If you’ve heard the term ‘growth hacking’ being bandied about, you might be wondering what it means – and how it can help your business.
In layman’s terms, it’s the act of supercharging growth in your business, by using a mix of creativity, analytics and tools such as social media.
Growth hackers believe traditional marketing is out – and techniques such as SEO, content marketing and A/B testing are in.
“In a business sense it’s about finding innovative ideas and methods to give yourself an advantage over bigger competitors,” says Alistair Roberts, of digital marketing agency Media Heroes.
Generally favoured by smaller startups, growth hacking can save you big bucks on marketing. Here’s how.
In a business sense it’s about finding innovative ideas and methods to give yourself an advantage over bigger competitors.
Get smart on content
Part of growth hacking is getting in front of a lot of eyeballs, says Roberts.
“A really easy way to make your money go a lot further, is when you’re planning the content on your website, plan it so you can use it for multiple platforms.”
So if you’re writing a blog post, ensure you also post the content on Facebook (including your business page, and any groups you belong to), send it to your email list, and share on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Make the most of email marketing
Email marketing is extremely under-utilised, says Roberts.
“If you use your email marketing right, it’s super powerful. It has a much, much higher click-through rate than social media does.”
Roberts says small business owners should imagine themselves as the editor, and their customers as the readers. “You’ve got to produce something that people will want to read.”
He says email marketing is a long-term strategy, but is cost-effective and can help you hang on to existing customers.
“If you’re getting your existing customers to buy more from you more often then that’s going to grow your business.”
You can also influence demand for your product. For example Roberts says an air-conditioning business could use email marketing to advertise a special on servicing before hot weather arrives.
Don’t know what to write? Consider easy strategies such as a ‘weekly round-up’ that includes five high-value articles about your industry.
If you use your email marketing right, it’s super powerful.
Focus on improving one metric at a time
“When marketers or businesses are misaligned in their priorities, experiments are harder to execute and results are more difficult to measure,” says Cameron Rambert, a growth specialist at digital solutions agency One Fat Sheep.
He says growth hackers need to identify “the one metric that matters” – for example your website conversion rate, or email sign-ups – and focus all their marketing experiments around moving the needle of that one metric.
Larissa Ham is a Melbourne-based freelancer. She write for publications including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The New Daily and Forge magazine, and also shares money saving tips at Hey, Little Spender!