Underrated growth hacking strategies for your business
What is growth hacking exactly? Learn what growth hacking is and the 11 strategies for helping gain conversions and customers for your business
3 December 2019 · 7 min read
So you want to make your business grow. Making that decision is the simple part. The next part is figuring out how to go about actually achieving growth. That’s where growth hacking strategies come into play. Find out what the heck growth hacking is and how it can help increase conversions.
What is growth hacking?
The term “growth hacking” was coined back in 2010 by entrepreneur Sean Ellis, CEO of GrowthHackers.com, and it’s something of an umbrella term for strategies that help achieve growth. Those strategies may go beyond the scope of traditional marketing.
Growth hackers are often more resourceful and innovative because they tend to operate in startup cultures where timing is of the essence, and traditional marketing schemes aren’t always the right fit.
Why call it hacking?
One way to think of hacking is that a “hack” is a kind of shortcut that can make your life easier. Hackers are also known to use tech to get the job done. So calling someone a growth hacker is another way of saying that people can cleverly use their tools and technology to achieve a lot of growth in a short amount of time.
Myths of growth hacking
Growth hacking is still a relatively new concept, and there are some misconceptions about what it is (and what it isn’t).
Fact: You don’t have to know programming
Growth hacking is more about understanding trends, analyzing data, and creating a quality package than it is about knowing how to program. That’s where partnerships with companies like B12 come into the mix. B12 can take care of the back-end development while you arrange the concepts and marketing campaigns. B12 provides analytics.
Myth: Growth hacking and traditional marketing can’t mix
Not true! Sean Ellis, the conceptual founder of growth hacking, has his roots in traditional marketing, and many hackers and marketers alike have found crossover skills. For example, copywriting falls into a more conventional skillset, but it can also be transformed into SEO content, which is more of a growth hacking skill.
Fact: Analysis is key
Growth hackers should either already lover or learn to love analytics. Analytics are what tell you what’s working and what’s not. For example, did you start to see a positive return on investment for your AdWords campaign? Find out why! The more you can use your analytics to your advantage; the more tailored your conversion marketing can be.
The power of growth hacking
Growth hacking tools can help you gain conversions, which refers to any number of interactions a user can have with a business. A conversion can be a referral, clicking on a call-to-action, signing up for a newsletter, or even reading content for a certain amount of time. Ultimately, the goal is to get a conversion in the form of paid business, but those small conversions add up.
Strategies for growth hacking for increased conversions
So now that we know a little bit about what growth hacking means and what it can do let’s take a look at some strategies for how to growth hack to gain more conversions, which can lead to more business.
1. Understand your audience
Growth hacking or not, the best place to start with any marketing plan is to understand who your intended audience is. Have an ideal client in mind and get specific.
For example, your company may decide the ideal client is a college-educated woman in her 30s. From there, you can start thinking about her habits, where she may take in information, what kinds of social media tools she may use, and other websites that she may use.
You can then start targeting your content to that client base and start expanding from there. Analyze as you go to see what’s working and what gets you higher ROI.
2. Incentivize referrals
Referrals are a form of conversion and are an essential part of gaining additional business. One way to get more referrals is to follow in the footsteps of growth hacking giants like Uber and Dropbox and incentivize referrals.
Give customers a reason to spread the word about your business. Uber offers a discount on the next ride for referring a friend. Dropbox offers additional storage space for doing the same. Try a similar technique by offering a discount on a future service for referring a new client and wait and see if you see results.
3. Brand partnerships
Brand partnerships refer to agreements between businesses for mutual growth. This can double your exposure, increase your backlinks, and help drive traffic to your website through lead generation.
For example, Vox and Spotify teamed up in the digital world to combine Vox’s ability to dig deep into obscure music topics with Spotify’s easy-to-use discovery tools. Win-win.
Partnerships can be a crucial element to growth, and it’s a growth hack that doesn’t require technical savvy. In fact, it may be those old-school networking techniques that help you get the partnership in the first place. Do your research and find a company that provides a complementary service or product without competing with your business and builds your marketing campaign from there.
