Growth is a priority for every businessperson. But for small businesses, growth can be quite difficult to achieve because:
- They are likely to be faced with budget constraints, which in turn hinder marketing and hiring decisions
- The business owner has to wear many hats; hence burn out, and inefficiency are bound to crop up
Given these challenges, how can you boost growth in your business?
Through growth hacking.
The role of growth hacking in your business
Growth hacking is a process whereby business owners pursue their growth ambitions by experimenting with product development and sales and marketing processes.
In this article, we will look at common growth hacks that have been tried by businesses, and examples of companies that have successfully implemented those growth hack strategies.
7 growth hacks and companies that have implemented them successfully
Growth-hacking is all about delivering success by means that put you in front of people. Content puts you in front of people. Hence content marketing is at the heart of every growth hacking strategy. In an article published on CoSchedule, for your content to support your growth strategy, you need to be a content hacker, not just any content marketer.
So why is content marketing so effective as a growth hacking tool? A study by demand metric found that when compared with traditional marketing, content marketing can generate 3 times more leads at 62% less cost. here’s how content marketing works:
- A company blog is a great way to showcase your business expertise by offering engaging, valuable and relevant information.
- Content is a great way to nurture leads
- You can generate traffic from your blog through strategically placed calls to action
- For SEO, content that features relevant keywords in your industry can help you generate more traffic and leads.
Example: The content marketing growth hack that accelerated Hotmail’s growth
Hotmail’s accelerated growth is often touted as the first growth hack. It’s the first known example of how a company grew big but with no budget. They simply placed the words “P. S I love you. Get your free email at Hotmail” in its email sign-offs.
Figure 1: Hotmail Content marketing growth hack (Image source: Basicthinking)
As a result of this small line of content, Hotmail’s growth looked something like this within just 18 months:
Figure 2: 12 million users within 18 months
There are many reasons why people abandon their carts. One of those reasons is when people aren’t sure they want to spend the quoted price. You can retarget such people with a discount (e.g. 30% off) on that item. Such a discount can help you make a sale or start building your relationship with that customer.
Studies show that 57% of shoppers expect to receive a discount 24 hours after they abandon cart, and considering retargeted ads get ten times more clicks than normal display ads, it is a great growth hack for any company. Whenever someone exits your website or Facebook page, you can retarget them with well-placed ads later on as they browse online. Retargeting serves to gently guide those who didn’t buy and get them back to your store or website.
As the customer journey takes place over multiple channels, your retargeting efforts should be broad and cover all channels and devices.
Example: How Myfix Cycles used Facebook retargeting to generate more revenue
In this example, Myfix Cycles used retargeting to:
- Remind the customer of the value proposition vs the low price
- Give a discount (in this case, free shipping)
- Create a sense of urgency. Note the “while stocks last” at the bottom of the image
Figure 3: Retargeting ad example from Myfix Cycles
The ROI on this ad spend (ROAS) by Myfix Cycle was $1,529%. That is, every ad dollar generated $15 in revenue.
Everyone wants to save by getting a valuable product way below its buying price. What’s more, there is a sense of pride associated with getting the best deals, and people want to show this off. Coupons are great because they are a mechanism for people to save. By being aggressive with your coupons and discounts, you guarantee that your brand will create more buzz among people on websites and on social media.
One of the best times to offer coupons is when visitors are exiting your website. An exit-intent coupon gives a visitor a reason to reconsider staying and converting on your website.
When visitors claim your coupon, they give you their email address. You can then use the email to nurture that contact into a customer.
Example of exit-intent pop up used for growth hacking:
Figure 4: Example of an exit-intent pop up from Zendesk
Show Social Proof
Did you know that 75% of people don’t trust advertisements and instead base their shopping decisions on other consumers’ experiences? Yes, word of mouth is a pretty powerful growth hacking tool, and companies that have mastered its use can increase conversions and multiply their revenue and profits.
Figure 5: Effectiveness of social proof
A testimonial on your website is great social proof and is the internet equivalent of word of mouth. Social proof can include testimonials from consumers, as well as expert reviews from third parties such as trusted publications.
Below are some examples:
Example: how Buzzsumo uses social proof on its website
Figure 6: Customer testimonials on Buzzsumo
Figure 7: Expert reviews and press
Content upgrades allow people to access deeper knowledge about a topic. For example, this article is about growth hacking. But as you know, a blog only covers a small portion of a topic. To give you more mastery, you would need a white paper or eBook that discusses different ways to growth hack your business.
Most content upgrades are offered for free as a way to build your mailing list. The end goal is to nurture your new contacts so that they can buy from you in future.
Note that your blogs are instrumental in determining whether people respond to your content upgrade or not. For this reason, to increase the chances of a positive response, your blogs should offer value and be gripping enough to make people want to learn more.
Example: content upgrade offer by media shower
Social Media Calls-to-Action
Want your social media followers to sign up for free trials? Download your content? Sign up for a webinar? Ask them through your calls to action.
Calls to action in your social media posts are a great way to get your readers to perform actions that will
- Promote readership for your posts through more likes and shares
- Encourage people to convert on your website
Some actions for you: Make your call to action clear. Offer value. Make it easy to convert through a dedicated landing page.
Example: Coca Cola’s share-a-coke call to action on Instagram
Figure 8: Share a Coke campaign on Instagram
The share a coke campaign has been running for years. Personalization has been a key factor behind the success of these ads. Since users can personalize their cokes by labelling them with the names of their loved ones, this generates a lot of interest and increases shares and likes.
Figure 9: Share a Coke campaign on Instagram
If you want to know how your business is doing, ask your customers. Some creative ways to get customer feedback include:
- By conducting a survey. You can send the survey on email
- A pop up on the website
You can ask for customer feedback about anything and in any format, as shown in the examples below.
Example: Different customer feedback formats to growth hack your business
Figure 10: Survey example 1 from SurveyMonkey
If there is one thing we hope you have learned from this article, it’s that growth hacking is neither complicated nor expensive. The examples above are easy to execute with a little planning, a growth mindset and a small budget. Try some of these 7 growth hacking examples in your next marketing campaign and if you ever feel stuck, contact TechWyse.