What is growth hacking?
Growth hacking is a marketing strategy that focuses on growth and is built on a data-driven, experiment-based methodology. It incorporates several experiments and processes to quickly achieve the goal of maximum growth and returns possible through creativity, innovation, and low-cost marketing techniques like product marketing, content marketing, and advertising.
Growth hacking is an experimental approach to finding the most effective strategies to grow a business. The method makes use of marketing, development, design, engineering, data, and analytics.
The core characteristics of growth hacking are:
- Emphasis on business expansion
- Brilliance in programming and data analysis
- Limited budgets
- Management of the pipeline at all levels
Having an experimental mindset is the essence of growth hacking. The key to growth hacking is to experiment, learn, and repeat!
The only way to find out which mix of elements would work for a business is through testing. It means experimenting with a technique, learning from the outcome, and repeating the process until the desired goal is reached. Growth means different things during the different phases of the user journey. Thus, it is important to identify the goals for each stage, namely:
- Acquisition: Grabbing the attention of potential users and converting them.
- Engagement and retention: Encouraging long-term user engagement with the product or service.
- Referral: Inspiring and rewarding users to share and spread the word about your brand.
Growth hacking vs marketing
Growth hacking exists at the nexus of data science, technology, and marketing. As a result, it differs greatly from traditional marketing. Let’s examine the key distinctions between these strategies
|Topic of distinction
|Raising brand recognition and revenue
|Focus on enhancing product to meet customer expectations
|Focus on selling the finished product
|Automation skills, data analytics expertise, and programming experience
|Primarily in the marketing field
Importance of growth hacking
For startups and other enterprises with limited resources, growth hacking is essential. Despite their inability to pay for expensive marketing strategies, this idea enables firms to increase revenue and audience size. Growth hackers are always looking for inexpensive ways to advertise a brand and reduce expenses as a result.
And what’s even better is that growth hacking benefits large corporations as well. Brands may reach new audiences, boost ROI, and foster stronger relationships with their customers by implementing some fundamental growth hacking techniques. These are only some of the advantages that growth hacking offers.
Benefits of growth hacking
Growth hacking can completely alter the course of your company’s operations; it operates outside of the norm and enables you to achieve amazing outcomes by making relatively minor adjustments. Aside from its low cost and effective outcomes, growth hacking has a variety of effects on businesses. Let’s explore the key advantages of this strategy in more detail.
Due to the data-driven nature of growth hacking, businesses that employ it conduct tests and evaluate their results. They can therefore fully assess the effectiveness of each method used. Even better, they can assess and verify the outcomes of their usage of methods since they have access to precise measures.
Growth hackers are always experimenting with new ideas and learning more about the target market’s needs, choices, hobbies, and other factors. It results in a deeper comprehension of how to enhance the goods or services a business offers.
A flexible approach
Modern marketing can be hard since techniques that were effective six months ago might now no longer produce the desired effects. Growth hacking monitors performance and enables you to replace ineffective techniques with new ones. The foolproof strategies can also be scaled down and used with different marketing mediums.
Steps to create a successful growth hacking framework
Growth hacking is not a magic wand, it’s all about following the right process. A well-carved-out, scalable and repeatable growth hacking process is the only way to stay ahead of competitors. Since every business and customer journey is unique, creating and owning a process allows team members the freedom to efficiently execute experiments and learn from them.
To create a successful growth hacking framework, follow the below steps:
Set achievable goals and key outcomes
Conduct research to indicate what a business is trying to achieve through growth hacking. Based on research results, set up relevant, actionable, and achievable goals to effectively measure success in a given span of time. This approach helps in building a well-ordered and workable project task list while identifying the result-generating elements of the strategy.
Gather and conceive new ideas
Once the focus metric has been identified and goals around it have been defined, it’s time to brainstorm and collect all possible avenues and experiment with ideas that can help to achieve the desired goals. This should be followed by asking questions like why, what, where, and how to further shortlist from the list of ideas generated. VWO Insights highlights the user experience bottlenecks prevailing on your website so that you can make observations that lead to effective test hypotheses based on real data.
Rank and prioritize the ideas
Ranking all ideas gathered in the previous step will help to prioritize the ideas that stand out as the most impactful in delivering the desired outcome. The chosen ideas move to the testing stage. A few elements to be considered while prioritization is:
- The working probability of the idea
- The potential impact – long-term as well as short ones
- The number of resources required
Test and implement the ideas
Create a hypothesis around the strategy/idea chosen and run experiments to test it. While conducting the growth hacking experiments it is vital to follow the below tips:
- Incorporate one idea at a time to track and monitor the results to figure out how useful it is in achieving the defined goals.
- Consider a statistically significant sample size to test against.
- Speed is the game’s name, so keep a short time duration for the experiment. A growth experiment is considered to be successful if it starts showing results within 30 days of running the experiment.
When you conduct your growth hacking experiments with VWO, you can:
- Collaborate with your team on the progress of the tests
- Track your primary and secondary goals along with your guardrail metrics
- Leave it to VWO to figure out the correct sample size and the test duration required to give you the right results
- Conclude tests faster and make smarter decisions with VWO SmartStats
Take an all-inclusive free trial to explore these features in detail.
Document experiment results
Successful or not, the key is to systematically document the complete process and the results of all experiments. By doing this, the growth team can review the outcomes and:
- Replicate the experiment in the future if required
- Adjust and tweak the experiment process
- Test again to see any improvement in results
VWO Plan allows you to create a centralized repository where all insights, notes, ideas, and comments related to any part of your experiment program can be recorded. This helps the team to collaborate better – instead of working in silos while adding their observations separately in Google Docs, Excel sheets, and other tools.
Growth hacking techniques
In today’s world, growth hacking techniques are more appealing to startup founders because of their sole focus on rapid growth. The need for an explosion of energy to stay ahead and gain speed has replaced the “slow and steady wins the race” ideology. Some of the growth hacking techniques that can help startups grow their customer base are
- Get user feedback to create an attractive product
- Provide learning resources to customers to learn the use of the product
- Customize the landing page/homepage with a compelling message
- Include shorter opt-in forms
- Send emails with catchy taglines
- Provide referral incentives
- Make use of exit pop-ups
- Take advantage of FOMO
- Embed live videos
- Use cross-integrations
- Provide easily shareable links
Growth hacking with VWO
When it comes to growth hacking, the focus should be on continually testing and optimizing for higher engagement and a better customer experience, using strategies and tools to attract customers based on highly personalized preferences.
VWO is a powerful, and interconnected experimentation platform that is easy to use and allows you to build a vigorous roadmap that can be tested deeply and swiftly. VWO has thus become an essential part of growth hacking for thousands of brands and it can make a real difference by showing the results of your growth hacks in a limited environment via testing.
With VWO, you can:
- Import and aggregate the growth metrics you care about and track how they are impacted by your experiments.
- Design and launch simple or complex experiments quickly with minimum dependency on developers.
- Align your teams with the status of your testing roadmap and maintain a high velocity of experimentation.
- Get comprehensible results that you can slice and dice to understand the impact on a specific set of audiences and make better business decisions without getting into the nitty-gritty of statistics.
- Back your test hypotheses with qualitative user insights using integrated session recordings, click heatmaps, and website surveys.