4. Social media
The right social media campaigns can help drive traffic and generate leads, but it does take some time. Use catchy headers, images that pop, and infographics that are useful, engaging, and interesting.
Not all social media channels are appropriate for all businesses—think about who your audience is and what they are most likely to use. Social media is also how you can bring in connections with influencers who can help spread the message to their many followers.
Social media posts don’t always have to be directly about your business. Still, it could be sharing related posts, information clients might find interesting, and even something fun or whimsical, depending on your brand.
5. Study the competition
This is one of those techniques that apply to all aspects of marketing. You can’t grow if you don’t understand who your competition is and what they are doing. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the competition, you can readily adapt your marketing strategies as needed to stay ahead.
Watch their social media, see what keywords drive their traffic, and know who the players are in your field. Without constant analysis, you may miss out on new competitors who have entered the field.
SEO refers to search engine optimization and consists of a series of techniques to help your website rank higher in search engine results. This includes keyword-optimized content. Trends change, people change, and how and what they are searching for can change, too, which is why you shouldn’t sit idle just because keyword analytics has been run once.
Focus on keyword placement in headers without overstuffing and keep your website looking fresh. Use a variety of media, and don’t forget to optimize for voice searching, which is becoming increasingly important in a mobile world. B12’s SEO services include regular keyword analytics in addition to its standard AI-constructed, human tweaked website maintenance.
7. Guest posts and links
Links, links, links. That’s one of the easiest ways to strengthen the structure of any website’s SEO. Internal links that connect pages to pages within a website are okay, but backlinks are really where it’s at. Backlinks (also known as inbound links) lead from another site to your website. Websites with a lot of backlinks tend to rank higher in search engine results.
So how do you get backlinks? One way is to write guest posts for other websites. Guest posting not only helps build backlinks to your website, but it also helps build you as an authority in your field. This will also help drive more traffic to your site, increasing your chance of conversions.
8. Mobile optimization
Given the fact that so many users are viewing content on mobile devices, it’s unsurprising that Google gives some search ranking preference to websites that are optimized for mobile.
Jazzing up your content for mobile is important. You don’t want large blocks of text because it leads to readers having to scroll through what feels like endless content. Buttons should be easy to use, and forms should be optimized for mobile as well. Everything should be responsive, meaning the content adapts to the size of the screen.
9. Fewer form fields
One way to gain conversions is to get users to fill out a form, be it for a subscription, a quote, an inquiry, etc. However, nobody likes filling out forms, and taking the time to fill them out can be tedious. The longer the form, the less likely a person is to complete and convert it.
The obvious solution is to provide a shorter form, but studies are starting to show that keeping the right fields is just as important as eliminating the excess fields. If a user sees value in a form field, they will typically be willing to fill it out. If a potential client wants to schedule a spa appointment, for example, they probably won’t mind a drop-down list with treatment categories.
10. Retention marketing
Once you gain a customer, part of your growth hacking strategies should involve how to keep your clients coming back. Retention marketing strategies can take many forms but may include any of the following: branded gifts, returning client discounts, and referral discounts.
Identify your VIP clients and make sure you reward them. This small percentage of clients is likely to provide a larger portion of revenue than your average customer. Remember to keep things personal. Use marketing materials to address clients by name, which has been shown to deliver a higher ROI.
11. On-point email marketing
Email marketing is not dead. In fact, it can actually be a source of high conversion rates when executed correctly. Email marketing services are generally free for smaller audience groups and relatively inexpensive for larger audiences.
As part of email marketing, your campaigns should also include exit strategies, which refer to pop-ups that are triggered by actions that look like someone is going to be closing the opt-in conversion form. Pop-ups may also offer related content to view or an image of the offer (ebook, service discount, etc.). Some customers may find the pop-ups annoying, but studies show that these can create many more conversions.
Grow your business with B12
Plus, with the help of our SEO service, your marketing campaigns can be better targeted to help your business rank higher in search engine results. When you’re armed with growth hacking strategies and B12’s tools for success, you’ll start seeing results.