What Is Growth Hacking? (With Benefits And Examples)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

All companies aim to expand their customer base to increase revenue by marketing and advertising their products or services. Businesses use growth hacking strategies to improve their conversion rate, acquire new customers and increase revenue. By analysing your marketing, advertising and product development efforts, you can maximise business growth. In this article, we answer, 'What is growth hacking?', discuss its business advantages and explain the steps you can take to implement successful growth hacking strategies.

What is growth hacking?

The answer to the question, 'What is growth hacking?', can help you understand how it contributes to business growth and development. Growth hacking is a marketing strategy focused on the rapid growth of a business in a budget-friendly manner. A growth hacking team may have marketers, product developers, product managers and engineers who test different products and marketing strategies, also called A/B testing, to acquire and retain new customers.

Related: Business Strategy Components And Examples

Benefits of growth hacking

Besides helping businesses attract new customers, effective growth hacking strategies offer many strategic benefits:

  • recognise new business models and ideas for products or services

  • identify your target audience and discover qualified leads

  • use research data to make informed business decisions

  • decrease marketing costs by employing effective marketing strategies

  • increase return on investment (ROI) from business investments

  • maximise the company's marketing strategies and capabilities

  • generate brand awareness and develop a loyal customer base

  • add value for customers to increase overall conversion and satisfaction rate

Related: How To Calculate Growth Rate Using Different Methods

How to use growth hacking strategies

Here are a few steps you can follow to implement effective growth hacking strategies:

1. Develop a product and test it

The first step you can take to implement a successful growth hacking strategy is to find out if you have a product that customers are interested in buying. Many companies conduct surveys to receive customer feedback on product prototypes. These surveys help the company determine if the prototype is good enough to become the final product. A survey can also allow the company to collect information about the target audience and their challenges. This exercise can be one of the most beneficial tactics to understand which growth hacking strategy the business can follow.

2. Determine your target audience

Businesses typically focus on a specific audience instead of marketing their product to a large population. Identifying the target audience includes creating buyer personas based on demographics like age, gender, location, profession and interests. Interact with the target customer to understand their challenges and expectations. Make sure you keep updating the buyer persona as per the latest market trends and internal changes in strategy.

3. Identify relevant metrics to analyse

Choose the relevant metrics that can allow you to evaluate your performance and deploy an effective growth hacking campaign. This step helps you discover what campaigns work for you and where you can improve. Metrics also help you establish guidelines for your future campaigns and analyse the overall return on investment from your growth hacking strategies. You can start with the free analytical reports offered by many social media platforms to gather the information or purchase a paid data analytics software. Here are some of the key metrics you can use to evaluate your performance:

  • number of people reached

  • number of engagements

  • number of clicks

  • click-through rate (CTR)

  • cost per click

  • cost per landing page view

  • number of landing page views

  • conversion rate

  • number of conversions or sales

  • number of impressions or views

  • cost per visitor reached

  • cost per impression or view

4. Formulate standard operating procedures

It is essential to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) that outline the steps taken for each campaign with clarity. When executing growth hacking strategies, SOPs can be a great way to replicate the processes that have been effective. They can also enhance your efficiency and consistency by offering teams a step-by-step guide to follow. Developing SOPs can also make it easier to train new members of the team to implement growth hacking strategies. To create comprehensive SOP guidelines, record each step of the growth hacking campaign along with the resources required and frequently asked questions.

  1. Pay attention to what your audience has to say

Listening to your audience while conducting market research can allow you to better understand the requirements of your customers. You can do this by conducting focus group discussions, surveys and interviews. Once you have the necessary information, you can make the required changes to your product to ensure that it meets customer expectations. Customer feedback can help make growth hacking and marketing campaigns more efficient.

You can collect the following information about your customers:

  • Hopes and aspirations: Find out about your customers' goals and dreams and, accordingly, determine how your product can help the customers achieve their goals. For example, an online learning platform can effectively engage its target audience if it knows what the learners wish to learn and knows their professional goals.

  • Negative triggers: Determine what are the things and experiences that trigger distress or anxiety among your customers. Understand these emotions to identify how you can ease the challenges of your customer.

  • Obstacles and uncertainties: Conduct thorough research on what are the problems and reservations that influence the buying decisions of your customers. This can help you create engaging marketing and promotion campaigns that directly address customer challenges.

  • Demographics: Ask your customers questions that may help you identify their age, location, gender, income, education status and family details.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

6. Select the right marketing channels

Using the right market research and platform can be essential for growth hacking campaigns. This can depend on the product, target audience and budget of the campaign. For instance, a business targeting young professionals is more likely to use social media platforms to attract and retain customers. Conversely, a business that targets the elderly might use traditional forms of advertising. Choosing the right platform can help increase the ROI and optimise your advertising budget. You can also implement a multi-channel project to improve the scope and reach of your campaign.

Here are some common strategies you may consider exploring:

  • search engine marketing (SEM)

  • search engine optimisation (SEO)

  • social media and display advertisements

  • offline advertisements

  • email marketing

  • guest blogging

  • affiliate or influencer marketing

  • trade shows

  • B2B networking events

  • speaking engagements

7. Develop engaging marketing material

Consider developing marketing materials for the channels you wish to use. To determine which marketing collateral performs the best, growth hackers generally test multiple types of marketing materials. Some marketing materials you can experiment with include social media content, podcasts, blog posts, digital videos, webinars, contests, giveaways and emails. You can perform A/B testing to determine which format, tone and visual style of content are most effective.

8. Analyse data and continually optimise your campaign

By analysing different metrics, you can set goals and projections for future marketing campaigns. You can also research relevant industry parameters to evaluate the performance of your company. Carefully analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign to identify what is effective and what requires improvement. Analysing campaign metrics also helps optimise marketing budgets and target customers more effectively.

Related: Top 20 Marketing Skills To Include On Your Resume

Examples of growth hacking

Here are some examples of growth hacking strategies that you can learn from:

Example 1

An internet company offering email services wants to increase users. The company adds a web link to a free email account to the bottom of every email that existing users send.

This growth hacking strategy can help the company reach potential customers easily. By using an incentive of a free email, the company was able to attract the target audience. Besides, as the audience receives this communication from a trusted acquaintance, they are more likely to click on the link with more confidence.

Example 2

A file-sharing company that wants to expand its customer base. It starts offering free extra storage to its users for every successful referral.

This growth hacking strategy had two advantages. It can help the company reduce its marketing budget and rapidly expand the customer base. By targeting the referrals with effective marketing and promotional content, the company can acquire new customers.

Example 3

A direct-to-home (DTH) television company creates a viral jingle about their new subscription service.

This growth hacking strategy leverages the concept of virality. By launching the campaign on different channels, it can reach a large audience, acquire new customers and engage existing ones. The viral campaign can also help increase the brand value and recognition.

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