Hacking doesn’t always have to be seen in a negative way. In fact, a lot of hacking nowadays relates to making life easier by using unconventional tools.
For instance, using a Post-It note in between the keys of your keyboard helps keep it clean by sticking to hair and debris. That would be considered an office hack.
Business is no different. Growth hacking strategies are considered by many as the rapid use of many marketing channels to identify the most effective methods.
It’s often an actionable process by startup businesses as owners begin to grow the company.
Here are 13 of the hottest strategies that have been greatly influential in the success of many.
1. Define Your Goals
Much like developing a business plan, defining your goals for growth gives you a base from which to work. However, you want to keep your goals realistic. It’s easy to say that you want your company to become a multi-million dollar platform.
You want to focus on the steps it takes to get to that point. Goals such as visitors to your website each week, growing social media followers and steadily increasing sales income are just a few examples.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Partner Up
There are a lot of businesses that establish a partnership to improve sales and interactions of both. For instance, the health and fitness app MyFitnessPal partners with Fitbit so customers can collect greater amounts of data while using both systems.
This is almost a symbiotic relationship that boosts brand awareness of each company. You may want to focus on looking through social media to find a company that may be complementary to your own.
Perhaps you could partner up with other startup businesses to improve both simultaneously. In many instances, it’s better to share success with other organizations than to struggle building a business from scratch.
3. Expand into Social Media
According to Statista, 78% of US population has a social network profile. This means that almost three out of the four people you see in your community have a social media account somewhere on the Internet.
It’s imperative that you grow your business into as many of these platforms as possible. It’s one of the most cost-efficient ways to engage customers. For a startup, this may take a bit of effort as you need to grow your brand to attract followers.
4. Offer Feedback and Reviews
About 97% of consumers on the Internet have read at least one review in the past year. Fake review or not, people are reading them and making purchasing decisions.
Many of them state how it plays an important role when making purchases. Offering your visitors a chance to write those reviews can help the company grow as well as engage a future audience.
From a startup perspective, this has potential to quickly boost brand awareness and reputation. This also allows you to see the results over time from the very beginning.
5. Creating a Community
Popular social media sites are not the only way to offer a community mindset for your business. Many small companies offer a degree of social engagement directly from their own website.
It’s all about engaging those who can help your company grow: the customer. This can be done by offering discussions, help forums or even developing a “social-media-like” presence with personal profiles and functionality from your own website.
Offer incentives to new guests in order to grow this community. As a startup, you’ll need to be a bit creative to attract those willing to participate.
6. Appear Larger Online
Even the smallest business can appear much larger on the Internet. Many small organizations will give the appearance of a large corporation in order to attract consumers and other investors.
You don’t have to lie to attract these people, but you may need to be creative about how you present yourself. For instance, stunning website design and highly detailed company information may help customers feel at ease.
Build a landing page that exudes professionalism and confidence. Make your startup company look like it’s been in business for years.
7. Exclusive Memberships and Deals
Although this isn’t necessarily a new idea, offering a form of exclusivity is still an effective way of marketing. Memberships, deals and discounts offered to a select clientele have potential to improve business growth.
The idea behind this hack is that people want to be a part of something special that not everyone can get into. Some eCommerce sites will offer a percentage discount on products to members of an email or newsletter list.
8. Incentive-Based Marketing
Incentive-based marketing is when you offer someone a reason to help you market the business. For instance, affiliates will help you sell your products on their own websites for a small percentage of the income.
Some companies will offer a discount or some other form of incentive to customers just for sharing content or referring other shoppers. Essentially, you’re putting the marketing process in the hands of others to boost your business.
In many ways, this can be more cost-effective for the startup as some incentives may be less expensive than investing money into advertising. And you’ll reach a wider audience who may not know you exist otherwise.
9. Focus on Superior Customer Service
Being able to retain customers is one of the most important aspects of growth. If you can’t make loyal fans of your brand, it will be more difficult to convince others to use your company.
Superior customer service is a memorable experience and easily shared in social media. In fact, more than 80% of consumers will pay more money per product or service for a superior experience in customer relations.
As first impressions are vastly important, you want your startup business to be recognized as providing an excellent experience from the very beginning.
10. Include Content Marketing
Many businesses put forth a great deal of effort into content marketing. That’s because it has great potential to work. In many ways, it’s also an incredibly cost-effective solution to engage your consumers.
Many experts believe that high-quality content can play an important part of growth hacking, especially when you target the people most likely to use your business.
When you first set up the company, you’ll have a general idea of who you want to target in terms of marketing. However, it’ll be tools like Google Analytics that can help you fine-tune your understanding of consumers.
11. Offer Freebies
Giving away something for free isn’t a new concept. However, mentioning the word “FREE” will still drive an audience. Giving away something to entice new consumers is a practice done by many.
The main thing to take away from this is that giving free goods or services away can quickly grow a customer base. As a startup business, you’ll want to make sure that what you’re giving away can be sustained from a financial point of view.
Don’t give away all your profits that keep you from actually succeeding.
12. Comment on Blogs
Sometimes you can earn a bit of recognition simply by replying to a blog you read. Make sure that the blog is related to your business niche to improve customer interaction.
If you’re unable to supply a link to your website from the comment section, make sure to add your business to your name when commenting.
For instance, “Bob@YourBusiness.com.” On an exceptionally busy website, this could easily attract several new visitors and potential customers. Something like this wouldn’t cost your startup business additional expenses outside of time.
13. Call to Action
Never underestimate the value of a call to action. This is when you prompt users to take action based on your content. For instance, ending a post with, “Click here to reserve yours today” has potential to increase sales and leads.
An email with a simple CTA has potential to increase sales by more than 1000 percent, such as that experienced by Toast – the all-in-one restaurant software company.
Grow Your Business Today
Gone are the days when startup businesses had to rely on expensive television ads, newspaper spots and radio promotions. Technology today puts some of the most engaging forms of marketing in the hands of virtually anyone.
Give your business the best chance of becoming a success and take a close look at growth hacking strategies and how they can boost your business. Find the tools that work best for you and relish in future success.