Since the end of last year, I’ve been hearing a phrase become more frequently used within digital marketing. What is it that I’m talking about? I’m talking about growth hacking.
The phrase ‘growth hacking’ to me sounds like one of those glorified get rich quick schemes, so I prefer to use the word growth strategy. But what exactly is growth hacking? And what role does it play in digital marketing?
I recently attended the Interactive Minds seminar in Brisbane, where the core focus of the event was to cover all things about growth hacking. You’d think that I’d walk out with these new top secret methods of hacking past firewalls to steal some growth from one company, and then move it into my own? Well, unfortunately, growth hacking isn’t exactly that… Believe me, I was disappointed too 😞 But it turns out that growth hacking is actually something I had been practicing in my work for quite some time, I was just unaware of it.
While we’re on the topic, feel free to catch my previous post about the Interactive Minds event here.
To put it in simple terms, Growth hacking is:
“A process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business” – Quick Sprout.
In digital marketing, growth hacking can be undertaken for many reasons. Some marketers may wish to increase the growth of their lead generation, whereas others might want to grow their email lists or social media followers. Regardless of what you’re wanting to grow, there are all sorts of tools to help you do the job right. From WordPress plugins like Gleam, to automation tools like Autopilot, you really can find unique ways to ‘hack’ your way to the top.
After hearing a presentation from Airtaskers VP of Marketing, Simon Reynolds, I’ve learnt that growth hacking can even be undertaken with something as simple as manually adding user data into a spreadsheet. My personal favourite growth hacking strategies are those that are both innovative and a little bit cheeky. The strategy known as a ‘firehose’ would have to be my top pick for growth hacking. Simon referred to the strategy as a way to capture a heavy stream of potential users at the right moment.
The image above is a slide from Simons presentation that showcases Airtasker’s fire hose targetted towards viewers of ‘The Morning Show’. After the Airtasker app was featured on the show, the growth team created a paid media campaign that promoted their mention from the reliable source and chose to target its user base. By pointing this hose of potential users to their product, the campaign was able to benefit from significant engagements which translated to increasing app downloads.
I’ve recently conducted my first firehose campaign, which considering the time frame and budget, actually ran quite successfully. In a similar case to Airtasker, my company had recently had one of our in-house apps featured by a reliable source. I decided to add some paid media to a post about our mention through the source and target their user base. The end engagement rate was definitely substantially higher than normal for the type of post. Not to mention that our social channel benefited from some newly acquired followers.
If I was to give one recommendation to anyone looking to venture into growth hacking, it would be to remember the importance of recording data. By effectively recording your growth, you can monitor what methods do and don’t work and alter your strategy accordingly. By recording your growth results you’ll essentially be able to create a map of what path you took. As all marketers know, nothing is more important than the power of tracking success for future reference.
Each industry and organisation can have differet methods that are uniquely tailored to benefit their own growth. Have you had any experience growth hacking in your organisation or industry? Let me know by tweeting me, I’d love to hear.