do it.

Growth Hacker Example #2: How Zoom Showed Meetings Can be Fun 

Zoom’s Virtual Background Competition was a growth hacking success story. The campaign took off like wildfire, with users sharing their submissions across social media and other platformsIn addition, the contest generated a ton of user-generated content (UGC), which in turn helped Zoom spread awareness of its brand and its virtual background feature.

Growth Hacker Example #3: How Airbnb Used Growth Marketing to Draft Off Craigslist’s Success

If you Google growth hacking, almost every search result refers to Airbnb as one of the quintessential growth hacking examples. I don’t want this to be the only article that doesn’t reference them, so here it goes.

The growth hacking process requires a growth hacker to be creative and innovative.

When it comes to growth hacking, arguably there’s no company more successful than Airbnb. Not long ago, they were a small startup with a big dream. And now they’re one of the most successful companies in the world. So, how did they do it?

In its early days, Airbnb was up against some pretty stiff competition in the vacation rental market. But rather than spending millions on traditional advertising, they took a more growth hacking-centric approach. Their first move was to leverage the large user base of Craigslist.

Craigslist didn’t have an API where Airbnb could easily repost its vacation rentals on Craigslist classifieds. So they got creative and engineered a script that automatically posted vacation rental listings, in the correct section and geographic location, on Craigslist.

Thanks to growth hacking, Airbnb was able to Draft off Craigslist’s enormous user base and become the massive success story it is today.

Growth Hacker Example #4: How I Used Growth Hacking to Grow AnyMeeting’s User Base

AnyMeeting was a video conferencing startup that was founded years before Zoom. When the app was launched, I served as the VP of marketing and sales. Working with my internal marketing growth team, we growth-hacked by launching a referral program that offered a $5 Amazon gift card for every new account referral, including AnyMeeting’s free version, which was ad supported. Utilizing referral program software, we automated the referral program’s administration and distribution of gift cards. Thanks to this growth hacking strategy, our user base grew exponentially and exceeded all expectations.

A growth hacking mindset helps reduce customer acquisition cost

How Can You Get Started With Growth Hacking?

Set Goals

Without a clear goal, you won’t be able to measure your success, and you’ll likely get lost along the way.

Identify Your Target Market

Once you know what your goals are, you need to identify who your target market is.

Develop Your Growth Hacking Strategy

This is where the real work begins. First, you need to develop a strategy for how you’re going to reach your target market and achieve your goals.

Implement Growth Hacking Tactics

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to growth hacking, these tactics in this article will give you a good starting point. So pick one or two that align with your marketing strategy and get started.

Measure Your Results

Finally, measure your results and adjust your strategy as necessary.