Even though it’s become a buzzword in corporate and marketing circles, growth hacking is not without its merit. These quick and low-cost methods of marketing can have a huge impact on growth, especially for smaller businesses. Below we offer a guide on how to take these less travelled paths and use them to stand out from the crowd.
What Is Growth Hacking?
Growth hacking itself isn’t all that easy to define. Essentially, it means using a number of marketing techniques and design choices in order to quickly generate sales. All this is done with only one goal in mind: growth.
The process itself is pretty straightforward: first, you run any of the number of analytics tools that will help you determine which pages or sections of your website generate the most traffic. You then focus on one of these areas and run a brief experiment trying to convert that traffic into sales.
This could mean anything, from redesigning your contact page to adding social media buttons or testimonials. As long as the change you made is quick, easy to implement, and results in the growth of one or more metrics, it’s considered a success.
If you are a small or mid-size business owner, hacking growth has the potential to take your business to the next level. All it requires is thinking outside the box and not being afraid to experiment. In the end, you can end up achieving great results with minimum time and money spent.
Below are five examples of growth hacking you can try out right now.
Focus on Quality Content
Simply having a blog section on your website will do wonders for the growth of your business. This is due to the fact that content marketing costs much less than traditional marketing, while generating as much as three times more leads.
Aside from this, posting regularly on your blog lets your visitors know you are an expert in your field. This, in turn, builds your website’s trustworthiness in Google’s eyes, increasing your search results ranking, and making your website visible to more people. It’s a virtuous circle that can have a great impact on your growth.
Make sure that the content is high in quality, though. Going in-depth with your articles and providing useful information about your niche will improve your SEO ranking and convert visitors to customers at the same time.
Leverage Reviews and Social Media
Anyone who’s ever bought anything online knows how important reviews can be. A quick and easy way to convert new customers is to show positive reviews and testimonials from your previous customers right on the pages of your website.
Also, consider using social media as a part of your advertising strategy. You can do this either by creating a profile for your business and regularly posting updates, or by signing up for Facebook and Google ads.
If you decide on the former, don’t be afraid to ask your followers for help. Adding a call to action to your social media updates will encourage your followers to share and promote your content, basically giving you free marketing space. Also, you can use smaller social media platforms such as The Dots or Profit.ly, where your competition is not likely to have a large presence.
Take Advantage of AI
We’ve already mentioned one of the possible uses of AI in hacking the growth of your company: using it to analyse which parts of your website attract the most visitors. However, the applications are limitless, from analysis and administration, to content generation and customer support.
One area where the use of AI can really benefit your business is customer support. Using software like chatbots can let a small business provide 24/7 support to their customers, without spending extra money on hiring support staff. This level of availability is sure to result in more conversions, and thus growth.
Give Away Free Upgrades (And Make Them Count)
It’s one thing to offer free signup bonuses or sales to prospective customers, but approaching free upgrades in a creative way can truly take your growth to the next level. A good example of a free upgrade scheme is Dropbox, where both the person referring and the new person signing up get upgraded storage space.
Make sure your free upgrades are a win-win company and they’ll become simply too good for potential customers to pass up.
Constantly Test and Tweak
All the techniques we described above are likely to have some influence on the growth of your business. However, this effect will vary on a case to case basis. If you only take one thing from this, let it be the fact that you need to constantly try out small-scale experiments like these. Test and tweak your marketing methods until you find the right ones to boost your growth.
Using the methods described above and remembering to focus on the big picture of growth is sure to take your business to the next level. Innovate, test, tweak, and in no time your business will grow faster than you ever thought possible.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.