What is Growth Hacking?
Every brand wants to gain an edge in marketing. When your company is in the start-up stage, you want to grow your audience as soon as possible, and you want to establish brand awareness. What is the best method? Many companies are now turning to Growth Hacking.
Definition of Growth Hacking
“Hacker” is a word that implies creativity and innovation, a way of seeing and creating opportunities that others do not recognize. Growth Hackers are different from marketers. Their goal is to help start-ups grow. As a result, their tactics go beyond just getting exposure for the company’s message. Growth hackers often embed growth into the product or service itself by building distribution mechanisms straight into it (see Dropbox example below).
Distribution within the Product
Growth Hackers are deeply in tune with the Internet itself, enabling them to integrate growth directly into the product. For example, one of the pioneers of growth hacking, Sean Ellis, made Dropbox a household name by encouraging distribution of the product with every person who signed up for the service. Members of Dropbox were automatically upgraded if they referred a friend or family member to the cloud computing service. In a similar way, Twitter experienced rapid growth by recommending other accounts to follow for every new person you chose to follow. This enabled them to build their membership and tweets exponentially.
How to be seen
Even if a start-up is not a technology company with a product that lends itself to a growth mechanism like Dropbox or Twitter, Growth Hacking can still work to get the business significant growth. A key component of growth hacking is understanding how and where a brand should be seen in order to grow. Creative thinkers understand where a company’s ideal targets will be found. Then, a combination of coding and marketing helps the start-up be seen by the right targets. Thoughtful Search Engine Optimization and content marketing, for instance, can ensure that people become aware of a company and what it has to offer.
People with knowledge of coding can also come up with creative ways of integrating a service so that it becomes known to people who are looking for it. That was the case with AirBnB, the website that lets people rent out rooms in their homes. AirBnB tracked down its ideal consumers by integrating its ads with Craigslist, the Internet’s bulletin board where people search for temporary housing, hotels and other goods. When AirBnB’s members filled out a form, the listing immediately appeared on the local Craigslist in the section where people were looking for hotel rooms. This was a genius way to ensure that the company got maximum exposure—which then led directly to scalable growth. Best of all, AirBnB did not spend a fortune to be seen by the right people.
If you own a start-up and want to get noticed in your industry, consider putting together a plan that encourages growth hacking. It allows you to explore a variety of creative ways to focus on growing the business.